3.23 One Call Quality Standards

One Call Center

Practice Statement:24

The one call center establishes and monitors performance standards for the operation of the center.

Practice Description:

A. Customer Quality of Service Performance Measurements

          One call centers monitor the quality of service provided to a customer who phones in a locate request. Key performance indicators include, but need not be limited to, average speed of answer, call abandonment rate, busy signal rate, and customer satisfaction. The recommended benchmarks to fulfill a high quality of customer service while promoting accuracy, cost effectiveness, and efficiency are identified below. Meeting or exceeding a benchmark qualifies as a “best” practice.

      1.  Average Speed of Answer

           Average speed of answer (ASA) usually comprises the number of seconds between the time a caller is transferred from the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and the time a voice welcomes the caller and begins the processing of a locate request averaged over a specified time interval and accumulated daily. Service level objectives in the one call center industry are generally monitored daily, monthly, and year to date. An ASA objective of 30 seconds or less is recommended.

      2.  Abandoned Call Rate

           The incidence of abandoned incoming calls is a function of the number of one call center customer service representatives actively processing locate requests and the volume of incoming calls. Callers have an expectation that all calls will be answered within a reasonable time. A caller that has waited more than 60 seconds before hanging up is considered an abandoned call. A monthly average abandonment rate that is less than 5% is recommended.

      3.  Busy Signal Rate

           The incidence of callers experiencing busy signals is a function of the number of incoming telephone lines to the one call center and the incoming call volume. Callers have an expectation that there will be very few busy signals. from their telephone systems or obtain the information from their communications service providers. The information usually comprises the number of callers experiencing a busy signal as a percentage of the total number of attempts to contact the one call center during normal business hours. Service level objectives are reported daily, monthly, and year to date. A monthly average busy signal rate that does not exceed 1% is recommended.

      4.  Customer Satisfaction

           A fundamental principal in measuring quality is that “the customer defines quality.” Periodic customer satisfaction surveys are conducted. The one call center makes all information/data collected on the quality of its performance available for review by the appropriate oversight authority and the public upon request.

B. Locate Request Quality

          The one call center has in place quality control and quality assurance programs to measure and monitor the accuracy and completeness of the information received by the one call center compared to the information transmitted by the one call center.

C. Notification Delivery

          The one call center establishes and monitors criteria for the transmission of notifications and notification audit reports. Typically, the one call center can transmit notifications in an electronic format that allows receiving stations to parse/extract data. Notification audit reports are sent to receiving stations at a mutually acceptable frequency. It is a best practice to send an audit report at least once every business day. Typically, notification transmission is immediate.


  • One Call Systems International Voluntary Recognition Program
  • “Model One Call for the 20th and 21st Century,” AT&T (was available when the practice was created but is no longer available)
  • Existing operating practices from various states one call centers


One Call Center One Call Center

Facility Owner Facility Owner

Excavator Excavator

Locator Locator

Project Owner Project Owner

Designer Designer