What you should know about Contact Center Benchmarking

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Contact centers have enormously evolved over the past few decades and have become the game changer for businesses. In today’s economy, it is of utmost importance for organizations to fight for a stronger customer base by meeting the demand for new channels. Thus, in the stride to achieve desired goals, organizations have been deploying the fastest and lowest-cost solution. But the true cost of this approach has now begun to deteriorate.

Considering the pace at which contact centers are growing, managers have understood the importance of simplifying their technology systems to share a common, multichannel customer interaction platform across the organization. They are focusing more on the future roadmap and are continuously scrutinizing their endeavor to improved organizational goals.

All these trending needs have given rise to contact center benchmarking, which is a structured, analytical approach to performance analysis for comparing you to your industry peers on key performance metrics. When effectively implemented with a precise methodology, contact center benchmarking allows managers to optimize their operations for leveraging best practices towards maintaining competitive advantage.

So, here are few basic parameters that organizations should consider as a part of their contact center benchmarking process:

First Call Resolution (FCR): There is a direct relationship between FCR and customer satisfaction. When the one does better, the other follows and vice versa. Studies show that, “every 1% improvement you make in FCR, you get a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction, too.”  Improved FCR leads to improved efficiency and effectiveness. It has to be followed religiously in contact centers to ensure improvement in quality of customer calls with reduced cost and improved customer satisfaction.

Agent Utilization: It is the percentage of time call center agents are on calls or in after-call work, divided by the time they are logged in. Agent utilization is one of the key metrics in workforce planning, and in assessing efficiency. Higher agent utilization may although reduce the cost per contact but at the same time has an adverse effect on the performance of the agents. It leads to increased cost for contact centers as the agents turnover increases due to workload which ultimately gives rise to low morale and more agent burnout rate.

Call Abandonment Rate: It is the number of callers hanging up before an agent answers. The call abandonment rate is the sign of call centers without effective workforce. Studies show that “nearly 60 percent of respondents believe that one minute is too long to be on hold. In addition, 32.3 percent of consumers believe that customer service departments should be answering immediately – with no hold time.” As a call center grows, the number of incoming call also increases and so does the hold times which in turn leads to increased abandoned rates. But, this should be carefully monitored by the call center manager as the success of the call rate totally depends on it. Managers must ensure that their strategies are up to mark to reduce the rate of customer frustration and churn rate. Abandonment rate is thus considered as one of the benchmarks due to its direct relation with SLA.

Call Wrap-up Time: One of the basic challenge in providing the right customer experience is the quality of the team. Due to this, contact centers are under continuous pressure to drive efficiency across all levels. Loyal customers and brand advocates mark the success of an organization. One way to track down the inefficiency of agents is by analyzing the call pattern and the wrap-up time. Call wrap-up time is the amount of time spent by agents after the call to complete the work related to the call. Agents spend lot of time deciding the disposition code of a call. But with the help of speech analytics, the processes can be significantly reduced or totally eliminated.  The speech analytic will automatically categorizes each call into existing (or expanded) disposition codes.

CSAT score: It is the measure or amount of customer satisfaction received out of a particular service. Measuring CSAT score is not an easy task due to the difficulty of scaling and measuring attitudes. Taking feedback and analyzing suggestions are more important than simply running a call center without any defined goal. Remember, acquiring a customer is an easy task, but sustaining them for a lifetime is a tough job. Thus, contact center should make it a habit to take post-call surveys and feedback from customers to quantify their effort. CSAT is not only a benchmark for contact centers but is also considered as a fortune teller as it defines the kind of customer base the center is having and also the weak areas to focus on.

If you think there are more parameters for contact center benchmarking, let us know in the comment section below.

Related: 6 Tips to Improve the Productivity of Your Call Center Agents

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