CallTalk Caramels: Benchmarking Made Easy

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Benchmarking is a tool best used for optimizing the performance of the contact center. Through its use, managers can pinpoint areas of opportunity for improvement, and support those initiatives that will result in the best ROI for the center and organization. Benchmarking answers the question, “How good is good enough?” and it allows managers to stay competitive within their industry and against industry peers. Benchmarking also provides a solid foundation for business proposals aimed at senior management for improvement initiatives.

CallTalk CaramelsWhereas the purpose and benefits of benchmarking are commonly understood, most managers become more concerned about frequency: “How often do I need to benchmark?” This question surfaces due to the time, effort and resources required when conducting a benchmarking initiative. However, following some simple guidelines make it easy to benchmark at least every six months.

  • Teamwork – Form a committee of experts. Include people that are experts in specific KPI’s. Your team should include someone from Workforce Management, Training, Operations, and Quality Monitoring.
  • Process documentation – Keep all notes from each benchmarking round to assure that processes are duplicated easily and efficiently. These notes should also include the definitions of metrics used in order to avoid confusion during later benchmarking initiative.
  • Monitor for success – The continuous monitoring and benchmarking of customer satisfaction and first call resolution are KPI’s found critical to successful call center operations.
  • Whenever possible, benchmark prior to making changes in technologies, and then benchmark 30-days and 60-days after the implementation to measure the effects of the change.

Following these simple guidelines will empower you to manage your center efficiently and effectively by pinpointing strengths and weaknesses in the operation of your center. Your team then explores those weaknesses and their underlying causes, and develops appropriate improvement initiatives leading to attractive ROIs for the organization, as well as fostering better customer satisfaction.

Balancing efficiency and effectiveness through balanced-scorecard benchmarking is essential to good contact center management.

Tip of the Week: Conduct “before and after” benchmarks whenever your center undergoes changes: implementing new technologies, changing premises, changing hiring and training programs, etc. Then calculate the value of improvements in your metrics and show the savings that result from your initiatives.


This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with John Chatterley, entitled “Benchmarking Made Easy: How Your Metrics Can Be Leveraged For Optimum Results”. Click the following link: Benchmarking Made Easy Audio Show

CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk Episodes
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key points from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.

Bruce Belfiore
Bruce Belfiore is Senior Research Executive and CEO of BenchmarkPortal, custodian of the world's largest database of contact center metrics. He hosts the monthly online radio show "CallTalk" and is chancellor of The College of Call Center Excellence. He has consulted for many Fortune 1000 companies, helping them to improve efficiency and effectiveness of their customer contact operations.

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