How to Measure your Center’s Performance in Comparison with other Contact Centers

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No matter what type of business you have, you want to know how you compare to others, especially as a contact center. There are a number of different reasons why you might want to know how you compare to others. Your first and foremost reason may be because you want to see what they are providing that you are not. Looking into how other contact centers rate among yours will allow you to see if you are doing something right or if you are doing something wrong. A lot of valuable knowledge can be gained by doing a comparison. You will learn more about yourself as a company and about your competition.

Benchmarking is a great way to start out when you are going to compare your contact center to others. You must keep in the back of your mind that benchmarking only works so well and is only a comparison of everyone who participates. If one company does not participate, you cannot compare yourself to them.

There are benchmarking techniques you can look at which will help you get a good grasp on your company and where you stand.

Service Level
Your service level is measurable and can be measured in four different stages. Although you are probably thinking about service only along the lines of your customers, you must also think about it in another light. To set the perfect service level and measure yours compared to others, you must focus on things such as, your customers, your business strategy, revenue opportunities and also your cost scenarios.

Choose what the right service level is for you and your business by reviewing different ways to determine and set your service level.

First Contact Resolution
There are many ways to handle issues between the customer and the company. It can be difficult to only use one method as there are different kinds. It is important to make sure you pick the one that works best for your company and run with it. You also need to determine who decides when a resolution is reached; the customer or the business.

Cost per Contact and Call
This is a total of how much it costs the company to contact each person. You can simply figure out this number by dividing the budget of the company by the number of contact. This number is then your cost per contact. You will need to know this number to keep your company’s costs low and also to see where you rank with other companies.
If you find that your cost per call and contact is very high, you may want to consider reducing your costs. If you are bringing in a large revenue and your return on investment is quite large, you can afford your cost per call to be higher.

IVR Containment
This number is an important part of your company. It is the number that is reflected when you take the number of calls in versus the number of calls that are going out. The number that you get should be reflective of successful inquiries and transactions. You should not include prospects or customers who do not make it completely through this process.

Abandon Rate
This is the number of abandoned calls or questions that come into the company. This number can vary in different ways and it is important to establish what is considered an abandoned call. Do you count messages as abandoned? Do you count down phone lines as abandoned?

It is also important to consider whether or not you will consider all abandons in this number. Do you want to include good abandons? What about network capacity abandons?
Once you know what your abandoned definition is, you can formulate a number based on the criteria.

Quality
The quality of service and also employee satisfaction can be measured. There are many different strategies that companies can use to measure this. Some companies measure it by pay, others by incentives, and other by other means. There is going to be a large difference in numbers because each company has their own method for reaching the numbers they do.

Measure with Technology
A lot of these vital points can be resolved and targets met by simply implementing tools that enable ease of use for the customer and for the agent. This can include chat software and self-service models that offer guidance and engagement for the customer. One particular tool called WalkMe offers clear and simple guidance and engagement for users while lowering costs for a business. These calls that need to be resolved in the first instant can be done now, because less and less calls are coming in. More and more customers can manage to self-task their smaller issues by themselves using tip balloons.

Benchmarking and checking the progress of your company against other companies is important because it will tell you and show you where you stand compared to your competition. Benchmarking is a great tool but it is not always effective if the companies you are looking to compare with are not participating.

In addition to comparing yourself with other companies, you can benchmark your own success by looking into your own company and compiling customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction surveys. This will help you get an idea of how you are doing in the eyes of your employees and also customers.

Use all of this to your advantage and compare yourself accordingly. If you notice that you are doing something wrong, change it. If you are doing some great, continue to replicate it.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark is the lead author and editor of two customer service blogs - I Want It Now, which examines the era of instant gratification, and Self Service Central, which provides her thoughts on how best to help customers assist themselves online . She also serves as Customer Success Director at WalkMe. Follow her @IWantItNowblog