May 28, 2013
We hear a lot about “big data”, but what has it done for you? For all but the most advanced contact centers, the answer is “not much”…yet. However, recently-concluded research results indicate big data may help you hire better in the very near future.
A starting point for discussing this is your “old-fashioned” agent attributes study. I put “old fashioned” in quotes because, even though the methodology for agent attributes screening has been around for years, few centers actually use it effectively. It involves administering a long survey to all of your agents (including questions which seem to have little relationship to call center functions), then rating those agents for their performance. This is coupled with a statistical analysis to determine which attributes correlate most highly with agents who are top performers, middling performers, etc. Using statistical analysis, a profile emerges of the ideal candidates - - or more accurately, the information that your best agents have in common. The results can then be used to screen new applicants, based on their responses to the survey.
Whether your center uses this agent attributes methodology or not, it may be time to leapfrog ahead with the help of big data research that is hot out of the oven. It is the agent attributes study on social media steroids! The big data approach does not limit itself to a single survey (heck, that wouldn’t be big enough!). It gathers data about current agents from the Internet and social media, as well as in-house information such as recorded calls, caller satisfaction reports, etc. - - sorting through tons of information about each individual, using advanced workforce analytics. Again, the data is correlated with agent performance information.
Once this part is complete, candidates are subjected to a similar big data process, to determine if they meet profiles associated with top performing agents for your center. Keep in mind that, if you have different functions at your center, e.g. inbound customer service, inbound sales, and technical support, separate profiles can be developed for each function. Naturally, this is only part of the screening and hiring process. Resumes, tests and interviews are not going to be eliminated by big data recruiting tools. However, these tools may become increasingly weighted in the hiring process over time.
While some are concerned that the “big data big brother” is becoming too, well, “big”, in our lives, it looks like it is here to stay. To the extent it can help pair candidates with the employers with whom they have the greatest chances for success, it represents a win-win for everyone - - including the customers.
The field of “workforce science” is still in its infancy, but some entrepreneurs are already targeting the contact center industry, where turnover is notoriously high. Expect more refinements and perhaps some healthy controversy on this topic. Big data has met recruiting, and they appear headed for a long-term partnership.
For comments on this article, or to discuss, recruiting, screening and hiring of agents, Bruce may be contacted at BruceBelfiore@BenchmarkPortal.com
May 15, 2013
Trial Card Press Release:
About the Center of Excellence Certification:
The Center of Excellence recognition is one of the most prestigious awards in the customer service and support industry.The certification process is management's best path to a World Class Quality Call Center. Contact Centers achieve the Center of Excellence distinction based on a best-practice metrics drawn from the world’s largest database of objective and quantitative data that is audited and validated by researchers from BenchmarkPortal.
A contact center that has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal has met and/or surpassed rigorous standards of efficiency and effectiveness. This certification is unique in that its achievement is ascertained strictly “by the numbers.” This means that the BenchmarkPortal team audits and verifies the center’s key performance indicators and compare that data to data from other peer organizations. This is different from other types of contact center certifications that typically focus on less results-oriented measures, such as process handling methods and procedures.
BenchmarkPortal awards the "Center of Excellence" designation to customer service call centers that rank in the top ten percent of the call centers surveyed. They are judged against a Balanced Scorecard of metrics for efficiency and effectiveness. Those contact centers that demonstrate superior performance on both cost-related metrics and quality-related metrics compared with their industry peers earn the award.
May 8, 2013
Mayo Medical Laboratories Contact Center Achieves Its Second Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence
The Mayo Medical Laboratories customer contact center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “Only the top 10 percent of those benchmarked annually achieve this distinction,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “Achieving Center of Excellence certification is an acknowledgement of strong management and leadership in the call center industry.”
To achieve certification as a Center of Excellence, a company must undergo a rigorous benchmarking process, which compares the organization’s operational metrics to those of its peers, using the world's largest database of contact center metrics. During this process, BenchmarkPortal experts audit and verify key data from the contact center applying for certification.
May 7, 2013
Health Net Federal Services Call Centers Achieve Its Second Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence
The Health Net Federal Services Call Centers have been certified for the second year in a row as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “Only the top 10 percent of those benchmarked annually achieve this distinction,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “Achieving Center of Excellence certification from BenchmarkPortal demonstrates a noteworthy commitment to service excellence. The obvious beneficiaries of this commitment are the center’s customers, employees, and shareholders.”