December 17, 2014

MAXIMUS Contact Center Operations in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Vermont Achieve Recognition as Centers of Excellence

The MAXIMUS customer contact centers achieved the Center of Excellence distinction based on best practice metrics drawn from the world’s largest database of objective and quantitative performance data from thousands of contact centers. Performance data collected from all six MAXIMUS contact centers achieved BenchmarkPortal’s objective and quantitative criteria in areas such as operational efficiency, service-level standards, customer satisfaction and employee training. Georgia Health Services for Families and GACAPS have now received certification for five and four consecutive years, respectively. Indiana EBS, Michigan EBS and Vermont Green Mountain Care Member Services have now been certified for three consecutive years. This is the first certification for Illinois Modification and Employer Services.

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://investor.maximus.com/press-release/local-recognition/maximus-contact-center-operations-georgia-illinois-indiana-michigan-

December 10, 2014

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Call Center Named a Certified Center of ExcellenceThe Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) Retail Sales and Retention team 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.”

Click here to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/12/blue-cross-blue-shield-massachusetts-call-center-nam

December 1, 2014

Canon U.S.A. Earns Center Of Excellence Certification By BenchmarkPortal


December 1, 2014 -- Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that for the sixth consecutive year it has earned the Center of Excellence certification by BenchmarkPortal, placing its customer support center in the top 10 percent for efficiency and effectiveness in the technical support category. The Center of Excellence is a prestigious recognition based on best-practice metrics drawn from the world's largest database of objective and quantitative data that is audited and validated by researchers from BenchmarkPortal. “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.”

Click here to learn more: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-certification/certified-customer-service-center/canon-usa

October 31, 2014

Contact Center Economics 101: Nobel Prize for Economics - The Link Between Customer Contact and Economic Growth


Call Center Economics 101By Bruce BelfioreSenior Research Executive and CEO, BenchmarkPortal

Ok.  Here’s my bid for a Nobel.  One of the macro questions for the customer contact industry is: “Does a robust customer contact industry correlate with higher economic growth?”

The implications of this question are enormous.  If such a relationship can be shown to exist, then governments that want to foster economic growth should actively encourage the growth of the customer contact industry within their borders.

As we grow our database of contact center performance metrics here at BenchmarkPortal, we look forward to the day that we will have enough data to prove a correlation between the state of the contact center industry and GDP growth in countries throughout the world.  However, there are already circumstantial indications that this relationship exists, and governments would do well to consider their policies even now.

I note as well that contact centers represent clean, non-polluting operations that involve “knowledge worker” skills at a variety of levels.  Contact centers are often the first point of entry for workers who later are promoted into other parts of the enterprise - - but hopefully retain their appreciation for customer service and bring their experience with them as they advance professionally.

Estimates regarding the number of people who work in contact centers in advanced economies is astounding. It was estimated that about 3% of the working population in the United Kingdom is employed in contact centers, while the estimated percentage is over 3% in the United States and Canada.  These economies have been among the most resilient over the last 20 years, while advanced, G7 economies like Japan and Italy, which have much less robust customer contact sectors, have languished.

My hypothesis is that consumers the world over are more likely to trust and buy a product or service when:

Click here to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/10/contact-center-economics-101-nobel-prize-economics-l

October 30, 2014

GE Capital Fleet Services Contact Center Achieves Its Fourth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence


GE Capital Fleet Services, BenchmarkPortal Center of ExcellenceBenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the GE Capital Fleet Services Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the fourth year. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

October 30, 2014 -- The GE Capital Fleet Services’ maintenance control center, has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “The achievement of the Center of Excellence represents a contact center’s commitment to delivering customer service that is both effective and efficient,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “It is the culmination of important initiatives that were undertaken to achieve sustainable service excellence.”

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/10/ge-capital-fleet-services-contact-center-achieves-it

October 29, 2014

EFG Companies Achieves Certification as a Center of Excellence


EFG Companies, BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the EFG by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

10/28/2014 -- The EFG Companies customer claims and administration group 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.”

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/10/efg-companies-achieves-certification-center-excellen

October 28, 2014

You're Invited To Participate In Our Quality Assurance Survey.

BenchmarkPortal is reaching out to gather data about your center's Quality Assurance Program. Participants will receive a summary report of data compliments of BenchmarkPortal.
 
The goal of our QA efforts is to provide effective coaching that has a short term impact and long term improvement in our agent’s performance and our customer’s/caller’s experience. 

In this survey, we will be asking you what tools you are using, how many and which persons are involved in the Quality Evaluation process and more helpful information for you to practice continuous improvement in your Quality Evaluation Program. 

Click on the link below to start the Survey now:
http://benchmarkportal.qa-oms.sgizmo.com/s3/

BenchmarkPortal appreciates your time and effort in contributing valuable data to our research.

Note* Responses are anonymous, and will only be reported by average. We're gathering this information for statistical purposes only. The data will not be used to identify you personally, or your Company, in any way.

Sincerely,

Bruce Belfiore
CEO, Senior Research Executive
BenchmarkPortal

October 23, 2014

Bright Horizons Family Solutions® Contact Center Achieves its Fourth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence


Bright Horizons, BenchmarkPortal Center of ExcellenceBenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Bright Horizons® Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the fourth year in a row. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

October 17, 2014 -- The Bright Horizons Family Solutions 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.”   

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/10/bright-horizons-family-solutions-contact-center-ach

Call Center Campus Week There Is Still Time To Register! Las Vegas, NV at the Planet Hollywood Hotel November 10-14, 2014


Call Center Campus Week in Las Vegas - 4th Annual 

There Is Still Time To Register! Lodging & Classroom Seats Available.

Join Us For a Unique
Week of Learning.

Pre-Symposium Certification Workshops

- Lodging is Included
- Complimentary Access to 2-Day Symposium
- Complimentary Access to Welcome/Networking Reception
- Networking Breakfasts

2-Day Symposium

Symposium
November 13-14, 2014
“Imagine Excellence”
People, Technology, Connections - From Today to Your Tomorrow
- Lodging is Included
- Guest Speakers
- Breakout Learning Sessions
- “Hot Topic” Roundtable Discussions
- Welcome/Networking Reception
- Networking Breakfasts
  • Opening Keynote Presented by Prof. Richard Feinberg, Purdue University, Consumer Sciences and Retailing.
     
  • Customer Centric Culture
     
  • Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort
     
  • Imagining a Healthier Call Center: Lessons From The Industry's Biggest Loser
     
  • Stretching and Fitness in The Call Center
     
  • Transforming Training Approaches - Getting Better Business Results
     
  • 2-Days of Roundtable Discussions!
     
  • Your Centers Customer Satisfaction Challenges & Resolutions
     
  • and more...
Call Center Campus Week in Las Vegas

October 17, 2014

Call Center Law

Listen now on demand to our latest CallTalk Show on Call Center Law. Adam Losey, Esq., an attorney with Foley & Lardner, will share tips on monitoring communications as well as other legal issues important to contact centers. As privacy counsel for call centers, Adam works with client-side management to develop and implement policies governing monitoring and recording of telephone calls and electronic communications, as well as data management issues associated with call recordings and electronically stored information.

Guest Host: Adam Losey, Attorney, Foley & Lardner LLP

Adam Losey is an internationally recognized attorney, author, and educator in the field of technology law. He represents a number of Fortune 100 companies in high-stakes complex litigations across the country involving challenging issues at the intersection of law and technology. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Losey routinely advises clients large and small on a variety of sophisticated information security, incident response, privacy, electronic discovery, and data management matters. Mr. Losey is a member of the New York, Florida, and District of Columbia bars.

Click here to listen to the show: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/calltalk-online-radio-show/5/9/call-center-law

Contact Center Training Survey


Call Center Survey BenchmarkPortal wants to know about your needs in contact center training. Please complete this short, 8-question survey so that we can provide you the high-quality courseware you require.
Questions cover all levels (managers, supervisors, agents) and all delivery methods (in-person, live on-line, on-demand). 

Click on the link below to start the Survey now:
http://benchmarkportal.ccce.sgizmo.com/s3/
We thank you very much for your input!!

October 6, 2014

IVR Design Lessons From the Fortune 500

We recently participated in an interview with Software Advice...They called 50 Fortune 500 customer service numbers to gather metrics that will help you to improve your IVR system, and spoke to us about best practices for menu design. Read the article here: http://www.softwareadvice.com/voip/industryview/ivr-design-tips-report-2014/

October 2, 2014




Yummy Cupcakes for a well deserving Center of Excellence Achievement for Lincoln Financial Group- Individual Annuity Operations (Partner Solutions Life Customer Care Center)! How does your center celebrate? Send us your photos.

September 24, 2014

New Call Center Learning Assessments!

Want to improve agent performance for better business results? 

Want to know which learning strategies will result in performance gains

BMP’s Call Center Learning Assessment is designed for organizations that want to understand how effectively their learning programs equip agents to serve customers. The output of our Assessment is a set of recommendations for building a more effective learning program.

The Call Center Learning Assessment includes a pre-visit review of agent performance data and training program information, followed by in-depth, on-site discovery conducted by BMP’s learning industry expert. The assessment reveals areas of opportunity for improvement in the areas of people, process, and technology.

Click here to learn more about this assessment:  http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-assessments/call-center-learning-assessments

September 10, 2014

Egis Projects Canada Contact Center Achieves Its Third Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

Egis Projects Canada, Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortalSeptember 10, 2014 - The Egis Projects Canada 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.”   

Click here to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/09/egis-projects-canada-contact-center-achieves-its-thi

September 8, 2014

The Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) call 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.”  

Click here to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/09/santa-clara-family-health-plan-call-center-achieves-

September 5, 2014

Santa Clara Family Health Plan Call Center Achieves Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Santa Clara Family Health Plan Call Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

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.”   
The Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) call center has been certified as a

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/09/santa-clara-family-health-plan-call-center-achieves-

August 27, 2014

Employee Recognition - Why is everyone talking about it?

Why are so many people talking about Employee Engagement? We'll find out a few tips on the effectiveness of employee recognition and how it can potentially provide financial success to your company. Zane Safrit, CEO, Business Consultant, and Author will share some of his experiences and lessons learned on building employee awareness of company goals, raising morale, and increasing productivity.

To listen to this episode, click the following link: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/calltalk-online-radio-show/5/8/employee-recognition

August 18, 2014

ARAG Customer Care Achieves Its Eighth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence


ARAG, Call Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortalBenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of ARAG Customer Care by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the eighth year. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

ARAG® Customer Care call center was certified earlier this year 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. “The Center of Excellence Certification is so prestigious that only 5% of those centers that applied have actually attained certification 5 or more years in a row.”   

August 14, 2014

MESSA Contact Center Achieves Its Eighth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the MESSA Member Service Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the eighth time. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

The MESSA member service center was certified earlier this year 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.”   

Click here to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/08/messa-contact-center-achieves-its-eighth-certificati

August 13, 2014

CallTalk Caramels: Team Meetings-How Your Employees Will Benefit

CallTalk Caramels
Team meetings are regularly scheduled, compulsory gatherings of the contact center team that usually last at least an hour. They are often perceived as being drab and boring - or they become the hurried huddle where a manager or supervisor hastens to push out information, and then rushes the staff back to their cubicles. Although regularly scheduled team meetings are tough to schedule, they also provide enormous benefit to the center and bond colleagues to each other.

Expert research shows that for team meetings to be successful, they need to be well-planned and structured. A well-balanced and structured approach to team meetings avoids them becoming either elaborate agent gripe sessions, or supervisor “dump sessions” where agents become overwhelmed with too much information. Here are some suggestions that will help your team meetings be more successful:

Click here to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/08/call-center-team-meetings-how-your-employees-will-benefit

August 12, 2014

Last Online Quality Assurance Training of the Year Aug. 27-29,2014! Don't miss this opportunity!!!

The call center quality assurance training workshop is designed to meet the needs of the Director, Manager or Quality Analyst responsible for delivering a "best-in-class" quality monitoring and coaching program. Attendees will leave with the framework for their center ready for implementation. The Quality Assurance Workshop provides participants with an understanding of the elements that are crucial for building an effective and efficient program that meets the strategic needs of the organization. Those goals and/or needs may be focused on Cost, Service, Sales or Marketing.
  •  Introduction to Quality Assurance
  • Creating a QA Strategy
  • Positive Culture, Behaviors and Definitions
  • Quality Assessment Forms:
    • Structure,
    • Scoring & Weighting
    • Measures and Calibration
  • Service vs Compliance
  • Call Monitoring Process
  • Evaluation Frequency
  • Art of Coaching
  • Feedback
  • Time Management
  • Discussion: How many calls, Coaching process
  • Reward and Recognition Methods
  • Technology
  • 3rd Party Options
  • Conclusion
Click here for more information: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-training/call-center-quality-assurance-certification-training/qa-live-online-2014-08-27

August 11, 2014

Concordia Publishing House Contact Center Achieves Its Fifth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Concordia Publishing House Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the fifth year. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

The Concordia Publishing House 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.”   

Click here to continue reading this news release: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/08/concordia-publishing-house-contact-center-achieves-i

August 7, 2014

Revitalizing Your Call Center: Small Changes that Make Big Differences

CallTalk Caramels
Like any other work environment, call centers can either become a place of joy or the proverbial dungeon – that dreaded place to which we must go to serve out our time. The difference between the two are tied to many factors.  Some simple changes can lead to increases in performance and ROI while making the workplace enjoyable for the worker. Our experts suggested looking at facilities, food and environmental issues. Here are some of the suggestions they offered on how to make your center a joy and not a dungeon.

Click here to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/08/revitalizing-your-call-center-small-changes-make-big

August 6, 2014

Online Call Center Agent Training - Soft Skills Video





Check Out Our New Course For Agents! Agent Soft Skills. The course is Online and On Demand.



Click Here For More Information: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-training/ondemand-training/agent-training-courses

August 5, 2014

Revolv Contact Center Achieves Its Fourth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Revolv Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the fourth year in a row. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

August 5, 2014 - The Revolv 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.”

Click here to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/08/revolv-contact-center-achieves-its-fourth-certificat

August 1, 2014

EyeMed Vision Care Contact Center Achieves Its Fifth Consecutive Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence


EyeMed Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of ExcellenceBenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization, recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the EyeMed Vision Care Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year. Certification is granted exclusively to companies demonstrating high operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction. Only five percent of centers that applied for the prestigious Center of Excellence recognition have actually attained certification five or more years in a row.

“The achievement of the Center of Excellence represents a contact center’s commitment to customer service,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “It is the culmination of important initiatives that were undertaken to achieve sustainable service excellence.”


Click here to continue reading this news article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/08/eyemed-vision-care-contact-center-achieves-its-fifth

CallTalk Caramels: Avoiding Agent Burnout

CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore.  “Caramels” distills key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.
CallTalk CaramelsAgent burnout is often correlated to the culture of the call center and to the culture of the people working in the call center. Sweatshop centers and “crisis call” centers have particularly high levels of burnout. A statistical proxy for burnout is agent turnover, which exceeds 100% per year in some cases.
Helpful tips to identify early warning signals of agent burnout include:
  1. Agent Adherence to Schedule – When burnout occurs, agents lose their appetite and interest for work and become less responsive to occupancy levels and service levels.
  2. Quality Scores – as attitude slips, so does the quality and accurateness of work. This is reflected through the tone and pace of the agent- -and can be perceived by customers as well.
  3. Apathy – Agents lose interest in the activities of the center, or in interacting with others.
Agent burnout is also characterized by the following types of behaviors:

Click Here to Continue Reading This Article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/08/calltalk-caramels-avoiding-agent-burnout

July 31, 2014

NEW Agent Soft Skills Course!

The best agent soft-skills training in the industry is now easier to access! Our acclaimed College of Call Center Excellence agent training curriculum has been made into an on-demand course – and already has received high praise. 


Click here to learn more: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-training/ondemand-training/agent-training-courses




July 30, 2014

July 25, 2014

CallTalk Caramels: Compensation Strategies For Agents and Supervisors Part 2


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

CallTalk Caramels
Studies show that the majority of call centers set their agent compensation purely to meet that offered by the “call center down the street.”  Experts, however, say that compensation should be viewed as a corollary to company strategies and mission. Therefore, managers should ask “does our compensation strategy promote the goals and mission of the company in a concrete fashion?”

Consider how your compensation program lines up against these Best Practices considerations:

Click the following link to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/07/calltalk-caramels-compensation-strategies-agents-and

Lincoln Financial Group’s Life Insurance Customer Care Center Achieves Its Second Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence


BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Lincoln Financial Group’s Life Insurance Customer Care Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the second year in a row.  The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.
 
BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence, Lincoln Financial GroupJuly 25, 2014 -- The Lincoln Financial Group’s Life Insurance Customer Care Center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “The achievement of the Center of Excellence represents a contact center’s commitment to delivering customer service that is both effective and efficient.” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “ It is the culmination of important initiatives that were undertaken to achieve sustainable service excellence.”   

Click here to continue reading the news: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/07/lincoln-financial-group-life-insurance-center-of-excellence

July 23, 2014

Ameritas Contact Center Achieves Its Seventh Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Ameritas Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the seventh year. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

Ameritas Group, BenchmarkPortal Call Center of Excellence
The dental, vision and hearing contact center at Ameritas Group, a division of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “This certification attests to the fact that call center leaders have successfully balanced efficiency and effectiveness in their operations,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “By optimizing their cost components and their ability to satisfy customers, they exemplify best practices in a very important consumer sector.”   

Click the following link to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/07/ameritas-contact-center-achieves-its-seventh-certifi

July 21, 2014

Brother International Contact Center Achieves Certification as a Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Brother International Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

Brother International - Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal
July 21, 2014 -- The Brother International 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.”   

Click the following link to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/07/brother-international-contact-center-achieves-certif

July 18, 2014

TrialCard Contact Center Achieves Its Second Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the TrialCard Customer Experience Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the second year in a row. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

The TrialCard Customer Experience Center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “This certification attests to the fact that call center leaders have successfully balanced efficiency and effectiveness in their operations,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “Achieving Center of Excellence certification is an acknowledgement of strong management and leadership in the call center industry.”

Click the following link to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/07/trialcard-contact-center-achieves-its-second-certifi

July 16, 2014

CallTalk Caramels: Social Media and The Call Center

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

CallTalk Caramels
Companies need to have a defined strategy toward Social Media in order to leverage it properly.  This means managers must understand SM and feel comfortable engaging with the SMNs such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. To avoid disaster and gain the optimal experience, our experts suggest close monitoring of SM platforms and development of appropriate engagement mechanisms.

Applications and hosted services are available to monitor your SMN’s. It is important to have the ability to monitor and respond where you are being mentioned, and your customers tend to aggregate. Select the Social Media Networks that fit well within your plan, using the P.O.S.T. system:

Click here to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/07/calltalk-caramels-social-media-and-call-center

July 10, 2014

Your input wanted! Headset Research - Sponsored by Jabra

Complete this 6 question One Minute Survey and be entered into a raffle to win 1 of 5 Jabra Solemate™ Wireless Speakers - the go anywhere speaker with rich Dolby® sound*.
Headsets are commanding increasing attention in the contact center industry due to impact on:
  • Sound Quality - Headsets Support the Overall Customer Service Experience
  • Agent Satisfaction - Ergonomics, Comfort, and Hearing Safety
  • Functionality and Cost Savings - Potential Benefits of Wireless Headsets
We would like your valuable feedback for our important study. Give us your opinion and enter to win!
Solemate packs a custom-designed bass slave together with a powerful woofer for deep bass and dual tweeters for soaring highs. Transform your laptop, tablet or phone into a portable jukebox – wirelessly. Or use the handy cord in the sole. The rugged design makes the Solemate resistant to knocks, splashes and dust so you can take your music anywhere!

Start Survey Now

Enter Survey
Please email me with any questions & Thank You For Your Participation! 

HubSpot Eva Grossman
Survey Manager, BenchmarkPortal
1-800-214-8929 x25
surveys@benchmarkportal.com

July 7, 2014

QBE Center of Excellence 8th year Running

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.

http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-certification/certified-call-centers-excellence/qbe-first

July 1, 2014

Complete the complimentary survey today and receive an Instant Benchmarking Report, Instant Gap Analysis, and an Emailed PDF Report!

BenchmarkPortal, a leading call center consultant, is conducting a survey for Inbound and Blended Sales Centers. All participants will receive the results of this survey immediately after they have completed it.
 
Call centers will now have the opportunity to participate in a study for inbound and blended sales. Online surveys conducted by BenchmarkPortal are available for anyone to complete at http://benchmarkportal.inbound-sales-survey.sgizmo.com/s3/.

This is BenchmarkPortal’s fifth year of collecting metrics for call centers involved in inbound and blended (inbound and outbound) sales. This competitive market intelligence is not available anywhere else and is BenchmarkPortal’s way of showing their appreciation for their customers input.
Participants will receive the following:

  • Instant Benchmarking Report – Call centers can find out how their operations stack up against up-to-the-minute averages on all reported metrics for the inbound sales industry.
  • Instant Gap Analysis – Call centers can find out where to direct business resources and how to get the biggest returns by identifying a center's performance gaps.
  • Emailed PDF Report – Find out where to direct call center resources and get the biggest returns by identifying a center's performance gaps.
 
Click the following link to access the Inbound and Blended Sales Survey.

“This survey is intended for call centers that primarily handle inbound and blended sales calls," said Crystal Robertson, BenchmarkPortal's marketing director. "Please complete the survey and forward the survey link to other appropriate contact centers. Participation in the survey should take no more than 20 minutes and responses are confidential. Participants will receive an online Benchmarking and Gap Analysis report at the close of the survey, and a pdf version via e-mail, at no cost.”

BenchmarkPortal’s benchmarking surveys are the easiest way for a call center to benchmark themselves against peers in their database of thousands of call centers. BenchmarkPortal, has collected key performance indicators from thousands of contact centers worldwide, creating the world's largest database of best practices statistics.

About BenchmarkPortal
BenchmarkPortal’s founders pioneered the first contact center benchmarking study in 1995. Now custodian of the largest database of contact center metrics in the world, BenchmarkPortal is a leader in certification, training, consulting and research for the customer contact industry. Its team of professionals has gained international recognition for expertise and innovation in best practices. BenchmarkPortal’s mission is to help management optimize the performance of their center in terms of both cost and quality, encourage customer loyalty and build enterprise value. For more information on BenchmarkPortal, call 1-800-214-8929 or visit www.BenchmarkPortal.com.

June 25, 2014

Birch Communications Contact Center Achieves its Third Certification as a Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the Birch Customer Service Department by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the third year in a row. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

June 25, 2014 -- The Birch Customer Care Operations has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “The achievement of the Center of Excellence represents a contact center’s commitment to delivering customer service that is both effective and efficient,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “It is the culmination of important initiatives that were undertaken to achieve sustainable service excellence.”   

Click here to continue reading this article: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/06/birch-communications-contact-center-achieves-its-thi

June 24, 2014

Customer Effort - CallTalk - Listen Now On Demand!

Just because research is published on the internet or in a business journal does not mean the research findings are true. Look at survey methodology and design to determine validity. Join host BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore and guest host Frederick Van Bennekom, Principal at Great Brook Consulting, as they discuss customer effort.

Guest Host: Frederick Van Bennekom, Principal, Great Brook Consulting

Dr. Fred Van Bennekom helps organizations collect and apply customer and employee feedback in a statistically valid manner. The author of "Customer Surveying: A Guidebook for Service Managers," Fred teaches operations management in Northeastern University’s Executive MBA program. Before earning his doctorate, he served as an information systems consultant for Digital Equipment’s field service organization. Through his company, Great Brook, Dr. Van Bennekom conducts workshops and advises clients on their survey practices.

Click here to listen to this show: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/calltalk-online-radio-show/5/6/customer-effort

June 19, 2014

Tips on Adherence to Schedule Adherence

CallTalk Caramels
By definition, schedule adherence is the percentage of time agents are where they are supposed to be, according to their assigned schedules - - which can include work time, lunch and break time, training time, team meeting time, etc.  Poor adherence can be surprisingly expensive for a center. We can calculate that a single agent who is regularly “short” on work-time adherence by 20 minutes per day throughout the year, costs the company 83 hours of lost work and $1,000 in wages (based upon an avg. $12/hr.). This extrapolates to nearly 1,000 customer calls not handled by that agent over that same period!

Research suggests that there are two major reasons for poor performance in schedule adherence. The first is a general lack of understanding by agents of the importance and impact that schedule adherence has upon the company,  The second reason is poor supervision and management.

Of call centers surveyed, 71% track or follow adherence to schedule whereas 28% do not. Of those centers that track adherence, 66% use commercial WFM systems. About 42% of centers surveyed revise their workforce schedules as required, without established intervals; 20% of respondents revise schedules on a monthly basis, 15% revise on a quarterly-basis, and 4% revise weekly.

The following Best Practices are suggested by experts to help managers gain control over adherence:

Click here to continue reading this article:  http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/06/schedule-adherence

June 12, 2014

Have You Benchmarked This Year?

Benchmarking Value Cycle
Benchmarking is an essential tool for optimizing the performance of your contact center, and no one has more experience in contact center benchmarking than BenchmarkPortal. Through benchmarking, managers can pinpoint areas of opportunity for improvement, and identify initiatives that will result in the best ROI for the center and organization. Benchmarking answers the question, “How good is good enough?” and allows managers to stay competitive within their industry and against industry peers. BenchmarkPortal has the world's largest and most respected database of contact center metrics, and provides reports which set the industry standard.
 
Click here to take our complimentary 18-KPI Benchmarking Survey: 
http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-benchmarking/call-center-benchmarking-surveys

This complimentary 18-KPI benchmarking survey report will provide your organization with a quick snapshot of your company compared to the industry you have selected. Once we receive the information, we will verify the data and set up a 40-minute benchmarking Readout with a Certified Contact Center Expert! After the review, you will receive a copy of the 18-KPI report and the benchmarking presentation to share internally with your organization.
This benchmarking survey comes with the following:
  • 18-KPI Benchmarking Survey Report
  • Complimentary 40-min. report readout with a BMP Expert
  • A copy of the analysis PowerPoint presentation

June 11, 2014

Complaint Resolution: When 30% of Your Time is Spent on “I’ve got a Complaint!” Calls


CallTalk Caramels
Across all industries the complaint ratio is approximately 7.5% of all calls, with complaints in the auto-manufacturing industry skyrocketing to a high of nearly 20%. Regardless of their nature and origin, the correct and proper handling of complaint calls is one of a call center’s most sensitive tasks.  Poor handling will result in lost customers; great handling can actually result in higher loyalty from customers, who are delighted with your response.  As managers, we need to keep in mind that complaints can be very emotionally taxing on front-line agents and can hurt morale as well. Here are some tips and guidelines for complaint handling:

Click the following link to continue reading: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/news-articles/2014/06/call-center-complaint-resolution

June 5, 2014

Annual Inbound Sales Best Practices Survey

Annual Inbound Sales Best Practices Survey
Call Center Survey Do you have an inbound sales center? See how your center performs in an instant. Click on the link below to participate in our Survey for Inbound and Blended Sales Centers and receive free instant reporting at the end of the survey.
You will receive the following:
  • Instant Benchmarking Report - Find out how your center stacks up against up-to-the-minute averages on all reported metrics for the inbound sales industry.
  • Instant Gap Analysis - Find out where to direct your resources and get the biggest returns by identifying your center's performance gaps.
  • Emailed PDF Report - Find out where to direct your resources and get the biggest returns by identifying your center's performance gaps.
Click on the link below to start the Survey now:
http://benchmarkportal.inbound-sales-survey.sgizmo.com/s3/

Our surveys are the easiest way for call centers to benchmark themselves against peers. BenchmarkPortal has collected key performance indicators from contact centers worldwide, creating the world's largest database of best practices statistics.

June 4, 2014

First Call Resolution Revisited

First call resolution (FCR) is a double-edged metric in that it relates to the quality of calls as well as the efficiency of the call center. In terms of quality, FCR is a customer-facing metric, as customers are very aware as to whether their call was satisfied on the first call or not. In terms of efficiency, the more times a customer must call the center in order to satisfy an inquiry, the higher the costs. For these two reasons, FCR is recognized by many as the single most imporatant driver of call center optimization and performance.

According to research conducted at BenchmarkPortal, in their attempts to document First Call Resolution, the majority of call centers instruct their agents ask the caller at the end of each caller interaction if the reasons for their call was satisfied (not always accurate). Other methods include:

Click here to continue reading this article...

May 20, 2014

AutoTrader.com Contact Center Achieves Its Second Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

BenchmarkPortal recognizes the exceptional efficiency and effectiveness of the AutoTrader.com Contact Center by awarding it Certification as a Center of Excellence for the second year in a row. The granting of certification is based on a company’s operational metrics, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction.

May 20, 2014 - The AutoTrader.com customer contact center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “This certification attests to the fact that call center leaders have successfully balanced efficiency and effectiveness in their operations,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “By optimizing their cost components and their ability to satisfy customers, they exemplify best practices in a very important consumer products sector.”

Click Here To Continue Reading This News Announcement: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-newsresources/press-release/2014/05/autotradercom-contact-center-achieves-its-second-cer

May 15, 2014

Gamification Principles and Best Practices

Host: Bruce Belfiore, CEO & Senior Research Analyst, BenchmarkPortal
Guest Speaker: Bob Cowen, Snowfly

Join host BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore and guest host Bob Cowen, Snowfly, as they discuss gamification principles and best practices. What is it, why all of the hype, and how can we use it for our daily challenges like retention, adherence, quality, FCR, and upselling?
Guest Host: Bob Cowen

Bob has been in the contact center industry for more than 30 years. During those years, he has observed agent incentive programs that used contests or games, leader boards, badges and various rewards. Creating and managing these incentive programs appeared to be labor intensive; they ran only periodically, for a relatively short duration and quite often the ROI was not even measured!

Then in 2006, Bob saw an article in the Wall Street Journal describing how a large bank was using an on-line incentive application that motivated employees to improve attendance, adherence and reduce attrition, especially new-hire attrition. It used brief on-line games, leader boards and rewards - - and it operated full time. This led him to Snowfly and the rest, as they say, is history.

May 13, 2014

Alliance Data Retail Services Customer Care Centers Achieves Its Ninth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

The Alliance Data Retail Services Customer Care Centers have 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.