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: 

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:

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...