CCS_Summary - Call Center Strategies 2009 Improving Service...

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©2009 The Ascent Group, Inc. 1 Call Center Strategies 2009 Improving Service Delivery Assembling the right mix of resources to ensure high-quality, cost-effective customer care is a constantly evolving challenge. Selecting, training, managing, and motivating a large pool of employees requires creativity, enthusiasm, and perseverance. Determining the right combination of technology and personal touch is also a moving target as customer needs and expectations evolve. Many companies that have hit the mark have found it’s even more challenging to stay on top. With this in mind, the Ascent Group conducted its third annual call center benchmarking study to better understand how companies are managing inbound customer care. We asked companies to share their experiences to help us identify the practices that make or break a customer contact center. We also asked companies to provide performance benchmarks so we could identify “best performers”—companies providing the best service at the best cost. The results of this research are contained in our report, Call Center Strategies 2009 . This is the Ascent Group’s third annual benchmarking study of inbound call centers. Research topics included: Call Center Benchmarking Comparisons by Industry First Call Resolution Performance Frontline Training Practices Supervisory Training Reward & Recognition Approaches Monitoring Call Quality IVR Performance Call Center Benchmark Performance We asked companies to report call center operational data so we could calculate several performance benchmarks. The following benchmark metrics were collected and calculated, based on participant feedback: Unit cost (cost per call – Operational & Maintenance costs only – direct labor, contractor costs, overtime, and non-labor O&M; no capital costs or overheads) % Abandoned calls (total calls handled versus total calls offered) % Call resolved on first contact (of total calls handled) Calls handled per FTE (per month) % Agent availability (time on phone or available to take calls) Service Level conformance (percent of days service level goals achieved)
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©2009 The Ascent Group, Inc. 2 Average Speed of Answer (Time delay between the first ring heard by the caller and when the call is answered by an agent or automated system (IVR or VRU). If the caller waits in a queue prior to being handled by the agent, include all time spent in the queue in the ASA.) Once we identified the “best performers” for each industry-—above average companies that deliver low cost, high productivity, and high service—we calculated a “best performer” average for these high performing companies. The following two charts depict the Unit Cost and Abandonment Rate for our study group compared to our “best performer” average.
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