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Unformatted text preview: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Best-in-Class Call Center Performance Principal Investigator Dr. Jon Anton Purdue University Center for Customer-Driven Quality Content Editor John Chatterley BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Current as of 2005 Report ID# PU91 Revision 120605 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Copyright © 2005, BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Please send detailed questions to: Information@BenchmarkPortal.com This report may not be copied, scanned or reproduced without the written permission of BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Additional copies may be purchased at a reasonable price by e-mailing Information@BenchmarkPortal.com or by calling (805) 614-0123 ext. 10. PU91 Revision 120605 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Table of Contents Acknowledgements v CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 2: PARTIAL LIST OF BENCHMARK PARTICIPANTS 7 CHAPTER 3: LIST OF PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES IN THE BENCHMARK RESEARCH 19 CHAPTER 4: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HEALTH-PLAN / HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY CUSTOM BENCHMARKING REPORT 23 CHAPTER 5: DETAILED BENCHMARK RESULTS OF THE HEALTHPLAN/HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY 57 CHAPTER 6: PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY 69 CHAPTER 7: BEST PRACTICES IN HEADSET MANAGEMENT IN CALL CENTERS 73 Introduction Selected Findings and Interpretations Best Practice Recommendations Summary and Conclusions 75 77 94 98 CHAPTER 8: PURDUE UNIVERSITY CALL CENTER CERTIFICATION Introduction to Certification How the Purdue University Call Center Certification is Unique The Steps in the Certification Process 101 103 103 104 CHAPTER 9: BENCHMARKING METHODOLOGY: A CASE STUDY Introduction Definition of Case Study Terminology Case Study Specifics Why and How to Benchmark a Call Center The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Peer Group Performance Matrix The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Balanced Scorecard The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Inbound Performance Comparison Report The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Performance Ranking Report Results and Conclusions References 107 109 109 111 111 113 114 115 116 116 117 CHAPTER 10: PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR 119 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM THE POPULAR “ASK DR. JON” COLUMN 123 CRM BOOKSTORE INFORMATION 171 BENCHMARKPORTAL’S PRODUCTS AND SERVICES LISTING 175 GLOSSARY OF TERMS 195 Copyright © i 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report List of Figures Figure 1. Kind of calls handled............................................................................................ 26 Figure 2. Inbound call types................................................................................................ 27 Figure 3. Reasons for inbound calls.................................................................................... 28 Figure 4. Outbound call types ............................................................................................. 29 Figure 5. Reasons for outbound calls.................................................................................. 30 Figure 6. Call center annual budgetary allocation ............................................................... 31 Figure 7. Average cost per inbound call.............................................................................. 32 Figure 8. Outbound cost per call ......................................................................................... 33 Figure 9. Average Service Level ......................................................................................... 34 Figure 10. Average speed of answer .................................................................................. 35 Figure 11. Average call handle time.................................................................................... 36 Figure 12. Average abandon rate........................................................................................ 37 Figure 13. Percent of calls closed on first call ..................................................................... 38 Figure 14. Agent occupancy percentage............................................................................. 39 Figure 15. Percent of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities ................................................... 40 Figure 16. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that result in sale (conversion rate)............. 41 Figure 17. Call centers that have a formal mechanism to gather customer feedback ..................................................................................................................... 42 Figure 18. Percent perfect customer satisfaction perfect scores ......................................... 43 Figure 19. Percent lowest scores for customer satisfaction................................................. 44 Figure 20. Annual full-time Agent turnover rate for the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry ....................................................................................................................... 45 Figure 21. Hiring cost of a new agent (agent) ..................................................................... 46 Figure 22. Length of new-hire training period...................................................................... 47 Figure 23. Agent labor union representation ....................................................................... 48 Figure 24. Call volume handled by part-time agents ........................................................... 49 Figure 25. Call centers integrated with other customer-access channels and touch points................................................................................................................. 50 Figure 26. Features offered on company Web sites............................................................ 51 Figure 27. Percent of inbound calls handled by self-service................................................ 52 Figure 28. Percentage of self-service contacts by contact channel ..................................... 53 Figure 29. Percentage of call centers that outsource .......................................................... 54 Figure 30. Percentage of calls/functions outsourced........................................................... 55 Figure 31. Industry performance matrix............................................................................... 71 Figure 32. Industries represented by call centers participating in Survey One .................... 77 © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. ii This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Table of Contents Figure 33. Satisfaction with present headset management system .....................................78 Figure 34. Reasons for purchasing new call center headsets..............................................79 Figure 35. Percentage of participants purchasing new headsets during the past year .............................................................................................................................80 Figure 36. Reasons for selection of the particular brand of headset purchased...................81 Figure 37. Percentage of call centers that measured call-handling statistics before and after implementation of headsets ...............................................................82 Figure 38. Headset training offered .....................................................................................83 Figure 39. Training offered on proper headset usage for monitoring of calls........................84 Figure 40. Percentage of call centers with centralized headset management......................85 Figure 41. Percentage replacement units on hand ..............................................................86 Figure 42. Respondents’ rating of their current headset service provider.............................87 Figure 43. Likelihood to recommend the brand they use to other call center professionals ...............................................................................................................88 Figure 44. Average price paid for a new wired headset .......................................................89 Figure 45. Average price per new wireless headset ............................................................90 Figure 46. Ratio of call centers that expense versus capitalize the cost of their headsets......................................................................................................................91 Figure 47. Most important factor in deciding which brand of headset to purchase ...............92 Figure 48. The sixteen key call center processes ..............................................................104 Figure 49. Example of Certificate of Center of Excellence awarded by Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. Signed by Dr. Jon Anton...............105 Figure 50. Peer Group Performance Matrix .......................................................................113 Figure 51. Balanced Scorecard .........................................................................................114 Figure 52. Inbound Performance Comparisons .................................................................115 Figure 52. Peer Group Ranking Report .............................................................................116 Copyright © iii 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. A cknowledgements I want to thank the thousands of participating call center managers that help keep our database current and compelling. I also want to acknowledge the hundreds of call center solution vendors that sponsor our benchmark research at Purdue University. Dr Jon Anton Center For Customer-Driven Quality Purdue University Copyright © v 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Copyright © 1 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 1: Introduction The Importance of Benchmark Research Over the past few years, companies in most industries have migrated their low-tech call centers from back office support to the front-line of their enterprise. In this migration, call centers have become e-business contact centers, and have been outfitted with the latest in high-tech hardware and software for both voice and data applications. In addition, the focus has shifted from a singular point-of-contact via telephone calls to multiple points of customer access, including e-mail, fax-mail, kiosk, and the Internet. The evolution and integration of these electronic customer “touch-points” is continuing to accelerate, augmented by high-technology speech and data solutions that automate the contact handling process, which are transforming the customer contact experience. Driving e-business contact center development is the growing awareness that managing customer relationships is a key driver of bottom-line profits. Today’s customers greatly value timely accessibility to information. In fact, the vision of the customer e-business center of the future is to allow customers access to information: • • • • at any time from anywhere in any form, and for free. This ease of customer access is fast emerging as a critical element of global business strategy. In the not-too-distant future, customers will deal preferentially with those companies that are deemed to be most accessible in terms of mission-critical information that is seamlessly integrated throughout all customer touch points. As the “lightning rod” for customer interactions, world-class e-business contact centers are becoming the single point of contact for customers. According to research conducted at Purdue University, over 90% of customer interactions presently occurs through e-business centers and the Internet. Fueled by tremendous advances in the integration of telephone and computer technologies, the e-business center has emerged as a company’s most potent weapon for maintaining long-term customer relationships. For many companies, global competition has reduced products to mere commodities that are difficult to differentiate through features, functions, or price. Having reached parity, where price and quality are the “table-stakes” of doing business, the paradigm shift is definitely toward customer acquisition, customer accessibility, customer satisfaction, and customer retention aimed at improving the customer lifetime value. Even in cases where a company can claim some competitive advantage in terms of product, service, or market segment, the customer contact functions remain crucial keys to customer perceptions and loyalty. Copyright © 3 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Today’s customer service e-business center is an ever more important link in building business-to-business relationships, as well as relationships between a business and its end-user customers. The cost and performance of a center can be critical to its success. From reviewing the industry data, we conclude the following: “Spend too little and perform poorly, and your contact center becomes a business liability that consistently drives away customers and creates market damage. Conversely, spend too much and over-perform, and your center again becomes a financial loss to the company. If you spend efficiently and perform effectively at a level just better than your competitors or peer group, your call center will most likely be a profit center for the company, i.e., acquiring, growing, and retaining profitable customers.” —Dr. Jon Anton, Call Center Benchmarking, Purdue University Press, 1999 Executives are beginning to recognize the potential of the e-business center as a significant revenue generator, perhaps one of the surest investments they can make in enhancing and creating customer value and bottom-line profits. The return on investments made in customer accessibility is seldom less than 100% in the first year, and frequently even more if customer lifetime value is included in the calculation. Herein lies the challenge and the primary reason to benchmark your center’s performance metrics against your peer group, as well as centers representing best-in-class performance. Benchmarking your e-business center performance against a Peer Group of similar centers is a mandatory step in becoming and staying competitive. This vital information, updated constantly, enables managers to remain competitive in a cost-effective manner. The Purdue / BenchmarkPortal Research, now in its tenth year, has the following unique attributes: • It is a unique source for real-time best practice performance measures. • Competitive benchmarking reports for Peer-to-Peer comparison are available within a week after your company’s performance data is obtained. • Performance is compared to a Peer Group with similar functional characteristics (apples to apples) defined by you, the participant. All the reports are excellent tools to identify gaps in your performance, and therefore areas in which your e-business center needs attention. While these reports should not be used as the only source of your e-business contact center’s performance improvement assessment, they are valuable to pinpoint areas that need more detailed analysis and action. Also, BenchmarkPortal maintains a staff of contact center auditors, i.e., in-house experts and third-party consultants, who have been certified by Purdue University to help you gather and input data and to interpret your e-business benchmark results. They can © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 4 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 1: Introduction assist you in finding the “low-hanging fruit” in terms of improvement initiatives that will maximize your performance at a minimum cost. It is our hope that the information contained in this report will not only prove useful in and of itself, but will stimulate an understanding of, and interest in, the use of benchmarking metrics as an indispensable tool for continuous performance improvement. For questions contact Dr. Jon Anton: 805.614.0123 For your individualized report go to <www.BenchmarkPortal.com>. Copyright © 5 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 2: PARTIAL LIST OF BENCHMARK PARTICIPANTS Copyright © 7 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 2: Partial List of Benchmark Participants Agway Energy Products AIG AIM Fund Services Airborne Express Alabama Power Company ALARIS Medical Systems Alcatel USA, Inc. Align Technology AllegianceTelecom Allfirst Alliance Data Systems Alliance Teleservices, Inc Alliant Energy Allianz Life Insurance Allied Marketing Group Allison Engine Co. Allmerica Finacial Allstate Insurance Company Alta Resources Ameraan America Online American Bankers Financial Services American Collegiate Marketing American Community Mutual Insurance Company American Electric Power American Express American Express Retirement Services American Family Insurance Group American Health Consultants Inc. American Home Shield American Honda Motor Co, Inc. American Management Association American Medical Association American Medical Security American Modern Insurance Group American Society for Quality American Tool Companies, Inc. American Trans Air (ATA) American United Life Insurance Co. AmeriCredit Financial Services Ameritas Variable Life Ins Co Ameritech Cellular Services Amex Assurance Company Amica Mutual Ins Co AmSouth 9 AMVESCAP Retirement Amway Corporation Analysts International Anchorage Municipal Light & Power Andersen Consulting Anexsys, LLC Annuity Board, SBC AnyTime Access Aon Warranty Group AP Wagner Apple Computer AppliedTheory Corporation Aquarium of the Pacific Aquila ARAG Group ARAMARK Corp Arcadia Financial LTD. Arizona Power & Light Armstrong (Customer Service) Armstrong (Tech Support) Army & Air Force Exchange Service Art.com Arthur Andersen ArvinMeritor Ascent Solutions, Inc. Ashton Drake Group Aspen Systems Corporation Associate Capital Bank Associated Bank Associated Wholesale Grocers Assurant Group AT&T AT&T Broadband ATL Ultrasound Atlantic Bank of New York Atlantic Mutual Ins. Atmos Energy ATRoad Inc. Attorney's Title Insurance Fund Automobile Club of Southern California AutoZone, Inc. Avaya Inc. Aveda Corporation AVOLO AXA Advisors Babson College Baltimore Life Ins. Company Bandag Bank of America Bank One Copyright © 1 World Design 1-800 contacts 1-Cooperative Response Center, Inc 1st Financial Bank USA 1to1service.com 3M Company 66 Federal Credit Union 800 Support 91 Express Lanes/Cofiroute A&P Tea Co. A.T.Kearney AAA Central-West Jersey AAA Insurance AAA Life Insurance Company AAL AARP AB&C Group AB&C Group Abbott Laboratories Inc. Abbott Resorts ABC Inc. ABN AMRO North America Inc Acacia International Access America ACEINA Acer America ACI Ameritech ACS Government Solutions Group ACS-EZPass ACS-GSG Acterna Active Voice Adam's Mark Hotels & Resorts Adaptec, Inc. AdminaStar Federal Inc ADOA ADP ADS ADTRAN AdvancePCS Advanta Advocate Health Care AEGON USA, Inc. Aether Systems Aetna Inc. Affinity Group, Inc. AFLAC AFNI AGCO PARTS DIV Agilent technologies AGLA 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Banner Health System Baseline Financial Services Bass Pro Shops Batesville Casket Co. Bausch & Lomb Surgical Bay Federal Credit Union Baylor Healthcare Baystate Health Systems. BearingPoint Behr Systems Inc. Belden Bell Atlantic General Business Services Bell Tech.logix Bell&Howell Bendata, Inc Benova Inc. Bentley Systems, Inc. Berkeley Enterprise Partners Berlin Packaging Bertelsmann Industry Services Best Software Best Western International Better Health Insurance Company BHN/LS BI Incorporated BI Performance Services Big Idea Productions BillingZone Biogen, Inc. BISSELL Inc. Bisys Black & Decker Black Box Corporation Blackbaud Blair Corporation Block Business Call Center Block Drug Company Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Cross/WellPoint/Blue Shield Bluegrass Cellular BNSF Railway Boeing Bombardier Aerospace Bombardier Aerospace Bondag Booz-Allen & Hamilton Borden Chemical, Inc. Bose BOSS Internet Group Branch Banking & Trust Co Brigade Brightpoint Brink's Home Security BroadbandNOW © Copyright Broadview Networks Broder Bros. Brodia BRONSON Laboratories Brown & Company Brown & Williamson Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Brownells Inc BSLD - Customer Care Buffets, Inc. BullsEye Telecom Burnham Corp Business Improvement Business Response Inc Butler Technology Solutions ByeByeNOW.com C&H Distributors Cabela's, Incorporated Cable One Inc Cablevision Cadillac Customer Assistance Network Centrobe Caesars Entertainment Inc, Contact Center Cal State 9 Credit Union Calgon Carbon Corporation Calif State Automobile Association Call Center Group for UCSF Medical Center Call Center Twinner CallTech Communications Canandaigua National bank Canon ITS, Inc. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Capital Metro Transportation Authority Capital One Financial, Inc. Cardiff Software Cardinal Health CareCounsel, LLC Caremark Rx Carilion Health System Carle Foundation Hospital Carlson Companies Carolina Holdings, Inc. CCC Information Services Inc. CCH Incorporated CCN Managed Care, Inc. CDC IXIS Asset Management Services CDW Computer Centers, Inc. cellcom Cellular One 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Cendant Centaurs National Bank Center for Health Information Central Corporation Credit Union Central Vermont Public Service Corp CENTRIQ century maintenance supply Ceridian CH Robinson Charles Schwab & Co. Charlotte Metro C U Charter Communications Chas. Levy Circulating Company Chase BankCard Services, Inc. Checks Unlimited Chelsea & Scott Chemical Bank Shoreline Chevron Products Company Children's Hospital Choice Hotels Intl ChoicePoint Direct chrysler financial Chubb & Son Insurance CIBA Vision Cidera, Inc. Cigna HealthCare CIGNA Retirement & Inv Serv Cimetric Commerce Citibank Citicorp Citizens Bank Citizens Gas City National Bank City of Ft. Collins Utilities City of Jacksonville City of Winston-Salem Claims Administration Corp. Clark Public Utilities Clarke American Checks Inc. ClickRebates.com CMS CNA Coachmen RV Company Cobb County Water system Coinstar, Inc. Colgate Pharmaceuticals College of American Pathologists colorfx marketing services Columbia Funds Services Inc Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Inc. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland Columbia House Columbia Service Partners 10 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 2: Partial List of Benchmark Participants Crestview Consulting Group, LLC Critical Path Critikon Co LLC Cross Country Automotive Services Crowley Maritime Corporation Cruiseline inc Crutchfield Corporation CSAA CSC CSG Systems Intl CT Natural Gas Cummins Inc. Cumulus Information Services CUNA Mutual Group Cuno, Inc. Cushman Fruit Company Customer Solutions Group Cyber City Teleservices Daimler Chrysler Financial Daisytek, Intl Damark International, Inc. Datastream Systems Datavantage DB Communications DDSCC DealerGain DecisionOne DeepGreen Bank Deere Harvester Credit Union Del Webb Delias Dell Computer Deloitte Consulting Delta Dental Plan of Michigan Denali Alaskan FCU Dept of Veterans Affairs Dept. of Defense Worldwide Tricare Information Center DER Travel Service, Inc. DESA International Detroit Edison Diebold, INC Digital Insurance DigitalBroadband Communications Inc Digitas DIRECT Federal Credit Union DIRECTV, Inc. Discover Financial Services Diversified Investment Advisors DLA Human Resources Operations Center Dobson Cellular Systems Dollar Bank 11 Dominion Virginia Power Dominos Pizza Dow Jones, Inc. Draper's & Damon's Dresser Wayne Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, Inc. Dreyfus - Mellon Duke Energy Corporation Dun & Bradstreet Dunlap, Inc. DuPont E Communication Advantage E*TRADE Group Eastman Kodak Co. Eastwood Co. ECCU ECI Eckerd Corporation Ecolab eCollege edcor EDS EDS/StorageTek Educational Employees Credit Union Educational Testing Service EFG Tech E-Interactions EL AL Electronic Arts Eli Lilly and Company Eltrax Hospitality Wichita Div. eMaritz Emery Worldwide Encompass Ins Enhanced Outsource Solutions ENMR Plateau Telecommunications Enron PMC Enterprise Rent a Car Enterprises Network Solutions Envoy Corporation Equipment Solutions EqulServ Eschelon Telecom ESL Federal Credit Union eSupportNow Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc Evenflo Products, Inc. Evercom Evergreen ewireless Excel Communications Excellerx EXE Technologies Exel Logistics Copyright © Columbus Life Insurance Company Columbus Regional Health Care System Comau PICO Combined Life Insurance Company of NY Comcast Cable Comdata Regulatory Compliance Services Comerica Bank Commerce Bank Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A. Commissioners of Public Works Commonwealth Edison Communications Family CU Community First Credit Union Community Health Group Community Health Partners Compaq Computer Corp. Computer Associates ComputerLogic, Inc. Computerprep Compuware Concentrex, Inc. Concentric Enterprises Concord Insurance Concordia Publishing House Confidential Conn Credit Company Connexus Energy Consolidated Freightways Consulting Psychologists Press Consumers Credit Union Convergys Corporation Converse Inc. Copeland Cornerstone Consolidated Services Group Corning Inc. Corporate Systems Corrigo Country Insurance and Financial Services County of Sacramento Covisint Cox Communications Cox Health Plans CPI, corp CQG, Inc. Crain Communications Inc. Crate & Barrel Crawford & Associates Credit Union ONE Credit Union West 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Experior Assessments, LLC Express Scripts EyeMed Vision Care Fairbanks Capital Corp. Fairchild Semiconductor Int'l Fairfield Communities, Inc. Farm Bureau Bank Farmers Farmer's New World Insurance Company Federal Reserve Bank Federated Investors Federated Services Company FEMA Fidelity Investments Fidelity National Bank Filenet Inc Finali Corporation Financial Computer Support, Inc. First Bank First Commonwealth First Data Corporation First Financial Credit Union First Horizon First National Bank and Trust Co First Niagara Bank First North American National Bank First Tennessee Bank First Union National Bank FirstBank of Colorado FirstGuard Health Plan Firstrust FirstWorld Communications Fleet Investment Group FLEETCOR TECHNOLOGIES Florida Power & Light Florida Water Services Fluke Corporation FNANB - Georgia FOOTHILL TRANSIT Ford Motor Co. Ford Motor Credit Co. Forethought Financial Services Fortis Health Fortis Insurance Company Fosdick Fulfillment Corp. FRANKLIN COVEY Freightliner, LLC Frey Educational Resources Frontier Communications Frontier Natural Products Co-op FTD.COM Fulfillment Systems, Inc Fulton Financial Corporation Future Three © Copyright FutureHealth Corporation G&T Industries G. E. Fleet Services Galaxy Latin America Galileo International Galls Inc Gap Inc Direct Garden.com GARMIN Gately Communication Company Gaylord Digital GE Appliances GE Capital GE Fleet Services General Electric Georgia Power Gerber Life Insurance Co. Gerogia Power Company Global Payments Inc GMAC Go Ahead Vacations Goeken Group Corporation Gold Coast Cruises Golden Rule Insurance GoldMine Software Corporation Golfport, Inc. Goodwill Industries of Southern California Government Employees Credit Union GPU ENERGY Grand Hall USA Grant/Riverside Methodist Hospital Great American Insurance Group Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce GretagMacbeth Greyhound Lines, Inc. Growing Family GSI Commerce GuideOne H.E.B. Grocery Company Hallmark Cards, Inc. Hallmark Marketing Corporation Hammacher Schlemmer Harcourt Learning Direct Harlequin Distribution Center Harleysville Insurance Company Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. Harris Bank Hartford Customer Services Group 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Harvard Business School Publishing Hasco International Inc Havard Business School Publishing Hazelden Foundation Health Care Finanacing Administration Health Partners HealthExtras, Inc. HealthIS HealthNow NY HealthPage Heartland Health Heilig-Meyers Co. HelpLink Hennepin County Herbalife International Herman Hershey Entertainment & Resorts HESC Hewitt Associates Hewlett-Packard Company High Speed Access Highmark Highmark Life and Casualty Group Hilton HHonors Hollister-Stier Laboratories LLC Home Trends HoMedics Home-Link Services, Inc. HomeRuns.com HomeSide Lending, Inc. Homesite Insurance Homesteaders Life Co. Homestore.com Honeywell Hopelink Horace Mann Educators Hormel Employees Credit Union HostLogic Household Retail Services Houshold Finance HR Source, Inc. HSN Hubert Company Hudson Health Plan Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Hughes Network Systems Humana Humboldt Bank Hunt Marketing Husqvarna 12 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 2: Partial List of Benchmark Participants JHHS, Inc. JLG Industries, Inc. John Deere Community Credit Union John Hancock John Harland John Harland SLC Johnson & Johnson Johnson City Medical Center Johnson Controls, Inc. Jostens Learning Corporation JP Morgan Chase &Co Julie Inc. Just Born, Inc Kable Fulfillment Services Kaiser Permanente KBkids.com Keane Kemper Insurance Kennametal KeyBank Keyport Life Insurance Company Keyspan Energy Corporation Keystone Health Plan Central Kirby Koala Corporation Kodak Kowal Associates, Inc. KPMG Consulting Kramer & Assoc. for Suburban Energy Services KVH Industries La Gas Lab Safety Supply, Inc. LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. LAFCU Landacorp LandSafe Inc. Lathem Time LCA Vision Lease Plan USA LeaseInsurance Legacy Marketing Group LendingTree LensCrafters LensExpress Levi Strauss & Company Levolor/Kirsch Lewco Securities Corp. Lexmark International, Inc. LG_Zenith Service Liberty Bank Life Investors Insurance Company of America LifeLine Communications Lifeline Systems, Inc. 13 LifeScan Inc. Liffey Partners Liguori Publications Lincoln Financial Group Lincoln National LiteracyPro Systems Lithonia Lighting Lockheed Martin Loctite Corp. Long & Foster L'Oreal USA Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power LTD Commodities Lucent Technologies Lutheran Hour Ministries Lutron Electronics M&I Support Services Corp M&T Mortgage Corp Mack and Parker, Inc. Madison Gas & Electric Company Maersk Data USA, Inc. Mail.com Business Messaging Services Mammoth California Vacations MAMSI Manco, Inc. Manpower Manulife Financial marchFIRST Marchon Eyewear Marconi Commerce Systems Marketing Ally Marketing Matters LLC Marriott International Martha Stewart Omnimedia Massachusetts Electric Company MasterCard International Matlen Silver MAXIMUS, Inc. Mayo Clinic Maytag Corp McDATA McDonald's Corporation McGraw-Hill MCI WorldCom McKesson Mead MediaOne Medical Mutual of Ohio MediCorp Health System MedInsights MedSolutions, Inc. Mellon Bank Copyright © i3 Mobile, Inc. IBM IBS Icelandair ICT Group Inc. ICTC/McLeod Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory Idexx Laboratories iFLEET, Inc. IIR IIT Research institute IKON Office Solutions Illinois Power Imperial AI Credit Independence Blue Cross Indyme Electronics, Inc. Info4cars Infolink Services Inforte Corp. ING Bank, fsb Ingersoll-Rand Company Inland Empire Health Plan Innis Consulting Services Innotek, Inc. Insurance Technologies Corp Integrated Marketing Concepts Intel Corporation Interact Services Internation Paper Internet Alaska InterPay InterQuest Communications Inc. Intersil InterVoice-Brite IntoNetworks,Inc. Intracorp Intralinks Intuit Invacare Corp Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance Iowa Mold Tooling Company Iowa Telecom Irwin Mortgage Corporation Isky J&L Industrial Supply J.A.Webster, Inc. J.P. Morgan Jackson National Life Insurance Co. Jaguar Cars JCI JD Edwards Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Co. 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Members 1st Federal Credit Union Memberworks, Inc Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Merck & Co., Inc. MerCruiser Mercy Health System Meriwest Merrill Lynch Merrimack Valley FCU MetaCreations Metatel Methodist Hospital MetLife Metrocall MetroPCS Mettler Toledo MichCon Microdyne INC Microsoft MidAmerica Bank MidAmerican Energy Co. midwayusa Midwest United Credit Union Miele Inc Milepost Four Miles Kimball Milliman USA Mine Safety Appliances Company Minnesota Life Insurance Mission Federal Credit Union Mission St. Joseph's Hospital Missionary Training Center Missouri Department of Transportation Mitchell International Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. Moen Incorporated montblanc Montgomery Ward & Co. Monumental Life Insurance Company Mony Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Trust Morrison & Foerster LLP Moss Motors, Ltd. Motion Picture & Television Fund Motor Club of America Motorola MRG MTA Distributors © Copyright MTD Ryobi Outdoor Power Products MTG, Inc MultiPlan Inc. MultiSoft Inc Musicland Musicnet Mutual of America Mutual of Omaha MyAssociation.com Mychoicehealth NACSCORP Nalco Nashville Electric Service National Association of Realtors National City Corp. National Commerce Financial Corp. National Computer Systems National Electronic Warranty Corporation National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National TechTeam National Western Life Insurance Co. National Wholesale Company, Inc. NC Dept of Trans NCMIC Group, Inc. NCR-Call-One NCS NCS Pearson NDC Health Nebraska Furniture Mart NEN Life Science Products NetEx, Inc. Netfor Netsales Network One Nevada Power New Benefits, Inc. New Century Energies New York Higher Education New York Life New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services New York Times NH Electric Cooperative, Inc Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation NNC Group Nolo.com Norstan Communications Inc. North FL Education Credit Union North Texas Tollway Authority 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Northeast Utilities Northern Indiana Public Service Co. Northern Tool & Equipment Northern Trust Company Northrop Grumman Northwest Airlines,Inc. Northwest Education Loan Association Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group Northwestern Mutual Life Northwestern University Novartis NRG N'site Solutions Inc. Numerica Credit Union Oak Brook Bank Oak Trust Credit Union Oakley, Inc. ODOT/DMV OEConnection.com Office Depot Ohana Foundation OhByGosh Ohio National Financial Services Oki Data Americas, Inc. Omaha Steaks Omron Healthcare, Inc. OnCall Healthcare Communications One Cigna Health Care OneMade OneSource Solutions Center OnPoint Option One Mortgage Optiva Corporation Oracle CRM Global Consulting Orange County's Credit Union Orcom Solutions Oregon Catholic Press OSRAM Sylvania Otis Spunkmeyer Inc. Overton's Owens Corning Oxford Health Plans P&C Select, Inc. P&H Mining Equipment Pacific Interpreters Pacific Scientific PacifiCare Health Systems PacifiCorp Paper Mart ParTech, Inc. PARTNERS Health Plan Patterson Dental Supply Co. 14 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 2: Partial List of Benchmark Participants Promero, Inc. Prometric Provident Provident Bank of Maryland Providian ProxyMed Prudential PSINet Pubic Debt Public Employees' Retirement Association of Colorado Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Publications & Associations Centrobe Publishers Clearing House Pulte Homes Inc QRS QUALCOMM, Inc. Qualex, Inc. QuikTrip Corp. Quorum Health Group, Inc. QWEST Dex Radio Systems Corporation Rainforest Cafe Rayovac RBC Liberty Insurance Co. Redstone Federal Credit Union Regional Income Tax Agency Regional Water Authority Regions Financial Corp REI Reimbursement Technologies, Inc. Relco/Reliable Automotive Reliant Energy Renaissance Credit Services Replacements Ltd Reynolds and Reynolds RInbound RMIC Robbins Auto Parts Roche Diagnostics Rockwell Automation Rodale, Inc Roku Technologies Roll up Account - Public Dept ron weber and associates Royal Credit Union RTM Restaurant Group Rug Doctor, L.P. Rural/Metro Corporation Rutgers University S. Adams Inc. Sabre, Inc. SAFECO Life & Investments 15 Safelite Glass Corporation SafeRent, Inc. SAFILO USA Sage Publications Sage Results SAIC Saint Lukes Health System Salt Lake Community College Sample Company Sandy Spring Bank Sartomer Company S-B Power Tool Company SBC SBI Bancshares Inc SBVS SCANA Services, Inc. ScanSoft, Inc ScanTron Scantron TSM SCB Enterprise Solutions SCG Schindler Elevator Corp Schools Financial Credit Union Schwan's Schwan's Sales Enterprises Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. Scitex America Corp. Scudder Investments SDP Sears SeBS, Inc Securities America Sedgwich CMS SEFCU SEI Information Technology SEI Investments Selective Insurance Seneca Corporation Sentinel Technologies Sento Corporation Sentry Insurance Service Resources Inc. ServiceNet Sharp Health Plan Shields MRI Shurgard Storage Inc. Siemens Building Technologies Siemens Energy & Automation SigFX Siggins Company, Inc. Sigma-Aldrich Silver State Schools Family CU Simens Building Technologies Simplex Time Recorder SISNA SITA/EQUANT Copyright © Payless Cashways, Inc. Payless ShoeSource Paymentech PBD PCTV/SpeedChoice Pearson Government Solutions Penske Truck Leasing Pentax Vision, Inc. Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers, Inc Percepta Peregrine Systems Permanent General Companies Perot Systems Healthcare Pershing PharmaCare Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Phillip Morris phobo.com Phoenix Group Phoenix Life Insurance Company Phoneby Physerv LLC Physicans Mutual Insurance Co Physicians Mutual / Physicians Life Insurance Company Picus, LLC Piedmont Natural Gas Company Pier 1 Imports Pilgrim Telephone, Inc. Pilot Network Services Pink Dot Inc. Pinkerton Services Group Pitney Bowes, Inc. Plant Equipment Inc PNC Banks PNNL Policy Studies Inc Polo Ralph Lauren Popular Club Popular Club Plan Pottery Barn PowerHouse Powertel Prescription Solutions PricewaterhouseCoopers Primary Network Primerica Life Insurance Principal Financial Group Princor Financial Services Corp Procter & Gamble Professional Accounting Solutions, Inc. PROFITsystems, Inc. Progressive Insurance Companies 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report SITEL Latin America SkillPath Skylight Financial Skymall Slic.com SME Smith & Nephew, Inc Snap-on Tools SoCalGas Social Security Administration SoftMed Systems, Inc. Software Spectrum Solo Cup Company Sonsio Sony e-Solutions Southbanc Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Ins. Co. Southern Progress Corporation SouthTrust Corp. Southwest Credit Sovietski Collection Sparkling Spring Water Co. Sparta Special Data Processing Specialty Laboratories Specialty Outsourcing Solutions SPECTRUM Human Resource Systems Corp Spiegel, Inc Spokane Teachers Credit Union SPRINT SPSS Inc. SPX Corporation SRT Communications Inc SSM Health Care - St. Louis St. Francis Bank St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services Staff Leasing, Inc Stage Stores, Inc. Standard Insurance Company Standard Register Stanford University Staples, Inc. Starbucks Coffee Co. Starwood Vacation Ownership State Farm Insurance State Industrial Products State of NC Child Support Enforcement Client Services State of Wisconsin Dept Workforce Development Statline STERIS Corporation Stewart Enterprises, Inc. © Copyright Stream International, Inc. Streamline.com Strong Capital Management Stylin Concepts Sub Zero Freezer Co. SubmitOrder Summit Bank Sumter Electric Cooperative, Inc. Sun International Sun Life of Canda SunAmerica Sunbeam Health and Safety Sundance Catalog Company Sunmark FCU SunTrust Online, Inc. Superior Supplynet, INC Support Technologies, Inc. Swarovski North America Limited Sybase, Inc. Symantec Corporation Symbol Technologies, Inc. Synectics Group, Inc. Synovus Financial Corp. T.Shipley Taction Target Tarsadia Hotels TB Wood's Inc TCF Bank TCS TDS Metrocom TEAC America Inc. Tech Data Corp Teco Peoples Gas Telamon Corporation TeleCheck Tele-Direct Call Centers Teledyne Water Pik Teleflex Morse TeleService Resources Telhio Credit Union Telkins Tel-Us Call Center Inc. Telus Hydro Tender Heart Treasures TEPG Simplex TERI, The Education Resources Institute Tersol & Associates Texas County & District Retirement System Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp Texas Mutual Insurance Company 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Thales Navigation The Arizona Republic The Beryl Companies The Bradford Exchange The CBORD Group The Cleveland Clinic Foundation The Credit Store The Customer group The Dallas Mornning News The Grove Park Inn The Hartford Insurance Group The Home Depot The HON Company The Integrity Companies The Mark Travel Corp The MEGA Life & Health Insurance Company The Mony Group The New York Times The Order People CallCenter Svcs The People2People Group The Psychological Corporation The Research Group The Ritz Carlton Reservations Center The Sacramento Bee The Schwan Food Company The Service Center The Signal The Spiegel Group The Standard Insurance The Summit Federal Credit Union The Sutherland Group The Thompson Group The Vanguard Group Thompson, Ross & Associates Thomson West thyssenkrupp elevator TIAA-CREF Tie Solutions, Inc. TIME TiVo Inc Towers Perrin TPMG TradeCard Trammell Crow Co. Trane Federal Credit Union Travel Group International Travelocity.com Travis credit union Triad Financial Corp. Trinity Systems Technologies Triple S Truliant Federal Credit Union 16 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 2: Partial List of Benchmark Participants US Online US Postal Service US West Wireless USAA USF Physicians Group USFilter UtiliCorp United Valspar Corporation ValueVision Vanderbilt University Medical Center Vanguard Group VANS WorldCom Vantage Federal Credit Union VCU Health System Vector Marketing Corporation VeriCenter Verio Verizon Communications Verizon Wireless VESystems VetConnect Systems, Inc Viastar Services Corporation Victoria Secret Viking Freight Visa International Vision Service Plan Vistakon/JNJ Visual Services Inc Vita-Mix Corporation Voice Power Telecommunications Volkswagen on America Volvo IT North America Vsource VSP Vytra Health Plans W.M. Berg Inc. Wachovia Bank Walker Advertising, Inc. 17 Warn Industries Washington Mutual Washington State Employees Credit Union Watkins Motor Lines WEA Insurance Group Webster Bank Welch Allyn Inc. WellPoint Health Network Wells Fargo Wenn/Soft Inc. Wescom Credit Union West Corp West Group Western FCU Western Reserve Life (Aegon Equity Group) Whirlpool Corporation Williams-Sonoma Winstar Communications Witness Systems Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Woodmen Life Insurance Society Woods Eq Co Woodwind & Brasswind World Wide Aquatics WorldCom Worldspan WPCU WSRC Xerox Engineering Systems XM Satellite Radio, Inc. Yellow Freight YHD Foxtons Young America Corp ZC Sterling Ziptone LLC Zouire Promotional Marketing Zurich Services Copyright © Trustmark Insurance TSIG.com TSYS-BPM TU Electric Tucson Electric Power TV Guide TXU Energy Services U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Department of Energy U.S. Inspect U.S. Tire & Exhaust UAL UC San Francisco Medical Center UCLA UCSD Medical Center U-Lane-O Credit Union UMWA Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Unicor Uniform City Express Unilever Union Bank of California Union Pacific Railroad United Airlines United American United Messaging United Parcel Service United States Gypsum Company United Way Unity School of Christianity Universal University of Miami Medical Group University of Michigan Health System UnumProvident Corporation US Balloon Company US House of Representatives US Inspect 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 3: LIST OF PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES IN THE BENCHMARK RESEARCH Copyright © 19 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 3: List of Participating Countries in the Benchmark Research Call Centers from the following countries are in the international database: Argentina Mexico Australia Netherlands, The Belgium New Zealand Brazil Norway Cambodia Philippines, The Canada Puerto Rico China Qatar Colombia Russia Cyprus Saudi Arabia Denmark Singapore France South Africa Germany South Korea Guyana Spain Honduras Sweden Hong Kong Switzerland India Taiwan Indonesia Turkey Ireland United Arab Emirates Israel United Kingdom Italy United States Japan Uruguay Kuwait Venezuela Malaysia Copyright © 21 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 4: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HEALTH-PLAN / HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY CUSTOM BENCHMARKING REPORT Copyright © 23 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Introduction The online benchmarking questionnaire of key performance indicators (KPIs) consists of over 105 individual data points (see Chapter 5), which are entered into our call center database. Purdue/BenchmarkPortal’s call center database, now in its ninth year, has grown to several thousand call centers spanning twenty-nine vertical industry sectors, both inbound and outbound, private and public, domestic and international. The benchmark report is aimed, in particular, at call center managers and senior executives. In this chapter, we graphically highlight the answers that respondents, typically call center managers, offered to selected questions related to their call centers. Data for this study comes from the following: • 71 call centers in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry with 50 seats or more, including companies such as United Health Group, PacifiCare, Physicians Mutual / Physicians Life Insurance Company, HealthNet, Humana, WellChoice, WellPoint (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), CIGNA, AETNA, MAXIMUS, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, MetLife, The Hartford – HCSG, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, and HealthNow NY. • 105 data-points and key performance metrics per call center. We also depict benchmark comparisons between the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average and Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average (upper quartile). Some of the high-level results include the following: • • • • call center staffing averages 266 full-time agents and 33 part-time agents; average call center budget is $20,112,345 annually; inbound call volume averages 3,622,150 calls annually; and outbound call volume averages 551,208 calls annually. The detailed benchmarking report of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry showing the averaged responses by call center managers to all 105 data-points and key performance indicators can be found in Chapter 5. This chapter is subdivided into seven section categories, as follows: Call Center Classification Section Two: Call Center Costs Section Three: Call Center Performance Section Four: Customer Satisfaction Section Five: Human Resource Management Section Six: Process & Knowledge Section Seven: Outsourcing 25 Copyright © Section One: 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Section One: Call Center Classification In this section we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to their Call Center Classification. Kind of Calls Handled Both inbound and outbound calls 29.3% Only outbound calls 0.0% Only inbound calls 70.7% Figure 1. Kind of calls handled Question: What kind of calls does your call center handle? Finding: In the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry, the kind of calls handled is more heavily weighted with call centers handling only inbound calls. Interpretation: Call centers in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry handling only inbound calls are not leveraging their resources to achieve the greater efficiency that could be gained by using time when inbound traffic is low to schedule outbound calls for cross-trained agents. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 26 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Inbound Calls by Type Consumer to Business 78.7% Business to Business 21.3% Figure 2. Inbound call types Question: Of the calls handled annually by your Agents, how do they breakdown in the following two categories? • • Business to Business (B2B), Consumer to Business (C2B) Finding: Consumer to Business calls constitute the majority of all inbound calls. Interpretation: These calls are most likely to be for customer service questions/inquiries or complaint resolution, which represent the major reasons for inbound calls as shown in the next figure. Copyright © 27 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Reason for Calls - Inbound 100% 80.4% 80% 60% 40% 20% 13.0% 1.5% 3.7% 1.3% 0.1% 0% Customer Order taking Service and tracking (questions and inquiries) Technical support to external customers Complaint resolution Re-directing Inbound Calls Other Figure 3. Reasons for inbound calls Question: Which functions do your agents provide regarding inbound calls? Finding: Eight out-of-every ten inbound calls in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry are for customer service questions and inquiries, with complaint resolution ranking second. Interpretation: Calls for the top reasons, i.e., customer service and complaint resolution, constitute over 93% of all inbound call volume, and will be from consumers more often than businesses, as reflected in the previous figure. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 28 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Outbound Calls by Type Business to Business 27.1% Helpdesk (internal) 0.1% Business to Consumer 72.8% Figure 4. Outbound call types Question: How do your outbound calls break down in the following three categories: • • • Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C) Helpdesk (internal) Finding: The majority of outbound calls are Business to Consumer calls as reflected in figure 4 above. Interpretation: The outbound calling pattern is similar to the inbound calling pattern shown in figure 2, with follow-up to inbound calls, outbound telemarketing/lead generation, and customer satisfaction surveys representing the majority of the outbound call volume, as reflected in the next figure. Copyright © 29 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Reason for Calls - Outbound 80% 69.4% 60% 40% 20% 13.8% 6.6% 6.0% 1.7% 2.5% Collections Market research 0% Follow-up to Outbound inbound calls telemarketing / Lead generation Customer satisfaction surveys Other Figure 5. Reasons for outbound calls Question: Which functions do your agents provide regarding outbound calls? Finding: Over two-thirds of all outbound calls are for follow-up to inbound calls. Interpretation: With 84.5% of their outbound calls for customer satisfaction and marketing purposes, call centers in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry are clearly focused on meeting customer expectations. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 30 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Section Two: Call Center Costs In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to their Call Center Costs. Call Center Budget Allocation 70.5% Human Resources Technology, Facilities 11.8% 13.0% Telecom 4.8% Other 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Figure 6. Call center annual budgetary allocation Question: What is your annual budgetary cost breakdown by major cost category? Finding: Human Resource costs constitute over 70% of the annual budgetary expense in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry. Interpretation: Human resource costs for the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry are comparable to H.R. costs for most call centers across all industries. This is the best single area for any call center to investigate for cost reduction initiatives such as agent retention programs to reduce turnover, reducing live-agent staffing by adding or increasing caller self-service options, offshore outsourcing, etc. Copyright © 31 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Average Cost per Inbound Call $10.00 $9.06 Cost per Inbound Call $8.00 $6.00 $4.68 $4.00 $2.00 $0.00 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 7. Average cost per inbound call Question: What is your average cost per inbound call? Finding: The Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average cost per call is 94% more than the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average. Interpretation: With an industry average of over 3.6 million inbound calls annually, just a 2% reduction in the cost per call would represent a yearly savings of over $656 thousand dollars. Our research shows cost per call as the one of the most closely watched performance measures that call center managers use to determine their call center performance. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 32 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Average Cost per Outbound Call $6.00 $5.69 Cost per Outbound Call $5.00 $4.00 $3.48 $3.00 $2.00 $1.00 $0.00 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 8. Outbound cost per call Question: What is your average cost per outbound call? Finding: The Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average cost per outbound call, at $5.69, is 64% higher than the Best of Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry Average cost per outbound call. Interpretation: Given the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average annual outbound call volume of more than 551 thousand calls, the cost per outbound call represents more than $3.13 million dollars in annual costs. Our research shows cost per call as one of the most closely watched performance measures that call center managers use to determine their call center performance. Copyright © 33 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Section Three: Call Center Performance In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to their Call Center Performance. Service Level - 80% of Your Calls are Answered in How Many Seconds? 35 28.79 Seconds 80% Calls Answered 30 24.28 25 20 15 10 5 0 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 9. Average Service Level Question: Within how many seconds are 80% of your calls answered (Service Level)? Finding: The average number of seconds required to answer 80% of the calls for the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry is 16% less than the average time for the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry. Interpretation: This key performance metric is often referred to as “Service Level.” The best practice Service Level goal is to answer 80% of the calls within 20 seconds. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 34 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Average Speed of Answer 50 41.36 Seconds to Answer 40 30 27.38 20 10 0 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 10. Average speed of answer Question: What is your average speed of answer in seconds? Finding: The average speed of answer (ASA) for the Best of HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry is 34% faster than the HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry Average. Interpretation: Average speed of answer is equal to the total time in queue divided by the total number of calls answered. This includes both technology-handled calls as well as live agent calls. This data is available from the ACD. Average speed of answer is directly tied to service level. Best practices goals for ASA is to answer the call th within the first twenty seconds (before the 4 ring). Copyright © 35 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Average Call Handle Time 8.0 6.73 5.72 Handle Time in Minutes 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 11. Average call handle time Question: What is your average call handle time in minutes? Finding: The Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry average call handle time is 18% longer than the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry average handle time. Interpretation: Average handle time (AHT), a key performance indicator or metric (KPI), is an internal metric that is the sum of talk time, hold time, and after call work time. AHT is one of the most closely watched metrics in a call center as an indicator of an agent’s skill and productivity. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 36 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Average Abandon Rate 5.0% Abandon Rate Percentage 4.0% 4.06% 3.80% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 12. Average abandon rate Question: What is your average abandon rate in percent? Finding: The average abandon rate for the entire Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry is about 4%. Interpretation: Abandon rate is an internal metric of all calls that get connected to the call center but are disconnected by the caller before reaching an agent, automated self-service system, outbound trunk, or information announcement. The abandon rate is the percentage of calls that are abandoned compared to calls received. Our research shows abandon rate as the number one most closely watched performance measure that call center managers use to determine their call center performance. Copyright © 37 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Calls Closed on First Call 100% 87.01% 77.49% Percentage of Calls Closed 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 13. Percent of calls closed on first call Question: What is your percentage of calls closed on first call? Finding: The Best of Health Plan/HealthCare Industry averages almost nine calls closed out-of-every ten calls received, with the HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry averaging nearly eight calls out-of-every ten calls closed on first call. Interpretation: Calls closed on first call, also known as “first call final,” represents one of the most closely tracked metrics for a call center. It is the objective of the call center to resolve all calls on the initial call, but there are some instances when this is not possible, for instance, 1) callers requesting information that is not readily available to the agent, 2) callers reaching an agent who is not trained to properly respond to the caller, or 3) improper transferring of a call resulting in the caller hanging up. The best practices objective is to maintain an average of 85% or higher for calls closed on first call. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 38 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Agent Occupancy 100% 81.18% 81.33% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Occupancy Percentage 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Figure 14. Agent occupancy percentage Question: What is your agent occupancy in percent? Finding: Average Agent occupancy percentage is over 81% across the entire Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry. Interpretation: Occupancy, or occupancy factor, is determined by taking the time that an agent is in their seat ready to answer calls as compared to the total number of hours that they are at work. Therefore, if an agent is at their desk and ready to answer phone calls 6 hours out of an 8-hour shift, the agent’s occupancy is 75%. The best practice goal for occupancy is 85%. Copyright © 39 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Percentage of Up-Sell/Cross-Sell Opportunities 15% 12.50% Percentage of Calls 12% 8.24% 9% 6% 3% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 15. Percent of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities Question: What percentage of calls give rise to up-sell/cross-sell opportunities? Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry is 52% more effective than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry in this important metric. Interpretation: To up-sell is to sell a higher value product or option to an existing caller. A cross-sell occurs when an agent recognizes that the caller might be able to use another product from a totally different product area within the company. For instance, an agent at a HealthPlan/Health-Care call center who is assisting a caller with a policy question might recognize the advantage for the caller consider adding additional insurance coverage at a packaged discount rate. Training agents to up-sell and/or cross-sell opens up a valuable added revenue opportunity for a company, and what better time to approach a customer to “buy-up” or “buy-more” than immediately after satisfying the customer’s reason for their call. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 40 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Calls that Result in a Sale 50% 44.50% Percentage of Outbound Calls 40% 30.43% 30% 20% 10% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 16. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that result in sale (conversion rate) Question: What percent of up-sell/cross-sell opportunities result in a sale? Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry is 46% more effective than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry in turning an upsell/cross-sell opportunity into a sale. Interpretation: The up-sell/cross-sell conversion rate of the Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry indicates that their agents are able to up-sell/crosssell to over 87 thousand callers annually. With the average incremental sales value of $651.50 per transaction, their sales efforts generated over $56.9 million dollars in additional income for their business, which represents a significant revenue stream. This is an important area of opportunity that every call center should pursue. Copyright © 41 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Section Four: Customer Satisfaction In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to Customer Satisfaction. Percentage of Call Centers that have a Formal Mechanism to Gather Customer Feedback on Call Center Performance DO have Formal Mechanism 59% Do NOT have Formal Mechanism 41% Figure 17. Call centers that have a formal mechanism to gather customer feedback Question: Does your call center have a formal mechanism for gathering customer feedback on call center performance? Finding: Over four out-of-every ten call centers in the Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry Do Not have a formal mechanism to collect customer satisfaction feedback determine the level of their customer’s satisfaction. Interpretation: Internal key performance indicators can only tell management part of the story of how well they are serving their customers. In today’s competitive world, customer satisfaction is a more significant market differentiator and competitive advantage than product features or price. No company can attain best practices certification without the presence of a formal customer satisfaction mechanism to collect customer feedback in place. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 42 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Callers that Gave a Perfect Score for Customer Satisfaction within the past 90 days 80% 67.7% 60% 48.6% 40% 20% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 18. Percent perfect customer satisfaction perfect scores Question: On average, in the past 90 days what percentage of your callers gave you a perfect score on the question, “Overall, how satisfied were you with the service you received during your call to our center?” Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average is 39% better than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average in perfect customer satisfaction scores given within the past 90 days. Interpretation: The best metric to be used for measuring the “true” level of customer satisfaction is the percentage of customers/callers who give a perfect score, provided that a valid statistical sample is taken. Copyright © 43 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Percentage of Callers that gave the Lowest Score for Customer Satisfaction within the past 90 days 10% Percentage of All Calls 8% 6% 4% 2.89% 2% 0.04% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 19. Percent lowest scores for customer satisfaction Question: On average in the past 90 days, what percentage of your callers gave you the lowest score on the question, "Overall, how satisfied were you with the service you received during your call to our center?" Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry is significantly lower than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average for percentage of their customers surveyed that awarded their call center with the lowest customer satisfaction score. Interpretation: Tracking lowest scores is the flip side of collecting perfect customer satisfaction scores, and essential to the quality monitoring process of a call center. The next step is to classify these calls by category/agent, and feed the results into the agent coaching and training process to remedy the root causes. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 44 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Section Five: Human Resource Management In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to Human Resource Management. Annual Turnover of Full-Time Agent Staff 29.58% 30% 27.34% Annual Turnover Percentage 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 20. Annual full-time Agent turnover rate for the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Question: What is the annual percentage turnover of your full-time Agents? Finding: The average annual turnover of full-time agents in the HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry ranges from 27% to 30%. Interpretation: Turnover is the number of agents who left in the course of a year as a percentage of the total number of agents working during that same period, and is a major cost and quality factor for call centers across All Industries. Using exit interviews to determine the causes of turnover, and thereby gaining insight into controllable factors that can result in reduced turnover, is a best practice process that all call centers should use. Copyright © 45 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Cost to Hire a New Agent $10,482 $10,000 $7,564 New Hire Costs $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000 $0 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 21. Hiring cost of a new agent (agent) Question: How much does it cost you to bring on a new agent (add recruiting, screening, training, etc.)? Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry spend 28% less than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average for new-hire recruiting, screening, and training. Interpretation: With a 29.58% annual turnover rate of full-time inbound agents (see previous figure), call centers in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry average an expense of over $874 thousand dollars per year just to hire and train replacement agents. An excellent book on this topic, “Minimizing Agent Turnover” by Dr. Jon Anton and Anita Rockwell, is available on our Web site at: <www.benchmarkportal.com/store>. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 46 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Length of Time to Train New Agent 280 273.2 243.9 Training Time in Hours 240 200 160 120 80 40 0 Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 22. Length of new-hire training period Question: What is the average length (in hours) of your initial, new-hire training period for agents? Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry devotes 11% fewer hours than the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Average to newhire training. Interpretation: The length of time call centers devote to the training of their newhire agents is an indication of the emphasis that they place upon efficiency of call handling, quality of service, and caller satisfaction. It can also be a reflection of the effectiveness of their new-hire training program. Copyright © 47 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Percent of Call Centers Where Agents are Represented by a Labor Union Percent Labor Union Representation 20% 16.7% 15% 10% 7.4% 5% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 23. Agent labor union representation Question: Are your agents represented by a labor union? Finding: About one out-of-every fourteen call centers in the HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry sector report that their agents are represented by labor unions. It is interesting to note that one out-ofevery six call centers in the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry have labor union representation for their agents. Interpretation: Call centers without labor union representation for their agents have greater flexibility to continually adapt their business models to better serve the evolving needs of their customer base and to remain competitive to changing market forces. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 48 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Call Volume Handled by Part Time Agents 15% 12.0% Percentage of Call Volume 12% 9% 7.7% 6% 3% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 24. Call volume handled by part-time agents Question: What percentage of your total call volume is handled by part-time agents? Finding: Almost eight percent, or about 268 thousand inbound calls per year for the average call center, are handled by part-time agents in the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry sector. The Best of HealthPlan/Health-Care Industry average call volume handled by part time agents is about 533 thousand calls annually. Interpretation: The use of part-time agents for peak periods, as seasonal offset staffing, and for other scheduling and call flow balancing reasons makes good economic sense and opens up an additional labor pool to offset turnover. Parents with school-age children, retirees, and college students comprise the bulk of this valuable labor pool. Copyright © 49 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Section Six: Process and Knowledge In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to Process and Knowledge. Percentage of Call Centers Integrated with Other Customer-Access Channels and Touch-Points 100% 83.3% 78.6% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 25. Call centers integrated with other customer-access channels and touch points Question: Is the call center integrated with other customer-access channels and touch-points (for instance, e-mail, Web site, and FAX)? Finding: About eight out-of-every ten call centers in the across the entire Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry are integrated with multiple customer-access channels and touch-points. Interpretation: Today’s customers expect more from companies than in the past. With most businesses and many consumers having Internet access, e-mail and Web site access have become a preferred alternative to phone calls (with the attendant prospect of being put on hold). The Internet has also opened up an array of self-service options that many customers prefer to use instead calling a 1-800 number. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 50 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Features Offered on the Company's Web Site Voice over IP, or Internet call 0.0% E-mail access 75.0% An automatic “callback” button (using a separate phone line) 4.2% A self-service option (e.g., a static FAQ section) 72.9% Your call center’s 1800 number 89.6% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Figure 26. Features offered on company Web sites Question: On the Internet, which features does your Web site offer? Finding: Seventy-five percent of the companies in the Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry indicated that they support e-mail access as an Internet contact channel option for their customers, and over seven out-of-every ten companies offer a self-service option on their Web site. Interpretation: Our research has shown that as customers become more sophisticated and computer enabled, their preference shift from the telephone to the Internet as their primary communication channel choice to correspond with companies, shop for new products, conduct account transactions, compare product features and pricing, etc. Copyright © 51 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Percentage of Inbound Calls that are Handled by Self-Service 35% 32.2% 30% Percentage of Calls 25% 20% 15.4% 15% 10% 5% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 27. Percent of inbound calls handled by self-service Question: Of all your inbound contacts, what percentage is handled by selfservice? Finding: About one out-of-every seven calls across the Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry, and one out-of-every three calls for the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry are resolved by self-service without agent intervention. Interpretation: With agent hiring and labor costs representing two-thirds of the total operating budget, automating self-service options in the IVR and on the Web site to lower the agent staffing required to handle ever-increasing call volumes, thereby reducing the average cost per call, is an essential cost-savings initiative that every customer facing call center should consider. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 52 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Percentage Self-Service Contacts by Channel 54% IVR 7% Web site E-mail 4% 5% Fax-back 0% Kiosk Other 29% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Figure 28. Percentage of self-service contacts by contact channel Question: Of all your self-service contacts, what percentage is completed through self-service channels (e.g., IVR, Web site, Fax-back, E-mail, Kiosk, Other)? Finding: Self-service via the IVR constitutes over one-half of the automated self-service transactions, with Web site and E-mail self-service activity at 7% and 4% respectively. Interpretation: Across the entire call center industry, IVR self-service is still the most preferred option, especially when combined with an automated speech recognition system. Our research has revealed a steady growth trend in the percentage of customer self-service usage distributed across multiple contact channels for all industry sectors. Copyright © 53 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Section Seven: Outsourcing In this section, we graphically depict the answers that call center managers gave to questions related to Outsourcing. Percentage of Call Centers that Outsource their Calls/Functions 37.50% 40% 30% 18.18% 20% 10% 0% Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Figure 29. Percentage of call centers that outsource Question: Does your center outsource any calls or functions? Finding: Across the Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry, about threeeighths of the call centers outsource their calls/functions, which is more than double the average percentage of call centers that outsource across the entire Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry. Interpretation: Given the highly competitive nature of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry, outsourcing presents some tempting cost reduction alternatives. For some excellent books on outsourcing, visit our Web site at <www.benchmarkportal.com/store>. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 54 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 4: Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Highlights Percentage of Calls/Functions Outsourced Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Percentage of Calls/Functions 15% 12% 10.00% 9% 6.42% 6.00% 6% 4.17% 3% 0% Percent outsourced calls (inbound) Percent outsourced calls (outbound) Figure 30. Percentage of calls/functions outsourced Question: What percentage of your total calls/functions do you outsource? Finding: The Best of Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry call centers outsource one out-of-every ten of their outbound calls/functions, in contrast to about one out-of-every twenty-five outbound calls/functions outsourced across the entire Health-Plan/HealthCare Industry. Interpretation: Our research indicates that contact center outsourcing alliances, both domestically and offshore, will increase across all industries as more companies seek to control costs without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. For some excellent books on outsourcing, visit our Web site at <www.benchmarkportal.com/store>. Copyright © 55 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 5: DETAILED BENCHMARK RESULTS OF THE HEALTH-PLAN/HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY Copyright © 57 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 5: Detailed Benchmark Results of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average What kind of calls does your call center handle? Only inbound calls Only outbound calls Both inbound and outbound calls 70.69% 0.00% 29.31% 75.00% 0.00% 25.00% Which of the following functions do your agents provide regarding inbound calls? Customer Service (questions and inquiries) Complaint resolution Re-directing Inbound Calls Order taking and tracking Technical support to external customers Other 80.42% 12.99% 3.73% 1.48% 1.31% 0.07% 80.79% 12.15% 3.67% 3.21% 0.18% 0.00% Which of the following functions do your agents provide regarding outbound calls? Follow-up to inbound calls Outbound telemarketing / Lead generation Customer satisfaction surveys Collections Market research Other 69.45% 6.57% 6.03% 1.69% 2.49% 13.78% 58.08% 12.62% 0.96% 2.18% 0.12% 26.04% How many inbound calls per year are directed to your call center? Calls offered annually 3,622,150 4,628,132 Of the inbound calls directed to your call center, how many are handled by a live agent and/or your IVR? Calls handled annually 3,484,514 4,440,114 How many outbound calls are made per year by your call center, including return calls to inbound callers? Outbound calls per year 551,208 333,120 Of the calls handled annually by your agents, how do they breakdown in the following two categories? Business to Business Consumer to Business 21.30% 78.70% 18.93% 81.07% How do these outbound calls break down in the following three categories: Business to Business Business to Consumer Helpdesk (internal) 27.07% 72.80% 0.13% 25.61% 74.39% 0.00% Call Center Classification Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8. 59 Copyright © 5. 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Do you use an automatic call distributor (ACD) at your call center? Yes No 100.00% 0.00% 100.00% 0.00% 10. How many minutes of telephone usage are recorded annually by your call center’s automatic call distributor (ACD)? Minutes 22,859,388 32,463,848 266 33 315 42 282 336 Call Center Classification Questions (continued) 9. 11. How many agents work at your call center? Full-time agents Part-time agents 12. How many Full Time Equivalent (FTE) agents work at your call center? Full-time Equivalents (FTEs) © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 60 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 5: Detailed Benchmark Results of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 66.81% 3.66% 8.09% 3.81% 2.29% 4.88% 5.68% 1.03% 3.75% $20,112,345 $19,860,182 6.38 $9.06 13. What percentage of your ongoing costs is for: Human Resources - salary, benefits, etc. Human Resources - recruiting, screening, training Telecommunications phone charges Computer hardware Computer software Telecommunications equipment Real estate (floor space) Outsourced calls Other 68.23% 4.13% 6.81% 3.01% 2.08% 6.51% 4.71% 0.68% 3.84% 6.71 Call Center Costs Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average $4.68 14. What is the total annual budget for your call center for this year? Annual Budget 15. How much are you paying the telephone company for your toll-free calls? 16. What is your average cost per call in dollars? Average Cost per Call 61 Copyright © Cents per minute 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 3.80% 77.49% 1.93% 81.18% 88.06% 89.39% 30.43% 4.06% 87.01% 1.38% 81.33% 91.86% 90.06% 44.50% 7.14% 92.86% 8.33% 91.67% 12.50% $3.48 $10.00 0.75 37.00 $0 $0.00 $0.00 36.54 18. Over the past 90 days, what were your average inbound performance percentage-based metrics? Average abandoned in percent Calls resolved on first call in percent Calls blocked in percent Agent occupancy in percent Adherence to schedule in percent Average attendance in percent Percentage of calls that result in a sale 19. Does your call center do any up-selling/cross-selling? Yes No 24.28 27.38 4.49 1.24 39.80 86.54 $125.00 $5.69 $37.83 0.40 25.93 $442,320 $0.00 $1,843.00 17. Over the past 90 days, what were your average inbound performance time-based metrics? 80% of your calls are answered, on average, in how many seconds Average speed of answer in seconds Average talk time in minutes (includes hold time) Average after call work time in minutes Average time in queue in seconds Average time before abandoning in seconds Average sales value 28.79 41.36 4.30 2.44 54.46 100.11 $651.50 8.24% Call Center Performance Measures Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 22.36 20. What percentage of calls give rise to up-sell/cross-sell opportunities? 21. What are your outbound performance metrics? Cost per call in dollars Cost per sale Sales per hour Contacts per hour Average sales revenue per TSR per year Average revenue collected per seat per shift Average sales revenue per seat per shift 22. What is your average data entry error rate per thousand calls? Errors per 1,000 calls © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 62 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 5: Detailed Benchmark Results of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 59.09% 40.91% 88.24% 11.76% 48.63% 67.74% 2.89% Caller Satisfaction Measurement Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 0.04% 23. Does your call center have a formal process to collect the caller's satisfaction regarding their experience with how their call was handled? DO have Formal Mechanism Do NOT have Formal Mechanism 24. On average, in the past 90 days what percentage of your callers gave you a perfect score on the question, “Overall, how satisfied were you with the service you received during your call to our center?” 25. On average in the past 90 days, what percentage of your callers gave you the lowest score on the question, "Overall, how satisfied were you with the service you received during your call to our center?" Copyright © 63 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 17.77 19.53 29.58% 27.34% 28. As a percentage of total turnover, how does this breakdown into the following two categories? Turnover due to promotions All Other Turnoner 16.32% 71.71% 27.30% 72.70% 29. How do you compensate your agents? Base salary per year only Average hourly wage for front-line agents. $26,520 $13.08 $26,764 $13.63 $42,747 $42,781 $69,860 $71,506 273.18 243.94 $10,482 $7,564 7.35% 92.65% 16.67% 83.33% 7.68% 12.00% Human Resource Measurement 26. What is the ratio of TSRs to supervisors (span of control)? Agents per supervisor 27. What is the annual percentage turnover of your full-time agents? Annual Turnover 30. What is the average annual salary of your supervisors? 31. What is the average annual salary of your call center manager? 32. What is the average length (in hours) of your initial, new-hire training period for agents? 33. How much does it cost you to bring on a new agent? (Add recruiting, screening, training, etc. Please, include all costs.) 34. Are your TSRs represented by a labor union? Yes No 35. What percentage of your total call volume is handled by part-time agents? © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 64 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 5: Detailed Benchmark Results of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 36. Is the call center integrated with other customer access channels and touchpoints (for instance, e-mail, Web site, and FAX)? Yes No 37. On the Internet, which features does your Web site offer? Your call center’s 1-800 number A self-service option (e.g., a static FAQ section) An automatic “call-back” button (using a separate phone line) E-mail access Voice over IP, or Internet call (allowing the TSR to talk to the caller through the Internet phone line). Instant Messaging (chat capabilities) 78.57% 21.43% 83.33% 16.67% 89.58% 72.92% 4.17% 75.00% 100.00% 72.73% 9.09% 81.82% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 15.44% Process & Knowledge Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 32.15% 54.14% 7.48% 5.44% 4.09% 0.23% 28.61% 59.09% 7.91% 8.70% 2.53% 0.19% 21.58% 38. Of all your inbound contacts, what percentage is handled by self-service? 65 Copyright © 39. Of all your self-service contacts, what percentage is completed through the following self-service channels: IVR Web site Fax-back E-mail Kiosk Other 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 40. Does your center outsource any calls or functions? Yes No 18.18% 81.82% 37.50% 62.50% 41. What percentage of your total calls do you outsource? Percent outsourced calls (inbound) Percent outsourced calls (outbound) 6.42% 4.17% 6.00% 10.00% Outsourcing © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 66 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 5: Detailed Benchmark Results of the Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average Best of Health-Plan/ Health-Care Industry Average 310.51 340.04 43. How large is your average TSR cubical workspace? Square feet 40.37 34.69 44. How many total square feet does your call center occupy? Square feet 49,099 40,416 Facilities & Design 42. What is the total number of TSR workstations at your call center? 67 Copyright © Seats 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 6: PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY Copyright © 69 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 6: Performance by Industry Figure 31. Industry performance matrix This “balanced score card” positions centers from different industries on a 2-by-2 matrix by plotting their efficiency and effectiveness indices. The Efficiency Index integrates those metrics that have an important impact on costs, while the Effectiveness Index combines metrics that correlate to mission accomplishment and customer satisfaction. Thus, industries with centers that are able to optimize customer-centric results, while containing costs, are found in the upper-right quadrant. In sum, industries rated an “Asset” perform the best, “Liability” the worst. Copyright © 71 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 7: BEST PRACTICES IN HEADSET MANAGEMENT IN CALL CENTERS Copyright © 73 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers I ntroduction The purpose of this study was to document current best practices in headset management in call centers. This study focused specifically on headset: • • • • • selection usage budget maintenance replacement While the cost of even the highest quality headsets is low when compared with call center staff salaries, computer software, and telecom expenses, the mismanagement of headsets can contribute to poor customer service, increased agent stress, and unnecessary budgetary expense. And, yet, organizational accountability for this essential piece of equipment and its related parts is sometimes loose at best in the fast-paced, pressure cooker environment of today’s call center. A primary driver of this study was our conviction that there is much more money at stake when headset management is neglected than busy call center leaders might realize. Often the focus of call center cost reduction initiatives is the obvious—reducing agent turnover, increasing agent efficiency, upgrading technical capabilities to reduce wasted time, and the like. The results of our study will illustrate that effective headset management is an often-overlooked endeavor that will not only result in improved agent job satisfaction and increased customer satisfaction—but in cost savings worth pursuing. Objectives The main objective in conducting this study was to document best practices in headset management. Specifically, we believed that documentation of the best practices of the following headset management practices would reveal ways call center leaders could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their organizations: • • • • • Centralized accountability for headset management Headset selection process Budgeting for the purchase and repair of headsets Agent training in headset usage, care, and hygiene Theft deterrence Methodology Two separate, but related, survey instruments were used to collect headset management practices information using consistent criteria. For these surveys, we asked call center managers to offer their view of headset management practices in use within their call center. The following pages in this chapter are devoted to their responses to key questions along with corresponding findings, interpretations, and correlations drawn from their responses. Copyright © 75 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report The first survey, titled “Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers,” was conducted in Q4 2004 by BenchmarkPortal, Inc. in association with the Purdue University Center of Customer-Driven Quality, and sponsored by Plantronics Corporation. It focused on gathering data on: • the call center itself (e.g., industry served, number of call centers within organization, number of agents, etc.); • headset brand and model used in the center; headset selection and purchasing criteria; • service management; • storage and logistics management; and • satisfaction level with brand and distributor, etc. The second survey, titled “Headset Budget and Selection,” was a “One-Minute Survey™” conducted in January 2005 by BenchmarkPortal, Inc. that focused specifically on: • headset selection criteria; and • headset budget matters. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 76 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers S elected Findings and Interpretations The following pages in this section present selected results along with key findings and interpretations of the two surveys mentioned previously. This report is aimed, in particular, at call center managers and senior executives. What Industry does your call center serve? Help Desk / Technical Support 4% Consumer Products 4% Consumer Electronics 4% Health Care 8% Government 8% Utilities 12% Publishing 12% Financial Services 12% Telecom, Wireless, Cable 16% Insurance 20% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Figure 32. Industries represented by call centers participating in Survey One Question: What industry does your call center serve? Finding: One-out-of-five call centers participating in the survey belongs to the insurance industry. Interpretation: The call centers participating in this survey represent a broad crosssection of the whole call center industry. Copyright © 77 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report How satisfied are you with your present headset management system? We have a basically solid H/S model and H/S management system that works most of the time for us. 43.48% We have a fairly typical usage of H/S and H/S management system. They generally work. 30.43% Our H/S usage and management system could use some work. We are looking for better equipment and a better H/S management system. 21.74% We have an excellent H/S model and H/S management system and others could learn from it. 4.35% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Figure 33. Satisfaction with present headset management system Question: How satisfied are you with your present headset management system? Finding: More than one call center manager out-of-every-five surveyed indicated that they are not fully satisfied with their present headset management system and are looking for better equipment as well as a better headset management system. Interpretation: While most call center managers indicated general satisfaction with their current headset management system, they did not claim that their headset management system worked for them to their complete satisfaction. In fact, only 4.35% responded that they were 100% satisfied with their headset management system and that they have a system that other call centers could learn and benefit from. This small group would be regarded as having a “world-class” headset management system. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 78 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers Why did you purchase new call center headsets? GROWTH ISSUES:_____________ Increase in agent headcount 50% Seasonal headcount Increase 20% New call center 20% Call Center expansion 10% MAINTENANCE ISSUES:_________ Replacement of old H/S 74% Maintenance costs better value 26% TECHNOLOGY ISSUES:__________ New phone system 64% Upgrade to new technology 36% OTHER ISSUES:________________ Stock replacement inventory 33% Enable mobiity of agents 17% Use up budget funds 17% New management influence 17% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Figure 34. Reasons for purchasing new call center headsets Question: Why did you purchase new call center headsets? Findings: Of the reasons for purchasing new call center headsets stated above, the most revealing finding is that 26% of the respondents indicated that the new headsets represented a better value with respect to maintenance costs. All other reasons for purchasing new headsets were to satisfy other needs such as growth, compatibility with new systems or technology, stock replacement, using up budgetary funds, etc. Interpretation: Maintenance costs of older headsets increase over time, reaching the point where purchasing newer headsets actually is more cost effective than continuing to repair them or replace them with refurbished units. Copyright © 79 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Were the headsets you purchased this past year new or used? NEW 83% USED 17% Figure 35. Percentage of participants purchasing new headsets during the past year Question: Were the headsets you purchased for your call center during this past year new or used? Finding: Although all survey respondents indicated that they had purchased headsets for their call centers during the past year, one-sixth reported that they purchased used headsets rather than new ones. Interpretation: While purchasing used headsets will be less costly than new headsets initially, the ongoing cost of repair and replacement is likely to offset, if not exceed the difference in cost over time. In addition, more frequent replacement of agent headsets, with the accompanying loss of agent productivity that is inevitable while the unit is being replaced, adds to the total cost of headset management. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 80 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers What led to the selection of the particular brand H/S you purchased? Comfort & Durablity 18.4% Warranty & Service 13.2% Price 10.5% Compatibility 7.9% Quality, Performance, & Reliability 36.8% Other 13.2% Figure 36. Reasons for selection of the particular brand of headset purchased Question: What led to the selection of the particular brand of headset you purchased? Finding: Of the call centers surveyed, 50% cited quality, performance, reliability, warranty & service rather than price as the primary reasons for selection of the headset that they purchased for their call centers. Interpretation: Although we traditionally think of price first when making a purchasing decision, considering the value of the purchase with respect to quality, performance, reliability, warranty and service may actually result in a lower cost investment overall. Copyright © 81 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Did your center measure call-handling statistics before and after the implementation of headsets for comparitive purposes? YES 15% NO 85% Figure 37. Percentage of call centers that measured call-handling statistics before and after implementation of headsets Question: Did your center measure call-handling statistics before and after the implementation of headsets for comparison purposes? Finding: According to the survey responses, only 15% measured call-handling statistics before and after the implementation of headsets for comparative (benchmarking) purposes. Interpretation: As with any improvement initiative, benchmarking call-handling statistics of a call center before and after implementation of headsets is a best-practice that enables management to determine the impact that the initiative produced and permits management to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of the initiative. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 82 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers Does your center offer agents any of the following headset training? Proper headset cleaning and hygiene management 8% Proper agent headset storage 12% Proper agent headset usage, care and maintenance 56% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Figure 38. Headset training offered Question: Does your call center offer any of the following headset training? • • • Proper headset cleaning and hygiene management Proper agent headset storage Proper agent headset usage, care and maintenance Findings: Over one-half of the call centers surveyed offer training to their agents on proper headset usage, but few offer training on the proper storage, cleaning, and hygiene management of their headsets. Interpretation: This chart shows the significant room for improvement call center managers have in terms of headset management. Without training in these headset management areas, it is difficult, if not impossible, to properly manage headsets and costs associated with their upkeep and maintenance, which inevitably leads to higher breakdown and failure of headsets, and greater headset management costs. Copyright © 83 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Does your center offer any of the following training on proper headset usage for monitoring of calls? Training on wireless monitoring 63.64% Training on double jacking for side-by-side monitoring 56.00% 52% 54% 56% 58% 60% 62% 64% 66% Figure 39. Training offered on proper headset usage for monitoring of calls Question: Does your center offer any of the following training on proper headset usage for monitoring of calls? • Training on wireless monitoring procedures • Training on double-jacking procedures for side-by-side monitoring Finding: About five-out-of-eight call centers surveyed that use wireless headsets offer training on proper wireless headset monitoring procedures, but only slightly more than one-out-of-two center offer procedural training on double-jacking for side-by-side monitoring. Interpretation: Improper usage of headsets for monitoring can result in unintended and undesirable consequences such as lost calls or interruption of calls, both of which produce customer irritation and dissatisfaction. Centers that train their agents, supervisors, and quality staff in the proper usage of headsets, both wireless and wired, for call monitoring are engaging in best-practices for headset management. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 84 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers Storage/Logistics Management NO Are full unit H/S replacements managed by a centralized inventory? Are spare H/S parts (ear cushions, voice tubes, cords, etc.) managed by a centralized inventory? Does your center have a centralized location for storage and maintenance of H/S? 0.00% YES 86.96% 13.04% 86.96% 13.04% 91.30% 8.70% 20.00% 40.00% 60.00% 80.00% 100.00% Figure 40. Percentage of call centers with centralized headset management Question: Is your headset management system centralized? Finding: Across the board, the overwhelming majority of call centers surveyed indicated that they have a centralized system for headset management. Interpretation: Centralized headset management with respect to spares and spare parts, as well as storage of replacement headsets assures the optimal efficiency, as well as control of shrinkage due to loss or theft. Centralized control of headsets enables management to track headset usage, manage inventory, generate usage reports, forecast future requirements, and avoid costly out-of-stock situations. Centralization is a mandatory element in world-class headset management. Copyright © 85 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report On average, what is the percentage of replacement units on hand? NEW 30% REFURBISHED 55% NONE 15% Figure 41. Percentage replacement units on hand Question: On average, what is the percentage of headsets on hand? Finding: Survey respondents reported that, on average, they maintain an onhand inventory of 30% new and 55% of refurbished headsets. However, 15% of the centers reported no on-hand headset inventory. Interpretation: Prudent headset management dictates that call centers should maintain an on-hand inventory of headsets, both for immediate replacement of defective headsets as well as for short-term growth in agent staffing. Centers with no on-hand replacement headsets are bound to experience loss of agent productivity while awaiting delivery of replacement headsets, even if they use overnight or express delivery service from their headset supplier. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 86 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers How would you rate the service you are getting from your current headset service provider? Excellent 39% Good 57% Poor 4% Figure 42. Respondents’ rating of their current headset service provider Question: How would you rate the service you are getting from your current headset service provider? Finding: Nearly all respondents rated their headset service provider “Good” to “Excellent” with respect to the service they are getting, with only 4% giving their service provider a “Poor” rating. Interpretation: With so many headset service providers to choose from, there is no reason for a call center to continue to use a poor service provider. Copyright © 87 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report What is the likelihood you would recommend the brand you use to other call center professionals? 50% 43.5% 40% 34.8% 30% 17.4% 20% 10% 4.3% 0.0% ab so lu te ly no t lik el y W ou l d N ot ik el y lik el y ha tl So m ew Ex tr em el y Ve ry lik el y 0% Figure 43. Likelihood to recommend the brand they use to other call center professionals Question: What is the likelihood you would recommend the brand you use to other call center professionals? Finding: Over 95% of the call center managers surveyed indicated that they were likely to recommend the brand of headset they use to other call center professionals, with the percentage that are extremely likely at 43.5%. Interpretation: It seems that most call centers are satisfied with the brand of headset they use to the extent that they are at least somewhat likely to recommend the brand to others. The differentiating element in headset choice is service provider support rather than brand, as reported earlier in our findings. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 88 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers What is the average price your organization currently pays for a new wired headset? 50% 39.49% 40% 31.21% 30% 20% 14.33% 9.55% 10% 5.41% $2 00 th an -$ 20 0 M or e $1 51 -$ 15 0 $1 01 -$ 10 0 $5 1 Le ss th an $5 0 0% Figure 44. Average price paid for a new wired headset Question: What is the average price your organization currently pays for a new wired headset? Finding: Of the call centers surveyed, 71% reported that they paid between $51 and $150 per new wired headset. Interpretation: When taken in context with the other costs of call center operation, the average cost per headset is relatively minor. Copyright © 89 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report What is the average price your center currently pays for a new wireless headset? 70% 64.52% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 12.90% 10.32% 9.03% 10% 3.23% ed us se t he ad w ire le ss No M or e $1 51 th a s n -$ $2 00 20 0 15 0 -$ 10 1 Le ss th a n $1 00 0% Figure 45. Average price per new wireless headset Question: What is the average price your center pays for a new wireless headset? Finding: The response to this questions revealed that 64.5% of the call centers surveyed do not currently use wireless headsets. Interpretation: Of the 34.5% of the call centers that do use wireless headsets, over 90% indicated that they pay between $101 to more than $200 per wireless headset, which is on-average more than double the cost per wired headset (as compared with the previous figure). © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 90 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers In your organization, are headset purchases and related costs considered expense items or capitalized items? Capitalized items 15% Expense items 71% Don't Know 14% Figure 46. Ratio of call centers that expense versus capitalize the cost of their headsets Question: In your organization, are headset purchases and related costs considered expense items or capitalized items? Findings: Most call centers expense rather than capitalize the headset purchases and related costs. Interpretation: Taking into account only call centers that reported knowing whether they expense or capitalize their headset and related costs, the percentages increase to 82% that consider headset and related costs as an expense item rather than a capitalized item. This suggests that the majority of call center management regard headsets as a tool that will likely be replaced within the first couple of years of use, and therefore all costs related to the purchase of headsets and related items are fully recognized during the year purchased. Copyright © 91 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Which of the following was the most important to you in deciding which brand of headsets to purchase? Performance & reliability 46.9% 18.6% Competitive price Audio quality 14.5% Agent comfort 7.9% Service and warranty agreement 3.1% Durability 1.4% Other 7.6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Figure 47. Most important factor in deciding which brand of headset to purchase Question: Which of the following was the most important to you in deciding which brand of headsets to purchase? Finding: By a margin of 2.5 to 1 (46.9% vs. 18.6%), call centers surveyed indicated performance & reliability rather than cost as the most important consideration in their decision which brand of headset to purchase. Interpretation: The results of this question in our One-Minute Survey™ closely parallel the response to question 5 of Survey One. Given the much larger sample size of the One-Minute Survey™, this data is more indicative of the general attitude across the entire contact center industry regarding factors that dictate the selection of a particular brand of headset. However, it is important to note that both surveys showed that call center managers share similar preferences regarding reasons for headset brand selection purchases. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 92 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers Summary of Key Research Findings • All respondents purchased headsets in 2004; 83% of respondents purchased new units while the remainder purchased used. • When it came to headset brand selection, 36.8% of survey respondents indicated that their choice was based on “quality, performance, and reliability;” this was higher than any other selection criteria, including price. • Nine out of every ten respondents indicated that they felt comfortable with their current headset service provider. • Only slightly more than one-third of the centers are using current technologies (USB and Blue Tooth), and less than one half of the centers that use wireless headsets employ 2.4 GHz technology. • About three-quarters of respondents indicated that they were “fairly satisfied” or “satisfied” with their present headset management systems. • Surprisingly, only 1 in 12 respondents offer their agents training in the hygienic use of headsets. • Training in the proper use and storage of headsets was somewhat better though still surprisingly low. Copyright © 93 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report B est Practice Recommendations Centralized Accountability for Headset Management • It is considered best practice to centralize headset management accountability. Having headset procedures and systems in place will save you time and money. The goal is to eliminate the all too common practice of having headsets and parts crammed in boxes, stuffed under desks, scrapped in cabinets at the end of the hall, etc. In these less-than-ideal scenarios, whenever a headset breaks, someone has to leave the floor in hopes of retrieving a working unit. The result in lost time and a negative impact on performance metrics. The team member responsible for inventory should ensure that working headsets are always available and those that are not are quickly turned around for repair and/or return. • Decide who will manage your headsets. In smaller call centers, the best practice is to assign a call center leader who can own the process and start to implement procedures and be accountable for managing all headset-related inventory. This accountability is a portion of the leader’s position description. • In larger call centers (500+ agents), managing headset-related inventory may require a full-time person. • Those centers that manage their headset inventory typically track headsets on three different spreadsheets: 1) headsets in stock/available, 2) headsets waiting for repair, and 3) headsets out for repair. Some manage their inventory electronically, while others choose to track theirs on paper. Headset Selection Process • Your business relies on clear, effective communications with your customers, and the headset is the most important link between your agents and your customers. Selecting headsets, and a headset company, is an important decision for your business. A call center’s management team, with members from training and/or quality assurance, is typically given accountability for headset purchasing decisions. This team’s responsibility is to research headset brands and model features and order several different ones. After agents have the chance to “test drive” the headsets and critique them, the management team makes purchasing decisions. • When selecting new headsets, best practices include a thorough comparison of headset brands and models. Most centers typically buy one brand but have 2—3 wearing styles available to accommodate agent wearing preferences and the call center environment. Typically, ordering one brand from one supplier results in volume purchase discounts. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 94 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers • A thorough headset selection comparison should include addressing the following issues to ensure you make the best selection choice for your center’s needs and budget: o Noise level. Determine your call center’s noise level so you can select the appropriate headsets. Does your vendor offer a complete line of headsets available with both Voice Tube and Noise Canceling microphones? Investing in features that you may not need, or skimping on those you do, can leave you with headsets that don’t function well in your particular call center environment. o Know your vendor. Consider your headset vendor as you would any other critical business partner. Do they have the necessary experience? Do they understand call centers? Can they support you throughout the sales and support process? Are they financially stable for the long term? o Product range. Does the vendor of choice offer a full range of products? Comfortable agents are productive agents, and there are many headset styles to meet individual needs. It’s never a “one size fits all” situation. To increase agent productivity and monitor customer satisfaction, choose a vendor that has a cordless option for coaches or supervisors to move freely from agent to agent. o One supplier. Consider standardizing on one headset manufacturer and supplier. When developing a call center, or looking to update your inventory, identify one solid supply chain that can meet all your needs. This will lower your transaction costs, which can lower your overall cost of ownership. o Inventory management. Be thorough in considering inventory management. Where are you going to store and how do you keep track of your headset inventory? Identify a vendor that offers inventory management solutions. o Sales and support. Think about how your headsets will be serviced postsale. Make sure that you identify a headset supply chain that will provide you 24-hour support. Having headsets work around the clock is crucial. Without headsets, agents don’t answer calls, and sales don’t get made. o Agent training. Remember that agents need training on how to use, care for and maintain headsets. Trained agents will protect your headset investment. Some vendors provide onsite training, computer-based training, training videos and interactive tutorials. o The sound of the future. Consider if your manufacturer is continuing to invest R&D dollars in the call center. The headset is the last link between agents and customers; it should provide superior sound quality, fit, comfort, and stability, allowing agents to focus on calls and close sales, rather than being hassled by inadequate headsets. o Determine what you’re getting for your money. Due diligence requires that you compare not only one headset price to others but ensure that you Copyright © 95 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report are buying the best value your center can afford. The cheapest headset will seldom prove to be the best value. Don’t forget to consider each headset’s ability to deliver the kind of service your customers expect while managing to budget. o Determine if the sound quality heard by both the agent and the customer is strong and clear. o Determine if the headset will be comfortable for a call center agent to wear for a full shift. o Ensure the headset offers a snug fit that will stay in place. o Be sure the volume controls can be adjusted easily and offer an adequate range of control. o If you are considering the purchase of a wired headset, ensure the cord is long enough to allow adequate agent movement. o Be sure the quick disconnect is truly quick and easy. And ensure the agent can reconnect without hassle. Without an effective quick disconnect system, agents might not have ready access to remote consulting sources. If the agent has to hang up on callers and call them back later, she is not only increasing her Average Work Time (AWT) but is incurring unnecessary telecom charges, too. o Determine if binaural (both ears) or monaural (one ear) headsets are more appropriate for your agents. If your agents seldom have the need to consult with others in their call center, binaural headsets may be the better choice because they increase call clarity. Monaural headsets will likely be more effective for those agents who depend more heavily on the consultation of other team members within their call center. o Check to see if the microphone is easy to adjust and one that won’t get in the agent’s way. o If your center is considering going wireless, consider the user density of your center. Ask yourself: What is our building’s layout and employee distribution within this space? User density refers to the number of wireless units that can be used in one space before interference begins between those units. This can be a critical issue in environments where a large number of employees use wireless units within close proximity of each other. o If your center utilizes wireless headsets or is considering purchasing them, ensure the supplier offers a money back guarantee on security and density. This offers greater assurance against transmission interference. This reduces the occurrence of cross talk (when one receiver picks up the conversation of another transmitter). o Check to see if the headsets you’re considering are compatible with USB (Universal Serial Bus). USB is a high-speed digital connection © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 96 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers directly into your PC. The USB connector is now ubiquitous, as it has been included on virtually every PC sold over the past several years. Connecting a headset via a PC’s USB port allows you to bypass the sound card entirely, resulting in a cleaner, stronger signal. Headsets are currently available that utilize the USB port of an agent’s workstation commonly used in VoIP applications. Some advanced USB types of headsets have remote call detection and answer/end capability utilizing specialized software that produces superior sound quality. Budgeting for the Purchase and Repair of Headsets • Analyze your headset expenses over a two to four year period – not just upfront purchase price. The purchase price accounts for only half of the costs over time. Repairs, spare parts, shrinkage, mismanaged inventories, and warranties comprise the remainder of the expenses. Identify all costs up front so you have a complete picture of your financial investment. • Seventy-one percent of respondents to Survey Two indicate that their call centers consider headset and related purchases as expense items, rather than capitalized items. • Almost 90% of call centers in Survey Two report that they spend less than $5,000 per year on headset repair/replacement. • Of the call centers who responded to Survey Two, 71% reported that they pay between $51 - $150 per new wired headset. • Only 34.5% of the call centers that responded to Survey Two indicate that they use wireless headsets. Of this group, over 90% indicate that they pay between $101 to more than $200 per wireless unit. • It is considered best practice to maintain a separate budget for headset repair and replacements. Expenses are more easily monitored and managed this way. • Best practice is to secure a service guarantee from the headset distributor that promises to send out a replacement headset before receiving the damaged unit. • Best practice is to turn in damaged, out-of-warranty headsets for a credit towards the purchase of new units. Agent Training in Headset Usage, Care, and Hygiene • While the number of call centers that provide agents training on headset cleaning and hygiene, proper storage, and usage was disappointingly low, best in practice centers provide this education in initial training. Further, during the cold and flu season, these centers offer agents e-mail refreshers on headset cleaning and hygiene. • Best in practice centers advise agents returning from sick leave to turn in their headset for a refurbished, clean unit. The headsets that are turned in are sprayed Copyright © 97 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report with an antiseptic and thoroughly cleaned with alcohol wipes before being reassigned. • Some best in practice centers offer agents replacement earmuffs and alcohol wipes for a nominal fee via vending machines within the call center. • One best practice center cut cost on disinfectant wipes by discontinuing their use of pre-packaged ones in favor of “home made” wipes. Call center leaders purchase in bulk Kimberly Clark paper towels and Top Job industrial-use antibacterial powder. Leaders then make their own disinfectant wipes for a fraction of what they had been paying for the ready-made ones. • Another best practice is to provide agents headset pouches for storage when their headsets are not in use (overnight and throughout extended time away from the call center). These pouches are then stored in locked file drawers, lockers, or cabinets. This practice not only reduces the risk of spreading germs and infections but also protects units from damage and theft. Theft Deterrence • While the majority of centers in our study did not report issues with headset theft, this was more of an issue in large call centers where multiple shifts of agents shared the same workspace. One center deals effectively with this issue by mounting large, self-designed platforms (16” wide by 24” long) with curved tops, which hang over the top of workstation walls. The ACD phone base, headset interface amplifier, and headset jack are attached by screws and fastened to the platform. The agent simply affixes her own earmuff and microphone cover or voice tube to set up for work. While few, if any, theft deterrents are 100% effective, this platform is large enough to make carrying it out of the building difficult. (This same center eventually contracted with a headset maker to build these platforms. The center’s procurement group is responsible for affixing the hardware to the platforms.) • Another practice is to have agents purchase their own headsets. This agentcentered accountability is a way some centers choose to manage costs. When headsets require repair, the call center provides the agent with a loaner. S ummary and Conclusions The equipment used by call center agents—particularly headsets—has a greater impact on productivity than is sometimes acknowledged by busy call center leaders. To reduce after call work time and increase Return on Investment in their call centers, leaders would be wise to acknowledge that consistent call clarity is job number one. An effective headset management system—including money spent on high-quality headsets—is an investment in agent stress reduction, customer satisfaction, and the all-important bottom line. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 98 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 7: Best Practices in Headset Management in Call Centers Following are some summary points pertaining to effective headset management worth remembering: • The cheapest headsets available are not typically the best values available. Savvy call center leaders know that real value most often comes in the form of competitive product performance, reliability, service agreements and warranties. • Effective headset management often requires a centrally managed inventory system. In small call centers, this may be a portion of one team member’s role. In larger centers, it may require the full dedication of a team member. • Training agents in proper headset use, storage, and hygiene practices will most certainly pay for itself in terms lower agent sick leave and fewer occurrences of headset theft and damage. • Though headsets are inexpensive when compared to call center salaries, telecom costs, computers, and other equipment, the effective management of them can result in tangible savings such as lower headset repair and replacement, telecom, and agent sick time expenses, and improved productivity. Copyright © 99 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 8: PURDUE UNIVERSITY CALL CENTER CERTIFICATION Copyright © 101 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 8: Purdue University Call Center Certification I ntroduction to Cert i fication As the customer service call center has become the most vital interface between a company and its customers, it has become critical that the call handling process be conducted both effectively and efficiently. Many companies now want a “third party” opinion regarding how well their call center is functioning in its strategic role of getting, keeping, and growing customers. This business need to rate the performance of a company’s mission-critical call center has lead to call center certification. Call center managers who wish to implement best practices and attain world-class performance in their industry can call upon us to certify their call centers. Our rigorous certification process has the advantage of referencing all performance goals to our best practice database of thousands of call centers. Thus, you will be held to performance levels that will improve your competitive position, not just force you to adhere to an arbitrary standard. This makes our certification process management’s best path to a Center of Quality. Our certification program is unique in the world as it sets performance standards according to peer group best practices. The statistics are determined through continuous processing of thousands of performance metrics stored in our data warehouse, which is the largest in the world. Certification is performed either directly by us, or else by an independent consultant who has completed a special training class offered through the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University and who has passed the Call Center Certification Auditor Examination. H ow the Purdue University Call Center Certification is Unique Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality, through its business partner BenchmarkPortal, manages a data warehouse of call center best practice statistics on thousands of call centers in 24 industry segments. These performance data are kept current and accurate, and are used by call center professionals worldwide to establish goals for best practice call center performance. Our call center certification process is unique in the following ways: • Our certification process is based strictly on a quantitative approach, as compared to a qualitative approach where most performance issues depend largely upon the judgment of a trained auditor. • Our certification process begins with a thorough statistical comparison between the call center striving to be certified and a “peer group” of similar call centers in the same industry sector. • Our certification process is based on a “balanced score-card” approach of performance comparison, namely, certified call centers are able to manage call handling at a high level of both efficiency and effectiveness, i.e., at both “high quantity of calls, and high quality for each call.” Copyright © 103 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report • Our certification process relies completely on statistical methods of performance benchmarking that pinpoint areas of high performance, and quantify gaps in areas of low performance. • Our certification process is academically based, and uses only established scientific methods to measure the achievement of certifiable best practices standards. T he Steps in the Certification Process The call center certification process is conducted in four phases as follows: Phase One - An in-depth performance benchmark audit of your call center is conducted. In this process, we compare your performance with a statistically valid sample of call centers that are functionally similar to your call center in size, type of calls handled, and industry segment. We call this Your Peer Group. The Phase One report indicates specifically and quantitatively all the performance gaps in your current call center deployment. Hiring New Employees Employee Internal Communications Caller Self Service Training Employees Employee Development Caller Service Recovery Real-Time Expert Help Employee Compensation Caller Satisfaction Measurement Service Improvement Call Center Performance Evaluation Reporting Knowledge Access Workforce Optimization Call Routing Call Quality Monitoring Figure 48. The sixteen key call center processes Phase Two – We may conduct a “deep dive” into the major gaps that were highlighted in the Phase One report. This discovery process focuses on sixteen key call center processes (see the figure above). The Phase Two report is a series of specific recommendations for call center improvement leading to certification. Phase Three - We conduct another in-depth performance benchmark of your call center to ensure that you have reached the quantitative performance level needed for full certification. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 104 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 8: Purdue University Call Center Certification Phase Four - We come back annually to benchmark your performance to ensure that you are continuing to operate your call center at or above the quantitative performance level needed to maintain full certification. The complete audit requires a minimum of two days on-site at your call center. Most call centers managers find tremendous value in having a qualified consultant help them to a) focus on those metrics crucial to their success; b) gather and input data correctly; c) interpret our reports so as to get highest value-added from the benchmarking process. The reports required for the audit and travel expenses are billed separately. Figure 49. Example of Certificate of Center of Excellence awarded by Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. Signed by Dr. Jon Anton Copyright © 105 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 9: BENCHMARKING METHODOLOGY: A CASE STUDY Copyright © 107 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 9: Benchmarking Methodology: A Case Study I ntroduction Over the past decade, the call center has moved from a back-office cost center to the front line of the current corporate customer relationship management (also know as “CRM”) strategy. In this migration to CRM, the importance of the telephone service representative (often referred to as a “TSR” or “agent”) has gone from the need for individuals with minimum skills at minimum pay to the need for the sophisticated “knowledge worker” of the present and future. In parallel with this evolution, technology has opened several additional channels of communication between customer and companies. The two most popular with customers are e-mail and the corporate Web site. Management of customer relationships through these additional channels has added an “e” to CRM, namely electronic customer relationship management (now called “e-CRM”). With the additional management challenge of these new channels, the call center itself is in a transitory state as it moves more and more to becoming the e-business center of the future. Now that top executives are convinced that the e-business center is a strategic weapon for: (a) getting customers, (b) keeping customers, and (c) growing profitable customers, the importance of performance benchmarking (defined below) has become mission critical. This chapter describes, in detail, a case study where benchmarking was able to determine important gaps in call center performance, and then pinpoint areas of improvement in human resource management. The case study focuses on a bank call center handling predominately inbound, customer service calls. D efinition of Case Study Terminology The following are definitions of terms used in this case study presentation: An Inbound Customer Service Call Center is any group of agents whose inbound calls are routed by an automatic call distributor (also known as an “ACD”). The ACD automatically routes each inbound call to the agent based on one or both of the following routing rules: (a.) the next available agent, and/or (b) the next available agent who has the proper skills and knowledge to best handle the caller’s issues. Human Resource Management (or HR), for the purpose of this case study, shall be that team of professionals in the call center that recruits, screens, trains, and monitors the agents. Performance Benchmarking is a structured, analytical method of comparing the performance of two or more call centers in order to determine best practice goals and to ensure competitive CRM functionality leading to market dominance. The Efficiency Index is a combination of performance metrics that are related to productivity. Examples would be average talk time, average after call work time, calls per agent per shift, and the like. Copyright © 109 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report The Effectiveness Index is a combination of performance metrics that are related to quality. Examples would be caller satisfaction, calls handled on the first call, and the like. More on the calculations of this important index can be found at <www.BenchmarkPortal.com>. The Call Center Performance Index (TPI**) is a balance scorecard that combines the Effectiveness Index and the Efficiency Index into one combined index of performance. Best Practices are the acceptable levels of performance that come about by benchmarking the best performers in any particular group. In the benchmarking methodology developed by the author, the peer group call centers are first ranked by TPI**. The best practice metrics for that peer group are determined by averaging the performance metrics of the top 25% of the peer group. To get the best practices for an industry segment, for instance, banks, first rank all bank call centers by TPI**, then select the top 25%, then average their metrics to determine the best practices for the banking industry segment. e-CRM is best defined by considering three distinctly different customer needs, as follows: Operational e-CRM is the seamless accessibility through all communication channels (also sometimes referred to as customer “touch-points”) by the customer to mission-critical information related to the purchase, use, servicing, and repurchase of a company’s products or services. Analytical e-CRM is the monitoring and analysis of each e-interaction, through any channel or touch-point that a customer has with the company, whether this is by telephone, email, or through a Web site visit. Collaborative e-CRM is the customization and personalization of all future customer e-interaction based on what was learned from all previous interactions. A Peer Group, for the purposes of this benchmarking case study, shall be any group of call centers that has a similar profile to the call center being benchmarked. Example of profile delimiters are as follows: industry segment (i.e., banking/financial services), inbound versus outbound calls, annual call volumes, number of agents, type of calls handled, and many more. The Peer Group Best as used in reports in this case study is the top 25% of a peer group based on TPI**. An Actionable Report is a report that makes it very clear what action needs to be taken by the manager using the report. Agent Occupancy, or occupancy factor is determined by taking the time that agents are in their seats ready to answer calls as compared to the total number of hours that they are at work. Therefore, if an agent is at their desk and ready to answer phone calls 4 hours out of an 8-hour shift, the agent occupancy rate is 50%. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 110 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 9: Benchmarking Methodology: A Case Study Agent Adherence to schedule is a measure of whether agents are “on the job” as scheduled. Adherence is determined by comparing scheduled time when an agent is “supposed” to be at work, as compared to the actual time the agent is actually at work. The question, “how often do agents deviate from their schedule” is answered by this metric. Aptitude Testing includes a range of personality testing products that tend to predict if an agent has the right “genes” to give great customer service. These tests have been validated specifically for the screening of agents. There are also a range of “realistic job preview” simulators that allow agent job applicants to spend time in a simulated call handling environment to see if they have the right combination of attitude and aptitude to do call handling as a long-term job commitment. Skill-Based Routing of calls is a product offering by the major switch manufacturers that routes calls not only to the next available agent, but more importantly to the next available agent that has the proper skills to handle the caller’s issue. C ase Study Specifics This is a detailed case study of the benchmarking experience of a call center in a company with the following business profile: Industry Segment: Company Size: Number of Call Centers in the Company: Number of Call Centers in this Case Study: Number of Agents: Annual Call Volume Handled: Primary Functions Handled by Agents: banking/financial services $33 billion in assets 22 1 325 4,524,000 a) customer service b) complaint handling Distribution of Inbound versus Outbound: 90% inbound 10% outbound follow-up Peer Group Delimiters: a) banking/financial services b) 200 to 400 Agents c) 2 to 5 million calls handled W hy and How to Benchmark a Call Center Performance benchmarking of mission-critical company processes, e.g., accounting, manufacturing, shipping, etc., has been around for years. The process is well documented and is a popular way to answer the question “How good is good enough” when it comes to the performance of a department, or process, within an organization. As is clear from the definition, benchmarking is always a structured gap analysis of performance metrics as Copyright © 111 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report compared to organizations that have similar characteristics, i.e., it is logical to compare banks with banks, insurance companies with insurance companies, and the like. By contrast, call center benchmarking is relatively new and was first initiated at Purdue University by the author in 1995 with a grant from IBM. After more than a decade of research, the Purdue/BenchmarkPortal database of almost one terabyte of performance metrics is constantly being enhanced by new participants, and is now outsourced for data management, maintenance, and information distribution to BenchmarkPortal, Inc. (Web site at <www.BenchmarkPortal.com>). The primary reasons to benchmark a call center are as follows: 1. Comparisons help to reduce the typical barriers to change. For instance, if you know you are 50 pounds overweight as compared to your human peer group, i.e., people with the same age, gender, and ethnicity, it is more likely that you will take some action to lose weight. 2. Secondly, you can further magnify performance gaps by calculating the dollar value of poor performance. For instance, it is much less likely that you will get management’s attention if you publish a performance gap in average talk time of 1.5 minutes per call. It is much more likely that you will get immediate management attention if you instead show that a performance gap of 1.5 minutes for each call compared to your peer group adds up to over a million dollars of excess cost each year. 3. And finally, the main purpose of benchmarking is to help you select the one initiative that commits a minimum of company resources to achieve the best performance goals and objectives. Said in the modern vernacular, benchmarking helps you select the “low hanging fruit.” Call centers that wish to participate in benchmarking their performance can log into the BenchmarkPortal Web site and enter their data, click on the Peer Group Benchmarking link, and then receive the “In Depth RealityCheck™ Peer Group Report,” a complete set of benchmark reports similar to the examples discussed in this case study. This case study is about a real bank in North America that participated in the Purdue/BenchmarkPortal benchmark research, and that has given their permission to use their data without revealing the identity of the bank. The purpose of the next four sections will be: (a) to show the reports used by the bank’s benchmark team, (b) interpret the results as they did, (c) to understand the initiatives selected by the benchmarking team, and finally, (d) to report on the final actual improvements in performance that resulted six months later. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 112 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 9: Benchmarking Methodology: A Case Study T he In-Depth RealityCheck ™ P eer Group Performance Matrix The first report is called the Peer Group Performance Matrix and is shown below. © BenchmarkPortal, Inc Figure 50. Peer Group Performance Matrix The RealityCheck™ Peer Group Performance Matrix positions call centers in your Peer Group on a 2-by-2 matrix by plotting their efficiency and effectiveness indices. The Efficiency Index integrates those metrics that have an important impact on costs (quantity), while the Effectiveness Index combines metrics that correlate to caller satisfaction (quality). Thus, call centers that are able to optimize customer-centric results, while containing costs, are “Best Practices Call Centers” found in the upper-right quadrant. In summary, call centers rated an “Asset” perform the best, “Liability” the worst. What is instantly clear from the performance matrix is that the case study bank’s call center is performing at the level of a corporate liability while six of its peer group call centers are able to achieve the status of a corporate asset. Two of the peer group call centers are in the efficient but not effective quadrant. It was immediately obvious to the call center benchmarking team that they must drill down to determine what factors may be causing this less-than-acceptable performance. Though the RealityCheck™ Peer Group Performance Matrix is not an “actionable report,” it is a high-level and accurate “litmus test” of the call center’s ability to deliver up to the CRM best practice standards of peer group call centers with the same business challenges. So, the next step was to drill down to find the possible root cause(s) of the low performance. Copyright © 113 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report T he In-Depth RealityCheck ™ B alanced Scorecard The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Peer Group Performance Matrix reflects a “Balanced Scorecard” of Effectiveness and Efficiency metrics, which are calculated using the Tonchev Performance Index (TPI). These metrics are weighted to yield composite score. A typical sampling of the bank’s key metrics used by the TPI to calculate their positioning with respect to their peers on the In-Depth RealityCheck™ Peer Group Performance Matrix (Figure 50) is shown in the Balanced Scorecard as follows: A Balanced Scorecard For Sample Company Effectiveness Metrics (Y Axis) Top Box Caller-Satisfaction in Percent Your Value Industry Average 40.00 42.32 Your Value Industry Average Inbound Calls per Agent per Hour 10.50 15.00 54.78 Efficiency Metrics (X Axis) Bottom Box Caller-Satisfaction in Percent 7.00 3.36 Calculated Self Service in Percent 87.50 Top Box Agent-Satisfaction in Percent 62.00 66.00 Calculated Cost per Call in $ 6.83 4.72 Bottom Box Agent-Satisfaction in Percent 12.00 4.00 Calculated Cost per FTE in $ 145,000.00 52,685.61 Calls Closed on First Call in Percent 65.00 68.41 Average After Call Work in Minutes 2.10 0.98 Average Speed of Answer in Seconds 34.00 33.45 Turnover of Full-Time Agents in Percent 34.00 22.20 Calls Transferred in Percent 7.00 8.00 Average Talk Time in Minutes 3.75 3.22 Average Hold Time in Seconds 25.00 45.00 Agent Utilization in Percent 72.00 89.00 Average Calls Abandoned in Percent 7.00 4.72 Agent Occupancy in Percent 60.00 83.16 80% Calls Handled in xx Seconds 60.00 33.59 Calculated Center Cost per Minute in $ 72.50 56.64 Average Time in Queue in Seconds NA 27.28 Adherence to Schedule in Percent 72.00 89.08 Calls Blocked in Percent 0.00 1.33 Average Agent Attendance in Percent 75.00 89.08 Calls Opting Out of the IVR in Percent 17.00 54.00 Auxiliary Time in Percent 12.00 6.00 Avg Time Before Abandoning in Seconds 71.00 57.68 Agents/Supervisor Ratio 12.00 10.94 * Represents a Normalized Value. ^ Represents an out of range value. N/A Represents Data Not Available. © BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Patented 2005 TM In-Depth Realit yCheck Figure 51. Balanced Scorecard It is noteworthy to point out that the In-Depth RealityCheck™ survey is designed to collect fundamental, industry-wide performance contact center metrics used to compare contact centers of similar characteristics (e.g., annual call volume, agent staffing size, human resources, customer satisfaction measurement, operating budget size, call-types handled, etc.). It is intended for inbound customer contact center operations encompassing a wide range of contact center key performance indicators. Contact centers managers will find ample grounds for peer group and best-in-class comparison. The survey includes slightly over 40 questions that cover: • • • © Copyright Classification Costs Human Resources • • • 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 114 Performance Measurement Satisfaction Measurement Support Center Strategy This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 9: Benchmarking Methodology: A Case Study T he In-Depth RealityCheck ™ I nbound Performance Comparison Report The next drill-down report is called the Peer Group Comparison Report. A partial listing of this report is shown in the table below, as follows: Inbound Performance Comparisons Your Response Peer Group Average Average speed of answer in seconds 34.00 Average talk time in minutes (includes hold time) 3.75 Average after call work time in minutes Average time in queue in seconds Your Gap Industry Average Your Gap 24.78 -9.22 33.45 -0.55 3.22 -0.53 4.23 -0.48 2.10 Average Time-Based Metrics: 0.65 -1.45 0.98 -1.12 Left Blank 24.89 N/A 27.28 N/A Average time before abandoning in seconds 71.00 62.17 -8.83 57.68 -13.32 Average caller hold time in seconds while connected to an agent 25.00 7.50 -17.50 45.00 -20.00 -2.28% Average Percentage-Based Metrics: Average abandoned in percent 7.00% 4.29% -2.71% 4.72% Calls resolved on first call in percent 65.00% 77.30% -12.30% 68.41% -3.41% Agent occupancy in percent 60.00% 83.16% -23.16% 79.22% -19.22% Adherence to schedule in percent 72.00% 89.01% -17.01% 84.18% -12.18% Average attendance in percent 75.00% 90.39% -15.39% 89.08% -14.08% Average Auxiliary (Aux) Time in percent 12.00% 5.00% -7.00% 9.00% -3.00% Average Utilization in percent 72.00% 89.00% -17.00% 89.00% -17.00% © BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Figure 52. Inbound Performance Comparisons The In-Depth RealityCheck™ report shows the call center performance metrics descriptions in the first column followed by a column with the actual call center performance metrics of the case study bank (noted as “Your Response”), then the peer group averages along with the performance gaps, followed by the averages and performance gaps for all participants. For brevity purposes, only fourteen call center performance metrics are shown and these are specifically chosen because they highlight HR management opportunities the main topic of this case study. It immediately became clear to the benchmarking team that the case study call center is under performing on all the HR-related metrics shown in the table in Figure 52 above. — At this stage of the drill-down research by the benchmarking team, it was already becoming clear which metric might be causing the biggest impact on performance. The most important caller satisfaction driver is the ability of a call center to answers callers’ questions on the first call with no transfers and no callbacks. In the above table, this metric is called the “average first/final calls” (also sometimes called “average once and done calls”). In the report above, the case study bank’s score is 65% as compared with the peer group of banks at 77.3%. This may appear to be a small difference (only 12.3%), but when the cost of this lack of performance is calculated for this bank, it totals over two million dollars each year, which means it is definitely worth launching an improvement initiative. Copyright © 115 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report T he In-Depth RealityCheck ™ P erformance Ranking Report The third drill-down report is called the Peer Group Ranking Report. A partial listing of this report is shown below. ©BenchmarkPortal, ©BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Figure 52. Peer Group Ranking Report The In-Depth RealityCheck™ Performance Ranking Report gives the benchmarking team an even more granular look at how the case study bank compares, metric for metric, with its peer group of banks. For instance, when it comes to blocked calls, the case study bank is actually doing rather well, performing in the 95.7 percentile and ranks second. However, in the very important performance HR management metric of agent Occupancy, the case study bank is only ranked 11th, and only in the 18th percentile. This report is focused on selecting the one metric that may be causing the most damage to performance, i.e., finding the “lowest hanging fruit” to which you can direct a focused budget for an improvement initiative. Not shown in this table, is the fact that on the metric of “average first/final calls,” the case study bank was at the bottom of the heap, i.e., performed the absolute worst. This became the focus of the bank’s benchmarking team. R esults and Conclusions From the previous reports, the case study benchmarking team decided that the biggest negative gap in performance seems to be the average first/final calls, or “once and done calls.” It became clear that applicant testing and skill-based routing are high on the list of potential improvement initiatives. In this particular example, the bank’s benchmarking team received management’s approval to pursue both initiatives. Specifications were prepared, a request-for-proposal (also called “RFP”) was issued, vendors were selected, and the initiatives were launched and successfully completed. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 116 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 9: Benchmarking Methodology: A Case Study Six months after the successful installation and implementation of the two improvement initiatives, the following results were tabulated: • • • • • Percent “first/final calls” improved by 11.6%. Average time in queue was reduced by 2.8%. Average agent occupancy was improved by just over 6%. Calls per agents per shift were increased by 9.4%. Caller satisfaction rose by almost 7%. The bank in this case study spent approximately $600,000 for the two improvement initiatives, which included the selection process, the cost of the software/hardware products, the training costs of the agents, and the installation services costs from a thirdparty integrator. When the improved metrics were converted to new revenue, reduced operating cost, and customer satisfaction, the estimated ROI indicated complete payback in less than 16 months of operation. In conclusion, benchmarking cannot guarantee the success of any improvement initiative. However, this case study does prove that by scientifically selecting initiatives based on “hard facts,” not just personal intuition, (sometimes called “gut feel”), management can effectively target improvements that have the maximum impact on the company’s bottom-line profits. R eferences 1. Call Center Benchmarking, Dr. Jon Anton and Stijn Spit. 2. Benchmarking at its Best for Contact Centers, Bruce Belfiore, with Dr. Jon Anton. 3. The Tonchev Performance Index for Call Center Best Practices**, Dr. Jon Anton, Angel Tonchev and Christo Tonchev. 4. BenchmarkPortal Web site at <www.BenchmarkPortal.com>. ** The Tonchev Performance Index (a.k.a., TPI) for Call Center Best Practices was used to calculate performance for this case study. Copyright © 117 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CHAPTER 10: PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR Copyright © 119 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Chapter 10: Principal Investigator Dr. Jon Anton (also known as “Dr. Jon”) is the director of benchmark research at Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. He specializes in enhancing customer service strategy through inbound call centers, and e-business centers, using the latest in telecommunications (voice), and computer (digital) technology. He also focuses on using the Internet for external customer access, as well as Intranets and middleware. Since 1995, Dr. Jon has been the principal investigator of the Purdue University Call Center Benchmark Research. This data is now collected at the BenchmarkPortal.com Web site, where it is placed into a data warehouse that currently contains over ten million data points on call center performance. Based on the analysis of this data, Dr. Jon authors the following monthly publications: “The Purdue Page” in Call Center Magazine, “Dr. Jon’s Benchmarks” in Call Center News, “Dr. Jon’s Industry Statistics” in Customer Interface Magazine, and “Dr. Jon’s Business Intelligence” in the Call Center Manager’s Report. Dr. Jon has assisted over 400 companies in improving their customer service strategy/delivery by the design and implementation of inbound and outbound call centers, as well as in the decision-making process of using teleservices providers for maximizing service levels while minimizing costs per call. In August of 1996, Call Center Magazine honored Dr. Jon by selecting him as an Original Pioneer of the emerging call center industry. In October of 2000, Dr. Jon was named to the Call Center Hall of Fame. In January of 2001, Dr. Jon was selected for the industry’s “Leaders and Legends” Award by Help Desk 2000. Dr. Jon is also a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Dr. Jon has guided corporate executives in strategically re-positioning their call centers as robust customer access centers through a combination of benchmarking, reengineering, consolidation, outsourcing, and Web-enablement. The resulting single point of contact for the customer allows business to be conducted anywhere, anytime, and in any form. By better understanding the customer lifetime value, Dr. Jon has developed techniques for calculating the ROI for customer service initiatives. Dr. Jon has published 117 papers on customer service and call center methods in industry journals. In 1997, one of his papers on self-service was awarded the best article of the year by Customer Relationship Management Magazine. Dr. Jon has published twenty-four professional books: 1. Enabling IVR Self-Service with Speech Recognition 2. Contact Center Management By The Numbers 3. Managing Web-Based Customer Experiences 4. From Cost to Profit Center: How Technology Enables the Difference 5. Customer Service and the Human Experience: We, the People, Make a Difference 6. Customer Service at a Crossroads Copyright © 121 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 7. Offshore Outsourcing Opportunities 8. Optimizing Outbound Calling 9. Customer Relationship Management Technology 10. Customer Obsession: Your Roadmap to Profitable CRM 11. Integrating People with Process and Technology 12. Selecting a Teleservices Partner 13. How to Conduct a Call Center Performance Audit: A to Z 14. 20:20 CRM A Visionary Insight into Unique Customer Contact 15. Minimizing Agent Turnover 16. e-Business Customer Service 17. Customer Relationship Management 18. Call Center Performance Enhancement Using Simulation and Modeling 19. Call Center Benchmarking: How Good is “Good Enough” 20. Listening to the Voice of the Customer 21. Contact Center Management by the Numbers 22. Customer Relationship Management: Making Hard Decisions with Soft Numbers 23. Inbound Customer Contact Center Design 24. Computer-Assisted Learning Dr. Jon is the editor for a series of professional books entitled Customer Access Management, published by the Purdue University Press. Dr. Jon’s formal education was in technology, including a Doctorate of Science and a Master of Science from Harvard University, a Master of Science from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed a three-summer intensive Executive Education program in Business at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Dr. Jon can be reached at 765.494.8357, or at <DrJonAnton@BenchmarkPortal.com>. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 122 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM THE POPULAR “ASK DR. JON” COLUMN Copyright © 123 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Call Center Performance Evaluation” Question Are the any client references that you can offer for Benchmarking? Answer Yes, we have many companies willing to talk to you about their benchmarking experience. We do not just give out names and email address, because we need to know who you are, and what industry you’re in, and then connect you with the best reference. I suggest you email me at DrJonAnton@BenchmarkPortal.com with your details. Do your senior executives respond to results from call As C-level interest in call center operations as grown center performance benchmark studies? over the years, more executives are asking the questions “How good of a job are we doing?” and “How good is good enough?” As interest in call center performance has grown, they are becoming aware that the most direct path to answering these questions is through benchmark studies comparing themselves with other similar call centers. Our call center is looking for the Original Online I hope that someone from my team has contacted you Questionnaire to compare our call center with other concerning the original questionnaire. If you have call centers. We can provide Our Center Performance further questions, please contact me. index to you. And we want you to check our performance. I want to know how to do this. Please help me. The term “world class performance” is often bandied about in the industry. Are there any metrics that are actually used as a benchmark to determine so-called “world class performance?” I think if anyone is qualified to answer this question, it is you. “World class” is often used qualitatively but seldom quantified. In my opinion, the only way to truly determine world-class performance is to compare your call center with a Peer Group of similar call centers with similar challenges. On our Web site, you can select your Peer Group by determining one or more of the following parameters: 1) percentage of inbound calls handled, 2) percentage of business-to-business calls, 3) total volume of calls handled annually, 4) total number of full-time equivalents, 5) type of call handled (such as customer service or tech support) and 6) many other “apples to apples” parameters. If you select such a group of “like” centers, and your performance places you in the top ten percentile based on the call center performance index (CPI), you are truly “world class.” What does a call center have to do to renew certification? Once certified as a “Center of Excellence,” a call center must maintain its superior performance and this is audited annually by a BenchmarkPortal approved auditor. Copyright © 125 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Call Quality Monitoring” Question Answer Does the time spent monitoring and coaching agents have any effect on key call center performance metrics? In this case, monitoring includes side-by-side coaching, analog call recording, and digital voice and data recording. If our database is divided into two parts, that is, those that do not monitor, we observe the following differences among those that do monitor: a) average speed of answer is 19% lower, b) average talk time decreases by 29% and c) after-call work time is nearly three times lower. We met at the STI meeting in Wash. DC. Could you We normally use 10 seconds, and this mostly screens for wrong numbers. tell me what the standard is for discarding abandon calls on a Tech. Help Desk? My Help Desk is trying to determine whether to use 5 or 10 seconds as the standard. Thanks very much. How can I estimate the number of calls by month to be monitoring by CSR? Which is the way that I can random the calls to be monitored? How is it correct to calculate the number of monitored calls, by the offered calls, the attendance calls or by the number of agents? Great questions. We have just completed our study on best practices in Agent Monitoring and Coaching, which explains all of your questions and more. Please check it out on our Web site bookstore, or contact MichaelFeinberg@BenchmarkPortal.com We are outsourcing customer service contact center and back office operations to our data processing technology provider. We plan to review recorded calls already. What software tools, vendors, and products would you recommend that would enable us to monitor live calls from our remote location? Thank you. Thank you for your question. We have just completed an extensive study on the best practices in Agent Monitoring and Coaching. It includes the “how” and the “what” and also has a complete list of vendors that supply this solution. Please check our Web site bookstore for details, or contact MichaelFeinberg@BenchmarkPortal.com We hear a lot about the need to measure agent performance metrics to better conduct coaching sessions. From your industry research, what are the top three agent performance measures? From our benchmark research, we have found that the most popular metrics used to measure and coach agent performance are: a) call quality monitoring (often voice and screen capture); b) attendance; c) call handle time; d) caller satisfaction results; and e) input accuracy. What are your thoughts on the impact of wireless headsets for the purposes of quality monitoring? Wireless headsets are excellent for the purposes of quality monitoring. Highly recommend checking this out. What performance metric is the most likely to be improved if we add agent monitoring or coaching software to our call center? I am specifically talking about software that records a conversation between a caller and an agent and captures the agent's screen during the call. Based on our research, call centers that use monitoring or coaching software show measurable improvement in average talk time, average after-call work time and the number of calls resolved on the first contact © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 126 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Call Routing” Question Answer Do you have information regarding reduction in call handle times associated with skills-based routing in call centers? Our benchmark research shows a possible 18 percent reduction in call handle times associated with the application of a skills-based routing package. The return on investment is usually rather large. This reduction in call handling time is even greater if the call center in question has the need for highly specialized call handlers and can easily identify several levels of call handling skills among its agents. I hear a lot about caller value segmentation. What is this and could you give me an example? With customer value segmentation you can pinpoint your best customers (i.e., for the airlines, those in the 100K-mile category). With your center's ability to recognize callers' phone numbers, it's possible to detect callers who represent more value to your company than other callers. Routing high-value callers differently is called value-based routing. For instance, let's say I am a 1OOK-mile traveler with one of the major airlines. When I call this airline from my home or my office, I am routed out of the normally long queue to a special group of agents dedicated to high-value travelers. But if I call from a pay phone, the center doesn't recognize me, and I am routed to the regular queue. That's the result of caller value segmentation I manage a call center for a health care organization. The callers requesting our services need to speak with as many as 4 different areas or departments. This could mean direct transfers or callbacks. At each of these steps we lose a percentage of our callers. Is this a common problem with this system? What % of callers should I expect to lose with each step? WOW, this is very unusual. I do not think you can afford to lose ANY callers as they are transferred. I manage a contact center in Dallas Texas for a company called TNB Card Services. We are fortunate that our containment rate is typically between 78-80%. My questions is this: As service provider (Customer Service) for credit cards, what is the average time a caller spends in the IVR? Like so many of my answers, it depends on the circumstances. In a properly designed IVR messaging system, a customer spends less than 30 seconds working through the menus to find the right queue to be in to get the response they are looking for. In a credit card environment, if you have a well-designed selfservice strategy in place, the customer can find and get their answer in less than 60 seconds ... more than that and the probability of them “opting out” increases quickly. Seems like there is something “systemically” wrong with the design of call handling. Needs attention. My colleague is working on a paper comparing our This answer depends on the industry and the type of transfer rates to standard 'benchmarked' rates. We call, but in general, here are the answers: Misshave two types of transfers, misroutings and additional routings = 16%Additional questions = 28% questions. Do you know what standard percentages are for these two types of transfers? We find that products that distribute calls to multiple call centers have a positive impact on the following performance metrics: average speed of answer, percentage of 'once and done calls' queue time and service levels. 127 Copyright © We are considering software that would allow us to utilize agents in two separate locations to respond to inbound calls (such as through load balancing). Are there any statistics on how this software can affect our call center performance metrics? 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer We need various Benchmarks (from any industry) of the distribution between customers using IVR vs. customers using a call center representative for payment with credit cards. In the US, the cross-industry benchmark for customers with “delinquent accounts” using IVR versus live agents to make payments with credit cards is as follows: 23% use IVR 77% talk to a live agent BTW, this is in contrast to the normal usage of IVR for self-service by customers, where on-average, 72% of all informational calls in consumer-product industries are handled by IVR self service. What percentage of companies in the consumer products industry and in the retail industry have their collections done through a call center? To whom do they report (finance / customer service / other)? What are the collections call center responsibilities? Thank you What percentage of companies in the consumer products industry and in the retail industry have their collections done through a call center? From our database, the answer is 87%. To whom do they report (finance / customer service / other)? Typically they report to finance. What are the collections call center responsibilities? Receive the details about delinquent customers. Input their phone numbers on an auto dialer. Trained agents talk to the customers about payment. Manage by “promises to pay.” © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 128 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Caller Satisfaction Measurement” Question Answer According to you, can we measure customer satisfaction for debt recovery departments? This has been tried, but to no avail. Customer satisfaction in a collection call center is an elusive item and probably not worth measuring... Are there any best practices for determining caller satisfaction/completion rates from an IVR? For ex, if someone hangs up after we have given them a URL but before we explain an application process, should that be considered an abandon or a caller-satisfied metric? I have to hit a 20% caller satisfied within the IVR for a client, but there are disagreements as to determining an abandon versus a satisfied. Any information would be great. This is a tough, but common question. We are all trying to “make our numbers.” Specifically, if a customer hangs up after you give them a URL for self-service, you should consider this a caller satisfied metric, after all, he/she got what they need to know. Callers usually do not abandon unless they wait much too long, or they get some semblance of an answer. At our call center, we do monthly caller satisfaction surveys using a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is a perfect score. No matter how hard we try, we are not able to get our percentage of perfect calls to go over 50%. Are we doing something wrong? How do others do in this performance category? Although your scores are slightly below average, your survey results mirror our call center benchmark research. Callers are not easy to please. In fact, many respondents to post-call surveys simply do not give perfect scores. I suggest you add an open-ended question to your post-call survey that asks, “What is one thing we could have done better to improve your calling experience?” In working with call centers, I have found that this question results in many new ideas for improvement in call quality and delivery. Is there an industry standard for email and fax response times? And if so, what would it be? The answer depends on the industry. If you consider all industries, the answers are as follows: e-mail response time = 18 hours FAX response time = 6 hours Currently we have between 100 and 200 in the customer pipeline. Since we established our exclusive partnership relationship with Witness, the ECHO product/service has mushroomed. ECHO allows the customer to monitor and coach the agent…a unique concept that saves the call center tons of money. 129 Copyright © How many call centers use ECHO? 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer From recent member discussions around customer satisfaction, first contact resolution, voice of the customer and more, it has been clear that members employ a wide variety of approaches/philosophies when it comes to the timing of customer/external measurement. Some advocate within 3 days as being sufficient to retrieve an accurate customer response, some longer and a few even suggest that real-time is the way to go. In my book entitled “Listening to the Voice of the Customer” your members will find a rich array of methods to obtain timely and accurate customer feedback regarding their contacts with the company’s inbound customer service contact center. As is so true of almost everything in life, “timing is everything”. And, with no exception, timing is critical in obtaining accurate customer feedback. We have developed the Every Customer Has Opinions (ECHO for short) survey system for caller, e-mail, and chat customer feedback. Our research shows that the less time that elapses between the customer “contact” and the time you ask for feedback, the better. Regardless of how you get the feedback, i.e., IVR, e-mail, chat-window, we recommend that it either be immediately after the contact, or never more than 24 hours later...the simple fact is...customers forget the details and their answers change with time...immediacy is critical for statistically, and emotionally accurate customer feedback. How did you come up with the number of 30 minimum To be statistically valid at a 95% level of confidence with completed surveys per rep to ensure statistical validity? an accuracy of plus/minus 5%, you need 360 completed surveys from a random sample of participants (in this case callers). If you're looking for statistically accurate feedback from callers at the agent level, 30 per month, equals 360 per year, and therefore you can statistically “quote” the voice of the call in your annual reviews of agents. If we were gathering customer feedback for agents on a team level only, how many surveys would we need to gather for each and what would be the associated cost? At the team level, you would again need 360 completed surveys over the period of planned evaluation. Typically the ratio of agents to supervisors (teams) is fifteen to one. Logically then, the previously quoted agent-level cost would be divided by fifteen to get the cost per team or supervisor. In a BenchmarkPortal report it indicates that: “92% of calls were resolved on first contact versus 79% for other financial services companies.” Does this mean that if there was a problem it was completely resolved during the first contact? Percent “first contact resolution” is a key performance indicator for all call centers. It means that the caller’s issues and/or questions are resolved/answered on the first call, with no transfers and no callbacks. In regards to post call surveys, is there a “rule of thumb” as to how long (time) the surveys should be or how many questions we should ask in each survey? Should you limit the number of questions to avoid callers from hanging up early? Length of time to complete the post-call survey and/or number of questions is definitely an issue in maximizing completed surveys...tell the caller up front how the survey will take and stick to that time or less. From our experience, absolutely no more than 10 questions and/or less that three minutes. What is the benchmark for e-mail response that we should target for our center? What do customers expect? © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. These are actually two different questions. In our e-mail benchmarking studies, we find that companies with e-mail management software consistently respond to e-mail within three hours. By contrast, when we asked a large sample of customers what they expect in terms of an e-mail response, we found that 24 hours is more than satisfactory. This expectation will, of course, change over time. 130 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer What is the major difference that BenchmarkPortal offers with ECHO from the other Customer Sat. Surveys offered? ECHO has the following features that differentiate it from others: 1. It was developed by and with real customers. 2. It is scientific and statistically based. 3. It drives results to the front-line agent in real time to produce change quickly and seamlessly. 4. It is the only system that uses the caller to “monitor” the call and drive this valuable feedback directly. What is the ratio of quality audits conducted per CSR on a daily, monthly basis to call volumes in order be confident of the quality being delivered to customers? 1. For new agents, you should be doing a quality audit ratio of 10 per 100 calls 2. For experienced agents, you should be doing a quality audit ratio of 5 per 1,000 calls Percent “first contact resolution” is a key performance indicator for all call centers. It means that the caller’s issue and/or questions are resolved/answered on the first call, with no transfers and no callbacks. 131 Copyright © In the BenchmarkPortal report on service recognition, it indicates that: “92% of calls were resolved on first contact versus 79% for other financial services companies.” Does this mean that if there was a problem it was completely resolved during the first contact? (i.e. If a shareholder calls re clarification on language within a prospectus the service representative provides an answer during the call and does not have to call the shareholder back with an answer.) 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer Is there a basic ratio of number of satisfied customers that send in positive feedback to dissatisfied customers that send in complaints? (For example 1 in 100 satisfied send in a positive feedback and 10 in 100 dissatisfied send in a complaint. Which would be a 1:10 ratio.) This is an excellent question. In my research on customer behavior regarding survey response, I have found the following: 1. A customer’s willingness to respond to a survey following a customer-event (phone call, email, chat, and the like) is highly dependent on: a. The loyalty of the customer to that company (for instance, eBay members are more likely to answer surveys simply because eBay has created almost a “cult” company whose members really believe in, and want to make the company better. b. The ease with which the customer can switch vendors (for instance, a utility is more likely to get a higher response rate because customers can not change to another utility company. Therefore, the customers try to change the utility by responding to surveys. C. And finally, if the customer is really happy, or really unhappy they are more likely to respond. 2. If you research a customer’s emotional disposition following a customer-event (phone call, e-mail, and the like) their most likely emotional disposition will fall into one of the following five categories: 1 = very dissatisfied, 2 = dissatisfied, 3 = neutral, 4 = satisfied, 5 = very satisfied. Now, the probability of a customer responding to a survey following a customer-event is as follows (assuming they are in one of the emotional states described above): 1 = 90% probability they will complete the survey with a 1 2 = 30% probability they will complete the survey with a 2 3 = 05% probability they will complete the survey with a 3 4 = 30% probability they will complete the survey with a 4 5 = 50% probability they will complete the survey with a 5 Is abandon rate still a common performance standard for call centers? How does the following compare to industry standards for call center performance areas: Average Speed of Answer - 80% within 30 seconds Abandon Rate - 5% Response to inquiries - 90% within 3 business days © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Abandon rate is not a common performance standard for call centers. It depends too heavily on the patience of the caller. ASA 80/30 is not particular great. ASA in 30 seconds if an average performance. Abandon rate of 5% is definitely poor across industries, and response of 90% in 3 business days is almost at unacceptable email levels. I suggest you get one of our industry reports for your industry and compare all performance metrics. 132 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Caller Self Service” Question Answer As an outsourcer, we have a prospect (public sector) that performs the majority of their customer facing services via paper mail. We believe that a multichannel approach with a focus on self service, then email, then voice, then paper mail,(government requirement must allow paper mail hence its inclusion) would not only be a more cost effective solution for them, but it would also dramatically increase citizen satisfaction, service levels to the public and enhance their reputation as a public body. Would you have any statistics that could support us in this sell - e.g., AHT for each of the channels, contact costs per channel across public and different private sectors, satisfaction levels per channel etc Your question is a good one, and certainly opening other channels will be a blessing both for the citizen and for the “budget.” Of course, government organizations may not be so budget sensitive. We have produced an industry report on government call centers with lots of great data. I have asked Michael Feinberg to contact you regarding our existing reports. Regarding just raw statistics on the various channels, here are some stats from our various reports: Channel Cost per contact Customer sat with the channel: web self serve $0.10 High email mail $1.25 Medium web chat $2.10 High live telephone $5.50 High snail mail $9.75 Low Do you have any predictions as to the mix in the use of We use predictive analysis to understand the growth of various contact channels in the future? alternative customer contact channels, and project the following mix by the year 2005: 35% by Web selfservice, 30% by telephone, 25% by e-mail and 10% by all others. We do not think the number of inbound telephone calls will stop growing. Instead, we think the total number of contacts with companies will increase along with the changing distribution of those contacts. Americans demand easy access to the companies with whom they do business. In fact, accessibility to mission-critical information is already a recognized feature used to differentiate companies. Do you have any statistics or projections for companies From our studies we would suggest you focus on the that provide on-line customer service? following issues: a) For most companies, a robust Web site generates between four and six times more e-mail messages than toll-free calls; b) Most e-mail messages require the same amount of time as phone calls for a proper response; c) Customers like e-mail but they expect a response in fewer than 24 hours; d) The number of people required to answer e-mail can equal the number required for answering phone calls; e) E-mail staffing costs are equal to or greater than staffing costs for traditional telephone agents; f) Expect a ten to one ratio of e-mail messages to live text messages; and lastly, g) Chat session times are best kept to about four hours per day. Copyright © 133 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer I'm looking for data that supports contact reduction via Web/Chat, IVR, customer self help or other interactive self-help media's in an e-commerce Pharmacy and OTC environment. Do you have any comparative industry benchmarks for this environment? I do not have a formal study completed yet, but I am working on one. This is a very hot area and yours is a timely question. This is what I have found so far: 1. live” call reduction possibilities depend heavily on the proper integration of other channels with intuitive self-service 2. “live” call reduction after implementation of userintuitive Web/chat averages 16% depending on the complexity of the questions and the ease of finding information on the Web through natural language searches 3. “live” call reduction approaches 25% with the implementation of voice-enabled IVR solutions that provide answers to relatively simple questions. We have discovered, via surveys, that a significant percentage of our customers prefer not to use the VRU to obtain order information even though we know that, many times, the VRU can be more available and more accurate. I would like to know from a broader range, how many call centers experience this and with what percentage of their customers? From our research, consumers prefer self-service alternatives, especially if it saves them time and/or money to get the answers they are seeking. VRU usage does vary by the “reason” for the call. For instance, the following types of calls seeking simple information are excellent for VRU usage: order status or tracking, account balances, check clearance, stock quotes, flight status, prescription ordering, and the like. By contrast, the following types of calls are seldom successfully completed by VRU: technical problem resolution, complaint handling, financial planning, and the like. Lastly, the recent addition of voice recognition software to the VRU is making a substantial difference in customers' willingness to interact with VRU and conduct self-service. When first establishing a corporate Web site, what can we expect in terms of calls or e-mail messages per Web site visit? From interviewing companies in our database, we have found the following trends: 1) For a Web site with robust content that has been designed to take advantage of customers willing and able to do a high level of self-service, the ratio can be one call for every 50 visitors to the Web site and one e-mail message for every 20 visitors. 2) For a poorly designed Web site with limited content and few self help options, the ratio can be one call for every 20 visitors to the Web site and one e-mail message for every five visitors. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 134 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Caller Service Recovery” Question Answer Our management team recently went through a brief presentation on Appreciative Inquiry (AI). One of the ideas we thought about was instead of reporting on “abandonment rate”, it might be better to report on “answer rate”, or percentage of calls answered. Is this common in other contact centers today and are 3% 4% abandon rate, or 97 - 96% answer rates still consistent goals? Thank you for providing your Ask resource. We are in the health care industry. Would you happen to know the percentage of abandoned calls that call back, and how many times they try to call back? Also what is the average time before abandoning? Grand idea. Abandon rate is a highly variable performance metric and therefore not as common as answer rate expressed in percent of calls answered on the first call. In the health care industry, the average time before abandoning is 128 seconds. On average 90% of the callers will call back and if they do not get through, they will try at least three additional times to reach you. Q & A Category: “Employee Compensation” Question Answer For annual telephone agent performance reviews, I have a four to seven percent range to work with regarding compensation increases. Is this consistent with other call centers? On average and across industries, the performance increase range is from three to ten percent. Many call center managers are encouraged not to increase the annual compensation by very much, but instead give quarterly bonuses based on achieving very measurable goals, like calls per shift, attendance, occupancy, caller satisfaction scores and the like. In addition, overtime is also a way to satisfy both the companies need to take care of seasonal spikes in calls and the employees need to make more money. On which basis would you build up the bonus of a Debt Recovery Agent and what % of total salary would you also recommend as a bonus? Suggest the following: 1. Make at least 20% of total salary related to performance. 2. Make percent “Promises to Pay” calls equal to 50% of performance pay, 3. Make percent “Partial Paid Debt” calls equal to 25% of performance pay, 4. Make percent “Completely Paid Debt” equal to 25% of performance pay, What is company policy on sick days for agents? I have received several “Ask “ questions regarding company policy on sick days for agents. In checking our benchmark database of best practices, it is clear that more than half of all call centers allow unused sick days to accumulate from year to year. In addition, it seems that the most common strategy to minimize agent sick leave is to make attendance part of an agent's performance evaluation. Copyright © 135 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Employee Development” Question Answer Are the any client references that you can offer for Agent Certification? We do not do Agent Certification. Two of our partners do offer excellent Agent Certification programs: 1. Human Technologies 2. STI Knowledge Client has developed a certification course for CSRs and other customer care support employees. Is there any industry-acceptable average of those participants who should pass the test on the first try? They would like to ensure that 80% of those reps taking the assessment will pass it on the first attempt, but there is some concern that this number may be too low (or too high). All testing and certification depends heavily upon proper training and preparation of the applicants. Purdue has a CSR certification program, and our target is that 70% will pass the assessment on the first attempt. There is not a negative stigma for “not passing,” i.e., it is not thought of as being a failure. If they do not pass, they hit the books again and then try the examination again. I greatly support the concept of certifying CSR with a combination of on-the-job experience and “theory” about the practice of satisfying customers. I would love to know more about the company you are serving, and about their certification process. Let me know if I can assist you. Do you have anything specific on Contact Center career paths/progression? Thank you. There are so many career paths/progression options in contact centers that I am not sure where to begin. For agents to move up the call handling “ladder” there are the logical steps from Level 1, 2, and 3 (mostly skill dependent) to Team Lead, to Subject Matter Expert (SEM), to Supervisor, to Queue Manager, to Contact Center Manager. Branches in this progression can include moving into the analytic world of report preparation, workforce optimization, contact forecasting, and the like. If neither of these are functional progressions, a career path could be going into technical solution support for the contact center. How many call centers use Fair-Compare? FairCompare is our agent satisfaction and feedback service. Currently there are between 50 and 100 customers in the pipeline. We have received “rave” customer reviews on this unique product. My agents are responsible for entering a lot of customer data about other details. Data entry errors are very costly, and it takes a lot of time to correct the mistakes. Is there some data on best practices that I could use as a performance guideline for what we should achieve in the data entry process? Our benchmark data shows that call centers that require agents to enter data achieve an error rate of fewer than two errors per 10,000 data fields entered. For example, if you have a center with 100 agents responding to 40 callers per shift with an average of ten data fields per call, you would want to achieve a rate of no more than eight errors per shift. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 136 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer Our center is planning to rate team members’ performance metrics to a Bell Curve. Are you aware of any industry standards on the % of staff that should be within the higher & lower sections of the Bell Curve? A simple and often used approached is to use standard statistical sectioning of the performance on any one metric or group of metrics rolled up into an index. What this means is as follows: a. Two standard deviations away from the mean would be the really excellent performers and would represent the top 5% of the Bell Curve. b. One standard deviation would equate to the top 45%. c. The remaining would essentially represent average performance. Please have a look at my book “Minimizing Agent Performance” for more information on performance compensation. Q & A Category: “Hiring New Employees” Question Answer I am currently proposing that my call center implement a structured behavioral interview. Do you know of any research that shows how much this can reduce turnover in a call center? We have studied the impact of the following preemployment screening techniques for reducing turnover: 1. Aptitude testing can result in turnover reductions of about 10%; 2. Realistic job previews can result in turnover reductions of about 8% and; 3. Structured behavioral interviews can result in turnover reductions of about 3%. I have heard widely varying examples of the cost to bring on a new agent. Do you have a “rule of thumb” as to what is commonly spent to hire a new agent? This would greatly assist me in my budgeting process for next year. The cost to bring on a new agent varies quite a bit by industry. The average for all industries is $6,398. This cost includes advertising, recruiting, screening and testing, interviewing, and training. We currently have an annual turnover of approximately 34%. To refill these seats, we interview approximately 16 applicants in order to hire one new agent. What are the best practices in the screening and hiring process? Our research shows that, on average, call centers interview seven applicants in order to hire one new agent. Your number is a bit higher. Perhaps you can do better by screening job applicants in advance. Many call centers now use aptitude testing and/or exposing the applicant to a realistic job preview. What is a healthy turnover rate for the Northeast area? What is the average? Healthy = 15% Average = 36% What is average turnover for an inbound only call center in the financial services field? How about a call center in the insurance field? What is the average number of training hours for a financial services company for their member contact reps. Same question...but for insurance reps (phone contact only)? Thanks for your questions. You might want to inquire about our industry reports…..loaded with comparison statistics. In the meantime, here is a thumbnail sketch: Financial Service Turnover = 32% Insurance Turnover = 24% Initial Training Hours for Financial = 120 days Initial Training Hours for Insurance = 95 days What is the industry standard for “unable to verify” rate In the contact center vertical, less than 9% of prefor pre-employment screening? employment verifications come up ‘unable to verify.” The job description would depend upon the size of the call center and the types of calls being handled. 137 Copyright © Where can I get a good job description for an incoming call center manager? 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Knowledge Access” Question Answer Do you know of any statistics or resources that show a Our benchmark research of high-tech support centers recommended number of level two technicians per show that, on average, these is one “level two expert” servers managed? per 15 to 20 front-line technicians. These experts typical field difficult questions, take escalated calls, plus constantly mentor, train and coach individuals on their team From your research, do you have a rough idea of the distribution of customer contacts by telephone, e-mail and other contact channels? Exact data on the distribution of consumer-to-business preferences among channels is not readily available, but our approximations from 1999 data are as follows: 75% by telephone, 10% by US mail, 3% by e-mail, 2% by Web self-service and 10% by all other channels. With business-to-business centers, electronic data interchange remains the major source of contact among business customers. These centers are also changing rapidly to encompass both the Internet and specialized intranets. I have the Technical Support - Industry Benchmark Report for Best-in-Class Call Center Performance as of 4/1/2003 and was looking at the FCR % of 66.7 for the industry average. Do you have a current figure for FCR? Has this gone up or down and why? With the introduction of new desktop technology, FCR% continues to improve, especially in Tech Support. The current figure for inbound tech support calls from customers is 79.2%. The main reason for this improvement is better knowledge systems for finding answers to technical questions. I hear a lot about customer service touch-points. What Customer service touch-points are all the different are they, and could you give me some examples? channels through which customers can reach out and touch (contact) a company. Some examples include the following: phone, fax, e-mail, kiosks, Web sites, voice over IP, live text messages, regular mail, satisfaction surveys, electronic data interchange (EDI), IVR and voice mail. I hear people refer to a call center as having a “robust agent desktop.” What technology must be in place to ensure that an agent’s desktop is robust? A robust agent desktop has at least the following technology attributes: 1) screen pops with caller information, 2) value-and skills-based routing, 3) a caller-tracking CRM system, 4) easy access to product knowledge, 5) ready access to computer-based, self directed training, 6) automated agent monitoring software, 7) onscreen information for agents about the number of callers in queue and average talk time. We are working feverishly on integrating our Web site with our call center. Have you seen any benchmarking statistics on Web sites that would give us some performance norms to set as our goal? About six months ago, we began a study to quantify the customer relationship value of commercial Web sites. Using a specially designed report card with an exhaustive list of possible Web site features, we visited and scored 80 Web sites and found even the best sites sadly lacking in the design and implementation of mission-critical features. When you are finished with the first phase of your Web site launch, we would be glad to score your site, and compare it to others in a true benchmark. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 138 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question What is your suggested method of calculating the average cost of an on-line transaction? Answer We have seen several ways to determine the cost per Web hit. The most common one that I have seen requires two steps. First, take the total initial cost to build the Web site and amortize this figure over three years. To this annual amortization value add the annual maintenance cost. This should give you a fairly consistent annual cost to operate your Web site. Then take the total number of visitors who actually perform on-line transactions, such as downloading brochures or purchasing products, and divide that figure into the total cost for the same time period. This number can be as low as 50 cents per transaction, if not lower. Q & A Category: “Real-Time Expert Help” Question Answer What is the span-of-control for supervisors to manage In a recent poll of approximately 1,000 call center team leaders? managers, we asked about their staffing models regarding supervisors, team leaders, and customer service representatives (CSRs). The most common span-of-control for supervisors was to manage five team leaders. The most common span-of-control for team leaders was to manage 15 CSRs. It was surprising to see that in a little over 11% of the cases, the span-ofcontrol for team leaders was to manage as many as 25 CSRs. Copyright © 139 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Reporting” Question Answer Is there an industry standard for email and fax response times? And if so, what would it be? Peter, the answer depends on the industry. If you consider all industries, the answers are as follows: e-mail response time = 18 hours FAX response time = 6 hours Does having a centralized reporting and management Definitely. A number of vendors offer powerful analytics system impact any call center performance metrics? that can convert caller data into executive information quickly and efficiently. A sample of some of the leaders in analytical software for call centers and tele-web centers include E.piphany, Broadbase, Hyperion, Oracle, PeopleSoft/Vantive, Siebel, and Visionyze. With proper reporting feedback and root-cause analysis, these systems can, at a minimum, improve the following metrics: average talk time, after-call work time, adherence to schedule, sales per agent per shift and caller satisfaction. Does having a centralized reporting and management Definitely. A number of vendors offer powerful analytics system impact any call center performance metrics? that can convert caller data into executive information quickly and efficiently. A sample of some of the leaders in analytical software for call centers and tele-web centers include E.piphany, Broadbase, Hyperion, Oracle, PeopleSoft/Vantive, Siebel, and Visionyze. With proper reporting feedback and root-cause analysis, these systems can, at a minimum, improve the following metrics: average talk time, after-call work time, adherence to schedule, sales per agent per shift and caller satisfaction. I manage an internal technical support help desk at my company. I noticed that you report first call resolution 'once and done' or 'first time final' (meaning the caller is not transferred or called back) for call centers to be as high as 85%. Is this a meaningful performance measure for technical support centers? No. Many technical support issues require off-line research and investigation. Your type of call center is more likely to track same day resolution vs. first call resolution. Our data show that on average, same day resolution is seldom higher than 80%. Should a contact center's expense ratio to sales increase variable to sales, semi variable or remain fixed? A contact center’s expense ratio to sales increase varies directly with sales. Do you have metrics or percentages for types of calls? Here are some metrics for the requested calls: For example, inquiry: asking for an account balance, or, transaction: a purchase or balance transfer. Metric % AHT ACWT FTF Call type Inquiry 55 3.6 Order taking 20 2.5 Order tracking 5 1.4 Technical support 10 8.9 Complaint 5 11.6 Routing 5 1.1 2.2 1.1 0 3.4 4.8 0 85 92 89 52 23 95 AHT = Average Handle Time ACWT = Average After Call Work Time FTF = First Time Final © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 140 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer What are some of the more popular “unit cost” metrics I have seen many worthwhile unit cost performance in a call center? metrics, and they vary somewhat depending on the function of the call center. Universally, managers try to be cognizant of the more obvious “loaded” operational cost metrics, namely cost per call, cost per minute, cost per agent, and cost to bring on a new agent. A slightly more integrated unit cost that is more indicative of overall management performance is cost per full time equivalent (FTE). As you focus more on the function of a call center, you get into such unit cost performance metrics as the cost per “issue” solved for technical support call centers, or the cost “dollar collected” for collection call centers. An insurance claim call center might track the cost per resolved claim. Benchmarking unit costs is an important managerial responsibility. I have been searching the whole wide world of internet to find answers to my questions on Occupancy; I am working with a BPO in a research department and currently doing a small research on occupancy, but haven’t been able to find any suitable answer to my quest. I have following doubts pertaining to the same. 1: As we know that the Avg. Occupancy of a call center/agent has to be 80 to 85%, however want to know what is the norm across the industry, which means whether a technical call center should aim for lower occupancy rate as the agents get worn out by trouble shooting difficult technical issues or is it that the financial center has higher rate of occupancy, what is the practice and benchmark for the same across the industry handling different type of clients for voice and non-voice based centers. 2: What is the most used formulae to calculate occupancy? You have a lot of questions!! Here are some thoughts and answers: 1. First let's define a couple of items that could be causing your confusion: Occupancy is expressed as a percent of the total number of minutes that an agent is in their seat, and connected to the ACD and ready to handle calls as compare to their total time at work. For example: in an 8 hour shift, we take 480 minutes (8 hours) minus 30 minutes (for two fifteen-minute breaks) equals 450 minutes. Subtract any other time for which the agents is paid, while not ready to handle calls, then divide by the original amount (480 minutes). Utilization is defined as the percentage of time that an Agent is in their seat ready to handle calls as compared to the actual time they are in telephone mode. Utilization equals the product of average call handle time (talk time + hold time + after call work time) and the average number of inbound calls per Agent per 8-hour shift (ACPS), divided by total time the Agent is connected to the ACD and ready to handle calls during a shift, i.e., occupancy (not in percent). 3: There are multiple factors affecting occupancy one of them being team based scheduling, in this type of scheduling model, the whole team which comes in at the low call volume intervals, has very low occupancy, 2. So you can see from the above definitions, the target how to achieve the best out of these agents and for utilization is 100% and it is a management minimize the wastage of staffing hours. challenge ensure that there are enough calls so that the agent can, in fact, be fully utilized during the time 4: Which kind of scheduling model will suit the best to allotted for call handling, namely Occupancy. achieve the highest rate of occupancy? 5: How to benchmark the average occupancy per agent and as per the center? Please help. 3. We have Occupancy and Utilization best practice statistics for 43 industries. Hope this helps. Also, regarding overall call center issues, I just finished a book entitled “Call Center Management – By the Numbers” and this details all the issues related to managing by a balanced scorecard of efficiency and effectiveness. See the bookstore on our Web site if you want a copy. Copyright © 141 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Service Improvement” Question How many co-browsing sessions must an agent conduct simultaneously in order to be cost-efficient? What are the recommendations to increase agent's productivity? What are the most commonly uses of chat? e.g. navigate through My Account page. What are the technical requirements (type of application, connectivity) to conduct a co-browsing session: from the agent and customer's perspective? Answer Answer: 1a) How many co-browsing sessions must an agent conduct simultaneously in order to be cost-efficient? Slim pickings here…not enough basic research completed to answer this great question. 1b) What are the recommendations to increase agent's productivity? There are scripting packages that make this exercise more efficient. 2) What are the most commonly uses of chat? e.g. navigate through My Account page Most chat is used in conjunction with self-service offerings, i.e., get the customer trying to find the answer themselves, but have a chat window open if they get lost trying. 3) What are the technical requirements (type of application, connectivity) to conduct a co-browsing session: from the agent and customer's perspective? These are tough questions since many of the actual details are still a “work in progress.” I’ll pass on this very excellent question…needs more research. What is an acceptable Service Level for a technical support program? 1) Service level for tech support 80% of calls answered in 40 seconds. What is an acceptable abandonment rate for an Internet sales program? 2) Abandon rate should not exceed 5% for internet sales What is an acceptable abandonment rate for a customer service program? 3) abandon rate should not exceed 3% for customer service programs. Do you have any information statistical or anecdotal regarding the organizations who use outbound welcome calls to contact newly acquired customers? Do they work, are they effective, what's the return, impact on retention, etc? Particularly in the banking/financial sector. Many thanks. Outbound “welcome calls” are VERY effective in customer retention. This can be particularly true if there is some small bit of information that you can disseminate with the welcoming call. I have heard story after story about how welcoming a quick call can be to a brand new customer. Do financial service call centers handling business-to business calls have better performance metrics than those that handle consumer-to-business calls? One would certainly expect that business-to-business (B-to-B) customers in any industry would receive measurably better call handling than consumer-tobusiness (C-to-B) callers. In financial services (i.e., banks and brokerages), the performance is mixed at best. Average time in queue is higher for B-to-B callers and the percent of “once and done” calls is lower for Bto-B. By contrast, average talk time is more than double for B-to-B, but makes sense since the transactions are bigger and relationship building is more important. Strangely though, caller satisfaction is lower for B-to-B callers and this certainly indicates room for improvement in financial services. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 142 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer Does benchmarking exist for cross-selling/up-selling success rates in inbound call centers? Yes, we have data on cross-selling and up-selling success rates for inbound call centers. PLUS, we could launch a simple one-minute survey with questions more tuned to your information requirements. Do you have any information regarding industry best practice for the level of redundancy required within an enterprise call center? I'm speaking of the number of generators required, length of battery time, A/C systems, etc. From our research, electrical power redundancy depends on several factors: 1. How mission critical is the call center...i.e., order taking is consider much more mission critical than post sales support? 2. Does the company have more than one call center so that a “downed” center can forward calls to other company sites with trained agents? 3. Does the company subscribe to an in-place “disaster recovery” (also known as “business recovery”) strategy, namely, do they contract a third-party outsourcing company to have excess staff available in the case of a power failure, or fire, or “the flue”, or a flood, or hurricane...and the like?? Depending on the answers to the above questions, some companies have a minimum investment in power back-up, UPS systems, etc. The flip of this is that you will not find ANY contact center with over 100 agents that does not have as a minimum a 2-hour battery back up, or a complete diesel power generating unit...the price for this equipment has become so reasonable that it would be irresponsible to not make at least that level of investment. What method do you use to measure input/output efficiency? How do you define the relationship between the inputs and outputs? What measures are considered? Is there a DEA - CRS or VRS employed? How is the formula defined that determines efficiency? Is this comparison information for government call centers published somewhere, along with their efficiency ratings? Thanks for your questions. Here are some brief answers: 1. For a call center I use 15 efficiency metrics and 15 effectiveness metrics to measure the I/O efficiency of call handling 2. If you’re interested I will send you the list 3. I am not sure what a DEA and/or CRS and/or VRS is...please explain 4. I do have a best practice report that compares government call centers with their non-governmental counterparts...you’ll find the details on our Web site at BenchmarkPortal.com for acquiring that study 5. Regarding overall call center issues, I just finished a book entitled “Call Center Management – By the Numbers” and this details all the issues related to managing by a balanced scorecard of efficiency and effectiveness. See the bookstore on our Web site if you want a copy. Copyright © 143 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer One of my clients, a large candy company, recently came to me and stated that they felt an 85% service level in 20 seconds was the new industry standard for inbound order entry and customer care services. We currently operate at an 80/20 service level with 3% abandon as our key performance indicators outside of customer satisfaction and raw quality scores. While I certainly agree that an inbound sales channel would require a higher service level and would be provided at an increased cost, I'm wondering whether or not you would agree that the industry has moved on this metric or not? Cliff, this is a great question. Many, many people quote “new industry standards” with no statistical data to back them up. My team at Purdue University BenchmarkPortal is the only source in the world that has thousands and thousands of performance data points regarding call center performance. We publish industry-specific reports that have industry-specific best practices regarding over 50 key performance indicators (KPIs) - service level being only one of those important KPIs. I have just reviewed the consumer products industry report, and you're right, the industry standard is 80/20 with a 3% abandon rate. Your client is doing fine. You might want o purchase the complete Industry Report to scan other KPIs. I have been accessing your site and responding to your surveys for almost a year. I cannot find the answer to one question that I have been asked. I run technical call center that provides support for an enterprise level software product. Our ASA is around 30 seconds, which seems about right. Our abandon rate, on all calls is running about 5.2% this year. I can't seem to find any comparison on the abandon rate. Can you tell me how this compares to other similar organizations? We have an industry report for tech support call centers handling hardware and software products and services (much like your center). I briefly reviewed this industry report for the industry averages for the two metrics you mentioned in your question. You ASA is better than the average (congratulations), but your abandon rate is slightly higher than average for the industry… not enough to be concerned about. I would please like information on international certification courses and fees for call centre agents, supervisors and managers. Is AT&T Centre for Excellence the right place? Is there an alternative for STI Knowledge. Appreciate your enlightenment. Agent Certification is offered exclusively by the Purdue University Center for Customer-Driven Quality through its various agents, like Human Technologies. If you wish to offer the certification in MENA region, this can be arranged by contacting Catherine Gilmore at: CatherineGilmore@BenchmarkPortal.com. Presently, I am working with an electric utility Call Center. I want to validate if it is correct to use the median of registered/incoming calls volume (one year (2003) data sub-categorized into normal and peak months) as the threshold to establish that the shift condition is abnormal and thus waive our set AL/SL for our Contractor. Calls peak every time a major line circuit trip usually during rainy season. Is using the median valid or is there a standard practice in the industry in setting the threshold? Thank you very much for your assistance. Using the median of incoming call volume for one year as the threshold to establish whether the shift condition is abnormal is not recommended. You Contractor will too often be in a non-compliant condition. Instead, the norm is to use one-standard deviation away from the mean. This gives your Contractor a better chance of delivering the hoped for service levels. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 144 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question I am looking for data going back 10 to 20 years or more on the call volume in different service channels like phone, email, self-service, etc. Do you have this data? If yes, can you please share it with us? Answer These channels do not go back 20 years. Here are some of our statistics: 1. Toll free calls began with the introduction of the 800 number on product ads and literature. This happened in 1979. Before that the only channel was to “write a letter.” 2. The first recorded customer e-mail was in 1999. It was very basic, and took 48 hours to answer...a vast improvement over “snail mail.” The volume of e-mails between customers and company in that year was less than 100,000 total. Today, we have that many e-mails every second of every business day...a dramatic increase. 3. Self-service customer contacts first began with the launch of the IVR in 1992, a very rudimentary unit at best. One of the first applications was at Fidelity where you could move stock from one fund to another with the IVR, very cumbersome even on a good day. Volumes were very low as the confidence of the customer in this approach approached zero. The concept and technology rapidly improved, however, and now, especially in the financial services sector, 75% of call volume is actually completed in the IVR without talking to an agent. The advent of speech recognition is vastly improving self-service of calls. How do most call centers handle customer complaints? Handling a customer with a complaint takes very specialized skills, for instance, anger diffusion, mediation, negotiation, empathy, and more. Many call center report to me that they typically route complaints to a team that specializes in this activity. In our litigious society, complaints that are not handled properly can quickly become major financial risks. The opposite is also true, and that is, a complaint that is handled properly can produce a very loyal customer. Callback rate is always: (Total Calls - Total Unique) / Total Calls 145 Copyright © How do you measure callback rate? Given Total Calls = 1,000 Total Unique Originating Number = 500 Do you calculated Call Back Rate as: (Total Calls - Total Unique) / Total Unique = 100% or do you calculate it as: (Total Calls - Total Unique) / Total Calls = 50% 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Hello, I am interested in building a best-in-class call center from the ground up. Are you aware of a definitive guide to this? Answer There is no one guide, or “how to” book, that can help you build a “green field” call center from scratch. I have written 24 books, all on sub-parts of the design, implementation, and management of a best-in-class center. But, reading 24 books might not be the answer. I feel my team at BMP can be of assistance. We certify centers to be Purdue University certified “Centers of Excellence.” We know exactly what the best-in-class have in every one of the 43 industries that we study and benchmark. We know what makes the trio of “people, process, and technology” work for call centers. Your best bet is to have my team participate with your team in all the phases listed below. Call center design “from the ground up” has at least the following steps: 1. Understanding the specific that the call center will play in deploying the business model and strategy of the company, or business unit, that the center will serve... 2. Understanding budget constraints, 3. Understanding whether this is a build versus buy situation, 4. Understanding the target customer's profile and probably information requirements, 5. Understanding the best geographical location to locate the new center, 6. Understanding the skill sets and core competencies of the existing staff at your company, 7. Understanding the proposed time frame in which you hope to accomplish best-in-class performance, 8. And more... I have heard a lot about a “balanced score card” for judging the quality of service that I provide in my call center. Can you elaborate? © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. The balanced scorecard is a well-accepted concept that judges the quality of any process by using a “balance” between the company’s objective (usually low cost, i.e., efficiency) with the customer’s objective (usually getting what I need, i.e., effectiveness). We have created a balanced scorecard for call centers by designing the Call Center Performance Index (CPI) that divides all call center performance metrics into two groups, namely, one group that relates to effectiveness (for instance percent of once and done calls), and the other group that relates to efficiency (for instance aftercall work time). By statistically weighting these into one index, you end up with a “balanced” view of a call center’s performance, i.e., balanced scorecard. 146 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer Is Service Level calculated as the number of calls answered within 'n' seconds divided by the number of calls 'answered' or 'answered plus abandoned'? The standard measure is the number of calls answered within 'n' seconds divided by the number of calls answered, expressed in %, for instance, 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds. The problem with adding abandoned calls to the mix is that abandoned rate is quite variable between industries and between type of call. Though a logical alternative, it is less accepted and less used. Most call centers use something like 80/20 for service level. What is an acceptable service level for chat? As I am sure you already know, a Web chat session is certainly a different customer interaction than a call. So far, our research into key performance indicators (KPIs) for chat sessions indicates that customers are much less demanding of a chat session. I have witnessed an experienced agent handle as many as four chats simultaneously. From my observations, I think most chat users will tolerate having their answers in one to three minutes. Our call center works towards an 80%/20 second service level objective. We are looking for a metric that assures that the exceptions are not out of control. What are some common metrics used to monitor what is happening to the 20% of calls that miss the objective? Is Average Speed of Answer the most common? Is it % of calls within x% (i.e. 93% within 60 seconds?). I'd appreciate any help to avoid reinventing the wheel. Good question. In managing the other 20%, we often try to understand more about the maximum queue times while watching ASA closely. Another approach is to do a histogram of the 20% of calls that are outside of the 20 seconds to better understand the outliers. Studies through the Benchmark Portal have been valuable in moving from a service only to a service to sales environment. One question that I have not been able to find is a benchmark of sales per sales FTE for those industries that have a dedicated sales unit within their center. For example, our branch staff sales are around 3.6 - 3.8 sales per FTE and here in the center, we're at around 5.5. We would be curious to see how we compare to the industry. Any information or direction on where I could find that information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Service to sales is the goal of many call centers that are trying to move from being completely a cost center to a revenue center. Sales per FTE per shift vary widely by industry. I do not know what industry you are in from your question above. However, across all industries (not very accurate for comparison purposes) the sales per FTE per shift is 9.3. Obviously, this includes at one extreme, big-ticket items that take longer to sell. A specific run on our entire database across all We always struggle with service level performance industries indicated that US call centers answer 80% of statistics. What do you find is an industry-wide average for the number of seconds in which 80% of all all calls in an average of 42 seconds. calls are answered? We are concerned with agents' data entry error rate. It costs us thousands of dollars each year to correct errors. Can you advise me what other call centers do to reduce the error rate? Some call centers spend a lot of money implementing software to check the validity of every piece of data thereby scrubbing the data before it enters the system. Others purchase monitoring and coaching software to improve the training and data entry skills of individual agents. A combination of the two approaches is the best solution. We have a call center that processes about 750,000 calls per year and a website that receives about 900,000 hits per month. We are thinking of adding a very visible “CONTACT US BUTTON” to the website. The question at hand is how to determine how many e-mails we would receive a month. Do you have any information about what has happened at other companies? Americans love email. From our studies, I would forecast you will receive one email for every 200 NEW visitors to the Web site. The definition of Web site “hits” is too vague, and often far exceeds the number of NEW visitors. Copyright © 147 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question What have you found to be the most challenging issues facing call center professionals? Answer Better software to do value-based routing of inbound callers. Cross-channel integration. More sophisticated agent monitoring and coaching techniques. Smaller call centers that are geographically dispersed, but virtually managed. IVR equipment enhanced with speech recognition, making it seem very much like customers are talking to live agents. Caller data warehousing with active ad hoc data mining. What is the formula to determine the number of phone This is really two questions. lines that a call center should have? The first answer is simply “take your total contact center budget and divide it by the total number of contacts handled by your center in the same time period as you budget….this will yield cost per contact, and is typically how this performance measure is calculated…..there are permutations of this, but let’s keep it simple for now. The second question is “not that simple.” This depends so much on the product, its complexity, the user documentation, the intuitiveness of the product, and, and, and... Once you have been running a center that handles customer service calls, it is very common to come up with the statistic you seek for that center...if this is your case, there are existing statistical formulae to forecast changes in sales revenue volumes. There are no generic predictive formulae to estimate the number of service reps for all products simply given their annual sales revenue. What portion of your total customer service contacts is In a recent One-Minute Survey posed to our completed on your Web site? community of call center professionals, we asked the question, “What portion of your total customer service contacts is completed on your Web site?” For the majority of respondents, only a small percentage of total contacts is handled via their Web site. Given the lower cost of a Web-based contact, more and more customer service centers are beginning to offer incentives to their customers to encourage them to use the Web as an alternative self-service channel. Of those respondents who do currently offer these kinds of incentives, “product discount” and “priority service” were the most popular examples. Some examples of the “other” responses were “points in our loyalty program” and “discounted shipping.” © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 148 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer Would you define First Call Closure the same as Repeat Calls (and therefore the numbers would be the opposite of each other--i.e.: 80% First Call Closure would equal 20% Repeat Calls)? Historically in the work that I have done related to data analysis, we kept these data points separate. We defined First Call Closure as a call that didn't require the CSR to do any follow up work. Repeat calls are those in which the customer had to call back on the same issue. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any industry data on repeat calls? In our experience, these are really two different and important key performance indicators (KPIs). I would track them separately. Would you recommend implementing a virtual agent tool to facilitate the Search and Use on the Website? and why? No...not necessarily...Facilitate the search and use on your Web site using a chat window. It is simple, effective, and low cost. BTW, the chat agent could easily be virtual in North American, or really anywhere. Would you recommend implementing a virtual assistant (i.e. an Avatar, not a real person but a graphic representation) to facilitate the Search and Use on the Website? and Why? Adding a “net-sage” to a Web site has become very popular. I have observed a number of Web site where such a virtual assistant does, in fact, improve the use of self-service search, and does get the Web visitor to their answer quicker. My answer would be that virtual assistants are definitively worth investigating. We have a technical support industry report that tracks both KPIs. Copyright © 149 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Training Employees” Question Answer Do you have any benchmark data on the ratio of trainers to call center agents? The need for trainers will obviously vary with the complexity of the calls being handled and the amount of agent turnover. Across industries, the ratio of trainers to call center agents is one trainer to every fifty agents. Do you have any statistics around nesting v no nesting coming out of training? Any stats that nesting improves retention? Thank you, Wendy Roth Wendy, every study we have done on agent retention indicates that a well-designed nesting program coming out of training has a very substantial impact on lowering turnover...in several cases reducing it by over 50%. I would like to know if there is an industry standard or mathematical formula that should be used to set a realistic IVR baseline objective? I work in the customer service supporting external education and training customers for a large fortune 500 company. My quality team would like to establish an IVR baseline objective for 2005 using the results of a piloted external surveys conducted August through December 2004. In 2004, 137 completed surveys of 4000k opportunities resulted in ratings of 73.72% Very Sat, 86.13% Overall Sat and 90.36% Average Sat where ; Very Sat - measures against the number of 5's or Very Satisfied's we received Overall Sat - measures against the number of 4's and 5's or Sat and Very Satisfied's we received Average Sat - measures by taking the number you received for that rating multiplied by the rating (1 through 5) to equal a value then that value is divided by the number of actual surveys multiplied by 5 (highest possible rating). To answer your first question: There is no “silver bullet” formula for setting realistic IVR baseline objectives. The best way is to benchmark your company’s performance against a peer group of companies....this is what BenchmarkPortal does in detail. I am a member of Benchmark Portal and have found a ton of great information on the website. It is a very valuable resource for our call center! One statistic I have not been able to locate is the average number of hours spent training a call center agent per month. This would be the average # of hours of all training provided. Do you know what this might be for the financial services industry? The answer does vary quite a bit depending on the industry you're in. Hi Jon, Student Loan Consolidation Center, LLC is a Federal student loan consolidation center in San Diego, CA with about $4B loans to date. Presently, we are looking for: - Recommended vendors and products for an ASP based Time & Attendance tool (to clock in/out from each employee's computer) - Training effectiveness tools and vendors (for Sales, Customer Service, and Lead Generation). For the time and attendance tool, I am not able to give you a specific company. However, all the major journals, like Call Center Magazine, Customer Interaction Magazine, and others have annual vendor issues listing all companies and their products in our space. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. Concerning the second part of your question: Very interesting data. I am sure we can improve substantially on the granularity of these results. I suggest you establish phone contact with Susan Hampton who can arrange for a telephone conference call with my team. For the financial services industry, which includes banking, the average on-going training for existing agents is 4 hours. In this number is included the time that monitored calls are reviewed by the front-line supervisor, which is often considered both coaching and continuing education for the agent. Formal classroom training on a monthly basis is not tracked by our system. Regarding the training effectiveness tools, I would recommend you contact Knowlagent. They are a leader in this space. 150 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer How can call center training managers determine which To make your decision, I suggest that you ask the CBT and WBT products offer excellent learning design vendors the following questions: Was this learning and strong training content? system designed by experts in the field? Was the content developed specifically for call centers? Has it been proven to produce measurable results? Does the learning process offer realistic, relevant and challenging caller simulations? Can the learning be tailored to a participant's varied learning needs and preferences? Can you adapt and expand content to meet new training priorities? Does it identify each agent's needs and does it confirm that all participants achieved the targeted learning? Most importantly, has the learning design and content been scientifically shown to improve agent call performance and to be a cost-effective alternative to classroom training? I am interested in learning how much time a call center supervisor spends on average monitoring, providing feedback and coaching agents. Do you offer any statistics or information regarding how much time should be dedicated to monitoring in general? From our database, supervisors spend 58% of their time on average monitoring and coaching. This varies considerably by industry and in particular by the function of the call center. I am very interested in learning, on average, how much time a call center supervisor spends monitoring and coaching agents. Our data indicates that supervisors spend, on average, 58% of their time monitoring and coaching agents. This does vary somewhat by industry and the function of the call center. I hear a lot about agents exposed to learning telephone techniques using simulation, combined with selfdirected learning. Does this work, and which vendors provide this type of product? We have tested computer-based training and simulation as a learning technique for agents, and have found it to be both efficient and effective. Ulysses Training and Simtrex are two of the best in the business. Check www.callcenter magazine.com/product-info for more details and other suppliers. What are some of the financial services industry standards regarding percentage of total training hours spent on all the various types of training needed? In general, call centers report that they allocate initial agent training into the following categories including the respective percentage of total training time spent on each category: product knowledge (30%), administrative procedures (20%), telephone techniques (20%), and screen navigation (10%). What are the keys to evaluating CBT and WBT products? There's a tendency to focus on the technology of computer-based training (CBT) and Web-based training (WBT). Will the software run on our computers? Is it buggy? Will my people find it easy to use? These are obviously important questions, but you can't stop there. You must also evaluate the design and content of the courseware offered by the vendor. I suggest you talk to other users; look for tangible results, such as better performance from agents and less time in classroom training. What have you found to be true for most companies that have classroom training for their agents? Are the trainers’ management people, nonexempt administrative specialist/trainers or outside trainers, including consultants? Our data shows that 10% or less of classroom training is typically conducted by internal management people, 50% to 80% by in-house specialist/trainers, and 10% to 20% by outside training professionals. Where have you seen CBT being used in call center training? In our 1999 call center benchmark study, 41% of the participants indicated that they used CBT. The majority of the CBT applications were for product training or technical support training. Some companies reported successfully using CBT to train agents in customer service and telephone handling. Copyright © 151 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Q & A Category: “Workforce Optimization” Question Answer 1) How many chat sessions must an agent conduct simultaneously in order to be cost-efficient? What are the recommendations to increase agent's productivity? 2) What are the most commonly uses of chat? e.g. assist customer during ordering process. 3) What is the average length of chat? It may differ by type of chat. 4) What is the percentage of chat sessions that are followed-up with a call to the contact center? 1a)How many chat sessions must an agent conduct simultaneously in order to be cost-efficient? At least three… 1b) What are the recommendations to increase agent's productivity? A list of standard answers to customer questions in the form of ready-to-go sentences and paragraphs. 2) What are the most commonly uses of chat? e.g. assist customer during ordering process. Assist Web-based customer service. Moving from selfservice attempts to agent-assisted Web-based service. 3) What is the average length of chat? It may differ by type of chat. Definitely different by type of chat, but in our benchmark, across industries, the average “length” of a chat session is 23 minutes. However, your agent is not bog down by this “seemingly” lengthy process as they are handling other customers in parallel. 4) What is the percentage of chat sessions that are followed-up with a call to the contact center? Only 14% of chat sessions are follow-up with a call to the center. Chat is proving to be a very efficient and useful channel for both the company and its customers. About the brokerage industry report, I do not understand how the reported average number of calls/shift/CSR is correct in comparison to the reported talk and wrap times. Often there is a discrepancy between these two metrics. The most plausible explanation is the “utilization” factor, namely what percent of the time that an agent is in their seat “ready” to handle phone calls, are they actually on the phone.” Are there any call centers that send all their employees to lunch at the same time? Though a delightful concept, this is VERY rare. Instead, in some centers, employees are allowed to select certain other employees that prefer to have lunch with so that the workforce management system can arrange for this luncheon timing. At one time we measured our agents by system time. Since we have moved to a Workforce Mgmt tool we now measure them by adherence to their schedule. This is the time that they are signed-in to ACD, available to take an inbound call while adhering to their actual scheduled shift times (start/stop, breaks, and lunch). What is the target measure for CSR Adherence in an inbound, order-entry call center? Great question…..from our experience with call centers, the target for adherence to assigned schedule is 95%. This key performance indicator (KPI) is mission critical to a call center that wishes to maintain an acceptable service level. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 152 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer Can you explain why there are such large discrepancies between the median and average talk times and after call work times for the Peer Groups and All Participants categories. There are large variances in our collected numbers when the groups are less specific in terms of the type of call that they handle. In a Peer Group, this variability is more limited. AT&T has a virtual rep “Ask Allie” on its corporate website http://www.consumer.att.com/ (see on the left screen, need help? Ask Allie). She is a “virtual rep”. A customer types in text Q&A’s and a computerized virtual rep (a.k.a., our Knowledge Management System) supports the response. If she has difficulty answering, on the 3rd attempt, the virtual rep provides an e-mail form or chat session with a live rep (a.k.a., “Escalation”). My question: Are there any industry benchmarks or standards for virtual reps such as percent accuracy, percent customer satisfaction, cost savings, call avoided etc.? Great question. And, yes, there are now companies that supply these virtual reps as a product. These same companies have also done the research you are looking for. I have not been able to find this information. What is the average (for all industries) and the ideal/best practice for the staff to manager ratio in a contact center? Peter, the ideal/best practice for the “staff to supervisor” ratio in contact centers across all industries is 17 to 1. Do you have any information (benchmarks) in the Retail Call center industry the shows the cost per selling an item at brick and mortar vs. the costs per selling an item in a call center setting? In other words a comparison of selling costs in retail industries that have brick and mortar and catalog channel. Thank you. Good question, and yes we do have some best practices benchmarks in the retail industry for you to consider. One such company is called “Finali.” They are located in Boulder, Colorado. I do not have their coordinates with me as I am on the road at the moment. Check out their Web site for the details. Since cost depends on the type of retail store, I would suggest a “unit” cost approach in our comparison: 1. Brick and mortar cost per item sold = 1,000 units 2. Telephone catalog channel cost per item sold = 100 units 3. Web site self-service cost per item sold = 1 unit Fulfillment of these orders and the items sold is, of course, another story. Tough question since agent absenteeism can be a Do you have any metrics that would establish acceptable levels of agent absenteeism in a customer major hurdle in delivering acceptable service levels. service contact center environment? If I study our database of over 10,000 call centers, we see an average absenteeism of less than 5 percent, or about 10 days per year. This number does vary quite a bit between industries and regions of the country. If you have not already done so, I suggest you join our benchmarking community, and enter your performance numbers. This way you can get a more exact comparison with your peer group of call centers. Absenteeism is a challenge for all call centers. Copyright © 153 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer I am interested in both captive and outsourced seat utilization statistics for the US & Canada, EMEA and India ... an average across industries (but if you have more detail on the differences between industries that would help too). Steve, this is a tough question and would require some intense cuts of our database. We have the details, but I suggest you contact MichaelFeinberg@BenchmarkPortal.com for more details on how to proceed. But, I can give you a quick answer from our database for the US call center after a definition of the word “utilization”: Utilization is defined as “the percent of time that an agent is on the telephone with a caller as compared to the total time they are in their seat, connected to the ACD, and ready for a live caller. “Utilization, across industries, for captive, in-house, inbound customer service call centers in the US of A: 72% utilization Utilization, across industries, for outsourced in-bound customer service call centers in the US of A: 87% utilization What's the meaning of the FTE acronym, and what it means? Is it an external variable to calculate the number of paid hours or is a result from any other calculation in the call center calculation? FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent. Contact centers usually have a mix of full time agents and part time agents. A full time agent equals one full time equivalent. A part time agent working 30 hours per week equals 75% of a full time equivalent. A part time agent working 20 hours per week equals 50% of a full time equivalent. The number of FTE's cannot be determined from total paid hours, as total paid hours would eliminate absenteeism, leaves of absence and other non-paid activities. FTE's is a very important thing for contact center managers to understand and know, particularly when building staffing models and budgets. It is one of the data points captured in Purdue's benchmarking survey. My question is...have you or your team been able to identify a correlation between turnover rates and supervisor/agent ratios? It would seem logical that the more agents that are on a team, the less coaching & development they would receive, which would lead to higher turnover. I would appreciate knowing if there was a clear relationship identified that could be referenced to contact center managers. We have found a statistical significant relationship between turnover and the supervisor: agent ratio. The relationship is non-linear as indicated by the following: 1. between a ratio of 1:5 and 1:12, there is not much impact on agent turnover. 2. between ratios of 1:12 and 1:20, there is a gradual increase in agent turnover. 3. between ratios of 1:20 and above, there is an everincreasing impact on agent turnover. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 154 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer I would like to know what is the average call volume a Great question. Our data shows the following: day for a CSR in a world-class telecom operator? And how long does a call last on average? 1. Calls per shift for a CSR in a top performing telecom call center is 94 calls. 2. Typical call is 3 minutes. From this you can calculate the “utilization” factor, and this can be impacted by “occupancy.” There is a lot to know about each of these important call center management metrics. How do call centers handle their seasonal fluctuations In another recent BenchmarkPortal One-Minute Survey in call volume? we investigated how call centers handle their seasonal fluctuations in call volume. The results showed that the majority of call centers experience a volume increase that is between 20 and 30 percent above normal. We then asked how the centers handled their seasonal fluctuations. The responses indicated that 38 percent of the respondents have their agents work overtime to handle the seasonal fluctuations. Next in line were “other” and “hire seasonal agents,” followed by “convert part time to full time,” “outsource,” and “bring on at home agents.” We asked for a recommendation of something that they had done that had worked well in handling their seasonal increase in call volume. After analyzing the open-ended responses we saw the following popular responses. How do I measure the extent of impact of Every missing agent that you had counted on being at absenteeism on SL . what are all the data that I would work when you did your manpower loading, will require to collate will it be on the lines of AHT decrease SL by 2%. According to our benchmark research, the optimum span of control is one supervisor to 16 agents. Supervisors need time to monitor, coach, and field questions, take escalated calls, track attendance and plan improvements. You might want to enter all your performance data into our Web site, and receive a report detailing your performance as compared to your Peer Group. This would bring out important performance gaps for your new boss to consider. 155 Copyright © I am having a philosophical discussion with my new boss regarding the role of supervisors in my call center. We have 90 agents, four non-supervisory team leaders, who currently have 20-25 agents on their teams, and three supervisors. I think we need another supervisor, but my boss thinks I'm creating a bureaucracy. What is the benchmark for span of control? 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer I am hearing more and more about 'human factor' design regarding call centers. What is this and how does it apply to managing my call center? Human factors design has become more popular as management focuses on the seemingly “little” things that can often make a big difference in productivity. Human factors is an engineering discipline in which the prime thesis is that the “human-to-machine” interface is critical in applying effective technology solutions, and maximizing ROI. The call center agent, or knowledge worker, must use complex technology to consistently deliver excellent service. A few examples of factors that can be researched for design changes include the following: the keyboard (size, shape, layout, etc.), the screen (color, size, height, angle, etc.), screen layout (location of fields, color-coding of fields, pop-up windows, etc.) and many, many more. The human factors specialist focuses on those elements of the human physiology and psychology that can impact performance. Major improvements in agent effectiveness and efficiency have been realized by human factors re-engineering call centers technology. I am hearing more and more about moving calls “off On average 60% of the operational cost of a call center shore” to reduce costs. What does your research offer is tied up in human resources, and just finding great on this issue? agents that can read, write and speak English articulately is becoming tougher and tougher. Countries that were part of the English Commonwealth, like India, British Guyana, and others are stepping in to take up the slack. Many citizens of these countries benefit from having an excellent education that includes reading, writing, and speaking English fluently, but they cannot find jobs opportunities due to the lack of industrialization of their countries. With the globalization of telephone networks with the resulting low cost of long distance calls, call centers in these remote areas have become financially quite viable. Handling e-mail, especially technical support email, is a great way to begin. I am interested in learning the average agent population of in-house call centers in the US, and the same for outsourced call centers (mainly doing telemarketing and customer support). The average number of workstations for an in-house call center in the US is 78. The average for outsourced centers in the US is 250. There are about 100,000 call centers in the US if you include inbound plus outbound centers and internal help desks. I am responsible for the Business Development of a call centre (financial sector). I am trying to find ways to maximize the agent performance and occupancy ratio during outbound sale campaigns. We usually have 5 people working on a campaign and we use predictive dialing. Is the agent occupancy ratio better if they: 1. take their breaks (20 min) in turns 2. take their breaks all of them at once? In an outbound, telesales centre it is much easier to let agents take breaks together. The socialization is important to them and can motivate and energize them when they return. I pick number 2 from my experience. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 156 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer I am hearing more and more about moving calls off shore to reduce costs. What does your research offer on this issue? On average, 60% of the operational cost of a call center is tied up in human resources, and just finding great agents who can read, write and speak English articulately is becoming tougher and tougher. Countries that were part of the English Commonwealth, like India, British Guyana and others, are stepping in to take up the slack. Many citizens of these countries are receiving an excellent education. With the globalization of telephone networks resulting in lower long-distance costs, call centers in these remote areas have become quite viable financially. Handling e-mail from these countries, especially technical support e-mail, is a great way to begin. I manage a small call center (25 agents) for an insurance company in southeastern Indiana. Our CSR's often have post call work that takes them away from answering inbound calls. We have struggled with finding a meaningful way of measuring these activities and the time they take. We believe some of this work is related to training, or lack of available information. Do you have any suggestions for effectively and efficiently tracking post call work that might help us to better understand the resources needed to staff for this work? Are there any working models that you are aware of that might help us see into this “black hole”? I would begin by asking each CSR to document the “type” of activities required after the call, for example reasons like, a) claims correspondence, b) claims paperwork completion, c) claims investigation, etc. I would then create a frequency report of these activities to determine the major time “hogs.” I would then determine if a “less skilled” (i.e., less expensive) clerk could handle some or all of these activities. I would investigate if there is software available to minimize the agent's time spent on these post call activities. And finally, I suggest you benchmark your call center's post call work time against a peer group of insurance call centers through the Purdue performance database. By benchmarking, you will better “see” if your amount of post call work time is normal, or is it really too big, and therefore needs your attention. I'm trying to figure out an appropriate percentage of my budget to allocate to overtime expenses to handle calls during peak times rather than staff up for the peaks. I am not aware of a specific article that addresses overtime issues in call centers. However, from our work in benchmarking call centers, I would suggest an average budget allotment of 10% to 15% for overtime. Almost all centers encourage overtime for handling unanticipated peak call volumes. Too much overtime may be detrimental, causing burnout and increased turnover. In calculating agent annual turnover, should we include part-time employees? Most companies in our database report the turnover of full-time agents and part-time agents and part-time agents separately. Mixing them could be confusing. Is there any data on the cost of answering a customer's inquiry by phone, e-mail, fax, regular mail and through on-line self-help? We have polled call center managers and Web masters, and have averaged their results across industries as follows: a) telephone=$3 to $4 per inquiry, b) e-mail = $15 to $20 per inquiry, c) fax = $25 to $35 per inquiry, d) regular mail = $25 to $35 per inquiry, e) Web site = $0.50 to $1 per inquiry. Copyright © 157 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer Our center is looking at desk sharing for all part timers that fit together from a schedule perspective. HR seems to think this will be viewed as non-employee friendly, where Resource Planning views it as a “meeting us halfway” to saving overhead costs. Is there any type of case study out there to show either side that might be right? This is a very common situation, which is never easy implement without some “pain.” In a recent benchmark study on this issue, we found that over 50% of call centers in our database do have desk sharing. Frequently, this is limited to part timers and/or agents that are new to the job. Having “your own” desk is sometime a way to add benefits to keep agents longer. HR and Resource Planning are both right. It takes strong leadership to convince agents that the “meeting us halfway” is the right thing to do. I think if other HR issues are “on target”, i.e., compensation, hours of work, great frontline supervisors, then desk sharing becomes less of an issue. Typically in the call center one would schedule for daily business using some type of scheduling tool. My question is what is the “industry” stance on staffing up for outages? I suspect the answer is that we in the call center business should not “overstaff” for outages, but I need an official statement. In most call centers, one would schedule for daily business using some type of scheduling tool. Over ten vendors supply such ingenious scheduling tools. Outages are completely unplanned and cannot be statistically forecasted. Therefore, standard manpower scheduling tools do not work for such random events. Instead, most call centers have some type of “business recovery” plan in place for business outages caused by weather, fire, theft, and other natural disasters. Usually, this does not include extra staffing, but instead includes contracts with companies that provide business or disaster recovery through the availability of stand-by agents at alternate locations. We are a utility company with a 24x7 call center. I have 90 agents and four (non-supervisory) team leaders, who currently have from 20 to 25 agents on their teams. In addition, I have three supervisors. I believe we need another lead. The span is far too wide for the leads to effectively field questions, take escalated calls, mentor, coach and track attendance and availability. My boss thinks I am creating a bureaucracy. Our benchmark research indicates that the typical team leader would mentor between 15 and 20 people at most. You’re definitely much too lean. The best way to convince your boss that you are not creating a bureaucracy is to benchmark all of your performance metrics with other utilities of the same size (peer group). If you are performing substantially below average compared to your peer group of utilities, you may find it much easier to justify more team leaders. We are considering closing our call center during lunchtime in an effort to better manage the peaks and valleys of incoming calls. We are looking for a benchmark to determine if we should pursue this initiative in our call center. There is not one single company in our database that reports closing during the lunch hour. Customers need access to information at all times, especially during the business day, when working customers often call during their lunch hours. We are considering Home Based Representatives to help save costs. Do you have information on Costs (labor and benefits), Processes, Problems and Issues with this? Also could you recommend some articles or web sites on these issues? I already have an article you wrote on these issues from ICCM Weekly. Home-based agents are a very realistic and exciting new source of low-cost “people power” for today's call, chat, and e-mail channels. I am in the processing of completing a white paper that focuses on enabling physically disabled Americans to work from home. This paper will be available by the end of July and then posted on our Web site. We currently have an average of nine agents reporting to one supervisor. Is this good enough? Have you found that there is an optimum ratio of agents to supervisors? In our database of call centers, the ratio of agents to supervisors that produces the most effective service in the most efficient way is 14 agents to one supervisor. It looks like you have room for improvement. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 158 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer What do you see as an optimum staffing model for a large company's call center with regard to the correct number of agents per site? When we compare our multi-view call center performance index (MPI) with the size of call centers, we find that the most efficient and effective call centers (i.e., those with the highest MPI), are between 250 and 500 agents. The MPI dips at both the very small call center and the very large call center. What is a Call Center's average of calls vs. applications in their Loan By Phone department? Average calls per loan application are about three to one. What is the industry standard for call volume Daily = 96% accurate forecasting accuracy at the daily level? At the monthly level? Monthly = 83% We have noticed an ever-increasing interest by contact center managers in best practices related to e-mail management. For that reason, we have launched major initiatives in e-mail benchmarking. The majority of e-mail is responded to in less than 6 hours. This is in spite of the fact that when we survey consumers, they are quite happy to have their e-mail answered in 24 hours, or even more. Regarding e-mail quality, the majority of managers seem to sample the e-mail that was sent and perform their quality check there. We would encourage a greater focus on ensuring that each e-mail is answered in one e-mail, i.e., “first time final,” as we all strive to do in our telephone calls. 159 Copyright © What is the interest, by contact center managers, in best practices relating to e-mail management? 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer Would you be willing to share with me your high-level thoughts on what you think a realistic Adherence to Schedule expectation should be for agents in an inbound call center who also do a mix of back-office work during the day. We're an in-bound Electric Utility call center (union shop). Our approx. 200 agents mostly work 8 to 5 with an hour for lunch and two scheduled 10 min breaks. They're on the phones all day Mondays, and usually have 1 to 2 hours of nonphone activities scheduled Tues thru Friday. We're an Aspect shop: ACD, IVR, CTI and eWFM w/Real Time Adherence. We also use the Witness eQuality system. We are simply trying to promote a “quantitative” ATS metric: total hours available to the customer (in Aspect terms that would be the total of Talk, Hold, Wrap and Available for the next call) divided by the total Scheduled ACD hours out of the eWorkForce Management system. Our center is consistently at or around 87% adherence, and I'd like to get to around 95%. Is that realistic? How does that compare to other centers that may perform a like mix of work? First of all, you have a wonderful array of enabling technologies to run a world-class contact center...congratulations. In answering your question, let’s not confuse adherence to schedule (ATS) with Agent Occupancy, and/or Agent Utilization. ATS is simply the individual Agent’s adherence to exactly the schedule that you give them for a particular shift. It might include phone time, classroom time, back office time, and the like...ATS for the telephone time is very easy to track with your Aspect system...you are essentially tracking to see that the agent is in their seat at the exact time required by the Aspect WFM scheduler...namely, do they arrive on time, do they take their breaks on time, do they return from breaks on time, and the like...union shop or non-union shop, you should be able to achieve a better than 95% ATS. Occupancy, by contrast is the percent of time that an Agent is in their seat and connected to the Aspect ACD and ready to handle inbound phone calls (availability), as a percentage of their total time at work (total paid-for shift time). If their only job is telephone work, you should be able to achieve an occupancy percent of 85 to 90%...much more than 90%, and you will begin to see Agent burnout and turnover. A third key performance indicator (KPI) is called Utilization, (again available from your switch) and it indicates the percent of time an Agent is on the telephone with a customer as a percentage of their being in their seat connected to the ACD (available). This key performance indicator is controlled by proper management in forecasting calls and scheduling Agents. You should strive to achieve 95% utilization of your phone agents. Hope this helps… © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 160 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Q & A Category: “Other” Question Answer Are there any Vendor references that you would refer us to for webinars or product validation studies.? Yes, we have many wonderful vendors willing to talk to you about their experience with us in doing webinars and product validation studies. We do not just give out names and email address, because we need to know who you are, and what industry you’re in, and then connect you with the best reference. I suggest you email me at DrJonAnton@BenchmarkPortal.com with your details. Thanks for your question. Hope to hear from you soon. I am working with GE Capital India and it is one of the largest IT Helpdesks in the country. I require some information on Problem Categorization. A call is categorized into PCC, which is Problem Category Codes for that particular. Today these PCC's are symptomatic in nature which the call taker thinks is the problem. At the end of the day, I would like to study what kind of problems are coming into my HelpDesk using these PCC drill downs. Is there any study that has been done on Problem Categorization for IT HelpDesks? What are the best practices? How are other people doing? What is the best way to study what kind of problems are coming into my HelpDesk? This is a VERY complicated area, for which little standardization exists. “Best Practice” approaches to categorization go beyond symptom (or problem code as you describe), and consider a broader classification schema. A typical schema would include: Product line (i.e. Pc, server, printer) , Domain (i.e. database, network, etc), Symptom (squeaky sound, blue screen) , Failure (missing DLL) and Solution (patch # 12345). Do you know current figures on outsourced customer service in the US (percentage of companies that outsource)? My last figure is 25% (Fortune 1000) in 1997. In your estimation, is the outsourcing trend continuing? Thank you very much for any assistance. From our research of over 25,000 call centers, including the Fortune 1000, companies outsource only approximately 8% of their calls. The teleservices industry continues to grow at about 11% per year, however, it is a very crowded industry with many small players. I would anticipate a consolidation in the next twelve months. Are the any client references that you can offer for Benchmarking in the Health Insurance industry in Australia? Q2 : Australia is listed as one of the 50 countries in the Benchmark research. What Australian companies have been included in Health Insurance Call Centre Benchmark study? A1. We do have good references, but why bother...just send your data and benchmark with us….after all, the Reality Check Benchmark is FREE… I work for a Customer Satisfaction Team at SK Corporation, South Korea. SK Corporation is the number 1 oil refinery company in South Korea. My team manages a call center, and we are trying to figure out a call center's contribution in terms of sales volume. So I'd like to know whether or not there is any kind of research or study about a call center's contribution to sales volume. This is a very complex question. If you are an outbound sales call center, then the contribution is easier to predict. If you are an inbound customer service center taking customers' orders, again easy to predict. If you are an inbound customer service center just handling questions, then it is very difficult to predict. What are you? Many of the providers of Knowledge Management Software and Help Desk solutions offer insights into problem categorization on their web sites. You can find many of the fine companies offering these solutions in the Yellow Pages section of our web site. We strongly recommend that you participate in our Help Desk Technical Support Benchmark Service to compare the performance of your help desk to your peers. A2. We do not list our member companies as part of our total confidentiality approach. We do have many health insurance call centers in our database. Please join us... Copyright © 161 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer Do you have any interesting demographics regarding callers? Yes, our research shows that individuals with a higher level of education are likely to contact call centers more often. In addition, individuals in the 20- to 40-year-old age group are more likely to contact companies than individuals in the 50- to 70-year-old age group. There is a free white paper available on our Web site, www.BenchmarkPortal.com regarding caller and Web visitor demographics. Do you have any international data and if so how many centers by country? Yes we do. We currently have data on almost 50 countries. I suggest you email me at DrJonAnton@BenchmarkPortal.com with which countries your are researching. Thanks for your question. Hope to hear from you soon. Does Dr. Jon work for Purdue or BenchmarkPortal? Dr. Anton works for both organizations. He is the academic “liaison” between BenchmarkPortal and Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality. This unique research Center at Purdue was founded by in 1993. He is the Director of Benchmark Research for both organizations. Dr. Jon also works for the Anton Press, a publishing house that focuses on books for the customer service contact center community. Dr. Jon has authored 22 books and has another 10 in the production pipeline. How does Six Sigma either fit or complete with BMP Six Sigma is a worldwide organization focused on Total Quality Management. They certify QA professionals to do quality improvement in all aspects of a company. A Six Sigma person can be your strongest ally in conducting benchmarking using the BMP methodology. I would like to obtain some curriculum information on the program at Purdue - including any requirements for your students to complete internships or residencies. Let me get some materials together to send you. Because of the demand on my time, allow about two weeks. I would like to purchase “Call Center Benchmarking This is an older book, and is really “out of print”. (Deciding If Good Is Enough), but it is always out of stock on the online stores I've searched. Do you know I suggest my new book with Bruce Belfiore, where I could get a copy? Thanks. Benchmarking at its Best for Contact Centers. Check it out on our Web site Bookstore: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/store/index.taf Have you noticed any gender differences in terms of who is more likely to call a company's call center? Yes. Our research shows that women are more likely to call catalog call centers than men, and men are more likely to call financial services call centers than women. Also, women are more likely to make purchases by phone, and men are more likely to just call for information. How active will Dr. Jon be in our engagement? Dr. Anton is listed as the principal investigator on all engagements conducted by BenchmarkPortal. From a quality assurance perspective, he is intimately involved in all major projects. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 162 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer My organization just made a necessary rule change that has enraged a high number of our users. The Board of Directors has heard the negative feedback but refuses to change back. The issue is just but it does hurt our customers. I’m left with the daunting task of informing these irate customers that they will not get what they want. What kind of positive spin can I do for this issue? My current strategy is to offer a filed complaint that will be forwarded to the BOD’s and even suggest a letter be written to the BOD’s for the most irate. Our users are primarily Realtors and I can’t think of another user base that works more closely with each other. The old adage of 1 customer will relay their negative feelings to 8 others and they will relay to 8 others gets multiplied by 20 with this user base. What’s the best cause of action to try and keep this from tarnishing our company’s good reputation? Thanks for your question. I would very much like to know more about what the negative “rule change” was, but regardless, here is my advice: How do call centers operated by Government agencies differ from call centers in private industry? In July, we launched a special benchmark study of call centers in Government agencies, namely Federal, State, and Municipal centers (also know as the “Public Sector”). We are already seeing some interesting differences. In general, we have found that Public Sector call centers are more focused on effectiveness to ensure that their annual budgets will be re-approved, and less on efficiency. Therefore, costs per call might be higher in the Public Sector, but so are “once and done” calls and turnover is much lower. The complete study will be published in January of 2001. How is Public defined, is it a combination of all Government agencies or something else? Public means a governmental agency, period……Private means an actual corporation, or a non-profit organization. How many and who consisted of the Peer Group? Typical Peer Group is ideally 30 call centers. How do you assure that the data submitted and then benchmarked against is valid and true data? Good question and one of our most frequently asked questions. We do all of the following: 1. Most customers can relate to a balanced and fair business practice. 2. I have to assume that your BOD is not an irrational group and that the policy change is something that must be done for a good business reason. 3. I suggest you share with your users the predicament that your company is in, and the business rationale behind the decision by the Board. 4. The best relationship management strategy between customers and companies is balanced, rational, and fair...I am assuming that your Board has taken this into effect and that the problem has been articulating their position to your users with a positive spin for both parties. 1. We visit many call centers to validate their data. 2. We put participants on notice that their data may be audited at moments notice. 3. We also do several “reality checks” on the data and flag data that seems to be out of range or just plain erroneous. 4. We also have cross-computations through which we compare numbers submitted…..any data point two standard deviations from the mean is flagged immediately for further review. 5. Lastly, we have a staff of QA experts that inspect every data point submitted, and who are quick to call a participant whose numbers seem unrealistic. Copyright © 163 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question Answer How many call centers have been certified in the Center of Excellence Program? Our certification program was launched four months ago, and we now have 14 centers certified, and 58 centers working through the process. How many call centers have current data in the BP database? We have been collecting data for almost 10 years and have had over 50,000 call centers participate from 28 different countries. How many call centers must be in a Peer Group for it to be a statistically valid sample and what are the informational criteria? We recommend that a peer group should be between 5 and 20 call centers. The statistics are those of small groups, meaning we need at least 50 percent of all call centers that fit the “peer criteria.” Peer informational criteria are user-selectable, and vary from such parameters as size, and industry to parameters such as type of calls handled and calls handled/agent/shift. How many Canadian members? At last count, there were 253 Canadian call centers in our database. How many certified auditors in Canada and the US does BP have? In Canada, we work exclusively through TELUS. In the USA, we have several hundred certified auditors. These individuals are listed on our website. How personally committed are the senior executives in your company to achieving high service levels through the call center? Although most senior executives of the companies surveyed are personally committed to improving call center performance, many are unsure how best to focus their commitment. In other words, they realize the value of the call center to the company's success but they remain cautious in demonstrating their commitment through increased budgeting to achieve higher service levels. I manage a call center for a department of the federal government. Does your call center research focus on the public sector? So far we have not had a specific focus on the public sector. We do, however, have quite a few public sector call centers in our database. In addition, we are actively looking for a sponsor to help us develop a public sector-only benchmark report. I work for a city government, and am trying to lure call centers to locate here. What are other cities doing to attract call centers? 1. They send their representatives to call center conferences to exhibit in booths that offer comprehensive information about their cities. 2. They help arrange for companies to tour their cities. 3. They provide tax incentives. 4. They work with the local educational institutions to provide courses targeted at call center skill requirements. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 164 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question I would appreciate if you could let us know your thoughts on what call centers will look like in 5 years. Answer In my “crystal ball,” I see four major trends impacting call centers dramatically in the next 5 years, as follows: 1. I see a major move to IP Telephony in the “call channel” – this will change costs and will also allow easy implementation of “virtual” centers with agents “anywhere” 2. I see a major move to use the caller in the call quality monitoring process through post-call IVR surveys with the results linked immediately back to the agent via an agent-specific dashboard indicating caller feedback in real-time, including a verbatim response from the caller indicating (by the caller’s voice) what the agent could have done better in handling the call. I see this new technology, replacing some, if not all, of the currently expensive and ineffective call monitoring software using internal quality teams. 3. I see that there will be a major move to outsourcing in general, i.e., North American based, but also offshore outsourcing will grow asymptotically. 4. I see call volumes continuing to increase by over 50% in the next five years because the American consumer “loves” asking questions before, during, and after the sale, HOWEVER, I see a new emphasis on “call avoidance” by giving today’s callers the option to move to other channels including, IVR, web, web-chat, and email...these channels will grow substantially, and all will be integrated through a universal queue that will make managing volumes a reality...the key is to give consumer choices, and real-time information to make the “best choice” for a particular contact. I do see all sorts of secondary “happenings” – but your wish was the most dramatic changes. In a nutshell, call centers of the future will be smaller, more dispersed, more virtually managed, handling mostly “high value” calls (because most easy calls will go to self-service), more often outsourced, more efficient, and more effective…. The cost of handling an inbound call for a 100-seat call center varies greatly by industry and the type of call being handled. Two extremes would be $7.01 for financial services agents handling transactions, to $17.78 for technology products where agents “fix” complex problems over the telephone. On average across industries, Fortune 500 companies have 36 call centers with an average of 128 agents in each. 165 Copyright © I'm doing some research relating to the economics surrounding call centers. One number that would be of interest to me is the cost of handling an inbound call for a large call center, namely one with 100 seats. I also want to know the average number of seats in a commercial call center for a Fortune 500 company. Terry Mayfield 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question In an industry report, why do all of the metrics not always properly align with each other, in some cases making the “Average” scores better than the “Best”? Answer An industry report represents the averages for each question (and sub-question) that the participants responded to, but the number of participants answering each question often varies, so the averages are only relatively related to each other. The affect of this is that the average for each question “MUST STAND ALONE” and cannot be directly related to the other numbers. The averages are, however, relatively representative of the “industry average” when taken in their overall context. In your benchmarking research, what are today's hot issues for call center managers? Our list of “hot” issues tends to vary almost month to month as we poll the members of our benchmark community. Currently the following are at the top of most call center manager's agendas: 1)preparing the call center for “eBusiness” 2) striving for a balance between efficiency and effectiveness, 3)seamlessly integrating e-mail, Web site, and telephone contacts, 4)redefining the call center from a cost center to a profit center, and 5)processing the mountains of data generated by customer contacts. Is it possible for some companies to have more than one call center represented in an industry report? If so, can a company that had at least two call centers be represented in the “Average Group” and the “Best of Average” at the same time? It is possible for a company to have more than one call center represented within an industry report; however, it is important to remember that our specific methodology is to benchmark call centers, not companies. Therefore, each call center is benchmarked as an individual entity, thus bringing its own merit to the report. Please Bullet point the major “hot” issues for those striving to be best-in-class call centers. Top five hot issues that we are seeing in the States:' 1. minimizing agent turnover by applicant screening to ensure better “fit” for the telephone customer service type of job 2. developing practical strategies to migrate callers to use email and web chat for low-value interactions, i.e., call avoidance 3. measuring caller satisfaction and driving results in real-time to all levels in the call center to change behavior 4. adding user-friendly analytics to allow better decision making within the call center, and to make caller data available to departments outside of the call center, i.e., like marketing, QA, and others 5. experimenting with using countries like India to outsource customer interactions to determine the cost effectiveness © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 166 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer The data used in peer group benchmarking comparison is up to 24 months old. Shouldn't data be more current to benchmark? Early on we decided on a “rolling” 24 months window for peer group comparison. We are seriously considering changing this to a 12 months window. Benchmarking is not an exact science. We are comfortable with our current methods, but we now have so many participants that we plan to move to a smaller time window for comparison – could even be that we move to a 6-months window. So to answer your question, yes, your intuition is correct…the smaller the time window the more current the data, the better the benchmarking results. We are in the process of updating our Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Strategy and plans. Are you aware of a source for best practices information specific to Live Agent Call Centers? Any books I have found date back to 1999. I recommend you go to the Call Center Magazine “Buyer’s Guide.” There you will find a listing under Business Recovery and Disaster Recovery. Contact those companies in the business and ask for their advice and best practices. We are truly a unique call center. How do you benchmark us if you do not have our competitors in your database? Everyone logically thinks they are “truly unique.” I have yet to not be able to find all of our participants a peer group. However, if we fail to find one for you, we will recruit your competitors into our database. We have done this many times for others. You make the list, we check our database, and if they are not there, we recruit them for you…no additional cost. We are looking at utilizing our internal call center as an outsource service for other businesses. Where does one begin to determine pricing structures for these services? There are several approaches: 1. Call several outsourcing companies and tell them you are thinking of outsourcing some of your calls, then ask them to give you some “ballpark” prices 2. Conduct a “bottoms up” analysis of your cost and determine the base cost of call handling, then add double that cost for your price points for providing the service...I recommend doubling your cost to cover marketing, relationship management, and contracting with the new business partners 3. Your cost offering should include: a. by the hour b. by the minute c. by the call d. $s/hour per dedicated agent e. and more In closing, this is a complex business...it is very competitive, and the current supply is in excess of the demand, i.e., a buyer’s market. What are the criteria for becoming a Certified Auditor and what are the standards for maintaining that title? A certified auditor must participate in our workshop, take an exam, and do at least one audit with one of our certified auditors. Auditors are re-certified each year. We are very careful and detailed about who can be a BenchmarkPortal auditor. What experience does BenchmarkPortal have in actually running call centers? All of our content people come from a call center background. Copyright © 167 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report Question What kind of time commitment is it for my internal team to go through this Benchmark process? Answer If you start with our new RealityCheck survey, you need only 12 data points. This should take less than 30 minutes. The complete peer group survey may take the better part of 4 hours for an organized team. What are the BenchmarkPortal key differentiators from There are other companies that offer benchmarking in the competition? Can we speak with Dr Anton about some form or another. these issues? We are different and unique in the following ways: 1. The size of our database is over fifty times greater than the nearest competitor. 2. The size of our database allows us to offer statistical observations about true best practices that the competitors are not able to do with their very small sample sizes. 3. Our basic industry peer group report is completely free, yet is very informative. 4. We encourage participants to further refine their benchmark research by selecting a “close fitting” peer group of very similar call centers. 5. We encourage self-assessment using our peer group report. 6. We offer a 'membership' in our benchmarking community that gives members access to free information and telephone consulting. 7. We offer a four-hour course in benchmarking that is taught in major cities throughout the world on a regular basis. This course enables participants to do selfassessments 8. Our benchmarking leads to certification as a “Center of Excellence” when all the performance metrics reach prescribed levels. What call center centric publications does Dr Jon regularly contribute to? There are many great publications that pick up ’s research results and articles. They include: Contact Center Professional Connections Magazine Call Center Magazine CRM2Day Customer Interaction Magazine Contact Center World ICCM Weekly SOCAP’s Customer Relationship Management Magazine And many more… Who are the top two competitors for Benchmarking Call Centers? No other organization offers contact center benchmarking in the exact business model used by BenchmarkPortal. Two groups that are close are ISO 9000 and COPC. Both of these professional groups do call center benchmarking and certification - and they do an excellent job of it. However, if one looks thoroughly at the models of each organization they are completely different from each other and from BenchmarkPortal. Therefore, for instance, Microsoft in the last year actually got their ISO, COPC, and BenchmarkPortal certification, and - most importantly found each effort worthwhile as a learning experience for make quality improvements. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 168 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Frequently Asked Questions From The Popular “Ask Dr. Jon” Column Question Answer What is Purdue University's role with BenchmarkPortal? The original benchmarking of call centers began at Purdue University under the direction of Dr. Jon Anton. The initiative grew so quickly and so successfully, that it became too much for a universitybased service primarily staffed by part-time students. BenchmarkPortal, Inc. was founded as a joint venture with Purdue University, and as a way to move the operation “off campus.” Purdue staff still takes an active role to ensure the scientific nature of the best practice research, including having a seat on the Board of Directors. What is the difference between being in the upper > right quadrant as a result of the FREE Group Benchmarking > and being in the upper right quadrant after the Peer Group Benchmarking? Good question. They are most often exactly the same. The difference is that the Peer Group Report digs into more KPIs than the Free RealityCheck Benchmark Report. There is a small chance that the “dig deeper” KPIs will point to a problem not visible through the free Reality Check experience… not often, but possible. Who is included in 'All Participants' in the Inbound Performance Comparison? Is it just government agencies, all industries or a combination of local, state, Federal, B2B and B2C? In the Government report, “all participants” are all governmental agencies, including Federal, State, and Local Municipalities. Why should I not just Benchmark direct with You can benchmark directly with us. Sometimes the BenchmarkPortal? Why do I need a Certified Auditor? on-site team does not have the time to take full advantage of the benchmark results. Our approach is designed for you to do it yourself…so please try, and if you’re in trouble contact us for assistance. What other major call center consultants use benchmarking as part of their discovery process for their clients? Almost all the major call center consultant teams use some sort of benchmarking during their discovery process. Over 200 call center consultants have taken our call center “auditor” course and are now formally Purdue University Certified Call Center Auditors. Representative from all of the “big five” have participated, and in addition a partial list would include: CAP Gemini, E&Y, PWC, IBM, e-Loyalty, AT&T, AMS, Bain, McKinsey, and more. What specific criteria were used in determining “The Best In Industry Average? The Best in Industry Average of any BenchmarkPortal Industry report represents the average of the top quartile (25%) of the industry. This is a running average used throughout the report and not a metric by metric average. Where can I find a current listing of upcoming Dr Jon speaking engagements? They are listed on our Web site. See the link “Current Events” Where can we find out more about outsourcers, including their location, specialization, cost and the quality of their services? Call Center Magazine often reports on outsourcers (also known as teleservices companies), including their contact information and call handling specialization. In addition, we have just launched a benchmarking study of teleservices companies. We will collect pricing, quality and performance data during the next four months. Reports will be available from our Web site. Copyright © 169 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CRM BOOKSTORE INFORMATION Copyright © 171 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. CRM Bookstore Information Find all the information you’ve ever wanted or needed on e-Business centers and CRM at <www.BenchmarkPortal.com>. BOOKS Find valuable information and resources on contact centers, written by some of the best authorities in the industry. • 24 books by Dr. Jon Anton and other well-known authors and co-authors INDUSTRY REPORTS Select from several vertical industry categories including: • Employee Benefits Issues Insurance: • Health • Life • Property/Casualty • Other Insurance Manufacturing: • Aerospace • Agricultural • Automotive • Construction Materials/Tools • Office Equipment Non-Profit: • Non-Profit Publishing & Media: • Books, Magazines, Newspapers • Television & Radio Media • Movies/Music • Educational Testing Retail: • Department Stores • Catalog Technical Support: • Computer Products • Consumer Products Technology: • Computer Hardware • Computer Software • Telecommunications 173 Copyright Telecommunications Services: • Cable-BroadbandSatellite • Data/Internet Service Provider • Telecom Provider • Cellular Teleservice Providers: • Inbound • Outbound • Both Transportation: • Toll Roads • Vehicle Rental • Small Package Shipping • Heavy Freight Shipping Travel & Leisure: • Airlines • Cruise • Lodging • Travel Agency • Other Travel Utilities: • Electric • Gas • Water • Heating Oil © All Industries: • U.S. • North America • Europe/Middle East/Africa • Asia/Pacific • Central America • South America Chemical: • Industrial Chemicals • Pharmaceuticals Consumer Products: • Food & Beverage • Health & Beauty • Electronics Financial Services: • Banking • Brokerage • Credit Card • Mortgage Government: • Federal • State • Local • Dept. of Defense • Emergency Services Healthcare: • Health Care Provider • Health Plan Management (HMO) Help Desk: • Employee Technical Issues 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report VIDEOS Listen to what the experts in the contact center industry are talking about: Ask the Experts video series: • Ask the Experts – complete set • Agent Coaching & Monitoring • Customer Interaction Management • Automated Agent Monitoring • Computer Based Training • Outsourcing Agent Training video series: • Introduction to Total Quality • Problem Solving • Active listening • Stress Management • Telephone Techniques • Negotiation and Mediation • Anger Diffusion WHITE PAPERS, ARTICLES, & SLIDES • • • • • • • • • Customer Lifetime Value Management: The Secrets of obtaining The Maximum ROI of CRM Technology Improving Call Center Performance Through Optimized Site Selection Managing Call Center Service Quality The CRM Performance Index The Impact of an Outbound Contact Management System on Agent Productivity The New Virtual Paradigm of CRM The Use of Symbols to Capture Caller Data Call Center Assessment Customer Touch Points • • • • • • • • • • • • What is a CRM-Interaction Center Customer Lifetime Value Calculator International Benchmarking Planning your Benchmark Study The Tonchev Performance Index for Call Center Best Practices The Technology of Self Service Self Service Solutions ROI Calculations for e-Business Improvement Initiatives Multi-Channel Integration Calculating the Value of Performance Gaps Customer Service Call Centers – “The New Corporate Battleground” e-CRM Rules CD-ROMs / VIDEOS • • Dr. Jon LIVE Presentation Toolkit Please take a few minutes to visit our online bookstore and explore all of the resources we have to offer at www.BenchmarkPortal.com © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 174 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. BENCHMARKPORTAL’S PRODUCTS AND SERVICES LISTING To further our mission of providing contact center leaders with the tools they need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their contact centers, we offer the following products and services. Copyright © 175 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing 1. RealityCheck™ RealityCheck™ is a free Web-based tool that allows contact centers to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their current contact center performance as compared to those in the same industry. RealityCheck™ includes a Balanced Performance Matrix, which plots your efficiency and effectiveness against your industry peers. Call quantity (efficiency) is plotted on the xaxis. Call quality (effectiveness) is plotted on the y-axis; combined, these provide you with a high-level view of your call center performance. Call centers that are able to optimize customer-centric results, while containing costs are “Call Centers of Excellence;” these are centers positioned in the most desirable upperright quadrant. Recommended for: All contact centers. Centers that do not have sufficient analytical staff are encouraged, but not required, to use a Purdue-certified consultant (see Web site) to help them with data gathering and report interpretation. Centers with their own analytical staff should consider sending their specialist to us for training in the proper use of our benchmarking reports. To access RealityCheck™, go to www.BenchmarkPortal.com and click on the RealityCheck™ logo or for more information call 805.614.0123 Ext. 77. Copyright © 177 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 2. Peer Group Benchmark Subscription Managers may want to a) see additional metrics that are specific to their sector; and b) know that the peer group is composed of their direct competitors. BenchmarkPortal is the trusted research organization that collects the additional data from all parties and produces the sector-specific report. ONLY anonymous and aggregate data are included as peer information in the reports. Recommended for: Operations that are part of an identifiable competitive peer sector and that have key performance metrics that are specific to that sector. For more information call 805.614.0123 Ext. 77. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 178 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing 3. Call Center Certification Contact center leaders who want their centers to be certified as a Center of Excellence have urged us to develop this program, which utilizes our database, expertise and proprietary performance indices. Recommended for: • All contact centers that strive to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency • Best practices organizations • Outsourcers • Multinationals wishing to instill best-practices globally For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 61. Copyright © 179 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 4. Echo - Caller Satisfaction Measurement ‘Every Customer Has Opinions…even if no one asks’ BenchmarkPortal introduces Echo, the ultimate service improvement solution—a groundbreaking new approach for translating direct customer feedback into rich actionable business intelligence. Echo challenges the traditional approach to measuring and improving customer service. The status quo has consistently fallen short of delivering the kind of results that create and maintain loyal customers. Based on our research, we have taken the best practices of the most successful companies and incorporated them into a dynamic closed-loop approach that really delivers. Echo provides an all-in-one solution: • Scientifically-based customer feedback collection • Primary source for monitoring agent effectiveness • Service recovery, including post-recovery effectiveness measurement • Core cause determination and analysis • Effective, behavior-based agent coaching • Meaningful metrics to track results • Real-time Reporting • Business intelligence needed to make informed decisions © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 180 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing The customer feedback collection component of Echo may be purchased as a standalone tool. However, we recommend the full Echo product as your ultimate service solution. We can help you develop and implement our revolutionary monitoring and coaching approach without loss of precious time in confronting technology and implementation issues. In most cases, we can launch Echo in just 60 days. Recommended for: All contact centers that are interested in leveraging customer feedback to improve customer satisfaction. For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 62. Copyright © 181 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 5. FairCompare™ Agent Satisfaction Benchmarking Finally, BenchmarkPortal introduces a new benchmarking tool designed specifically for Contact Centers. This tool allows you to compare the satisfaction results of your Contact Center agents to the results of other Contact Center agents! As a Contact Center Professional, you know the importance of retaining your talent. Our FairCompare™ benchmarking surveys and reporting system quickly pinpoint areas of risk to proactively resolve them. FairCompare™ lets you compare your Contact Center agents based on any category captured, including: • • • • • • Tenure Age-range Job Title Skill-set Supervisor And lots more! FairCompare™ provides the ability to compare your Contact Center results to those of agents who’ve already participated in the survey. And when our database is sufficiently populated, you will also be able to compare your results to: • • • • • Your Peer Group Your Industry Best-in-Industry Your Demographic Region Similar Environments Customizable, always available, Online Reporting is a central feature of FairCompare , providing results that you can act on quickly. Survey results help you pinpoint exact areas to focus on for immediate improvement initiatives, giving you the “Why” behind each “What.” ™ • Contact centers that are experiencing change management issues. • Centers with high agent turnover rates. • Recommended for: Centers that seek to be regarded as employers of choice. For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 63 or visit www.BenchmarkPortal.com and click on the FairCompare logo. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 182 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing 6. Benchmarking 201: Your Competitive Advantage This NEW hands-on workshop is for all call center professionals who need a sound benchmark methodology to audit current performance results, then prioritize solutions toward achieving a competitive ROI. Participants will calculate the cause/cost of poor/excessive performance by case studies and quantify a 30-day impact plan. Attendees earn Certification as a Benchmark Specialist through Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. What Will I Learn? • Benchmarking the Difference: Satisfaction, Retention, Operations, Cost containment • Competitive Performance: Peer Reports, Gap analysis on effective/efficiency metrics • Solutions Savings: Root Cause impact, Simulation charts, quantifiable action plan Recommended for those who need a Peer-Industry Benchmark For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 65. Copyright © 183 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 7. College of Call Center Excellence The College of Call Center Excellence provides training courses that result in certification of contact center team members. Courseware is available for managers, supervisors and agents. Courses are taught both in-person and online. Some are taught in conjunction with BenchmarkPortal. Recommended for: All centers. Training is a budget item for all centers that is rarely optimized. We can help you to get more for your training dollar. For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 64. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 184 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing 8. Industry Reports Available From BenchmarkPortal, Inc. These industry reports contain hundreds of call center benchmarks and best practices for a specific industry: Aerospace Airline All Industries Automotive Banking Brokerage Cable/Broadband/Satellite Catalog Computer Hardware Computer Software Consumer Products Credit Card Financial Services Government & Non-Profit Healthcare Provider Help Desk Insurance Technical Support Insurance – Health Telecommunications Insurance – Life Transportation Insurance – Property & Casualty Travel & Hospitality Outbound Teleservices Utilities Publishing & Media Wireless Retail Worldwide* Secure online ordering is available at: http://www.BenchmarkPortal.com/bookstore or call (805) 614-0123 Extension 16 *Our Worldwide Industry Benchmark Reports provide best practices for call centers in three primary geographical regions: North America (U.S.A & possessions, Canada, Mexico), EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan). Copyright © 185 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 9. Best Practice Reports The team of researchers from BenchmarkPortal and Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality are turning their focus to your most vital resource: Your People. Best Practices in Quality Monitoring and Coaching We are pleased to announce our Best Practices in Quality Monitoring and Coaching study. This report is the fruit of almost nine months of research and analysis by the team of experts headed by Dr. Jon Anton, of Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. This study involved over a dozen carefully-selected call centers of distinction. This is the first study of its kind and resulted in a work of extreme interest and insight. Best Practices in Workforce Management Highlights of the reports: • Study Findings: What are the impact factors in best practice companies. • Workforce Optimization Cycle and Components • Forecasting and Scheduling Alternatives • Workforce Management Roles & Responsibilities • Workforce Management Metrics • Developing Optimal Schedules For more information on these reports, call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 21. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 186 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing 10. The Anton Press The following pages contain a listing of our current books as well as an order form. Secure online ordering is available at www.AntonPress.com. Business Navigation Only two centuries ago, early explorers (adventurous business executives of those bygone days) were guided primarily with a compass and celestial navigation using reference points like the North Star. Today’s busy executive also needs guidance systems with just-in-time business intelligence to navigate through the challenges of locating, recruiting, keeping, and growing profitable customers. The Anton Press provides this navigational system through practical, how-to-do-it books for the modern day business executive. For more information call: 805.614.0123 Ext. 21. Copyright © 187 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report 20:20 CRM A Visionary insight into unique customer contacts The contact center is at the heart of many businesses today, and CRM initiatives are making customer contact even more critical to the health of every company. 20:20 CRM provides a strategic view of where businesses should be going with their customer contact operation, with practical examples of how to get there. ISBN 0-9630464-5-4 By: Dr. Jon Anton and Laurent Philonenko Price: $24.95 Benchmarking at its Best for Contact Centers Done right, and done regularly, benchmarking provides improved work life, career advancement and substantially increased earnings on a consistent basis. This book is an essential manual for continuous improvement peer group benchmarking that shows convincingly why proper professionalism in today’s environment requires benchmarking. Includes valuable information on how to benchmark through BenchmarkPortal and describes the latest products and processes to help you get the most from this crucial activity. Also addresses emerging best practices in key areas such as: customer satisfaction measurement and using the voice of the customer for monitoring and coaching, agent satisfaction measurement, as well as the new symbolic language for desktop software that will reduce the time of data entry and interpretation for your agents in the future. ISBN 0-9719652-1-8 By: Bruce Belfiore with Dr. Jon Anton Price: $9.95 Call Center Benchmarking “How ‘good’ is good enough?” This “how to” book describes the essential steps of benchmarking a call center with other similar call centers, with an emphasis on “self assessment.” The reader learns how to plan a benchmark, how to collect the correct performance data, how to analyze the data, and how to find improvement initiatives based on the findings. ISBN 1-55753-215-X By: Dr. Jon Anton Price: $39.95 Call Center Performance Enhancement - Using Simulation and Modeling This book provides its readers with an understanding about the role, value, and practical deployment of simulation an exciting technology for the planning, management, and analysis of call centers. The book provides useful guidelines to call center analysts, managers, and consultants who may be investigating or are considering the use of simulation as a vehicle in their business to responsibly manage change. ISBN 1-55753-182-X By: Jon Anton, Vivek Bapat, Bill Hall Price: $48.95 Contact Center Management “By the Numbers” With the ever increasing complexity of multi-channel customer contact handling, it is significant that this book addresses the challenges of managing such a contact center comprised of customer service agents, documented workflow processes, and enabling technology. Integrated reporting of calls, e-mails, Web-chat, and Web selfservice becomes key. The authors have written a very practical guide to managing a customer contact center “by the numbers.” In contrast to most other departments in a company, the contact center has a constant flow of available performance metrics that are critical for the manager to use in making real-time decisions. The challenge is always what action to take when the “numbers change,” and what remedies are best suited for specific performance gaps. ISBN 0-9761109-0-3 By: Dr. Jon Anton and Kamál Webb Price: $32.95 Customer Obsession: Your Roadmap to Profitable CRM Finally, here is a book that covers the complete “journey” of CRM implementation. Ad Nederlof and Dr. Jon Anton have done the near impossible: to position CRM in such a way that it makes practical sense to C-level executives. Beginning with the title of the book, “Customer Obsession,” on through the last chapter, this book positions CRM for what it really is, namely, a complete change in corporate strategy, from the top down, that brings the customer into focus. ISBN 0-9719652-0-X By: Ad Nederlof and Dr. Jon Anton Price: $24.95 © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 188 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing Customer Relationship Management: The Bottom Line to Optimizing Your ROI Customer Relationship Management recommends effective initiatives toward improving customer service and managing change. Creative methodologies are geared toward building relationships through customer-perceived value instruments, monitoring customer relationship indices, and changing the corporate culture and the way people work. ISBN 0-13-099069-8 By Dr. Jon Anton and Natalie L. Petouhoff Price: $33.33 Customer Relationship Management Technology: Building the Infrastructure for Customer Collaboration From our research on the American consumer, it has become very clear that potentially the best customer service strategy is “to offer every possible channel for the customer to help themselves, i.e., self-service.” Customer actuated service is mostly driven by technology, and the “art” of self-service is to ensure that the technology is intuitive, easy to use, and that the customer is rewarded for “having done the job themselves.” This book delves into all the technology solutions that enable self-service. The reader will find a robust description of the technology alternatives, and many examples of how self-service is saving companies money, while at the same time satisfying customers. ISBN 0-9630464-7-0 By Dr. Jon Anton and Bob Vilsoet Price: $39.99 Customer Service and the Human Experience: We, the People, Make the Difference One of the leading challenges for today’s managers is the training and motivating of excellent agents. While much attention has been focused on the technology and benefits of providing multiple channels for customer contact, little attention has been paid to handling the human part of the equation—training CSRs to field more than just telephone communications. Great statistics and benchmarking help the customer service/call center professional keep ahead of the ever-changing business environment as the authors successfully blend the critical human aspect of the center with the ever growing need for metrics and the bottom line. ISBN 0-9719652-7-7 By Dr. Rosanne D’Ausilio and Dr. Jon Anton Price: $34.95 Customer Service at a Crossroads: What You Do Next to Improve Performance Will Determine Your Company’s Destiny By consistently delivering information about products, services and information to customer service agents, based on their individual skill levels—at the right time in the right way, organizations are also delivering a consistent, clear understanding of corporate objectives and vision. The result: thousands of customer interactions that delight the customer and improve retention as well as corporate profitability. Optimizing agent performance can quickly deliver incredible returns beyond customer loyalty. That is what this book is all about. ISBN 0-9719652-6-9 By Matt McConnell and Dr. Jon Anton Price: $15.95 e-Business Customer Service: The Need for Quality Assessment With the advent of e-business technology, we suddenly find ourselves with completely different customer service channels. The old paradigms are gone forever. This books details how to measure and manage e-business customer service. The book describes the key performance indicators for these new channels, and it describes how to manage by these new rules of engagement with specific metrics. Managing customer service in this “new age” is different, it is challenging, and it is impossible to migrate from the old to the new without reading this book. ISBN 0-9630464-9-7 By Dr. Jon Anton and Michael Hoeck Price: $44.00 Enabling IVR Self-Service with Speech Recognition Everyone is talking about speech recognition and its many applications. The hype is loud and clear. However, in reality, most contact center practitioners are still on the sidelines watching and waiting to hear more about the success stories and the realistic applications of this marvelous new technology. In this book, the authors report on actual case studies where speech recognition has been successfully applied to enable self-service through the IVR. Readers will learn: a) who the major players are in speech recognition, b) how to determine what applications are best suited for speech recognition, c) what results they can expect from speech recognition implementations, d) which companies have successfully applied speech recognition, and e) where they will find the biggest financial pay-back for speech recognition. ISBN 0-9719652-9-3 By Dr. Jon Anton and G.P. Paul Kowal Price: $34.95 Copyright © 189 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report From Cost to Profit Center: How Technology Enables the Difference This book is a series of case studies in which we collected performance metrics before and after implementation of specific technology solutions for call centers. In each case study we saw varying levels of improvement, and were then able to quantify the financial impact in terms of ROS, and in some cases, in terms of earnings per share. For call center managers contemplating the addition of new call center technology, this book will be an asset in better understanding the impact of technology in enabling higher performance. ISBN 0-9719652-8-5 By Dr. Jon Anton and R. Scott Davis Price: $44.95 How to Conduct a Call Center Performance Audit: A to Z Call centers are an important company asset, but also a very expensive one. By learning to conduct a performance audit, readers will be able to understand over fifty specific aspects of a call center that must be running smoothly in order to achieve maximum performance in both efficiency and effectiveness of handling inbound customer calls. ISBN 0-9630464-6-2 By Dr. Jon Anton and Dru Phelps Price: $34.99 Integrating People with Process and Technology: Gaining Employee Acceptance of Technology Initiatives This book contains valuable information regarding the “people” side of technology initiatives. Many companies buy the best hardware and software, and spend thousands of dollars implementing technology only to find out that the employees resist the changes, and do not fully adopt the new, and possibly, improved processes. By understanding how to manage people during change, managers will see a much quicker ROI on their technology initiatives. ISBN 0-9630464-3-8 By Jon Anton, Natalie Petouhoff, & Lisa Schwartz Price: $39.99 Listening to the Voice of the Customer With the help of this book, the professional skills you need to measure customer satisfaction will lead you to different approaches until you have found the one that best fits you, your company, and your organization’s culture. ISBN 0-915910-43-8 By Dr. Jon Anton Price: $33.95 Managing Web-Based Customer Experiences: Self-Service Integrated with Assisted-Service The time to grow your call center into a multi-channel customer contact center is now. This book has the power to help you increase customer satisfaction through the implementation of Web self-service. The value of this book can be calculated in terms of calls deflected from your call center, increased customer retention, an ultimately in a healthy return on your investment. In this book, the authors take you step-by-step through the best practices that lead to a successful self and assisted-service strategy. ISBN 0-9719652-4-2 By Dr. Jon Anton and Mike Murphy Price: $35.95 Minimizing Agent Turnover: The Biggest Challenge for Customer Contact Centers Some agent turnover can be functional, but most turnover is dysfunctional and can be very expensive. This book explores the types of turnover, including internal versus external; and documents the typical causes of agent turnover. Most importantly, this book describes a methodology for diagnosing the root causes of your agent turnover, and suggests improvement initiatives to minimize agent turnover at your customer contact center. ISBN 0-9630464-2-X By Dr. Jon Anton and Anita Rockwell Price: $39.99 Offshore Outsourcing Opportunities For call center executives wanting to explore and understand the benefits of offshore outsourcing, the authors have brought together ‘under one cover’ a comprehensive guide that takes the reader through each step of the complex issues of outsourcing customer service telephone calls to agents in another country. With the pressure of today’s competitive climate forcing companies to take a hard look at providing higher quality customer services at lower costs, this book is a “must read” for every call center executive. ISBN 0-9719652-3-4 By Dr. Jon Anton and John Chatterley Price: $34.99 © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 190 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Services and Products Listing Optimizing Outbound Calling: The Strategic Use of Predictive Dialers The content of the book is organized in such a way as to assist the reader in understanding the complete end-toend process of automated outbound call dialing. Specifically, the reader will find the following steps described in detail: a) preparing a needs assessment, b) selecting and contracting a predictive dialer supplier, c) implementing a predictive dialer solution, d) applying change management principles to ensure “buy-in” by existing agents, d) handling and using dialer reports, and finally, e) benchmarking dialer improvements to ensure attaining the anticipated ROI. ISBN 0-9719652-2-6 By Jon Anton and Alex G. Demczak Price: $39.99 Selecting a Teleservices Partner: Sales, Service, and Support This book tackles one of today’s hottest topics: Customer Contact Outsourcing. Companies are in a quandary about the myriad of teleservices questions they’re faced with, such as deciding to outsource, cost / benefit analysis, RFP development, proposal assessment, vendor selection, contractual requirements, service level performance measurement, and managing an ongoing teleservices relationship. With the authors help, readers will find this complex issue straightforward to approach, understand, and implement. ISBN 0-9630464-8-9 By Jon Anton and Lori Carr Price: $34.99 The Four-Minute Customer: Getting Jazzed about Your People and Quality Management in Your Call Center This is a very unique book directed at developing and maintaining “Top Reps” that are uniquely motivated to deliver the highest possible quality of caller customer service at your center. Learn what it takes to find and lead the best of the best. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Instead, learn how to manage the best in class customer contact center by attracting and keeping Top Reps at your organization. ISBN 0-9630464-1-1 By Michael Tamer Price: $34.99 Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanizing Your Interaction Hub, 3rd edition With new and up-to-date material, this third edition speaks volumes about the need to reinforce the human element in the equation. This is a straight forward guide for humanizing the impersonal, with practical to-do’s, real life examples, and applications to delight your customers. In depth chapters include mixed messages, change and stress management, conflict resolution, rapport building, and communicating powerfully, just to mention a few. ISBN 1-55753-217-6 By Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D Price: $44.95 Copyright © 191 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Order Form Secure online ordering is available at: www.AntonPress.com Billing Information: Shipping Information (if different): Name Company Address Address 2 City/St/Zip Phone Please charge my: ___ American Express ___ Discover ___ Mastercard ___ Visa Card Number Expiration Date Signature I’ve enclosed a check in the amount of Purchase Order Number Book Title Amt* Qty Total Books Total Shipping and Handling For all U.S. addresses, $5.00 for the first book, $3.00 for each additional book. For all International addresses, books must be pre-paid and must include a shipping and handling charge of $25.00 for the first book and $10 for each additional book. Total Amount Due** *Call for volume and pre-order discounts available: (805) 614-0123 Extension 21 **State sales tax will be added where applicable For other books, tapes, and videos visit our online store: http://www.antonpress.com Send all orders to: BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 3201 Airpark Drive, Suite 104 Santa Maria, CA 93455-1817 For quick service, fax your order to: (805) 614-0055 For questions about your order, please call: (805) 614-0123 Extension 21 Copyright © 193 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. GLOSSARY OF TERMS Copyright © 195 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Glossary of Terms A Abandon Rate: This is the percentage of calls that get connected to the ACD, but get disconnected by the caller before reaching an agent, or before completing a process within the IVR. The abandon rate is the percentage of calls that are abandoned compared to calls received. ACD: Automatic Call Distributor. A device that forwards incoming calls to the next available agent or answering position. Adherence to Schedule: A measure of whether agents are “on the job” as scheduled. This percentage represents how closely an agent adheres to his/her detailed work schedule as provided by the workforce management system. 100% adherence means that the agent was exactly where they were supposed to be at the time projected in their schedule. The scheduled time allows for meetings with the supervisor, education, plus answering customer phone calls. The question, “how often do agents deviate from their schedule” is answered by this metric. After Call Work Time: This is the average amount of time an agent spends on performing follow-up work after the agent has disconnected from the caller. The data for after call work time is taken from the ACD and should be calculated by individual and group, daily, weekly, and monthly. Agent: A general term for someone who handles telephone calls in a call center. Other common names for the same job include, but are not limited to: operator, attendant, representative, customer service representative (CSR). Agent Turnover: The total numbers of agents that left the center during a specified period divided by the sum of the number of agents at the beginning of the specified period and the number of newly-hired agents during the same period, less the total number who left during the specified period. ANI: Automatic Number Identification. ANI is a service of telecommunications carriers, which identifies the telephone number of the calling party. It is commonly used for billing, call routing and database synchronization. There are several specific technologies that fit under the umbrella of ANI, including caller ID. Auxiliary Time in Percent: This is the average amount of time per shift, in percent, that an agent is logged into an Aux state. This should include all authorized off-line time, i.e., time set aside for handling e-mails, training, or other job-related tasks. Average Attendance in Percent: This is a percentage representing how often an agent is NOT absent from work due to an unplanned absence (not to include excused absences, i.e., vacation, FMLA, jury duty, etc.). Take the total number of unexcused absences and divide it by the total number of absenteeism opportunities and subtract that number from 100. Average Cost per Call: This is the sum of all costs for running the call center for the period divided by the number of calls handled in the call center for the same period. This Copyright © 197 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report would include all calls for all reasons whether handled by an agent or technology, such as IVR. Average Handle Time: An internal metric that is the sum of talk time, hold time, and after call work time. Average Percent Occupancy: This is the percentage of time that an agent is in their seat connected to the ACD, and either engaged in a call or ready to answer a call as compared to the total number of hours at work. Average Sale Value per Sale: When agents are taking orders, it becomes important to know the average sale value of individual sales. This number is determined by taking the total sales in dollars during a period of time, let’s say a week, and dividing this by the total number of sale calls handled during the same period of time. Average Speed of Answer (ASA): This is the total queue time, divided by the number of calls handled. This includes both IVR-handled calls as well as calls handled by a live agent. Average Talk Time: Total number of seconds the caller was connected to an agent. Average Time in Queue: This is the average wait time that a caller endures. This differs from average speed of answer because this calculation includes only calls that actually had a wait time. This metric is also known as average time of delay. B Best Practice: Best practice is the best performing metric in a category. Budget: The annual call center budget is the total annual dollar amount allocated for all expenses associated with the operation of the call center for which the call center manager is accountable. The annual budget should include all fully loaded direct and indirect costs for budgetary line items such as labor, benefits, and incentives for agents, management, training, and support personnel; HR costs (e.g., recruiting, screening, training); telephony expenses (toll, trunks, equipment); technology purchases/installation (hardware, and software); technology maintenance (hardware, and software) network; furniture, fixtures, decorations, etc.; utilities (gas, water, power, UPS backup); maintenance (repair, janitorial, upkeep); supplies; overhead expenses and charge-backs for shared corporate costs (e.g., legal, risk management, payroll administration, IT support, security, accounting, grounds keeping, real estate, floor space, common areas, etc.) as applicable.) C Calls per Hour: The average number of calls that an agent handles per hour, and is equal to the total calls handled during a working shift divided by the total time (in hours) logged into the telephone system. Cost per Call: This is the sum of all costs for running the call center for the period divided by the number of calls handled in the call center for the same period. This would include all calls for all reasons whether handled by an agent or technology, such as IVR. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 198 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Glossary of Terms You can also just calculate the cost per call for agent-handled calls. The number of calls received will be captured by the ACD. The total cost of the center can be obtained from your accounting department. Cross-Sell: A cross-sell occurs when an agent recognizes that the caller might be able to use a product from the same company, but in a totally different product line within the company. For instance, an agent at a banking call center who is opening a savings account for a caller might recognize the advantage for the caller to purchase a CD from the bank at a higher interest rate. CTI: Computer-Telephony Integration refers to the linkage of a telephone switch (ACD, PBX) and computer systems to enhance call processing. Common applications include screen pop, simultaneous voice and data transfer, and IVR. Customer Access Channels: Customer access channels are the multiple ways that customers can reach out and contact a company. A few of the obvious access channels are telephone, e-mail, fax, normal mail, kiosk, and face-to-face. Customer Centric: Placing the wants and needs of the customer as the central focus of all business practices within the firm. Seeing your business through the “eyes of the customer.” Customer Lifetime Value: The imputed dollar revenues or profits (depending on formula) generated by the customer for as long as the customer remains with the firm. Customer Retention: Keeping a customer as opposed to losing the customer to the competition. A percentage of this figure would be the tenure of the average customer with the firm as computed by the sum of the time of all customers with the firm divided by the number of customers. Customer Satisfaction: This is a state of mind that a customer has about a company in which their expectations have been met or exceeded over the lifetime of the product. This leads to company loyalty and product repurchase. Customer Share: The percent of those who purchase the item of interest from a given firm. Computed as the number of customers who purchase the item from a given firm divided by the numbers of customers who purchase the item from all firms combined. Customer Value Segment: Customer value segmentation strives to segment customers based on their financial value to the company. This value is usually based on a combination of the total amount of money that a customer spends with the company, and the profitability of that revenue stream. The best example would be the frequent flyer programs that the airlines have. United, for instance, has the following value segments with its frequent flyer program: a) regular frequent flyer, b) premium frequent flyer, and c) 1K frequent flyer. D DNIS: Dialed Number Identification Service. A carrier service for 800/888 and 900 numbers that forwards the number dialed by the caller to the called party. Copyright © 199 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report E Effectiveness Index: The index is calculated by statistically combining into an index those metrics that are indicative of effective performance. This is considered to be quality and is impacted by customer-focused processes. Efficiency Index: The index is calculated by statistically combining into an index those metrics that are indicative of efficient performance. This is considered to be productivity and focuses on the cost of operating the business. External Metrics: These are usually characterized as “soft” numbers as they are the collected attitudes, opinions, and emotions of customers or other interested parties. The data may be collected by survey, focus group, or interview methods. This represents the customer perspective. F Focus Group: A personal, simultaneous interview among a small group of individuals. It depends more on group discussion than individual responses for the data generated. H Help Desk: The term typically applied to an “internal” call center that handles primarily calls from employees about technical problems with their computer, monitor, printer, and the like. Hold Time: This is the average number of seconds that an agent places customers on hold during a call. Most ACDs can provide this number as a total number of hold seconds and then you can compute the average hold time. I Internal Metrics: These are generated by computers internal to call center technology (PBS, ACD, or VRU) or through departments such as Accounting, Finance, or Human Resources. Internal metrics are commonly perceived as “hard” numbers. Examples include average handle time, queue time, and abandon rate. This is generally not representing the view the customer has of your company. IVR: Interactive Voice Response. Technology that allows a customer making an inbound call to interact with the data systems by responding to a menu of options. Responses are typically entered by pressing the keys on the telephone keypad; however, voice recognition is becoming more commonly integrated into the process, thus providing a more useful tool. IVR Opt Out: Measure in percent, this is the number of callers who during their call to your center initially attempt finding solutions via the IVR, but then elect to speak with a live agent. This is not the same as those who choose to speak to a live agent as an initial menu option. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 200 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Glossary of Terms M Moment of Truth: MOT is a critical interaction between the customer and the product or service or employee that determines whether the customer will continue to purchase from the vendor. O Order Taking and Tracking: This is a specific function of customer service and it means that this call center specializes in just taking orders and tracking orders. Outbound Performance Metrics: These are all the measurements that indicate the performance of an outbound telephone agent. Examples might include calls/agent/shift or sales/agent/shift. Outsourcing: Contracting with an outside company/vendor to handle some or all of your company’s inbound and/or outbound telephone calls or contacts. P Peer Group: Peer group does not necessarily connote competitors, but most often are the call centers that have the same profile of activities that you have. For instance, a peer group might be all call centers handling mostly inbound calls that are mostly business-tobusiness in a call center of over 100 agents for a company with annual revenues of over one billion dollars. Percent Abandoned: See Abandon Rate Percent Agent Utilization: Agent utilization is a calculated metric reflecting the percentage of an agent’s shift where the agent is logged into the system, engaged in active “telephone mode” which involves “talk time (ATT)”, “hold time (AHT)”, and “aftercall-work time (ACWT).” Utilization equals the product of average call handle time (talk time + hold time + after call work time) and the average number of inbound calls per agent per shift (ACPS), divided by total time the agent is connected to the ACD and ready to handle calls during a shift, i.e., occupancy in minutes. Utilization = ( ( ATT + ACW )( ACPS ) ) X 100 Occupancy _ in _ min . Percent Attendance: Actual number of shifts worked divided by the planned number of shifts times 100. Percent Blocked Calls: An internal metric that is the number of callers who received a busy signal and, hence, could not get through to the ACD. Percent Calls Handled on the First Call (aka, First Time Final): This is the percentage of calls that were completely resolved during the course of the first inbound call initiated by the customer, and therefore do not require a call back. This information is often hard to find or inaccurate. Some clients calculate it based on the coding an agent does at the end of a call. If this is the case, the information will be in the Copyright © 201 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Health-Plan/Health-Care Industry Benchmark Report ACD. However, this type of calculation almost certainly overstates the percent, since it only subtracts those callers who an agent is certain will call back later; many callers whose issues have been coded by agents as having been resolved will almost certainly call back later and therefore the number is lower. The best way to calculate first time final is to analyze call data over a period of time. This is made easier if the client has a CIM package. Percentage of Calls Placed in Queue: An internal metric, which is simply the number of calls placed in the queue divided by the total of all calls received by the center. Percentage of Calls Transferred: An internal metric that is the percentage of total calls transferred from the original agent to someone else. Q Queue Time: This is the average wait time that a caller endures. This differs from average speed of answer because this calculation includes only calls that actually had a wait time. This metric is also known as average time of delay. R Rejection: The customer’s state of mind such that disengagement from the current relationship has already been decided and has been or soon will be implemented. Negative word of mouth is likely to occur. S Service level: This is a broad-based term that is used to measure productivity; however, its use is not exclusive to the productivity of call handling. In contact centers it commonly defines X amounts of output in Y amounts of time. For example 80 percent of calls answered in 20 seconds. T Talk Time: This is the average amount of time an agent spends on performing follow-up work after the agent has disconnected from the caller. Total Annual Budget: The annual dollar amount allocated for all of the expenses associated with the call center including (but not limited to): telecommunications expense, salaries, incentives, equipment, and supplies. Total Calls Offered: An internal metric for all calls presented to the center including blocked, abandoned, and handled. This includes calls handled by technology. Touch-point: Touch-point is a “buzzword” for customer access channels. U Up Sell: To sell a higher value product to an existing customer. For example, to lease a more expensive copier to an existing customer. Also, see Cross Sell. © Copyright 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. 202 This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. Glossary of Terms V Value Creating Gap: This represents a performance gap where your call center is doing better than your peer group. Value Destroying Gap: This represents a performance gap where your call center is doing worse than your peer group. Voice Response Unit (VRU): See IVR. W Word of Mouth (WOM): What a customer hears about a product, service, company, etc., usually from friends or family. Also rumors from unspecified sources. Wrap Up Time: See “after call work time.” Misc 80% of Calls Handled in xx Seconds: This is the number of seconds in which 80% of your calls are handled. Copyright © 203 2005 BenchmarkPortal, Inc. This report is for internal Aspect use only. Distribution of this Report outside of Aspect is strictly forbidden. ...
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