Smoke Customer Intelligence has released our annual contact centre benchmark study, which focuses on customer satisfaction metrics across industries. Benchmark statistics have become increasingly important to companies who want to measure their contact centre metrics against industry standards and the performance of competitors, as well as identifying areas of improvement to help position companies as leaders in their field.
The contact centre is often the single biggest customer touchpoint and has a significant impact on customer satisfaction levels. Since more individuals are working remotely and have shifted to e-commerce, contact centre agents are often the only human experience a customer will have when interacting with a brand. Furthermore, customer feedback is a vital source of both agent and overall company performance data.
Measuring and understanding feedback has a tactical and strategic impact
“Over the past 15 years, we have distributed over 18 000 000 surveys to over 150 000 customers globally. We support our clients in decision-making and achieving their operational and strategic goals. This year, with increasing reliance on contact centres, we know that our clients are wanting an indication of their performance against others, and we undertook our benchmark to give this insight, as well as some other nuggets associated with VoC in a contact centre.” says Sarah Lubbe, Head of Marketing and Channel.
Using statistically sound methodology, approximately a million records over a 12-month period were analysed. The benchmark study focused on three areas. First, the benchmarking of Smoke CI’s principal contact centre metrics. Second, the impact of survey channel on response rates and finally, the study sought to understand the correlation between certain driver and outcome metrics relevant within the contact centre space.
Lubbe explains that the results were particularly interesting. The principal metrics that were measured were Agent Satisfaction, Ease, and NPS metrics after a contact centre interaction. The average scores for all metrics were high, with many respondents scoring in the top percentile. When rating individuals there was a clear inclination to rate favourably due to the human engagement factor, while factors such as ease and process were more likely to receive lower ratings. The implication is that the service offered by agents, including professionalism, empathy, and knowledge, all have a noted positive impact on customer experience within the contact centre interaction.
In terms of response rates for voice and digital surveys, voice surveys yielded the best response rates, followed by email, SMS, and finally, online. “Interactive Voice Response (IVR) surveys generate noticeably high response rates, with the average being well over 40%. These surveys are performed directly after a telephonic interaction and the customer is already engaged and entrenched in the call flow, thus increasing the likelihood of participation in the IVR survey. IVR surveys also allow customers to leave verbal, verbatim feedback which encourages authentic qualitative responses”, says Lubbe.
Lubbe further explains that the research investigated correlation between metrics most often used within contact centres. The findings indicated that Agent CSAT and NPS as well as Ease and NPS showed a strong, positive correlation, indicating that these metrics all have a positive influence on each other. If there is an increase in either score, the other score will most likely increase as well. “It is hardly surprising that the agent themselves, and how easy the organisation makes an interaction, are the two driving factors of overall NPS within a contact centre”, Lubbe concludes.
Matching research metrics to operational KPIs and organisational goals
Companies set annual targets and goals to meet their overall strategy, and agents have certain KPIs that support these objectives. This establishes a roadmap that guides daily activities across all departments in the organisation. Measuring KPIs and benchmark reporting regularly ensures that departments do not deviate in their endeavours to meet these goals. Moreover, it ensures that companies continue to meet customer expectations.
“Leading contact centres measure agent performance against customer experience feedback. To measure the impact of agents on customer experience accurately, you need to integrate customer feedback into your current metrics. Although an increasing number of contact centres ask customers for feedback, statistics show that 40% aren’t using this information to measure and improve their customer experience”, says Lubbe.
It is important that the KPIs used to measure agent performance accurately reflects customer experience and effectively contributes to organisational goals and the business bottom-line. Annual benchmark reports on metrics within your contact centre will also ensure that you have a better understanding of your industry and organisation, making it easier to identify areas of improvement and provide customers with regular experiences of delight.
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