Back in the 90’s, BenchmarkPortal (News - Alert) started collecting data on customer contact centers. Today, it’s the largest metrics database for contact centers in the world, dealing in benchmarking, training, certification, and research, with consulting services to help companies fully understand the data from their benchmarks and learn where to improve.
I recently met with Bruce Belfiore, CEO and Senior Research Executive of BenchmarkPortal. We discussed the uses of electronic benchmarking, as well as upcoming releases from BenchmarkPortal.
Essentially, benchmarking captures metrics from contact centers to analyze for average talk time, first call resolutions, speed of answers, and similar data, then compares it to the results from others in the same industry. This provides a good understanding of where each company has strengths and weaknesses compared to their competitors, so that they can improve in certain areas accordingly.
However, benchmarking does tend to take a good deal of time, leading many companies to only check once a year or so. That’s a lot of time to go without improvement, so BenchmarkPortal has been working on a new automated benchmarking software tool: iBenchmark. iBenchmark automatically captures the various metrics, splitting them into cost and satisfaction-related indexes, and tracking improvement and changes over time.
Users of iBenchmark can speak with an expert each month to fully explain the benchmark reports, calculating savings, comparing and tracking improvements, and creating reasonable goals per sector. iBenchmark has recently completed beta testing, and can be found on BenchmarkPortal’s website.
As technology improves, contact centers need to keep up. Social media is equally important for customer support and satisfaction, so contact centers must be able to use it properly. As such BenchmarkPortal also calculates the relationship of technology in the call center to performance metrics, and how changing a contact center’s level of technology for reception, routing, resolution, and so on can improve various metrics. It can provide contact centers with guidance on how to make the most of social media, from understanding customer sentiment to addressing concerns.
Specific assessments are available from BenchmarkPortal, as well as full overviews. For example, many markets could stand to improve their first call resolutions, but putting pressure on employees to improve that may cause the average call time to shoot up, which in turn makes callers have to wait longer before receiving help. BenchmarkPortal can help contact centers find the right balance of all of those.
For more information, visit www.benchmarkportal.com.Robert Pleasant is a writer for TMCnet, covering new news in the world of technology and communications. A graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature, Robert has been writing for years, but has only recently had his reports start appearing on websites such as TMCnet and UCStrategies.
Edited by Juliana Kenny