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Quality Management: Contact Center Survey Finds Sobering, Hopeful Indications for Customer Service

TMCnews Featured Article

March 31, 2011

Quality Management: Contact Center Survey Finds Sobering, Hopeful Indications for Customer Service

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

According to officials of ProtoCall One, 27 percent of contact centers surveyed recently said their contact center is using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure agent performance.

But on a more depressing note, the same study also found that 30 percent of the contact centers surveyed do not have a reliable method of measuring customer satisfaction. That’s right -- one in three contact centers don’t bother to measure their customer satisfaction.

The poll of senior contact center decision makers by ProtoCall One, a contact center consultancy and systems integrator, shows that contact centers are slowly -- oh so slowly, as in glacially -- moving away from operational-based metrics to customer-centric metrics, but still don’t give a whole lot of priority to customer satisfaction data. Rapid call turnover is still king.

Call volume metrics aren’t going anywhere -- nearly all (95 percent) of the respondents use such call volume metrics as call abandon rate, average speed of answer and average call length to measure agent performance, as if those somehow translate into more or less satisfied customers. Workforce metrics are still used widely, the survey found schedule adherence is used by 64 percent of respondents.

The dropoff comes with quality and customer-centric metrics. A not-horrible 59 percent measure agents on first call resolution, 41 percent using independent customer satisfaction research and only four percent -- that’s 4 percent -- “always” invite their customers to take part in an incentivised customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey after a call.

But seeing as how 30 percent of all contact centers surveyed don’t even bother to care about measuring customer satisfaction at all, well, we can probably be grateful that number’s as high as four.

There are some hopeful signs: “When asked about plans for improving customer satisfaction during 2011,” the study’s authors said, “68 percent of respondents stated they were looking to cut back or make more effective use of their interactive voice response (IVR) systems, with 64 percent looking to improving the skills match of agents to caller’s needs.”

That’s hopeful. And more use of customer callbacks was on the agenda for 14 percent of respondents, the study found, with 27 percent of respondents saying they would “work on improving the company culture.”

Another good sign. But still, 30 percent not having any measure of customer satisfaction... sigh. It’s clearly time for contact centers to get a grip on proper call recording solutions that will turn around customer service in a big-time way.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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