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How to make benchmarking a real and powerful tool

How to make benchmarking a real and powerful tool

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 11, 2013 8:55:05 AM / by Briana Songer

Briana Songer

Benchmarking is basically studying what your competition does. Some have found it difficult to appreciate the importance of benchmarking yet some argue this information can be used to help gain greater insight in your specific problems areas.
Benchmarking helps take out the guessing as with it's information, you don't have to rely on ''gut feelings'' on making decisions. But really, what makes this a powerful and useful tool for call centers?

Benchmarking is basically studying what your competition does. Some have found it difficult to appreciate the importance of benchmarking yet some argue this information can be used to help gain greater insight in your specific problems areas.

Benchmarking helps take out the guessing as with it's information, you don't have to rely on ''gut feelings'' on making decisions. But really, what makes this a powerful and useful tool for call centers?

Understand there are right ways to benchmark against your competitors.

First, decide on which area you want to focus on. It's important you don't benchmark everything at once, but instead, concentrate on specific areas:

  • Technology: Take a look at your own application and tech against what your competitors are using.
  • Staff: What are your attrition, satisfaction and engagement rates?
  • KPI's: How do your scores compare to others?
  • Customers: How does your customer experience compare from your call center to another?
  • Processes: Are you as efficient as other call centers?

Once you have an idea of what you want to compare, you should next focus on how you're going to benchmark. There are many methods you can choose from, some more expensive and time consuming than others.

Internet

The internet is your friend. You can find out a lot about a specific topic from online forums and webinars. If the presenter has done a good job, the data they collect and share can be great to use as a guideline. It also gives you a chance to network with people in the industry. (An extremely important strategy) Unfortunately, not all data is going to be useful nor provide an ''in-depth'' view of what you're looking for on a particular topic.

Research

While it's more expensive to get someone to do the research for you, getting a researcher to measure your competitors KPI's against your own is a great way to measure strengths and weaknesses. Just make sure you know exactly what you want to measure and find some who specializes in that are, so as not to waste resources.

Buy a Data Report
Although the research uses historical data (and not real-time), these types of reports are a cheap way to study a center.

Visit the Call Center

If you're focused on comparing you're own facilities against others, physically visiting another site can be a great way to understand the day-to-day operations and technology. However, these types of visits can be rare as the center might not welcome their competitor visiting their site. But if it is possible, visit multiple sites to get a more balanced perspective.

Mystery Shop

If you want to get to know about the customer experience with your competitor, a mystery shopping exercise can give you an idea about a typical interaction. Although time consuming, if repeated often enough, you may be able to come up with a guideline and model. Just make sure you stay focused on a particular type of data, as you can get a huge amount of quantitative data.

Surveys

If you want to learn more about customer service, surveying them can be a great way to collect data against your competitors. Just make sure you can allocate the time for analysis and data collection...as it can be expensive and time consuming.

Whatever your strategy may be, bear in mind that benchmarking is't all that complicated. With a little dedication, it can help your call center take action for change.

Understand there are right ways to benchmark against your competitors.

First, decide on which area you want to focus on. It's important you don't benchmark everything at once, but instead, concentrate on specific areas:

  • Technology: Take a look at your own application and tech against what your competitors are using.
  • Staff: What are your attrition, satisfaction and engagement rates?
  • KPI's: How do your scores compare to others?
  • Customers: How does your customer experience compare from your call center to another?
  • Processes: Are you as efficient as other call centers?
Once you have an idea of what you want to compare, you should next focus on how you're going to benchmark. There are many methods you can choose from, some more expensive and time consuming than others.
Internet
The internet is your friend. You can find out a lot about a specific topic from online forums and webinars. If the presenter has done a good job, the data they collect and share can be great to use as a guideline. It also gives you a chance to network with people in the industry. (An extremely important strategy) Unfortunately, not all data is going to be useful nor provide an ''in-depth'' view of what you're looking for on a particular topic.
Research
While it's more expensive to get someone to do the research for you, getting a researcher to measure your competitors KPI's against your own is a great way to measure strengths and weaknesses. Just make sure you know exactly what you want to measure and find some who specializes in that are, so as not to waste resources.
Buy a Data Report
Although the research uses historical data (and not real-time), these types of reports are a cheap way to study a center.
Visit the Call Center
If you're focused on comparing you're own facilities against others, physically visiting another site can be a great way to understand the day-to-day operations and technology. However, these types of visits can be rare as the center might not welcome their competitor visiting their site. But if it is possible, visit multiple sites to get a more balanced perspective.

Mystery Shop

If you want to get to know about the customer experience with your competitor, a mystery shopping exercise can give you an idea about a typical interaction. Although time consuming, if repeated often enough, you may be able to come up with a guideline and model. Just make sure you stay focused on a particular type of data, as you can get a huge amount of quantitative data.

Surveys

If you want to learn more about customer service, surveying them can be a great way to collect data against your competitors. Just make sure you can allocate the time for analysis and data collection...as it can be expensive and time consuming.

Whatever your strategy may be, bear in mind that benchmarking is't all that complicated. With a little dedication, it can help your call center take action for change.

Topics: Contact Center, call centers, tips, Customer, KPI

Briana Songer

Written by Briana Songer

Marketing Director at PlayVox

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