Contact Center Study Reveals Strong Performance in U.K.
October 13, 2008
Contact centers are gaining in importance for the enterprise, especially as the slowdown in the economy is putting a pinch on the consumer pocketbook, and companies are fighting over less money. As such, it is even more important to deliver an excellent customer experience within the contact center and all of its channels.
Like it or not, customers compare companies according to the service they receive. As such, it is to the benefit of the contact center manager to measure his center’s performance against top performing centers in the industry. He can learn from their experiences and tailor service deliverables according to what has been proven to work and what has not.
A call center benchmarking exercise was recently completed in the U.K. by GfK NOP. The study involved 20,000 mystery shopper calls to 50 well-known brands to measure actual performance and customer perception. In this exercise, First Direct proved to be the top performer in customer service.
First Direct, a telephone and online bank company, performed at an impressive 92 percent in the benchmarking exercise conducted by an independent market research company. The study revealed that call centers are getting the basics right as 93 percent of callers get through on the first attempt and 96 percent received first-call resolution.
CCF has organized The Top 50 Call Centers for Customer Service. This program is designed to promote the hard work of contact centers and their agents in delivering exceptional customer service. According to editor Claudia Hathaway, it is the end of the contact center as the “unsung hero” of U.K. business. Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Other companies with top performing centers included Denplan, F&C Investments, Lloyds TSB Insurance and Laithwaites, indicating strong performance from within the retail and financial service sectors. Considering the intensity of the competition in these sectors, performance is even more important here.
“There may be some way to go to transform the public perception of the industry,” said Hathway on CCF, “but no longer will the call centre be the unsung hero. Thanks to everyone [involved in the Top 50], we are finally able to communicate that far from being 21st century sweatshops barely worth a second thought, call centers should be recognized as performing a vital function — and performing it well.”
This study has effectively demonstrated that contact centers performing in the U.K. are doing something right: they are focusing on the importance of the customer and delivering strong performances. Those in competing regions could learn from these top performing centers in order to optimize their own performance.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi