Data is an essential component to any business. It allows companies to discover what tactics are the most effective, which in turn helps define how much funding is needed, and how many workers are required, among much else. Data, however, needs to be analyzed within some form of context to understand its significance. Benchmarking provides this necessary context.
What is benchmarking?
According to TalkDesk, benchmarking refers to the comparison of metrics between call centers or comparable businesses. Basically, it is a method of learning by example by reviewing what has worked for others. Benchmarking allows businesses to examine how their company is performing in relation to overall industry standards.
Why is it important?
Making comparisons to industry standards has a variety of benefits described by TalkDesk. These include:
- Finding areas to reduce cost
- Motivating employees
- Streamlining services offered
- Analyzing agent efficiency
Ultimately, benchmarking is important because it helps address these potential weaknesses in a business and propose solutions by using hard data collected from multiple businesses. It is somewhat of a collaborative effort since benchmarking is a combination of successful practices across several companies.
How do businesses use it?
Businessdictionary.com describes how businesses have 3 primary goals in mind when benchmarking:
- Define any improvements to be made within own business
- Investigate what makes similar organizations successful in those areas
- Utilize that information to advance and develop your business
How should it be used in a call center?
To use benchmarking effectively in a call center, the data, once analyzed, needs to be reported to the whole organization. In the presentation of this data, including a call to action, or several, can help inspire co-workers and management to use what was found in a way that will directly impact the company.
Ways that benchmarking is commonly used in call centers are compiled below from TechTarget and Talk Desk:
Related to the customer
- Call abandonment – how frequently customers hang up before having their call answered
- Customer satisfaction – frequently determined through surveys offered after the agent hangs up
Related to the agent
- Speed in which phones are answered
- Absenteeism from scheduled work
- Forecasted versus actual call handling time
All of this internally collected data is then evaluated in reference to the industry standards to determine improvements that would satisfy the three previously defined business goals.
Using benchmarking = success
It is evident that comparing internal company data to industry standards has many benefits, particularly in a call center setting. It can help a business make thoroughly informed decisions in terms of streamlining services at the most appropriate cost, as well as improving overall customer and employee satisfaction.
Written by: Alexandra Kennedy
Alexandra is a freelance and contract writer based in the Greater Boston area. She is a biologist, animal lover, lifelong student, and traveler.