Apply Industry Benchmarks to Accelerate Contact Center Transformation


  • Without industry benchmarks, the upside of any customer support improvement recommendation is just somebody's opinion.
  • Customer service benchmarking compares objectively measured performance metrics to peers and competitors. Without this type of independent perspective contact centers insulate themselves from the real world.
  • Contact center benchmarks identify underperforming areas that when improved will deliver the biggest upside impact.
  • Contact center leaders use benchmarking to establish a performance baseline, identify the highest impact opportunities and apply evidence-based best practices to achieve attainable targets. Benchmarking turns competitive knowledge into competitive advantage.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Benchmarks show the Most Direct Route to the Biggest Improvements

Johnny Grow compares client performance measures with industry-specific contact center benchmarks to identify baseline performance, flag the opportunities that deliver the biggest revenue uplift at the least cost, apply predictive analytics to forecast the upside financial impact and then reapply the same prescriptive methods and evidence-based best practices that the top performers used to achieve their results.

Here are several ways benchmarks can improve contact center performance.

Use Benchmarking to Create your Roadmap

Benchmarks show the most direct route to the biggest call center or contact center improvements.

Customer service benchmarking measures gaps to prioritize improvement opportunities with attainable targets. Industry benchmarks compare alternatives to find the best starting point and the most direct route to an objectively defined destination.

When company leaders have both visibility and measurability to the most significant gaps between their current state and where they want to be, they can employ an effective case for change, a more confident business case for the transformation effort and a streamlined road map.

Rather than guesswork or estimated ROI figures with questionable assumptions, benchmarks use actual figures from industry peers that provide confidence in calculating pro forma business outcomes and setting realistic goals. The knowledge of what worked previously for similar call centers lowers risk and accelerates time to value.

Customer Service Improvement Payback

The above chart shows how a client sequenced their contact center imperatives by recognizing prerequisites, targeting Median performance benchmarks and supplementing their roadmap with payback and ROI.

See how customer service benchmarks can be used to sequence uplift opportunities, recognize prerequisites, target Median or Best-in-Class performance levels and create a roadmap with payback and ROI.

Click to Tweet

Apply Benchmarking to Outperform Competitors

Business is a competition. If you are not doing better than your competitors, you are losing market share. Customer service benchmarks provide the details to know exactly where you are winning or falling behind so you can take timely and precise corrective actions.

Inbound Call Cost Benchmark

To outperform competitors, you need to know how your performance measures compare.

For example, we worked with a banking client that measured average handling time (AHT) to be 55 minutes and first contact resolution (FCR) of 78 percent. Only when they compared these results to their direct competitors did they recognize they fell in the bottom one-third of industry results. By targeting improvements to these measures, they achieved Median scores in 79 days, increased customer satisfaction scores by 11 percent and increased customer retention by 3.5 percent.

The baseline comparisons to banking benchmarks identified weaknesses where improvements delivered significant financial uplift.

Use Benchmarking for Predictive Analytics

Models and simulations must apply industry benchmarks to advance from hypothetical scenarios to results based on what's worked for others. The best way to achieve predictable results is to replicate what other contact centers have already done.

Without objective performance data, goals are guesswork followed by trial and error. Without the benchmark data, contact center managers don’t really know what results should be or where the finish line is. This creates an aimless journey with no idea when you are done.

A better approach is to use customer service benchmarks to enable contact center predictive analytics. Many managers like to apply predictive models to show how a 1 percent improvement in any given customer support measure impacts margins or revenues.

Other managers with measures below the industry median often prefer to see the revenue impact by improving their performance to the median level. Knowing the financial impact allows the manager to know how much they should invest to achieve that upside.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Predictive Analytics

In the above example, improving customer satisfaction (CSAT) from the current rate of 55 percent to the industry Median score of 71 percent delivers increases to Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), customer retention and annual revenues.

The below predictive analytic shows the annual revenue and profit impact from increased customer retention.

Customer Retention Predictive Analytics

Benchmarking for Continuous Improvement

Objective performance measures lay a foundation for continuous process improvement. They also bring clarity to the measures that most influence contact center performance, so everybody is focused on what matters and speaking a common language.

Repeated measurements also create trends that reinforce and reward hard work and serve to motivate agents and staff long after the first improvement.

Achieving customer service excellence is never done, so pursuing a journey of continuous improvements using a benchmark foundation creates a self-sustaining rhythm. It also facilitates customer service transformation. It drives innovation, disruption, culture and change as a constant source of reinvention. Continuous improvement can become your contact center DNA and your most valuable competitive advantage.

With benchmarking maturity, call center benchmarks may be integrated and viewed holistically, to show the call center's alignment and direct contribution to the company's performance. The below example is a predictive analytic that shows how lower level call center metrics roll up to impact business and company outcomes.

Customer Service Predictive Analytics

Another benefit is that the most impactful business outcomes seldom change. So, the measurement and progress toward slated objectives generally withstand reorganizations, management shifts or other changes.

Contact Center Benchmarks are our DNA

Johnny Grow has been acquiring contact center benchmarks for over a decade. We've created a unique niche in using market research to acquire industry-based, customer support benchmarks and apply qualitative analysis to reverse engineer the actions that delivered the top results.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Replicating the proven processes of customer service leaders is the most direct, cost-efficient and low risk method of improving performance.