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Benchmarks are the standards on which the performance of any business is measured. In contact centers, benchmarking is the procedure that measures progress against global standards. These standards estimate the working and progressive policies of the call center business. 

Here we look at some of the top call center benchmarks to help boost your business.

Types of call center benchmarking:

There are usually two kinds of benchmarking. These are: 

  • Competitive benchmarking includes measuring one's performance against other competitors in the industry.
  • Process benchmarking: involves evaluating procedures used in the call center while comparing them to different sectors. 

Importance of call center benchmarking:

Call center companies usually work against worldwide competitors, and to stand out against these organizations, call center benchmarking is the key. 

Through these benchmarks, you can ensure compliance with national and international guidelines. Here are some of the benefits of call center benchmarking:

  • You can monitor the performance and competence of your agent.
  • You can improve your metrics 
  • In benchmarking, you can formulate new strategies 

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Call Center Benchmarking

Step 1: The first step is to determine which process in the organization you will observe. It could be one of your critical performance indicators (KPIs)

Step 2: Find out whether you want to benchmark the company's progress against your competitors or you want to evaluate your organization's process against other processes. 

Step 3: This step incorporates collecting data from different company departments. This data would help you to then use it for benchmarking.

Step 4: Use subjective or objective methods of collecting data. However, it should be converted into a quantitative form for evaluation. 

Step 5: now compare the data with your competitor's results or the current standards online. 

Step 6: After getting the results, share them with your stakeholders to understand the situation thoroughly. 

Step 7: now, as you get the results from the analysis, you can formulate new strategies and procedures to achieve your goals. 

Step 8: One of the final steps is to monitor if the new strategies you came up with from the previous step are working correctly. 

Step 9: Now, when the new plans are formulated and results are obtained directly, you can again compare these call center benchmarks with your competitors. 

Best call center benchmarking:

Here are some of the top benchmarks to monitor to boost your business.

  1. Occupancy:

The basic definition of occupancy is the amount of time a representative is working on the call and the time off work after the call. According to an estimation, the standard occupancy time should be 45 minutes in an hour, which directly means 75% time. So you might wonder, what about the other 15 minutes of the hour? So, those 15 minutes can be provided for relaxation, coffee, or even for any game to relax their minds. 

 However, for all those companies working on 95% efficiency, their rep burns out fast, which gives the organization a massive turnover. 

Most business process outsourcing watches their rep occupancy time, with an estimated 70-80% efficiency standard and 45 minutes per hour. These owners estimate their occupancy value and make results according to this. 

This call center benchmarking is the key to evaluating your rep's performance and capabilities. Remember, low occupancy means that your representative works significantly less than the standard requirement. 

Moreover, to avoid this issue, one can find out the reasons for their low working as well as he can formulate such policies through which the working time can be made equivalent to standard.

  1. Average time in queue:
    This call center benchmarking refers to the average time the caller hangs up before connecting to the required person. Most of the time, this rate goes up to 35 seconds to 4 minutes, which is enormous. Whenever the time goes up, this much new staff should be hired. Always remember this time has a severe effect on your company's reputation. Thus, to avoid this adverse effect, one can follow the following steps:
  • Inform the caller of the expected waiting time.
  • Connect to the callers again when you have free time.
  • Offer chats as well as self-services.
  • Make sure to play music or something to engage them.
  1. Speed of answering calls:

In the critical call center benchmarking list, the speed of answering calls is vital. This benchmark indicates the average rate your reps are answering the calls and connecting with the customers. This rate is usually calculated by the number of times the phone rings and how the customer deals with the interactive menu. 

Many customers are interested in knowing the actual response time, so this time should be calculated separately. The rep should watch the caller's time on automatic navigation and the time spent in the queue. 

Consider whether salespeople are taking up their callers or if they are being assigned to them automatically. These characteristics can all affect your numbers in ways you would not expect.

Moreover, the shorter call time is more acceptable because shorter calls equal less wasted time for both callers and operators. This benefits the organization because "speedier" call center agents boost your call center's overall performance. However, you'd have to be sure that most calls result in a customer resolution.

  1. After call working:

After-call working is also known as wrap timing. This is the time your rep works after they complete the call. This includes writing a memo, submitting relevant information, or entering data. This after-call working is also the black sheep of agent efficiency. 

The timing of this wrap depends upon the procedure you have set for your call center. However, it sometimes counts for less than 30 seconds. 

To find out the efficiency of your organization, one can use this call center benchmark. You can investigate this submitted data to find out the efficiency of your rep. 

This is the time that depends not only on your rep's working on the phone, but this is something they have to do after the call. All the professional rep usually completes their task right after ending the call. 

  1. Abandon rate:

The abandon rate is the number of callers that hang up before connecting to the required person. However, this also relates to the speed of answering the calls. We can understand this as the faster the caller responds, the lower the abandonment rate. As a result, the standard abandonment rate is 5%-8%. 

The abandonment rate is also helpful in identifying the correlation between how to standardize your workforce management rate (WFM). Thus, this would also aid you in placing the reps most appropriately. However, there are times when you have many agents, but the abandonment rate is also high

  1. Service:

The industry standards for the services are 80/20 and 80/30, referring to the idea that the calls should be handled 20 to 30 seconds for 80% of the time. However, there are also times when 90% of the customers request to provide the services for 10 seconds for 90% of the time. 

But don't assume that this is always the case. For example, many customers require more time.

However, one key area with service is "queue timing," As the waiting time increases, the customers' sentiments decrease. 

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  1. First Call Resolution:

This call center benchmarking reflects the percentage of agents who answer the call and fulfill the client's needs the first time instead of transferring the call to another agent. 

This reflects your customer satisfaction and efficiency, which significantly affects the customer relationship with the organization. 

In this busy era, every customer wants to connect to agents who can answer their queries quickly. In most companies, the agents work hard to improve FCR by being client-centric. The global standards for FCR are about 70-75%. 

The ultimate purpose of any call center is to provide the most incredible experience to any client. However, to fulfill, one must look at his organization's performance. For this purpose, call center benchmarking is the thing you can use. You can compare company performance with other companies and your company's process with standard ones through these benchmarks. For example, Scorebuddy measures customer service performance across a portfolio of brands by benchmarking against competitors. This provides a clear picture of where the most significant opportunities for improvement are.

Scorebuddy provided an in-depth look into the running of the call center, and these insights allowed the leadership to create a much more efficient call center for the better of the customers. Check out our case studies and read more about how Scorebuddy helps other companies increase their customer satisfaction. 

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