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Call Center Strategies

Call Center Strategies


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The Ascent Group conducts research to better understand how companies are handling inbound customer contact. We ask companies to share their call center experiences to help us identify the practices that make or break a customer contact center. The results of this research are published in our report, Call Center Strategies.

As part of this research, we ask companies to report call center operational data so we can calculate performance benchmarks, including:

• Cost - Cost per call
• Productivity - Calls Handled per FTE (per month)
• Service - % Abandoned Calls
• Service - % Call Resolved on First Contact
• Service - % Agent Availability (time on phone or available to take calls)
• Service - Service Level Conformance
• Service - Average Speed of Answer

We identify the “best performers” for each industry—above average companies that deliver low cost, high productivity, and high service—and calculate a “best performer” average for these high performing companies. We also calculate an industry average for each of the benchmark metrics, to demonstrate the performance of participants by industry.

Participants share inbound call center operational strategies and experiences to identify the practices that lead to higher productivity, improved call quality, and increased employee retention. We also ask companies to provide plans moving forward as well as lessons learned along the way.

Analysis featured in the research includes:

• Call Center Benchmarking Comparisons by Industry
• First Call Resolution Performance
• Training Practices
• Monitoring Call Quality
• IVR Performance Summary

Call Center Strategies profiles research participants in a case study format, sharing current technologies, call center management practices, lessons learned, challenges overcome, and plans for the future. In addition, we provide detailed results and analysis from the survey itself and detail "best practices" demonstrated by our participants.

Analysis & Graphs included in this Report

  • Finding & Observations
  • Recommendations for Improvement
  • Innovative or Winning Strategies
  • Countries Represented
  • Industries Represented
  • Call Centers per Participant
  • Hours of Operation
  • Representatives per Center
  • Total Inbound Calls Offered
  • Total Outbound Calls
  • Percent Outbound/Inbound Calls
  • % Abandoned Calls
  • Average span of control (reps per supervisor)
  • Cost per Call
  • Average Speed of Answer
  • Calls Handled per Agent
  • Service Level Conformance
  • % Agent Availability
  • Turnover
  • Average Length of Service
  • New Hire Days Classroom Training
  • New Hire Days On-the-Job Training
  • Certification?
  • Computer-based Training?
  • Video-based Training?
  • Channels Monitored or Observed
  • Calls Monitored per Rep Per Month (by Industry)
  • Call Monitoring Approaches
  • Type of Monitoring Conducted
  • Conduct Regular Calibration Sessions
  • Frequency of Calibration Sessions
  • Typical Calibration Session Participants
  • Call Monitoring Responsibilities
  • Split between silent and side-by-side
  • Supervisor Monitoring Responsibility
  • QA Monitoring Responsibility
  • Timing of Monitoring Feedback
  • Monitoring Results Component of Agent Performance?
  • Reps Hear Monitored Calls?
  • Peer Monitoring
  • Automated Call Monitoring Solutions
  • Dedicated Quality Assurance Group?
  • Measure Agent Performance?
  • Coaching Performance Measurement
  • Coaching Certification Program?
  • Coach Training Process
  • IVR utilization by industry
  • IVR System Maturity
  • IVR System Configuration
  • Drivers of IVR Implementation
  • IVR Deployment Strategies
  • Use of Speech Recognition
  • Use of CTI
  • Use of Queue Announcements
  • Measure IVR Customer Satisfaction?
  • Promote IVR Usage to Customers
  • Encourage Agents to Promote IVR Use
  • First Call Resolution Measurement Framework
  • First Call Resolution Measurement Basis
  • Measurement Approach by Industry
  • Years Measuring First Call Resolution
  • First Call Resolution Rate by Industry
  • Technology Deployed
  • List of Participants