Before modern avionics, pilots set a fixed point on the horizon and flew their planes using a center stick and right and left rudder pedals. These controls allowed the pilot to keep the airplane on course by controlling altitude and direction. Likewise, call center KPIs and benchmarks act as controls to establish direction and to know whether the call center is on course.
You may be familiar with certain call center KPI’s but less familiar with benchmarks. Using our analogy, benchmarks are used to determine whether your call center is on course. When you measure call center performance, benchmarks inform you whether your results are acceptable and can help you know whether you are on target or not. So, how do you obtain KPI benchmarks?
A KPI Benchmark is a Comparative Metric.
Benchmarks can be based on business or call center goals. For example, your call center may want to set a goal to increase reduce first call resolution. That goal can be used as a benchmark. Benchmarks can also be established by looking at other call centers like yours to determine what a standard is within an industry. For example, call centers that provide customer support for software companies may have an average first call resolution rate of say 60%. If your call center also provides customer support for a software company, and if you want to be better than the industry standard, then you need to have a first call resolution rate that exceeds 60%. This kind of benchmark is also known as an external benchmark.
External benchmarks are useful because they help you align with standards considered typical for an industry. This can help properly set targets and avoid overdelivering (or underdelivering) along with the associated financial costs. But external benchmarks are also difficult to obtain.
Measuring call center KPIs and evaluating them against a benchmark is essential for continuous improvement. When benchmarks reveal performance gaps, call center managers can look for causes and take corrective actions to change outcomes. However, you won’t know whether a corrective action has the desired effect unless you remeasure and re-benchmark. Which brings us back to our airplane analogy. When you determine a performance gap and take a corrective action, you are in affect pulling or pushing the center stick or commanding the rudder all in order to keep you heading in the desired direction and altitude.
Learn More from the Premier Expert
Have you considered implementing KPI and benchmark reporting? If you would like to know more about how to implement the right KPIs and benchmarks for your call center, join KPI and Benchmarking expert, Bruce Belfiore , CEO and Senior Research Executive of Benchmark Portal for an in-depth discussion covering:
- How to determine the right essential KPIs to measure
- How to find and use hard-to-find, external KPI benchmarks
- How to understand gaps and steps to take to correct gaps
Bruce is a KPI and Benchmarking expert. He hosts an online radio program called “CallTalk ” and has lectured and consulted worldwide including teaching Call Center Management at Purdue University. He is the author of the book Benchmarking At Its Best for Contact Centers. Make plans to join Bruce for this insightful discussion on how to implement call center KPI benchmarking Oct 15 at 1 pm ET.