As the customer service call center has become the most vital interface between a company and its customers, it has become critical that the call handling process be conducted both effectively and efficiently. Many companies now want a "third party" opinion regarding how well their call center is functioning in its strategic role of getting, keeping and growing customers. This business need to rate the performance of a company's mission critical call center has led to BenchmarkPortal's Certified Center of Excellence.
Call center managers who wish to implement best practices and attain world-class performance in their industry can call upon us to certify their call centers. Our rigorous certification process has the advantage of referencing all performance goals to our best practice database of thousands of call centers. Thus, you will be held to performance levels that will improve your competitive position, not just force you to adhere to an arbitrary standard.
The certification process is management's best path to a World Class Quality Call Center. Our certification program is unique in the world as it sets performance standards according to objective industry data collected from thousands of call centers and contained in the largest database of contact center metrics in the world. One of our experienced, certified consultants leads the certification process and both audits your metrics and provides valuable insights for improving your center going forward.
There Are Three Phases To Call Center Certification
A 22 KPI Benchmarking Survey - In-Depth RealityCheck™ is filled out by your call center. In this process, we compare your performance with a statistically valid sample of call centers in your industry segment. We conduct a "deep dive" into the major gaps that were highlighted in this report. The call center's ACD report is mailed to BenchmarkPortal so that an independent auditor can confirm that submitted data is accurate. This discovery process focuses on the 22 key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are listed below:
We conduct an independent caller satisfaction survey to ensure that you have reached the desired service levels necessary for full certification. The call center seeking certification will supply us with 500 names and numbers of recent customers. We then conduct an independent phone survey of the customers on this list.
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We conduct an independent agent satisfaction survey to ensure that you have reached the desired levels needed for full certification. This is conducted via a survey over the Web sent to the agents in the call center looking to reach certification.
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The Need for Call Center Certification
Since companies spend vast amounts of money implementing and operating call centers to ensure a competitive edge in customer service, it has become mandatory that the call handling process be conducted at best practice standards. This need to function at best practice levels has created the need for third-party certification that call centers are operating at this high level of call handling performance
"Becoming a Call Center of Excellence can be a game changer for businesses. Fighting to keep customers in today’s economy is paramount to most companies and the Center of Excellence distinction has helped drive us to that end result. Going through this process yearly continues to challenge us to improve processes and service levels. The detailed process that BenchmarkPortal provides in comparing our data with a large peer group is unparalleled. At the end, you have a clear roadmap of what is working well and what needs focus and attention for improvement. Because of this, we have been able to develop plans each year to drive better results and better customer experiences. This, coupled with a knowledgeable staff, helps us to close the gaps and continue to achieve excellence in every area. Every call center out there should be doing this benchmarking process; we are proof that it works."
Angela Ballantine, Director, Customer Care, ARAG GROUP
BenchmarkPortal´s Call Center Certification Database
BenchmarkPortal maintains the call center database, which is a warehouse of call center best practice statistics on thousands of call centers in 42 industry segments. This performance data is kept current and accurate, and is used by call center professionals worldwide to establish goals for best practice call center performance.
Our Call Center Certification Process is Unique in the Following Ways:
- The process is based strictly on a quantitative approach, as compared to a qualitative approach, where most performance issues depend upon the judgment of a trained auditor.
- The process begins with a thorough statistical comparison between the call center striving to be certified and a "peer group" of similar call centers in the same industry sector.
- We use a "balanced scorecard" approach of performance comparison in which weighted KPI's from your center are compared to the industry selected for certification.
- Our analysis relies completely on statistical methods of performance benchmarking that pinpoint areas of high performance and quantify gaps in areas of low performance.
- Ours is the only certification that is academically based and that uses only established scientific methods to measure the achievement of certifiable best practices standards
Celebrating Call Center of Excellence Certification
Achieving certification requires the efforts of many within your contact center. We recommend that you celebrate this remarkable achievement as broadly as possible. Following are some suggestions to do just that:
- Decorations: Decorate the entire company, especially the customer service department, with posters, certification banners and balloons.
- Agent Rewards: Reward your agents for their part in achieving certification. Ask supervisors to write brief, but personal, notes of thanks to each of their agents for their individual contribution. With each note, leave a small gift such as a gift certificate to your company´s cafeteria, an ice cream treat, etc. Hand out buttons with the Certification seal on it and a phrase like “Excellence - - Every Day!”
- Celebration Event: Host an event for everyone who played a role in helping to achieve certification. Use this time to celebrate your organization´s great performance. Have senior management explain the essential role customer service plays in the ultimate success of your company. Florida Power & Light flew BenchmarkPortal´s chairman to a Saturday night dinner-dance to make an in-person award of the certificate plaque and banner. They also put on a multimedia presentation of "What it means to be a Center of Excellence." Some 900 people -- mainly agents, supervisors and their spouses/dates -- enjoyed this exciting event. By showing appreciation and respect in dramatic ways, you will energize your people and your organization will profit by increased loyalty and productivity.
- Thank You Notes: Send a note of thanks to each of your customers for their business and announce your center´s achievement of certification and how that will benefit them.
- Acknowledgments: Acknowledge those departments outside of customer service who enable you to meet customer needs. Arrange pizza parties for these groups, send bouquets of balloons, and/or write notes of thanks for their support.
Public Acknowledgement: Suggest to your corporate communications department that the award be mentioned in your:
- Internal employee newsletter
- Marketing materials for customers and suppliers
- Investor relations materials, including especially your annual report. You want your investors and equity analysts to know that your customer contact function is a corporate asset which adds to shareholder value!
Marketing: Certification currently gives you the right to utilize the COE seal in several approved ways. There are some rules that go along with this use, which must be respected and which are subject to change from time to time (with reasonable advance notice):
- You may use the seal on your website and on your stationery as long as you remain a certified Center of Excellence.
- You must send us examples of such usage for control and archive purposes. Please send to email@example.com.
- In your marketing, public relations and investor relations materials you may refer to your center as a "Certified Center of Excellence," awarded by BenchmarkPortal.
- It is inappropriate to say that your center, or your company, is endorsed by, or recommended by, Purdue University. Understandably, it is against University policy to make such commercial endorsements. When in doubt, please contact us.
Steps To Begin Your Call Center Certification:
Contact us today in one of the following ways to begin your Call Center Certification.
- Online: Email Us Today
- Call: 1-800-214-8929 Ext. 1
- Complete one of our 12 KPI call center benchmarking survey's online or by filling out the word version
- Then we will run the report for you and set up a review of your data and matrix position which shows how you compare to your Peers. You will receive your balanced scorecard of efficiency to effectiveness (see matrix below).