By Ann-Marie Stagg, Chief Executive, CCMA

Amazing things can come from benchmarking your contact centre performance! After giving CCMA members access to benchmarking 20 metrics for free with the CCMA Benchmark in the summer, it’s so rewarding to hear stories from the 75 that took part about how they are using the insights.

At our Benchmarking seminar on Wednesday, Gareth Brophy, Head of Customer Support at Halfords, told us his story:

“Halfords is 126 years old and with colleagues that have been in the business for many years it can be difficult to justify a need for change. We have a company-wide Customer First initiative but we’ve found the contact centre has been slow to adopt it. So, when the opportunity to benchmark against 20 metrics with the CCMA came up, I jumped at it. I needed to prove that change was essential and evidence where to focus our attention. Benchmarking will help us in our transformation to achieve a higher level.

“Taking part was easy and we received the results quite quickly. We were pleasantly surprised at some of the scores but mortified at others. With my team we celebrated over pizza where we benchmarked the same or better. Then we had a great discussion on the areas for improvement where we shared loads of ideas. We finally prioritised on initiatives that would make colleagues happy and have a potentially significant impact on the customer experience in the contact centre.

“Top priority was to tackle the team size per team leader.  The benchmark is 11.1 advisors to a team leader. We had 18.2. Over the years we had cut the number of team leaders in order to reduce costs, but it was now evidence in the benchmarking that the correlation between this and our First Contact Resolution (FCR) and employee engagement rates in particular had suffered as a result.

“Armed with the benchmarking results and a clear business case, I was given the green light to create more team leader positions. In fact, we are going to beat the average and have nine advisors to a team leader. We recruit in December and implement in January.

“Of course, I will have to prove that the investment is having an impact on NPS, CSAT, agent availability and employee engagement. Therefore, we will implement employee engagement surveys monthly (rather than twice per year) to track our progress.

“The point is, I would not have the evidence to make this change without the CCMA Benchmark. And that’s why we have decided to upgrade our benchmarking and will be investing in comparing our performance against 70 core metrics. This will give us even more evidence, visibility and more importantly a view of the correlations between the different metrics. By continually benchmarking we will be able to monitor our progress and continue to improve, in line with our Customer First initiative.”

It just goes to show that a small amount of insight can lead to a key change in the operation that has the potential to transform a contact centres performance. Whether you’re seeking clarity on your performance, looking to identify one or two areas to improve on or are managing a transformation within your contact centre, benchmarking your performance will give you insights that will arm you with more information and evidence to make more informed business decisions.

If you want to take part, visit www.ccma.org.uk/benchmark and select from one of the three options available to you.

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