Bright UK research shows that some contact centres are exceeding customer expectations in one area at the detriment of another.

London, 25th January 2013 — If you have a too narrow view of what drives customer experience, then your organisation could be limiting its ability to increase customer satisfaction, according to research by customer service consultancy, Bright UK.

Mats Rennstam, Managing Director at Bright UK:

“Time and time again, we see examples of centres trying to deliver far above customer expectations on measures customers care little about. These organisations are ignoring areas like First Contact Resolution, engagement and product or service knowledge in favour of answering calls quickly or reducing average handling time.”

Mats:

“Focusing on different metrics for measuring performance is more likely to drive customer satisfaction and longer term loyalty to a much greater extent. Understanding what your customers really care about, and what will drive them away, is a starting point to getting this right.  After all, not many customers would stay with a bank with superb service when the bank next door with a ‘good enough’ service offers them twice the interest rate on their savings.”

Camelot is one organisation that, with Brights’ help, has changed the way they provide customer service by changing how they measure performance.

Head of Customer Operations at Camelot, Pam Bowell, explains:

“I knew from my experience that a team answering 80% of calls in less than 20 seconds was overkill for our type of business, but I had no clear evidence to explain the impact chasing this target was having on performance and, more importantly, our customers.”

The Bright Index revealed that the average contact centre industry speed to answer was 124 seconds. Camelot’s peers were typically answering calls in 38 seconds, but Camelot was picking up the phone within 14 seconds – the only organisations answering calls faster were the emergency services!  

Pam Bowell:

“We needed to find a healthy place to be on this spectrum. The contact centre benchmark project showed us that we were in the top 20 against efficiency measures but that we didn’t need to answer calls quite so fast. Bright challenged us to consider whether this was making our customers happy. What was happening on the call itself?  Was the agent quick, efficient and were we achieving First Call Resolution? This wasn’t something we were actively measuring.”

Camelot is now measured against a broader range of KPIs; the business is driving deeper change in its customer experience.

Pam Bowell:

“Now that we have a modern approach to contact centre performance measurement, we are much more able to anticipate the impact of change on business performance and the customer. As a result, we have reduced our costs by 40% and easily absorbed an increase of 17% in call volumes year-on-year. We are also now more focused on quality – our customer satisfaction scores have increased by nearly 10%.”