BenchmarkPortal's Call Center Certification Year in Review
December 27, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
To achieve optimal performance in the call center space, companies often turn to industry leaders, learning from best practices and avoiding the costly mistakes others have made. Call center certification provider, BenchmarkPortal (News - Alert), contributes to the process, providing networking opportunities with the Call Center Campus event and supporting information sharing with CallTalk, the company’s online radio program.
Bruce Belfiore, BenchmarkPortal CEO, had this to say about the past year, "One of the key words for 2012 was "multi". There was a noticeable increase in interest in multi-channel benchmarking, to which we are responding with an expanded survey, due out shortly. We also saw a desire to take a multi-year approach to contact center performance measurement, as we signed a record number of agreements that last up to four years. Multi-country, multi-cultural and multi-lingual call center challenges have also taken increasing amounts of our attention. There is an emerging multi-level approach to training of personnel.”
2012 proved to be a productive year for the call center certification provider, kicking off with a live broadcast from its Call Center Campus in Las Vegas. The CallTalk, which aired on January 18, was recoded at the event and focused on call center experts as they discussed agent satisfaction, caller satisfaction and the 20 Best Practice Ideas in 20 Minutes.
“Managers are seeing an advantage in having complementary best practices baked into courseware for call center leadership, supervisors and agents. That way they know their people are not just learning good skills, they are acquiring a cohesive culture that favors continuous improvement - - top to bottom. We also saw increasing numbers of centers striving for and achieving certification as Centers of Excellence. Partly as a result of this, our Call Center Campus event in Las Vegas attracted a record number of people and included inspiring presentations and a lot of sharing among the participants,” added Belfiore.
February’s CallTalk focused on agent adherence, exploring whether or not agents are taking advantage of the medical leave policy or the Family Medical Leave Act within the call center. In April, BenchmarkPortal focused on groundbreaking research into call center certification, exploring whether or not more technology can really help the call center improve performance. In fact, technology can help to reduce the cost per call by as much as 30 percent. Explore the CallTalk archived broadcast to learn other ties between call center performance and technology.
Have you ever wondered about the myths surrounding social media and the call center? BenchmarkPortal explored this concept in its May CallTalk, highlighting that social media does in fact affect customer service, that there is a return on investment for social customer service and that call center customers are in fact on Twitter (News - Alert).
“For 2013 we expect the "multi" phenomenon to grow significantly, and social media will start to increase its mindshare in the "multi-channel" category,” continued Belfiore. “In addition, people will be less inclined toward the "once and done" approach to assessment and improvement anymore. They want ongoing information and tracking to help them manage; they crave a supportive community to which they can turn for advice and assistance. Every manager and every management team can use a sounding board to bounce off ideas and seek solutions.”
In June, the call center certification provider was ready to explore the competitive landscape for consolidations and market expansions. Experts from the CBRE Labor Analytics Group provided insight on one of the biggest enterprise challenges that emerge when examining these strategies: the successful implementation of solutions at the intersection of real estate and human capital. The concept was further explored in July as experts examine agent satisfaction.
Co-Browse technology was the topic of focus in August as call center certification experts examined opportunities to eliminate the customer service blind spot. The visual connection enabled with Co-Browse technology ensures agents can see exactly what the customer sees on the screen during a call.
A closer look at the importance of training was the focus in September as experts from Health Net Federal Services share their insight into creating the optimal environment where agents can connect with their customers for the desired experience. And, for those interacting with Generation Y, October’s broadcast explored how your agents can be more engaged with the younger generation, capturing these dollars and turning them into long-term profits.
“We are creating a community membership program for 2013 to respond to this need,” said Belfiore. “A corollary of this is a move toward making benchmarking (and the improvement processes that go with it) into a management tool, instead of just a once-a-year report card. Automated benchmarking, which is provided by our new iBenchmark product, will allow managers to track their progress against their industry on a monthly basis, providing the feedback needed to stay on top of things, and not be taken by surprise at the end of the year.”
To access any of BenchmarkPortal call center certification broadcasts, visit the company’s CallTalk archive.
Belfiore’s final comments, “We wish everyone in our industry a wonderful 2013. We have no illusions about the financial challenges that face us all, but remain convinced that a strong customer contact function is the best defense in tough economic times. Also, experience shows that communication, peer sharing and trying new best practices are the ingredients that help make our sector exciting and fun. Happy New Year!”
Edited by Stefanie Mosca