Each year our Community Leaders get together to set the course for the study for the year. As part of that discussion, they decide upon the discussion topics for the year.


In November the leaders in our Customer Service Benchmarking community came together to determine the course for the 2014 CS Benchmarking study. Among other things they decided which areas of interest would be discussed during our webinar series. Two topics were chosen: “Managing call center costs, quality and volumes” and “Aligning Credit & Collections needs with Call Center and Field Service execution”. Check back later for more about the Credit & Collections topic.


For the Contact Center topic, the First Quartile benchmarking community will come together to share their approaches for managing cost while improving quality of service and encouraging customers to adopt self-service solutions such as IVR and website transactions. We'll review and discuss the following SCQA and look for answers and best practices to solve the problems.


  • Call volumes continue to increase even as self-service adoption is rising.
  • CSRs are often managed by how quickly they can complete a call even as the calls they are asked to handle become more complex.
  • IVR and website contacts were supposed to reduce call volume and, therefore, reduce costs


  • Many companies can’t or don’t track the details of the types of calls handled by either the CSR or the IVR and therefore don’t know why customers are calling them.
  • The definition of a quality transaction is different from a customer’s perspective than from a company’s perspective


  • Where are the reductions in call center spending that were expected with increased self-service?
  • Can quality be improved and volumes managed in such a way that costs are reduced?
  • What approaches for reducing non-value added contacts support both quality and cost management efforts?
  • Why are customers calling? What actions are they willing and able to complete successfully in the IVR or on the web? What actions are they more comfortable handling with a CSR?
  • What are appropriate performance indicators for CSRs that ensure that customers receive quality service and that call center costs go down?
  • How can companies ensure that customers receive a quality transaction whether completed with a CSR, the IVR or the web?


  • Join our benchmarking community as leading utilities share their approaches for reducing costs, improving quality and managing call volumes.



Here's a listing of the discussion topics for the last 5 years.

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