SQM offers a unique contact channel CX best practice certification assessment to determine if your contact channels practice(s) is at the same standard as SQM’s award winning organization’s contact channel CX best practices. All best practices have been comprehensively evaluated based on customer and employee feedback and on an onsite evaluation by SQM consultants, to ensure that the practice is indeed a CX best practice. A best practice must meet the requirement of having a positive impact on CX (e.g., OCR, Csat, Esat, NPS®) performance. SQM’s contact channel CX best practice certification assessment evaluates key business areas such as omni-channel, web self-service, IVR self-service, email, customer quality assurance, desktop applications, CSR recognition program, career advancement program, call handling practice, escalation CSR support, performance management system, CSR coaching program, CSR training program and CSR hiring process, standard operating procedures, and continuous improvement process.
In order to certify that your contact channel is using a CX best practice for a key business area, SQM will assess your practice by performing an onsite evaluation of your practice and comparing it to our contact channel CX best practice standards for that business area. In addition, SQM will conduct employee surveys and focus groups to elicit feedback from frontline employees in order to determine their satisfaction with your practice. SQM will also review your current CX (e.g., OCR, FCR and Csat) ratings as well as your quality assurance (QA) ratings. Once the onsite evaluation and rating review is completed, SQM will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your contact channel practice to validate whether your practice is indeed a CX best practice, or if there are opportunities for improving the practice performance. Any contact channel that have been certified as having a CX best practice area are automatically eligible for SQM Best Practice Awards given out at our annual CX Conference and Awards event. You do not need to be an existing SQM client for us to validate your contact channel practice(s) or have SQM conduct customer surveys. All you need is the willingness to have your contact channel practice(s) evaluated based employee feedback and an onsite visit.
The 3 Steps Needed for CX Best Practice Certification
Step 1 – Evaluate Practice
The onsite evaluation is conducted by an SQM consultant. The consultant will evaluate your contact channel practice and compare your practice to SQM’s CX best practice operational standards.
Step 2 – Conduct Surveys and Analyze Data
This step measures and assesses your contact center practice(s) being validated, from a frontline perspective. Typically, SQM will conduct a minimum of 100 frontline employee surveys using 50 quantitative and qualitative questions, and conduct 2 to 4 frontline focus groups. Current customer survey data will be reviewed to understand CX. Customer survey data is not required, but when provided, can greatly aid in the validation process.
Step 3 – Validate if Practice is a CX Best Practice
Based on the onsite evaluation of the practice and the gathering and analyzing of data from frontline employees, the SQM consultant will validate if the practice is indeed a CX best practice. If the practice is a best practice, SQM will provide a certificate stating the practice is certified as a CX best practice. If the practice is not validated, SQM will provide recommendations that the contact channel could use to improve the practice and potentially achieve a best practice validation.
- The CX best practice validation service takes approximately 1 – 2 weeks (for assessing and generating a CX best practice validation report)
- A practice that is certified as a CX best practice is certified for 1 year
- In order to maintain the CX best practice certification distinction, the organization will need to conduct employee and customer surveys each year
- Employee satisfaction is judged using a minimum sample size of 100, or 90% of employees complete the survey if less than 100 employees at the organization, using online surveys taken from a random selection of CSR employees
- The employee satisfaction score must meet the requirement of 50% or higher for the employees’ satisfaction with your practice, and a CX best practice onsite score of 80% or higher is required to be certified. Csat data is not required to be certified. However, providing Csat data that is linked to a CX best practice greatly aids in the validation process.
CX Best Practices SQM Certifies
SQM evaluates a contact channel’s practice to ensure that it uses CX best practice operational standards as used by comparable award winning organizations. In addition, the practice being certified must meet the criteria of having a positive impact for driving CX (e.g., FCR, Csat, and Esat) performance. Below are some examples of the types of information we are looking for in each best practice category. The CX best practice areas SQM certifies are as follows:
- Omni-Channel – How your omni-channel best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Web Self-Service – How your web self-service best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution and Csat performance.
- IVR Self-Service – How your IVR self-service best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution and Csat performance.
- Email Channel – How your email channel best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Emerging Channels (Chat, Video Chat, Mobile Application) – How your emerging channels best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Quality Assurance Program – How your QA program (e.g., evaluation form, call recording and reporting tool, CSR coaching) best practice has a positive impact on your FCR, call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Desktop Applications – How your desktop applications (e.g., customer relationship management, knowledge management tool, instant messaging, claim and bill processing tools, unified desktop) best practice has a positive impact on your FCR, call resolution, Csat and Esat performance. Note: You can certify any or all of the desktop applications that have helped you with your Voice of Customer (VoC) performance
- CSR Recognition Program – How your recognition program (e.g., awards, certificates, cards, public recognition, gift certificates, additional training, paid time-off) best practice motivates CSRs to improve or maintain great call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Career Development – How your career development program (e.g., job posting, career path, employee development, career advancement) best practice motivates CSRs to improve or maintain great call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Call Handling Practice – How your call handling practice (e.g., hold, transfer, concierge service, call escalation, call flow, CSR soft skills) best practice improves or maintains great FCR, call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Escalation CSR Support – How your support queue (e.g., call escalation, retention, assists CSRs in real-time) best practice has a positive impact on your FCR, call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Performance Management System – How your performance management system (e.g., accountability metrics, performance reporting, performance improvement plans, performance appraisals, bonus and recognition) best practice improves or maintains great FCR, call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- CSR Coaching Program – How your coaching program (e.g., train the coaches, frequency and length of coaching session, quality of coaching) best practice has a positive impact on call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- CSR Training Program – How your training program (e.g., online, classroom and on-the job training, new-hire and on-going knowledge training) best practice has a positive impact on call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- CSR Selection Process –How your hiring process (e.g., candidate pre-screening, interview, personality testing, job simulation, ideal profile identification) best practice has a positive impact on call resolution, Csat and Esat performance.
- Standard Operating Procedures – How your standard operating procedures best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution, Csat, and Esat performance.
- Continuous Improvement Process – How your continuous improvement process best practice improves or maintains great FCR, contact resolution, Csat, and Esat performance.
Top 5 Reasons to Certify Your CX Best Practice
Validate – Ensure that your contact center practice has had a positive impact on FCR, Csat, cost and Esat performance, which in turn will:
Improve FCR – for every 1% improvement in FCR, a contact center reduces its operating costs by 1%. If a contact center is performing at the FCR contact center industry average of 70%, it is important to understand that, potentially, 30% of customers will have to call back because their issue was not resolved on the first contact.
Improve Csat – for every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat (top box response). Clearly, FCR is highly correlated to Csat.
Improve Esat – for every 1% improvement in FCR there can be a 1% to 5% improvement in Esat. Contact centers with high FCR tend to have high Esat.
- Certification report – If validated, receive certification that your practice is a contact channel CX best practice with a full report detailing how the best practice was achieved. If your practice is not certified as a best practice, receive a full report of targeted opportunities and recommendations that, if implemented, can lead to best practice achievement.
- Contact channel CX best practice experts – Receive an objective, data and observation-driven third party evaluation of the practice(s) by the contact center industry’s leading CX research, consulting and performance awarding firm.
- Benchmark – Get a standardized comparison of how your practice(s) rates amongst the 500 contact centers that SQM works with annually.
- Awards – If certified, automatically become eligible for a CX Best Practice Award and an Employee Satisfaction Award.