SQM Group

Do You Know How Your Call Center VoC Performance Compares to Other Industries?

Check out SQM’s recent VoC customer service benchmarking results for 2021

December 1, 2021 | 3min read

Free Call Center Benchmarking Results

Call Center VoC Benchmarking Results By Industry

Do you know who the best First Call Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction (Csat), and customer service performers are within your industry or outside your industry? SQM is often asked who performs the best customer service in specific telecommunications, health care, retail, financial, energy, or insurance industries.

Unfortunately, most call center managers do not know how their direct or indirect competitors perform on the top 10 contact center customer experience (CX) Voice of the Customer (VoC) metrics such as  FCR, Csat, and Net Promoter Score (NPS®). In addition, there is even less understanding of who are the world-class customer service performing call centers.

However, many call center managers know how their competitors perform on traditional operating metrics such as cost per call, service level, abandon rates, productivity, and agent schedule adherence within and outside their industry. The main reason for this is that more operational data is readily available than FCR, Csat, and VoC customer service data. Another reason could be that many call center managers are biased towards an Inside-Out approach for measuring and managing customer service and, as a result, seek out internal measurement data.

The Inside-Out approach uses internal measurement, business instincts, and internal thinking to design and deliver people, processes, and technology practices to meet customer needs. Conversely, in the Outside-In approach, external measurement based on customer feedback is used to design and deliver people, processes, and technology practices to meet customer needs.

Furthermore, VoC benchmarking data can be standardized, allowing for a more accurate performance comparison than internal benchmarking, which is difficult to standardize among call centers. For example, using a post-call survey method with the same survey questions to standardize the collection process to ensure the VoC benchmarking data is accurate.

It can also be helpful to benchmark your call center within similar industries and to world-class call centers that come from any industry. Most major call center breakthroughs in customer service improvement do not come from internal benchmarking metrics; they come from external VoC benchmarking similar industries and world-class call centers that can come from any industry.

Customer Service

Whenever a call center manager asks SQM, "What call centers have the best practices for improving FCR, CX, and customer service?" We make recommendations based on call centers whose FCR and Csat performance are improving or maintained at a world-class customer service level.

Moreover, we must also understand what business practices (e.g., people, processes, and technology) drove their performance. Therefore, we recommend call centers seek out call centers that have high FCR and Csat based on specific business practices that were used to achieve their great customer service.

The below figure shows call center VoC FCR benchmarking results by industry based on a post-call survey method with over 500 leading North American call centers participating in SQM's annual customer-service benchmarking study.

The VoC benchmarking data shows that there are significant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) differences between industries. For example, retail and insurance industries perform the best concerning the FCR metric. On the other hand, health insurance, energy, financial industries perform at an average FCR level, while tech support and telcos perform at the lowest FCR level.

It is essential to take a closer look at the highest-performing industries. While retail call centers tend to have lower complexity call types (geared towards orders), the insurance industry has moderate to high complexity call types yet can still achieve high performance regarding KPIs. The world-class call centers tend to be the best call centers to evaluate best practices for achieving high performance on the KPIs.  

There is much to learn from the call center VoC benchmarking results from within and outside your industry and from world-class call centers. Comparing your VoC performance within and outside your industry with a focus on world-class call centers for improving customer service and CX is a best practice worth doing.

Call Center Benchmarking Customer Service Results By Industry

Customer Service by Industry

First Call Resolution: Customer determines if their call to the call center was resolved on the first call

Calls Resolved: Customer determines if their call to the call center was resolved, no matter how many calls it took

Average Calls to Resolve: The average # of calls needed to resolve inquiry is based on the total calls made

Call Center Csat: Customer determines they were overall very satisfied (top box response) with their call center experience

Agent Csat: Customer determines they were overall very satisfied (top box response) with the agent who handled their call

World Class Calls: Customer determines they were overall very satisfied (top box response) with their call center experience, were very satisfied with the agent who handled their call and their call was resolved, no matter how many calls it took

CX Greatness: % of customers who rate their overall enterprise-wide customer experience as great

Net Promoter Score®: % of customers who are promoters of the organization minus the % of customers who are detractors of the organization