30 Stats Every QA & Training Professional Should Know
By Patrick Botz, Vice President of Workforce Optimization, VPI
Here at VPI, we’re just a little bit obsessed with everything about contact center quality assurance, training, and workforce optimization. We sponsor several benchmark research projects each year, keep our eyes on industry trends, and quiz our customers about what works for them – and what doesn’t. We’re also voracious readers and pounce on every piece of reliable contact center industry research that becomes available. Here, we have compiled 30 of the most useful and downright surprising statistics shaping the future of QA and training.
- Even in a negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience. Source: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report
- 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, up from 59% four years ago. Source: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report
- 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Source: RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report 2011
- 59% will try a new brand or company for a better service experience. Source: American Express Global Customer Service barometer, (May 2011)
- The top three drivers for investing in customer experience management are:
- Improve customer retention – (42%)
- Improve customer satisfaction – (33%)
- Increase cross-selling and up-selling (32%)
Source: Aberdeen report – Customer Experience Management: Engaging Loyal Customers to Evangelize Your Brand
What These Customer Service Statistics Say about the Future of Contact Centers
These stats make it clear. Your company’s customer service simply can’t be ignored. Customers are choosier and more discerning than ever before. If you neglect the quality of your customer service you will lose key customers to your competitors. Interestingly, these customers are actually willing to pay more for better service and a superior experience.
- There are an estimated three million Americans who work primarily from home today, an increase of 61% since 2005. Source: Forrester, March, 2009 Blog by Ted Schadler, Telecommuting Will Rise to Include 45% of US Workers by 2016.
- An estimated 60% of contact centers utilize home agents today in some capacity and the forecast is 80% by year-end 2013. Source: Customer Contact Strategies, LLC
- More than half of the contact centers in the U.S. today (53%) have some percentage of their agent population functioning from a home office. More than 70% of those currently supporting at-home agents plan on increasing the number of their at-home agents in 2013. Source: National Association of Call Centers (NACC) benchmark research study.
- Ovum expects the number of home-based customer service agents to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 36.4%, one of the strongest expansion levels of any outsourcing market sub-segment. Source: Ovum
- By 2016, 63 million Americans will telecommute. Source: Global Workplace Analytics, June 2011, State of Telework in the US, Kate Lister & Tom Harnish
What these Home Working Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers
Working from home is becoming an increasingly common practice – quite possibly the single biggest phenomenon changing the customer contact landscape in over a decade. Telecommuting offers employees a flexible schedule and higher job satisfaction rate. Without the limits of geography, employers benefit from the ability to cherry-pick candidates from a vast labor pool beyond the confined radius of a brick and- mortar facility. Consequently, more and more organizations are hiring at-home agents, but this means they need a way to QA, train, coach, and connect with agents.
Quality and Performance Management
- Only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with target customers. Source: Customer Experience Peer Research study conducted by Forrester Research 2010
- Two-thirds of organizations see access to real-time or nearly real-time metrics as a very important capability. However, very few companies (8%) receive their metrics as soon as they are generated. Fewer than one-fifth (18%) receive them on the same day, while at the remaining companies it can take up to four weeks for the metrics to be delivered. Source: Ventana Research Contact Center Analytics Benchmark Research, 2010
- 92% of contact center leaders see high value in sharing metrics in real-time with frontline agents. The top five metrics of greatest value when shared in real-time with agents are number of calls in queue, service level, customer satisfaction, schedule adherence, and first contact resolution – in that order. Source: Good to Great: Rapid Results with Real-time Performance Management, A Saddletree Research Paper, 2012
- 60% of all repeat calls are process or training driven – business processes are not in place to meet the customer’s need, and agents have not been given the training required to meet the customer expectations that have been set by marketing or elsewhere in the business. Source: Frost & Sullivan
- Organizations that focus on frequent training see advantages in first call resolution — 65% vs. 58% for those who don’t. Source: Parature
- Only 31% of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving customer experience. Source: Customer Experience Peer Research study conducted by Forrester Research in 2010
What these Quality and Performance Management Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers
Clearly, these stats show that companies need to pay more attention to agent quality and performance management in order to maximize the potential of each employee and provide the training the agents need to be successful. When empowered with real-time performance metrics and information, frontline agents and supervisors thrive. The problem is that most contact centers struggle to extract customer insights from multiple siloed systems and applications that share data. It takes time and resources to produce spreadsheets and reports that have already become stale and outdated by the time they’re delivered. Fortunately, with the availability of Real-time Performance Management software, the ability to consolidate metrics from multiple disparate contact center telephony and business applications and deliver them just-in-time to agents, supervisors, and executives has now become an affordable reality. To get more value from Quality Assurance (QA) efforts, it’s important to re-think your approach to Quality Assurance. Traditional QA, which has been primarily focused on monitoring and improving internal agent quality and compliance for the past 30 years, is now also being used to uncover valuable insights to improve business operations and customer satisfaction. The emergence of workflow automation and embedded analytics with new QA solutions are helping customer facing organizations around the world reduce the manual steps required by most traditional QA programs by 60-80%. Better yet, analytics-driven QA takes you straight to what really matters — delivering insight into critical business issues and opportunities to improve customer experience and revenue outcomes.
- Contact channels other than the phone, such as email, Web self-service, chat, and other online techniques, now account for more than 30% of customer service engagements. Web self-service and e-mail dominate this mix. Source: CFI Group’s 2012 Call Center Satisfaction Index
- Today, 25% of consumers utilize one to two channels when seeking customer care and 52% of consumers utilize three or four channels. Source: Ovum, February 2012, Posted by Parature.com, Ovum Multichannel Customer Service Study, http://www.parature.com/tag/ovum multichannel-customer-service-study
- 57% of best in class companies measure support center success across e-mail, chat, web, and voice, and 62% use integrated voice response (IVR). Source: Aberdeen Group
- 60% of adults aged 25–29 live in households with only wireless telephones. Source: Centers for Disease Control Report, 2012
What these Multi-Channel Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers
Today’s contact centers are using many different channels to reach their customers. In this era of constant, ‘round-the-clock communication, customers expect to be able to interact with a company through any channel – whether via phone, going online or even live Web chat. In addition, an increasing number of businesses and contact centers are implementing live chat to meet this rising demand. In addition to being able to evaluate and analyze voice interactions with customers, organizations need to place equal or greater weight on the ability to assess and extract insights from self-service, Web chat, e-mail, and social media conversations. This leads us into the next major trend – Speech and Text Analytics.
Speech and Text Analytics
- Speech analytics was one of the top two fastest-growing call center tools in 2012 – the adoption of speech analytics grew by 59% and Web chat jumped by 60%. Source: The US Contact Center Decision-Maker’s Guide, 2012
- Speech analytics was among the top five technologies evaluated, with 24% saying that they intended to evaluate it for purchase in 2012. Source: Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research
- The speech analytics market is projected to continue to expand over the next several years, growing by 25% in 2013 and 20% in 2014. Source: 2012 DMG Consulting Speech Analytics Report
- Currently, there are 3,170 active, successful speech analytics implementations. Source: SpeechTech, 2012
- Speech analytics solutions are currently in use in 24% of all organizations, predominantly used by service, outsourcing and finance organizations. There is an appreciable amount of interest in implementing a new speech analytics system or replacing the one they have within the near future, especially in the medical sector (45% of companies), insurance sector (54%) and retail (40%). Source: ContactBabel
What these Speech Analytics Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers
These statistics clearly demonstrate that speech analytics may be the fastest growing trend impacting the future of contact centers today. The possibilities are endless. Speech analytics allows you to identify calls that can be better handled, helps you improve First Contact Resolution, and enables you to increase sales and collections by sharing best practices.
- More than 50% of Facebook users and 80% of Twitter users expect a response to a customer service inquiry in a day or less. Source: Consumer Views of Live Help Online 2012, A Global Perspective, Oracle
- Failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers. Source: Gartner
- 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. Source: Huffington Post’s “100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures from 2012
- Customers who wrote about their contact center experiences on social media sites and then received follow-up from the company rated their overall satisfaction with the contact center experience nearly 20% higher and are 15% more likely to recommend the company than those who received no follow-up. Source: CFI Group’s 2012 Call Center Satisfaction Index
- Servicing via social media boosts customer satisfaction by 15-20%. Source: The 2012 CFI Group Call Center Satisfaction Index Report
What these Social Media Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers
Social Media has had a huge impact on the future of the contact center industry. After interacting with your company, a customer can immediately vent their frustrations or share their positive experiences with the click of a button. This is why the customer service you provide is more important than ever before. Additionally, since word now travels so fast, companies can lose business opportunities if they don’t regularly respond to their customers’ requests and comments on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and others. With the advent of Social Media, QA is becoming more important than ever before as it takes just seconds for a customer to rave about or complain and bash a brand to thousands.
The Statistics Don’t Lie – You’ve Got to be Prepared for Change
You’ve got to love statistics. When carefully compiled and reliably sourced, they provide clarity and perspective, enabling us to make better decisions based on facts as opposed to fear and speculation. In the contact center industry, which can be somewhat tumultuous and unpredictable, it’s crucial to be well prepared and proactive. Overall, these statistics prove that the future of contact center QA and training is changing rapidly. In order to survive and compete, companies must be ready to evolve. Armed with the right processes and quality assurance and e-learning tools, this is very doable.
Patrick Botz serves as Vice President of Workforce Optimization for VPI, the leading provider of contact center quality assurance, performance management and workforce optimization solutions. Leveraging more than a decade of field experience as a contact center management practitioner, he focuses on the mission-critical aspects of capturing customer interactions and optimizing business processes and workforce performance. Patrick’s work has been published in Customer Inter@ction Solutions, Business Management, Contact Professional, Connections Magazine and Contact Center World. Patrick holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BSE in Engineering from Arizona State University. To learn more, visit VPI’s website at http://www.VPI-corp.com. Patrick can be contacted at PBotz@VPI-corp.com or 1-800-200-5430 x5214.