Customer Service Benchmarking Service

Delivering a great customer experience is proven to result in improved business outcomes such as higher customer retention, increased spending, and an increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

And well-managed contact centres are also significantly more efficient to operate – with quicker calls, less customer call backs etc providing significant savings and less customer frustration, reducing the risk of negative customer sentiment and higher churn which, again, are desired business outcomes.

So it makes good commercial sense to ensure your business is providing a great experience via your contact centre operations, whether its via the phone channel, email or live chat.

In addition to our cost-effective fixed-price Contact Centre CX Benchmarking that compares your contact centre performance against a minimum of 5 of your peers for a fixed price, we also provide our Customer Service Benchmarking Service.

The ACXPA Customer Service Benchmarking Service provides a range of flexible services to help you assess the performance of your contact centre across phone calls, emails and live chat, as well as your competitors if required.

And perhaps even more critically, we also provide you with the expertise and resources to help you to improve your results, whether its to improve customer service, increase sales conversions, or both!

Learn more about our Customer Service Benchmarking Service and Mystery Shopping services below.

Contact Centre Phone Channel Performance Insights

For many businesses, the contact centre phone channel provides a pivotal role in supporting new or existing customers as well as providing a revenue-generating function that can help secure new customers or increase spending with existing customers.

In either instance, that phone interaction with the customer has the potential to influence the ongoing relationship (and value) that the customer will have with your organisation.

So ensuring your contact centre is performing at its optimum, and making the most of every interaction, is paramount.

The ACXPA Contact Centre Quality Assessment service is designed to equip you with an external, independent assessment of your contact centre’s performance over the phone with a range of flexible options that enable you to tailor the right combination of assessments and competitor insights that enable you to make informed decisions to ensure your contact centre is performing at their best.

Contact Centre Quality Assessments for phone calls

Two Options to Assess Phone Calls

Given the diversity in the size, scope, functions, industry sectors etc of contact centres in Australia we have carefully curated different packages to suit a range of different objectives.

Quality Assessments for Contact Centre Performance

If you are already recording your calls, but don’t have the time, resources, framework or expertise to assess your calls, you can send them to us.

We’ll assess your calls against the 18 specific call handling behaviours that will provide you not only with a score representative of your sales or service experience, but actionable insights that you can leverage to improve your results moving forward.

The Assess Only service is perfect where:

  • Mystery shopping is not viable (due to needing Unique identifiers or Account IDs for common enquiry types).
  • You want an independent & objective assessment of the quality of sales or service experiences from real customer interactions.
  • You want an even sample and assessment of calls for each individual within your operation (as Mystery Shopping will only capture random agents).
  • You want to compare our results against your own internal quality assessment/monitoring program with the same or similar calls.

Some clients like to fully outsource their Quality Assessments to us due to our expertise, independence and objectivity while others will utilise this service to complement and help refine their existing internal QA program.

We can assess your calls against 5 core competencies and 18 specific call-handling behaviours that have been proven to influence customer satisfaction, or we can tailor our process to align or complement with your own internal program and/or compliance program.

How Mystery Shopping Works for Contact Centres

With our Mystery Shopping service, our fully trained, expert mystery shoppers, will make calls at random days/times to simulate the experience your real customers are receiving.

They utilise a set of 3-4 documented scenarios to represent common call and customer enquiry types and needs relative to your industry and products/services offered.

Every mystery shop call made by us to your sales or service teams has our shoppers presenting as friendly, positive, open & interested (even in the face of poor service) to give your staff every chance to ‘put their best foot forward’ in providing a positive and effective experience.

Our job (and a key requirement and principle of any quality mystery shopping program) is to never unduly influence the behaviour of your staff. We want them to succeed and we make it as easy as possible for them to deliver a premium experience.

This service is perfect where:

  • You want to test the quality of experience delivered to random customers.
  • The logistics of providing recordings is not possible.
  • Customer Service teams where unique customer identifiers/Account IDs are not required to resolve enquiries.
  • You have an inbound sales team.
  • You wish to quantify the capability or lost opportunities to acquire customers.

In our reporting, we’ll capture and provide all the details of the call available (Navigation Time, Queue Delay, Agent Name, Call duration) and assess your calls against the 18 specific call handling behaviours within the 5 core competencies.

We also provide some additional non-scored insights regarding the quality of product/service/pricing information provided as well as additional useful information or insights that individuals may provide to add further value to your reporting and potential coaching opportunities.

Key Types of Mystery Shopping

When it comes to Mystery Shopping services for contact centres, there are two key types – customer service or sales scenarios that we are able to conduct. Click the button below to learn more.

Customer Service Mystery Shopping for Contact Centres

With our customer service Mystery Shopping service, our fully trained, expert mystery shoppers, will make calls at random days/times to simulate the experience your real customers are receiving.

They utilise a set of 3-4 documented scenarios to represent common call and customer enquiry types and needs relative to your industry and products/services offered.

Every mystery shop call made by us to your customer service teams has our shoppers presenting as friendly, positive, open & interested (even in the face of poor service) to give your staff every chance to ‘put their best foot forward’ in providing a positive and effective experience.

Our job (and a key requirement and principle of any quality mystery shopping program) is to never unduly influence the behaviour of your staff. We want them to succeed and we make it as easy as possible for them to deliver a premium experience.

This service is perfect where:

  • You want to test the quality of experience delivered to random customers.
  • The logistics of providing recordings is not possible.
  • Unique customer identifiers/Account IDs are not required to resolve enquiries.

In our reporting, we’ll capture and provide all the details of the call available (Navigation Time, Queue Delay, Agent Name, Call duration) and assess your calls against the 18 specific call handling behaviours within the 5 core competencies.

We also provide some additional non-scored insights regarding the quality of product/service/pricing information provided as well as additional useful information or insights that individuals may provide to add further value to your reporting and potential coaching opportunities.

Inbound Sales Mystery Shopping for Contact Centres

For calls to inbound sales contact centre teams, our shoppers always present as customers who are open and looking to make a positive buying decision either as a brand new customer or someone who is switching from a competitor.

In essence, every one of these calls can be considered a ‘hot lead’ and our assessments check if staff are able to provide a positive buying experience, through the use of a needs-based sales process. Do they make it easy for the customer to choose to buy and attempt to gain a commitment (i.e. attempt to close the sale)?

By the end of the call though, we always back out of any attempts to secure our business (or progression to the next stage of the buying process) with classic sales objections (e.g. “I have to first speak to my partner”) to avoid going through your sales fulfilment process.

Where addresses or other such details are asked of mystery shoppers, our mystery shoppers would have already prepared these to be available from online sites such as realestate.com (for addresses) or carsales.com (for car details for insurance quotes) to minimise any risk of staff suspecting a mystery shop call is being conducted.

Of course, for some customers, they do want to capture the entire sales process so if that’s something you need us to do, we can also offer this service for you.

Email Channel Performance Insights

Just because a customer chooses to interact with your business via the email channel doesn’t mean there should be any compromise on the level of customer service provided.

In what has traditionally been a blind spot for quality assessments, we can provide you with quality assessments for your email customer service using two methodologies:

  • You can send us completed emails for us to score and assess.
  • We can conduct mystery shopping enquiries via your email service.

We can assess your emails for quality and hard metrics such as the time to reply etc.

Email Mystery Shopping is best suited for service-related enquiries, however, we can work with you to develop an email sales assessment program as well that can reveal key insights including the length of time it takes to get a reply to a sales enquiry lodged via email which can sometimes be quite confronting for many organisations ?.

Email Customer Service Quality Assessment

Live Chat Channel Performance Insights

Live Chat is becoming an increasingly popular channel for customers to engage with an organisation but just like any other channel, providing a great customer experience still matters!

We can provide our quality assessment service to evaluate the level of service provided via live chat using two key methods:

  • You send us the live chat transcripts for us to assess.
  • We conduct mystery enquiries via your live chat service.

There can be some challenges with mystery shopping for live chat if identification is required to initiate the chat, however, we can work with you to develop scenarios that enable us to get the insights you need.

Live Chat Customer Service Quality Assessment

Quality Insights Score (QIS)

When it comes to assessing phone calls, our Quality Insights Score (QIS) framework has been refined for over 30 years and across over 50,000 calls to identify the core competencies and behaviours that directly correlate to improved customer and business outcomes.

Our QIS comprises five core competencies that are underpinned by 18 call-handling behaviours (adjusted for sales or customer service) that, regardless of the industry sector, are proven to deliver improved business outcomes measured across any metric (i.e. NPS, Customer Satisfaction/CSAT, sales conversions, upsells etc.).

  • ENGAGE - Build a strong first impression and build trust through taking ownership, personalising and revealing how you will help satisfy their needs.

  • DISCOVER - Conversation that explores and confirms both what they need from the call and what they wish to achieve through your products and services.

  • EDUCATE - Fully inform your customer with targeted, relevant information that checks suitability, understanding, commitment & resolution.

  • CLOSE - Control the end of the call with a strong final check, expression of gratitude and thanks to create a strong final impression.

  • ENERGY - Energy, empathy, clarity and efficient call management that builds connection and makes it easy for the customer to get what they need.

In addition to the core competencies, we also measure performance metrics relevant to the channel i.e. call wait times, IVR navigation times etc. that are captured via the Contact Centre Accessibility Score (CCAS) so you can gain insights into what customers are experiencing independent of your own internal reporting.

Depending on your requirements, we can also assess against your own compliance standards such as prescribed greetings, completing ID checks etc.

Contact Centre Accessibility Score (CCAS)

The purpose of Mystery Shopping is to replicate the experience real customers are having when engaging with a business.

Whilst this traditionally incorporates what happens during a call, decades of experience has taught us that many of the challenges customers face also include getting through to a live contact centre agent.

The Contact Centre Accessibility Score (CCAS) measures the experience a customer encounters leading up to the interaction with a live contact centre agent.

The CCAS score is determined by five core comptencies and over 30 individual measures with a brief overview below:

  • SEARCH - How easy was it for the customer to locate the contact number, how many clicks did it take on the website to find the contact centre phone number etc.

  • DESIGN - Number of menu layers, options, messages etc. – Was the IVR designed to be both simple and efficient for the customer?

  • EASE - Were the options relevant and easy to choose and were all selections or requests accepted?

  • AUDIO - Were the voiceovers clear and consistent with professional audio quality and concise scripting? Was the agent's audio clear and easy to understand?

  • TIMING - how long did it take to navigate through the system, listen to messages and wait in a queue?

  • DEDUCTIONS - The CCAS score is negatively impacted if any of the following occurs:

    • The calls were not answered within the following thresholds:
      • 15 minutes for customer service scenarios.
      • 10 minutes for sales scenarios.
    • If there were any technical glitches that impacted the customer experience
    • If any options or recordings were repeated after selecting those options
    • For constant, excessive recordings instead of music whilst in a queue
    • For overtly and constantly pushing the customer to use online channels
    • For not providing an option for new customers without account IDs

ACXPA Contact Centre Insights Framework (ACCIS)

ACXPA Contact Centre Insights Score framework

Reporting that really matters

With copious amounts of data captured during Quality Assessments and Customer Benchmarking, it can be quickly overwhelming trying to interpret complex dashboards and data sets that are not only often confusing, they add a considerable expense to the cost of the service.

With decades of experience running contact centres, we’ve refined our reporting to ensure we only provide you with the information that matters, in conjunction with actionable insights that can be used to improve the quality outcomes of your centre.

Each report includes:

  • Your overall score and trends using the ACXPA Contact Centre Insights Score (ACCIS) Quality Insights Score (QIS) and Contact Centre Accessibility Score (CCAS) where relevant.
  • Your performance against each of the five competencies and 18 specific call-handling behaviours.
  • Your Top Five Priority Recommendations with insights, tips and examples on how to close the gap on your worst-performing metrics.
  • Access to all your call recordings and scoresheets (includes notes on each individual call)

The reporting insights are designed to represent an individual, team or organisation’s performance in delivering premium sales and service experiences. The scores, insights and recommendations (i.e. the outputs of our program) are all geared to function and serve as the main input into your coaching & continuous improvement initiatives.

Comparative Insights 

As well as gaining insights into your contact centre’s performance against a range of call-handling behaviours and competencies, you can add optional Comparative Insights.

The Comparative Insights enable you to compare your service against any nominated competitors or peers (where it is possible to mystery shop).

You can nominate the number of competitors you want to compare your service to each month, and using the same mystery shopping scenarios, we’ll include a comparison to your competitors with your monthly report.

The reporting will include the Quality Insights Score (QIS) and the Contact Centre Accessibility Score (CCAS), as well as the overall ACXPA Contact Centre Insights Score (ACCIS) enabling you to identify your key strengths and weaknesses against your competitors based on comparable mystery shopping scenarios.

Mystery Shopping Australian Call Centre
Optional quarterly Quality Insights Workshop

Quality Insights Workshops

In addition to our standard reporting that provides powerful insights and recommendations, you can also choose to receive a quarterly Quality Insights Workshop facilitated by the General Manager of our Quality Insights Programs, Simon Blair.

These workshops have proven invaluable for our clients to gain direct access to Simon to demystify the requirements for achieving the standards for specific call competencies and behaviours, and provide additional insights and explanations that are much easier to articulate and digest live, than by reading a report!

Additionally, senior stakeholders within your business (that you choose to invite) can use these workshops to assist in the process of developing the ideal strategy and tactics for both short and long-term continuous improvement in building internal capability and performance within the Contact Centre.

If you select the optional Quality Insights Workshop when you book your service, it will include:

  • A one-hour facilitated session over Zoom (or your own preferred meeting app) to key stakeholders of any number or position within your organisation.
  • Key Insights from analysis of performance results and trends.
  • Focus on recommended priority areas for action and improvement.
  • Selected recordings (or parts thereof) played for stakeholders to hear first-hand what’s working and what still needs focus and improvement (optional, and you have final approval of which calls get played).
  • Live demonstration and examples of selected experiences that highlight what’s working and what needs further focus and improvement.
  • Training, coaching and quality tips, guidance and recommendations.
  • Where possible (and by client approval only), a live mystery shop call into your contact centre with real-time assessment and review.

Training courses that deliver results

Having data is one thing, but it means nothing if you aren’t using the data and insights to improve your performance!

We provide a range of training courses that are designed and delivered by our General Manager of Quality Insights, Simon Blair,  purpose-built to move the dial on your quality performance.

The training is directly aligned to the five core competencies and 18 call-handling behaviours that we use to assess performance and that are directly related to improved customer and business outcomes.

This enables you to invest in training with confidence that will result in a measurable improvement to your quality assessment scores across any metric you use to assess performance (i.e. NPS, CSAT, Sales Conversions etc).

The training is delivered via our key partner, CX Skills which has an average customer review score of 4.9/5.0 over the past four years and has provided training to over 170 Australian companies across sectors including Public Sector, Finance & Insurance, Transport & Travel, Healthcare & Community, Education, Retail, Business Services, Manufacturing & Utilities and lots more.

Learn more about the available courses on the buttons below.

Contact Centre Training Courses to improve customer service

Contact Centre Agent Training Courses

Whether it’s for sales or service, we have purpose-built training courses that teach your employees the skills they need to improve your customer service benchmarking scores and, more importantly, improve the results for your business.

Recommend courses to improve customer service results: 

Recommend courses to improve inbound sales results: 

Contact Centre Team Leader Training

One of the primary roles of the Team Leader is to improve the performance of their direct employees.

We have a specific course that will teach your Team Leaders HOW to improve the performance of their employees including:

  • Ensuring they understand the quality assessment framework.
  • How to coach and provide feedback.
  • Specific techniques to improve performance against each of the core competencies and the 18 different behaviours.

Learn more about the Contact Centre Coaching PRO course >

Other recommended courses for Team Leaders:

Contact Centre Manager Training Courses

With over 75% of contact centre managers starting their career on the phones, it’s common that the majority of their skills were learnt on the job, and they have inherited pre-existing KPIs, processes and procedures that were already in place.

But regardless of your industry sector or the size of your contact centre, there are industry best-practice that every contact centre manager should know that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any contact centre.

We highly recommend the following courses:

Why choose ACXPA Quality Assesments for Contact Centres

Why Choose Us?

The ACXPA Customer Service Benchmarking Service has been designed by Simon Blair and Justin Tippett, who collectively have over 50 years of experience in running contact centre operations and designing, delivering and optimising quality assessment programs for some of Australia’s leading contact centres to not just deliver a score, but that result in delivering improved outcomes for the business and end customers.

Whether you talk to either Simon or Justin, the one thing you’ll always pick up on is their customer focus, their intimate knowledge of contact centre operations, and the passion they’ve demonstrated for the industry over many decades.

So launching the ACXPA Customer Benchmarking Service is more than just a business venture.

It’s about empowering businesses with the insights and knowledge to help them deliver improved results that benefits their employees, their business and their end customers, which, in turn, benefits and strengthens the entire industry.

Some of the reasons why people choose ACXPA to deliver their quality insights: 

  • Our assessment model is based on decades of experience, having personally analysed over 50,000 calls to intimately understand the drivers of great customer experience in the real world, not based on textbooks and theory.
  • Our programs are built on running successful contact centre operations for small to large centres across a variety of industry sectors so we understand how contact centres work and the nuances between public sector and private contact centre operations.
  • We incorporate our industry expertise and experience to provide insights and recommendations to help you improve your performance, not just report on a set of numbers.
  • We offer both fixed-price and flexible solutions so you can choose what works best for your business.
  • We do more than just assessments!  ACXPA is the leading resource for contact centre professionals in Australia with over 15,000 unique visitors to our website every month accessing our content to learn industry best-practices.

Flexible Options to suit all Business Outcomes

There is no question that external and independent quality assessments and mystery shopping should be a critical component of any contact centre operations to help them gain valuable insights and, ultimately, improve their performance.

But many have been put off by either the complexity or high cost of implementing a program.

With our decades of experience, we can help remove the complexity for you and we’ve got a range of flexible options to enable you to purchase the service that provides the best outcomes for your business.

So whether you’d like to use our service to supplement your own internal QA program, or you’d like a completely outsourced and independent solution, we’re happy to provide you with a clear and transparent solution with cost-effective pricing to help you deliver a great outcome for your business.

Our Customer Service Benchmarking Service options include: 

  • What channels you’d like assessed – Phone calls, emails or live chat (or all three!)

  • How long you want to engage us for:  3, 6, 9 or 12 months (longer engagements provide great insights with the benefits of trend data and are a bit cheaper as well).

  • How many customer interactions you’d like assessed each month (we have set packages from 5 to 20 calls per month for Mystery Shopping) and as many as you need for internal quality assessments).

  • If you’d like to include competitor insights or just focus on your own performance.

  • Decide if you’d like to have a one-hour quarterly Quality Insights workshop in addition to your written report.

Ready to discuss your Customer Service Benchmarking requirements?

Would you like to speak to someone?

If you’d like to learn more about how ACXPA can assist with your Customer Service Benchmarking, contact us at 1800 0 ACXPA (or +61 39492 2871), email us at [email protected] or leave your details below and we’ll contact you directly.

Our office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 17:30 AEST/AEDT.

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