Off Center
In this age of social media, sound bytes and ADHD, people love quick and catchy stats. Unfortunately, in the contact center and customer care space, there seem to be only a handful of snazzy stats in circulation. The same ones just keep getting regurgitated over and over (yes, that’s redundant), especially on Twitter.

This is perplexing considering how dynamic customer care is and how much contact centers have evolved. It’s actually worse than perplexing – it’s depressing. Every time I see someone tweeting the old chestnut , “Satisfied customers tell only 3 people about their experience, while dissatisfied customers tell 8-10 people” (or some variation of this), a part of my soul dies. I even wept a little just now while typing that stat.

Rather than just complain about the lack of statistical variety being promoted by self-proclaimed customer experience experts in the Twittersphere, I aim to remedy the situation. Following are several fresh and captivating stats about customer care and contact centers that I believe you and everybody else will feel compelled to talk and tweet about:

  • 86% of customers would be willing to pay more for better customer service. 100% of contact center managers would be willing to pay more for even mediocre customer service.  

  • 70% of contact centers list Average Handle Time among their key performance metrics at the agent level. Of those centers, 100% need a clue.

  • Only 17% of contact centers really mean it when they say “Your call is very important to us”. Of the remaining centers, 38% feel “Your call is somewhat important to us”, 24% feel “It’s surprising how unimportant your call is to us”, and 21% feel “It’s hilarious that you are still holding for a live agent.”

  • 73% of contact center managers claim to know how to accurately measure First-Call Resolution. The remaining 27% of managers are telling the truth.

  • Engaged customer service agents are 35% more likely to provide a positive customer experience than are customer service agents who are already married.

  • The top three criteria contact center managers consider when selecting work-at-home agents are: 1) Past performance; 2) ability to work independently; and 3) body odor.

  • Every time a caller must provide his/her name and account number to an agent after having just provided that exact same information via the IVR system, a puppy dies.

  • 97% of contact center agents fantasize daily about sending a hungry Bengal tiger to the home of abusive callers. The remaining 3% of agents fantasize daily about sending a hungry Siberian Tiger.

  • 81% of contact center agents are empowered to do exactly what their managers and supervisors tell them.

  • Each year, over 150 customer care professionals die from overexposure to acronyms.

  • 50% of managers feel their contact center is highly unprepared to handle social customer care; the remaining 50% do too.  

  • The three people that satisfied customers tell about their experience are Sue Johnson, Dave Winthrop, and Bud Carter. All three are tired of hearing about these experiences.

  • 42% of contact center managers say they will not hire an agent applicant unless said applicant has a pulse and/or can work at least one weekend shift a month.

  • Four out of five agents represent 80% of all agents. In contrast, the remaining agents represent only 20% of all agents.

  • The average agent-to-supervisor ratio in contact centers is 20:1. The odds that this is enough to provide agents with the coaching and support they need to succeed is 2000:1.

  • 100% of managers destined for greatness and wealth purchase a copy of the Full Contact e-book. 0% of managers understand why the author of said e-book looks so angry and aggressive in the photo on the book cover.

5/20/2013 07:33:48 am

Hilarious. I just got some real stats about Customer Loyalty. It seems that 100% of customers want someone to interact with when they have a question about a product or service. That interaction can be done through email, live chat, phone or even social media. But a response is necessary. When customers feel satisfied with the interaction they've received, they will return to that place of business. So even if they don't tell 3 people, they will spend some more money of their own because they trust the company. On a more serious note, Call Center employees CAN help rescue a company, if given the right tools:

5/20/2013 07:18:36 pm

Great job pointing out the flaws in how many call centers operate and in how supervisors think some times. If only there was a way for businesses to determine which call centers hire employees that have valuable customer service skills other than a pulse and the availability to work a weekend shift. Unlike some of these call centers, Anser has trained customer care agents that aim to keep our clients happy by optimizing communication within their companies and by keeping their clients happy.

5/21/2013 02:55:42 pm

These are the types of stats I like to see! Reading your blog always puts a smile on my face, exactly what I needed today!

5/21/2013 10:41:36 pm

Thanks, Bill! I'm glad I'm able to add a little levity to your days in the contact center.

If only ACD reports and industry research papers featured the kinds of stats I highlighted here. We'd see a lot less stress and insanity in our industry.

Best of luck!


6/11/2013 02:36:26 am

- 6% of your statistics are just hilarious.
- the other 94% are also painfully true.

6/11/2013 02:40:52 am

Nice one, Roger. I like your style.




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