Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Survey Evaluates Efficiencies of Mail Order Contact Centers

February 09, 2009

Measurement within the contact center is essential as not only does this department need to be able to justify its expense, the organization overall needs to understand how its customers interact with the company to ensure retention and loyalty.

Callstream recently analyzed the mail order sector of the market to evaluate the call handling and management within call centers. The company completed preliminary tests on 50 UK-based mail order companies to evaluate current call handling and management facilities.

As reported in callcentrehelper.com, Callstream set out to determine if these call centers were handling their customer interactions as efficiently as possible while also providing the best possible service to their customers.

To conduct its analysis, Callstream examined how long it took to answer calls; whether or not automated voice prompts were consistent; the number of calls that were left unanswered or rang out; and how calls were dealt with after hours.

Data was collected from these call centers at both peak and off-peak times. Callstream found that overall, 92 percent of companies gave callers no option to request a catalogue when its call center was closed; 45 percent of companies had inconsistent voice prompts when using an automated system to welcome and hold calls; and 30 percent took more than 60 seconds for a new order call to be answered by an operator.

Mark Drury, Director of Callstream commented in a company statement, “The survey has given a good insight into how all the companies surveyed handle their incoming calls. It has highlighted that some of the basics were not even being practiced. Many companies have overlooked the fact that they advertise inviting people to call for a catalogue, but do not consider that these adverts may be read when the company’s call centre is closed.”

Drury added, “With ever-increasing costs of enquiries, efficient customer-focused call management is critical to the mail order sector. That’s why it is so important to undertake an in-depth analysis of current call handling to ensure that mail order companies are making the most of their calls. Many wouldn’t exist without the telephone -  it’s the front door into their business, so therefore it’s vital that it’s regularly monitored and appropriately addressed.”

One of the key benefits of this survey is highlighting the fact that all services must integrate to ensure optimal delivery for customers. Unless there is consistency in offerings at all times, customers can become frustrated and churn can increase. Improved efficiency can help protect the base and improve the bottom line.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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