What Is Customer Support Benchmarking & Why Does It Matter?

Discover the importance of customer support benchmarking, how to collect and analyze benchmarking data & key benchmarking metrics.
Published on: Oct 24, 2023
Last updated: Oct 26, 2023

TL:DR

  • Customer Support Benchmarking is the process of evaluating your customer service quality by comparing key metrics like response times, resolution rates, and satisfaction scores to industry standards, highlighting strengths and areas for growth.
  • Benchmarking helps uncover gaps in your processes or customer service, such as a lower-than-average satisfaction rate, giving you a competitive edge and aiding customer retention.
  • By offering a clear comparison against industry norms, benchmarking provides an overview of your strengths and weaknesses, informs decisions, sets realistic goals, and promotes ongoing improvement.
  • Benchmarking lets you stay up-to-date by comparing your performance with industry leaders, identifying market trends to follow, and learning from best practices used by competitors.
  • It helps find cost-saving opportunities by comparing your cost structure to industry peers, revealing areas where you might be overspending.
  • Benchmarking plays a crucial role in evaluating the success of your improvement efforts by comparing pre- and post-initiative performance.
  • It enables you to compare your performance directly with competitors and also with your own past performances to track progress and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
  • To collect and analyze benchmarking data effectively, start by identifying what you want to benchmark, define the metrics, find benchmarking partners, collect reliable data, analyze it for performance gaps, create an improvement plan, and monitor progress periodically.
  • Essential customer support benchmarking metrics include CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), NPS (Net Promoter Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), and FRT (First Response Time).
  • For a comprehensive understanding of your customer service performance, the Customer Support Benchmark Report 2023 (coming soon) offers valuable industry benchmarks for key metrics like CSAT, NPS, CES, and more, helping identify areas for improvement and driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Customer Support Benchmarking refers to the process of measuring an organization's customer support practices and performance against industry standards or best practices. It helps to identify areas of strength and growth, providing a roadmap for targeted improvements.

In an era where customer satisfaction is integral to business success, benchmarking your customer support can provide valuable insights into how your service stacks up against competitors. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of customer support benchmarking and more insights from our Customer Support Benchmark Report 2023.

What is customer support benchmarking?

Customer support benchmarking is a process used by organizations to evaluate their customer service quality and effectiveness. It involves comparing key metrics, such as response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores, against industry standards or best practices. This provides insights into how well an organization's customer support performs relative to its competitors or similar businesses. Benchmarking plays a crucial role in identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

Furthermore, it enables a direct comparison of performance against industry norms, clearly showing where the company stands. According to recent statistics, improving the customer experience can increase sales revenue by 2-7%. So, it's no surprise that companies are investing more resources into improving their customer support.

Why is customer support benchmarking important?

Benchmarking your customer support can bring tremendous benefits to your organization, including:

Allows you to identify opportunities for improvement

Benchmarking is a valuable tool for identifying opportunities for improvement. You can spot gaps in your processes, customer service, or product offerings by comparing your performance to industry standards. For instance, if your customer satisfaction rate lags behind the industry average, it's an indicator that your customer service approach needs enhancement. Since it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience, benchmarking is a great way to help your business gain a competitive edge and retain customers.

Lets you assess performance effectively

Benchmarking offers a comprehensive view of your performance by providing a clear comparison against industry standards or competitors. It's like holding a mirror up to your operations, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. This overview is essential as it helps you understand where you stand in the market, inform strategic decisions, set realistic goals, and track progress effectively. Essentially, benchmarking enables you to assess performance effectively, driving continuous improvement and competitive advantage.

Gives you insight into market trends and best practices

Benchmarking provides insights into market trends and best practices by comparing your business performance with industry leaders. For instance, if leaders are increasingly adopting sustainable practices, it signals a market trend you might follow. Moreover, if a competitor's customer retention rate is high due to a unique loyalty program, it can be a best practice to consider. These insights help businesses stay up-to-date, adapt effectively, and continuously improve, ensuring competitiveness and growth.

Lets you identify opportunities to cut expenses

Benchmarking allows you to identify opportunities to cut expenses by comparing your cost structure with industry peers. It highlights areas where you may be overspending, such as operational costs, marketing, or production. For example, if your production costs are higher than the industry average, there could be room for process optimization or vendor negotiation. Similarly, excess marketing spending could indicate a need for a more targeted strategy. Thus, benchmarking can reveal valuable cost-saving opportunities.

Lets you analyze the results of your improvement initiatives

Benchmarking plays a pivotal role in evaluating the outcomes of improvement initiatives. By comparing your pre and post-initiative performance against industry standards, you can effectively gauge the success of your efforts.

Allows you to compare your performance with your competitors

Benchmarking offers a competitive edge by allowing you to compare your performance directly with competitors. It helps identify strengths to leverage and weaknesses to address. For example, if your customer service ratings are higher than competitors, it's a strength to capitalize on. Conversely, if your production costs are higher, there's room for improvement.

Allows you to compare your performance with your past performance

Benchmarking not only compares your performance with competitors but also with your own past performances. This helps track progress over time, showing whether strategies are yielding desired results. Self-comparison fosters a culture of continuous improvement, as it encourages regular evaluation and adjustment of strategies to ensure ongoing progress and growth.

How to collect and analyze benchmarking data

Now that we've covered the significance of benchmarking your customer support, here's a step-by-step guide on how to collect and analyze benchmarking data effectively:

Step 1: Identify benchmarking subject

The first step is to identify what you want to benchmark. This could be a business process, product, or service. Be specific and clear about what you're measuring.

Step 2: Define performance metrics

Next, define the metrics that will be used to measure performance. These could include efficiency, cost, quality, or speed. It's essential to choose the right metrics that align with your strategic objectives.

Step 3: Identify benchmarking partners

Find companies or industries that excel in the area you're benchmarking. They'll serve as your benchmark or standard of comparison.

Step 4: Collect data

Gather data from your benchmarking partners. This might involve surveys, interviews, or research. Be mindful of the accuracy and relevance of the data you gather. Use reliable sources and ensure the data is up-to-date.

Step 5: Analyze data

Compare your company's performance against your benchmarks. Look for gaps in performance and seek to understand why they exist. Use tools like spreadsheets or business intelligence software to help with this analysis.

Step 6: Implement improvements

Based on your analysis, develop a plan to improve your performance. This could involve changes to processes, procedures, or resources.

Step 7: Monitor progress

Finally, regularly monitor your progress. Repeat the benchmarking process periodically to ensure continuous improvement.

Remember, benchmarking is not just about identifying shortcomings; it's also an opportunity to learn and adapt successful strategies. Always approach it with an open mind and willingness to change.

Customer benchmarketing metrics

Customer support benchmarking metrics are essential performance indicators that help assess the effectiveness and efficiency of a company's customer service department. Here are a few of our top picks:

  • CSAT: CSAT, short for Customer Satisfaction Score, is a metric used to measure the degree of customer satisfaction with a product, service, or experience on a scale, typically from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).
  • [NPS](https://www.fullview.io/blog/csat-vs-nps#:~:text=NPS is calculated by subtracting,NPS is a relational metric.): Net Promoter Score, or NPS, quantifies the probability of a customer suggesting your services or products to their acquaintances, friends, or workmates.
  • CES: The Customer Effort Score, or CES, is a measure of the amount of effort customers have to put in to get their issues resolved or receive desired services.
  • FRT: First Response Time, or FRT, measures the average time it takes for a customer to receive a response from a company's customer support team after reaching out with an inquiry or issue.

Customer Support Benchmark Report 2023

To gain a comprehensive understanding of how your customer service measures up against industry standards, we highly recommend downloading our Customer Support Benchmark Report 2023 (coming soon). This essential document provides valuable industry benchmarks for crucial metrics such as CSAT, NPS, CES, and more. By leveraging these insights, you can identify potential areas of improvement, implement strategic enhancements in your customer support, and ultimately, drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Sources used:

Sources last checked: 16-Oct-2023

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