NEW ORLEANS, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- At the ACCE Conference & Expo, the annual global gathering for the contact center community, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) today announced the Top 50 Call Centers for Customer Service program, an independent and competitive benchmarking program that offers contact centers a clear understanding of how customers rate their organization's service delivery within its industry sector and among the best contact centers in North America.
Designed to help an organization meet its goals for improving service and raising the strategic value of its contact center within the organization, the Top 50 program combines an in-depth customer-centric mystery shopping exercise with a consultative review of key operational practices and data from a company's contact center in personalized reports for calls and emails, complete with benchmarking data for the company's industry sector and among the Top 50 program participants. The year-long program also gives participants opportunities to networks – in person and in virtual forums – to share ideas and best practices on improving their people, processes and technologies.
The program offers key information for organizations participating in the program, including:
- Improves contact center value and profitability;
- Enhances and maintains brand consistency in contact center communications;
- Identifies the factors that have a direct impact on customer advocacy, satisfaction levels and purchase decisions specific to an organization; and
- Justifies additional funding based on a demonstration of adding value to a brand by delivering high levels of customer service.
"Providing a benchmarking program like Top 50 is precisely in line with ICMI's 25-year history as the leading source for expertise and thought leadership for contact centers and the business brands they serve," said Layne Holley, Director of Community Services, ICMI. "We'll be combining statistical analysis of performance with operational data in a very robust program that will help contact centers raise their profitability and both improve and get recognition for their contributions to customer satisfaction and loyalty. At the same time, we'll be providing an enriching environment, where ICMI will facilitate networking and knowledge exchange between those companies that take customer care and call center performance seriously."
ICMI is partnering with a globally recognized market research firm to ensure that the benchmarking program accurately reflects top customer attitudes and preferences by conducting customer focus groups in North America. Additionally, a team of experts, many of them former contact center/customer care practitioners and executives, will assess participants' contact center performance and deliver actionable reviews of the benchmarking data.
The Top 50 program is based on the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service program launched in 2008 by ICMI Europe. Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service participants include American Express, Virgin Atlantic, Coca-Cola, Lego and Purolator.
"We know that taking part will give us valuable, independent insights into the customer experience, which we will use to keep improving our service for customers and ensure we are living up to our reputation for excellence. This initiative will also provide national recognition for our employees, upon whose efforts our success depends," said Karen Tiltman, Director of UK Customer Service, American Express.
"No one learns without feedback. This applies to both individuals and organizations. Virgin Atlantic joined the program so they could gather feedback and benchmark themselves and learn from other companies. It is also a good checkpoint to confirm what you are doing well. Virgin Atlantic benefited from being a Top 50 member as it gave them a reminder about the core vales that drive customer service and it helped them put in place action plans to improve further the customer experience that it delivers," commented John Giddings, General Manager of UK Contact Centre, Virgin Atlantic.
The Top 50 Call Centers for Customer Service 2011 will be officially named and recognized in June 2011 at ACCE.
The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals – from frontline agents to executives – who wish to improve contact center operations, empower contact center employees, and enhance customer loyalty. ICMI's experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, analysts, and consultants are committed to providing uncompromised objectivity and results-oriented vision through the organization's respected lineup of professional services including: Training and Certification, Consulting, Events, and Informational Resources. Founded in 1985, ICMI continues to serve as one of the most established and respected organizations in the call center industry. ICMI is a part of UBM Live which provides leading integrated media solutions and professional services across 20 different markets. Operating across the globe, its events, training, publications, awards programs and websites offer professionals in Interiors, Security, Venues, Customer Management, Safety & Health and Facilities the ultimate experience in learning, networking, and business development.
SOURCE The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI); UBM Live