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Do You Know Your Customer Service Type?
Look beyond traditional benchmarking processes.
Posted Mar 20, 2015
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A customer service team is often the face and first line of defense for a company. Customer interactions—good or bad—can make or break a company. It should therefore come as no surprise that decision makers are always on the lookout for ways to improve the customer experience and ensure that their customer interactions are hitting the mark.

Traditionally, companies have been compared against others based on their size, audience, or industry. The reality, however, is that most companies don't fit into tidy industry boxes—it's much more complicated. While comparing organizations by industry has been the standard in benchmarking for years, companies today need to consider a much richer set of factors to best understand how their customer service stacks up against the competition. This is where a new way of benchmarking—looking at operational patterns of businesses—proves insightful.

A great example of a company that would benefit from operational benchmarking is Babbel. Babbel is an online software company that helps people learn new languages, so traditionally, it's identified as an education company. However, due to its online nature, the company handles more than 60,000 support tickets a month—much more than the average of 79 tickets per month that most education companies handle. This means that Babbel needed to examine a different set of factors when it came to benchmarking outside of the traditional education space. Babbel was in need of operational benchmarking.

This next generation of benchmarking will address the problem of how to compare companies using factors outside of industry and size. Benchmarking 2.0 will consider operational factors such as workload, strategy, resources, and typical level of support performance to break organizations into four overarching types.

So what company should you be compared against? To figure out your company's type, ask yourself which of the following statements is most applicable to your company:

  • We place the most emphasis on providing personalized responses to customer requests.
  • Our customer service requests are often complicated and require extra skills to handle.
  • It feels like there is something missing from our current customer service strategy that is holding us back.
  • Our company most often handles large ticket requests and manages a large team of agents with ease.

Keep these statements in mind as you review the following categories to determine your customer service type:

Relationship Builders

If the first statement best describes your company, you likely fall into the Relationship Builders category. Companies in this category work with small teams that prioritize personalization and work closely with customers to develop relationships. Despite below average response 

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