In Focus: Operational Benchmarking
Benchmarking has a long history in business: It’s natural for companies to want to compare themselves to other businesses to give context and meaning to their own performance—and to understand where opportunities for growth and improvement exist. In the Zendesk Benchmark, we have historically allowed customers to compare their support operations to others with a common (and self-reported) industry, company size, or audience. But frequently, similarities among companies in the same industry are merely superficial and don’t offer a meaningful point of comparison for benchmarking customer service performance.
In the Q4 2014 Zendesk Benchmark report, we address this shortfall through a cluster analysis that reveals four types of customer service operations—and within those, 12 distinct clusters, each characterized by a unique operational pattern. Each cluster is defined by workload, strategy, and resources, as well as a typical level of support performance that the component companies can be expected to achieve.
Looking at the four general types of support operations, first, we found the high-touch, consultative teams whose low ticket volume enableseach agent to provide attentive and personable support. Next, we saw teams making large investments in support operations to mitigate a workload defined by very complex tickets. We also discovered teams with operational approaches that are still in flux—these teams could benefit from augmenting their strategy with one or more additional tactics. Finally, we found very operationally advanced teams, whose primary challenge is providing quality support at a high scale.
This quarter’s report will dive into each of these four types—and the 12 clusters within them—to provide insight and tips, as well as benchmarks for comparing companies on a much more meaningful and relevant basis.
Movers and Shakers: Country and Industry Customer Satisfaction
In country news, Asia was the region showing the greatest improvement in customer satisfaction over the previous quarter: China, Singapore, and Vietnam posted the largest gains in Q4. However, their impressive gains weren’t enough to knock Belgium, New Zealand, or Ireland out of their spots—those three countries posted the highest CSAT scores for the second quarter in a row.
On the industry side, marketing and advertising, Web hosting, and real estate posted the greatest improvements, but were still unable to unseat government and non-profit, IT services and consultancy, and healthcare from their top spots in the industry list.
Globally, the customer satisfaction benchmark number was 94.71% in Q4, posting only a slight dip of .26 percentage points since Q3.
About the Zendesk Benchmark report
We started building the Zendesk Benchmark back in November 2010 to give organizations a real, tangible way to not just measure customer service performance, but put it in a context that helps companies understand how they perform against their peers.
Unlike a survey or expert opinion, the Zendesk Benchmark is based on actual customer service and support interactions from more than 25,000 organizations across 140 countries that opted to participate.
Zendesk Benchmark report archives
Q3 2014: Net Promoter Score
Q2 2014: Behavioral Cues of Customer Satisfaction
Q1 2014: Analytics
Q4 2013: Retail
Q3 2013: Customer Satisfaction
Q2 2013: Customer Self-Service
Original Benchmark report, March 2012