Support Metrics Snapshot: How Contact Centers are Performing in 2012
SupportIndustry.com's 2012 Service and Support Metrics survey, sponsored by Aptean, represented a perfect trifecta: support performance increased overall, as its complexity continued to increase, and as an increasing amount of this support volume continues to migrate to support channels other than the phone. Improvements were particularly substantial in areas such as speed to answer, where top-end results increased by nearly a factor of two, and average abandonment rate. E-mail response rates, measured for the first time in 2012, show a substantial number answered within the first hour.
Key Metrics Include:
Average speed to answer for phone-based support: A whopping 70.2% answer the phone in 30 seconds or less, nearly double 2011's rate of 37%. At the other end of the spectrum, 7.9% wait more than a minute - less than a third of 2011's rate of 22.8%, but more than twice the 3.2% in 2009.
Average speed to answer for e-mail support: Nearly a third of respondents (30.6%) answer e-mails within one hour, and over three-quarters (75.1%) respond within six hours. Just two respondents (1.9%) state that they take over 24 hours to respond. (This was a new metric surveyed for 2012.)
Average hold time: 65.3% of respondents have hold times of a minute or less, slightly more than 2011's figures of 58%. The percentage of those with no hold time at holds steady at 21.9% this year, while 79.9% pick up within two minutes.
Average abandonment rate: The percentage of respondents with a rate of less than 5% improved from 59% to 65.2% of respondents, with a nearly identical 23.7% experiencing a rate of less than 1%. Just seven respondents had average abandonment rates of over 10%, and only one was over 15%, numbers that are very similar to those of the past two years.
Average number of e-mails exchanged to resolve a support request: Just over half (51.4%) of respondents handle e-mail support requests within 1 to 3 e-mails, nearly identical to last year, while most of the others (26.7% of the total) resolve an average request within 4 to 6 e-mails.
Escalation and FCR: 23.7% of people escalate less than 10% of their transactions to level 2, a substantial decrease from the 30.4% of the past two years, while those needing to escalate more than half of their issues more than doubled from 4.7% in 2011 to 10.8% in 2012. Along similar lines, just over half of respondents (53.3%) measure first-call resolution (FCR) levels.
Costs of support transactions: Costs by channel have remained very similar overall to 2011 figures. As with last year, a little more than half (57.3%) of respondents reported costs ranging up to US$24 for phone transactions, with close to 30% reporting average costs of less than US$10 per transaction. For e-mail, over 48.4% kept costs under US $10. Costs of web chat did see median values increase from under US$5 to the $5-9 range in 2012, a sign that more complex transactions were moving to this medium. The percentage of respondents reporting average costs above $24/transaction were 26.6%, 13.7%, and 9.8% for phone, e-mail, and chat/IM respectively, all similar to 2011 figures.
The full survey 14 page report includes a detailed analysis of the entire survey results. To get your free copy, click here:
CIO Survey Reveals IT Leaders Struggle to Meet Big Demand for Enterprise App Testing, Development and Rollouts Next Year
Delphix, a provider of agile data management, announced the results of a survey of corporate IT leaders fielded by IDG Research for Delphix to garner insights about plans, IT budgets and business goals for enterprise application development initiatives during the next twelve months. The survey polled 108 top-level IT executives at large global enterprises between August 30 and September 28, 2012. It exposes a growing problem for IT organizations struggling to keep pace with demand for an increasing number of enterprise application projects during the next 12 months.
The vast majority of IT leaders (86 percent) view enterprise app projects as a critical or strategic priority. On average, $173 million per enterprise has been allocated specifically for application projects in 2013, which equates to 41 percent of the average $432 million IT budget of the organizations surveyed. Yet, two thirds of respondents indicate that it's extremely or very challenging to deliver these applications on time or on budget. In fact, for the enterprise apps currently in development, an average of 28 projects are delayed and/or over budget.
Enterprise App Development Project Challenges
With about 41 percent of their IT budget to spend on enterprise app development projects related to business operations and analysis and an average of 46 new enterprise apps to deploy, 94 percent of IT executives survey admitted their organization finds it challenging to deliver these projects on time and on budget. About 76 percent of IT executives note that this high difficulty of staying on time and on budget has remained largely the same or gotten worse; only 24 percent indicate that it's become easier.
Often the difficulty lies in the earlier stages of deployment. Roughly one-half (48 percent) indicated their toughest stage is development, while another 38 percent said their toughest stage is testing. Nearly half of IT executives believe this is because of the length of time required to test apps, the resistance they encounter from end users, and the limited skill-sets of their IT employees. Pile these on top of budget constraints and the result is 65 percent of IT executives who find deploying enterprise applications to be extremely or very challenging.
Survey Respondent Profile
100 percent are the primary decision maker or a key influencer/contributor in setting strategies and budgets related to enterprise application initiatives.
Average overall IT budget for 2013 (including business spending): $423 million.
The average company size of respondent organizations is 27,659 employees.
Within the organization, 52 percent hold a CIO/CTO title, 38 percent have titles of Executive VP, SVP, VP or General Manager, and 10 percent have a CSO or CISO title.
Top industries represented: 22 percent banking/financial services/insurance; 14 percent healthcare; nine percent technology; eight percent public sector/nonprofit (including government and education); seven percent information, media and entertainment; seven percent manufacturing/auto/industrial.
Big Data will Drive $28 Billion of IT Spending in 2012
Big data will drive $28 billion of worldwide IT spending in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2013, big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending.
Most of the current spending is used in adapting traditional solutions to the big data demands -- machine data, social data, widely varied data, unpredictable velocity, and so on -- and only $4.3 billion in software sales will be driven directly by demands for new big data functionality in 2012.
Big data currently has the most significant impact in social network analysis and content analytics with 45 percent of new spending each year. In traditional IT supplier markets, application infrastructure and middleware is most affected (10 percent of new spending each year is influenced by big data in some way) when compared with storage software, database management system, data integration/quality, business intelligence or supply chain management (SCM).
Big data opportunities emerged when several advances in different IT categories aligned in a short period at the end of the last decade, creating a dramatic increase in computing technology capacity. This new capacity, coupled with latent demands for analysis of "dark data," social networks data and operational technology (or machine data), created an environment highly conducive to rapid innovation.
Starting near the end of 2015, Gartner expects leading organizations to begin to use their big data experience in an almost embedded form in their architectures and practices. Beginning in 2018, big data solutions will be offering increasingly less of a distinct advantage over traditional solutions that have incorporated new features and functions to support greater agility when addressing volume, variety and velocity. However, the skills, practices and tools currently viewed as big data solutions will persist as leading organizations will have incorporated the design principles and acquired the skills necessary to address big data concerns as routine flexibility.
Employers Share Most Unusual Excuses Employees Gave for Calling in Sick
Playing hooky isn't just for Ferris Bueller. In the past year, 30 percent of workers have called in sick when not actually ill, keeping on par with previous years. Sick days, legitimate or otherwise, also become more frequent around the winter holidays, with nearly one-third of employers reporting more employees call in sick during the holiday season.
Twenty-nine percent of employers have checked up on an employee to verify that the illness is legitimate, usually by requiring a doctor’s note or calling the employee later in the day. Some employers have had other employees call a suspected faker (18 percent) or even gone so far as to drive by the employee’s home (14 percent). Seventeen percent of employers have fired employees for giving a fake excuse.
Home for the Holidays
Thirty-one percent of employers notice an uptick in sick days around the winter holidays. This helps make December the most popular month to call in sick, with 20 percent saying their employees call in the most during that month. July is the next most popular month to skip out on work, followed by January and February.
At Least You Have Your Health
Not all sick days are spent under piles of blankets with a thermometer and maximum-strength medicine. Next to actually being sick, the most common reasons employees call in sick are because they just don’t feel like going to work (34 percent), or because they felt like they needed to relax (29 percent). Others take the day off so they can make it to a doctor’s appointment (22 percent), catch up on sleep (16 percent), or run some errands (15 percent).
Some workers come up with slightly more colorful explanations for their absences. When asked to share the most memorable excuses, employers reported the following real-life examples:
Employees sobriety tool wouldn't allow the car to start
Employee forgot he had been hired for the job
Employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown
Employee's dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation
Employee's toe was stuck in a faucet
Employee said a bird bit her
Employee was upset after watching “The Hunger Games”
Employee got sick from reading too much
Employee was suffering from a broken heart
Employee's hair turned orange from dying her hair at home
Research Tackles Mounting Risks from Mobile Devices in the Enterprise
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, released a new research report from the Security for Business Innovation Council (SBIC) that addresses the continued surge of consumer mobile devices in the enterprise and shares security leaders' insights on how to manage the fast-changing mobility risks while maximizing business opportunities.
Mobile threats are developing quickly and technologies keep shifting creating new security holes. As more and more consumer devices access corporate networks and store corporate data, potentially devastating consequences range from the loss or leakage of valuable intellectual property to brand damage if fraudulent access results in a high-profile security breach. The Council consensus is that the time is now for enterprises to integrate risk management into their mobile vision. The potential benefits include increased agility, improved productivity, faster sales, and reduced costs. Capitalizing on the business opportunities of mobile computing is only possible if enterprises know the risks and how to manage them.
In the report, the Council presents five strategies for building effective, adaptable mobile programs:
Establish mobile governance – Organizations should engage cross-functional teams to set clear ground rules. Every mobile project should start by defining business goals, including expectations of cost savings or revenue generation, and by establishing the level of risk that the organization is willing to accept to achieve those goals.
Create an action plan for the near-term – Mobile security technologies are fast-moving and, in many cases, too nascent to allow organizations to make long-term mobile security investments. The Council lays out several stop gap measures and key steps to take over the next 12-18 months.
Build core competencies in mobile app security – Knowing how to design mobile apps in a way that protects corporate data is absolutely critical, yet many information security teams do not have the necessary level of expertise. The Council emphasizes it's not just about bolting on security, but requires a careful examination of the app's overall functionality and architecture, and they provide key design criteria.
Integrate mobility into long-term vision – Numerous trends are affecting long-term risk management planning. Organizations need to update their approach to security including risk-based, adaptive authentication; network segmentation; data-centric security controls; and cloud-based gateways.
Expand mobile situational awareness – Corporate security teams should deepen and continually refresh their understanding of the mobile ecosystem.