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Once a year in Japan, Ric Telecom Co. — a company focused on trends in the telemarketing and call center industries — publishes the “Call Center White Paper” with an analysis of Japanese domestic call centers.

Included in the white paper are various statistics such as environmental changes, user surveys, and the local government support situation. In this year’s installment, the paper focused on the NPS (Net Promoter Score) and operational improvement.


What is NPS?

Call center users were asked about their “possibility to recommend companies that have a query to the call center”. This score is identified from 0 (would not recommend) to 10 (would recommend). Those with scores ranging from 0-6 are considered detractors, scores of 7-8 are considered passives, and 9-10 are considered promoters.


The chart below is the result of the NPS analysis.


More than 70% of users have answered they would “not recommend.” This is worst case scenario for those of us in the call center industry.

Many of the customers who call into these contact centers are experiencing some problem they  could not resolve on their own. Therefore, user satisfaction and loyalty are lower than typical consumer research. Even taking this into account, 70% detractor penetration is significant.

Because a call center may not able to resolve all of the problems of all of the customers, it is important to determine “whether the users were happy with the service or not.”


What kind of complaints do they have? 

The chart below outlines the reasons for dissatisfaction with the call center, amongst the group surveyed.


Many of the complaints can be classified into two types:

  1. “Systems, Settings and Logistics” Related Complaints: These are caused by a lack of stand-by lines and not enough agents; i.e. long waiting times, inability to connect.
  2. “Quality of the Agent” Related Complaints: These are caused by agent interaction; i.e. lack of knowledge, lack of concern.

 “Systems, Settings and Arrangement” Related Complaints are not difficult to address. A company simply must increase the capacity of its lines and hire more agents, to eliminate the frustrations. However, as a company, there is a limit to the cost applied to manage the call center (whether it is managed in-house or outsourced). A company would, therefore, need to review “current status of the customer experience” if it typically focuses on things such as “customer excitement”, “customer satisfaction” or “individual support.”

If there is any limit in resources, it is best to focus on improving “quality of the agent” with prompt and appropriate actions.  The chart below is the result of the survey question “agent requirements”:


More than half of those surveyed have cited “appropriately answers the inquiry” as the most important agent requirement. In order to respond to these demands, a call center should take the following measures continuously and appropriately:

The greatest asset of a call center is not its “state-of-the-art systems and equipment” but its “human resources.” I strongly feel that keeping the agent’s skills high and keeping them informed of their quality leads to customer satisfaction and success.

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