Service Quality Measurement (SQM)

The Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Program is an objective third party evaluation of the quality of service being provided by a call center. Randomly sampled customer interactions are evaluated using criteria that is designed to provide a holistic view of the customer’s experience and evolves based on customer needs and preferences.

Program participants are provided with industry benchmarks as well as the tools to prioritize and improve service delivery. Those firms attaining a high rating over the course of a year are eligible for public recognition from DALBAR.

Syndicated Service Quality Measurement Programs evaluate and report on service to:

  • Annuity contract owners (ASE)
  • Financial Advisors Service (FISQE)
  • Mutual fund shareholders (PEMFS)
  • Life insurance and long-term care policyholders (LSE)
  • Retirement plan participants (RPSE)

Customized Service Quality Measurement Programs are also available if the objective is to measure service to other audiences or if there is a need for flexibility in the report deliverables and/or frequencies.

Benefits

Participants in DALBAR's SQM Programs experience a number of benefits. Some of the greatest benefits:

  • An expert third party evaluation of service quality
  • Highlights strengths
  • Identifies weaknesses and details actions for improvement
  • Provides insight on competitor quality
  • Supports the training and coaching of staff
  • Provides a framework for internal management
  • Provides a basis for incentive compensation for service quality
  • Public recognition for industry leading performers
  • Access to Dalbar experts to answer questions and provide guidance

Criteria

Service experiences within the syndicated SQM Programs are evaluated using set criteria while firms opting for the customized SQM Programs have the option of modifying the criteria or adding criteria. Below is a list of the criteria used in a majority of SQM Programs:

  • Attitude which looks at the interpersonal elements of the call.
  • Accommodation tracks how well the representative met the transactional requirements of the call.
  • Expertise looks at the representative’s ability to assess the caller’s needs and whether the rep responded appropriately to those needs.
  • Accuracy reports on the accuracy of the information provided to the caller throughout the call as well as the accuracy of any transaction requested during the call.
  • Call Interrupts examines how well the representative handled interruptions to the flow of the call, such as extended periods of silence (dead airs), holds and transfers.

The following criteria only apply in certain situations. These items do not affect award eligibility.

  • Problem Resolution assesses how well the representative is able to address negative experiences or feelings brought up by the caller (when applicable).
  • Value Added provides “bonus points” to representatives who go above and beyond on a call. Opportunities to add value are not present on all calls, but attentive representatives are able to take advantage of such opportunities when they do arise.
  • Personal Signature awards representatives for forming a personal connection with the caller and creating a memorable experience that will have a meaningful impact on the caller’s opinion of the company.
  • Predisposition looks at the feelings and opinions the caller brings to the call.
  • Reaction examines how the caller reacted to both the representative and the information provided over the course of the call.
  • Success Rate tracks one-call resolution of the caller’s issue.
  • Security tracks the strength of the identifiers that were used to identify the caller.
  • Sales Integration takes a look at a new trend within the industry where the service center generates sales leads by assessing opportunities and positioning products within the parameters of their licensing and role.

Deliverables

Participants in the syndicated SQM Programs have set deliverables while participants in customized programs have the ability to increase or decrease the number of calls evaluated, modify the frequency of reporting, add additional support or training visits. Below are the set deliverables for the syndicated SQM Programs:

  • A monthly Performance Overview Report including industry ranking and benchmarks
  • A monthly Call Detail Report describing the behaviors observed in each interaction evaluated
  • 2 hours of support by DALBAR's Client Service Team monthly
  • Recordings of the calls evaluated during that period
  • Participating at DALBAR's Annual Service Quality Measurement Summit
  • Public recognition in the form of:
    • DALBAR's Service Award (for firms in the syndicated SQM Programs if specific benchmarks are met)
    • DALBAR's Recognition for Excellence in Call Center Service (for firms in the customized SQM Programs if specific benchmarks are met)

Cost

Participation in the syndicated SQM Programs costs between $54,500 and $74,500 annually per audience.

In order to determine cost for a customized SQM Program, a discussion with a DALBAR representative is required in order to determine your firm’s needs and to provide a proposal with a price quote.

Volume discounts are available in both syndicated and customized programs where three or more audiences are evaluated.

Customized Call Center Evaluation

The Customized Call Center Evaluation (CCE) Programs are objective third party evaluations of the quality of service being provided by a call center. Randomly sampled customer interactions are evaluated using criteria that is designed to provide a holistic view of the customer’s experience and evolves based on customer needs and preferences.

 Participants are provided with the tools to prioritize and improve service delivery. Those firms attaining a high rating over the course of a year are eligible for public recognition from Dalbar. 

Benefits

Participants in DALBAR's Customized CCE Programs experience a number of benefits. 

Some of the greatest benefits include:

  • An expert third party evaluation of service quality
  • Highlights strengths
  • Identifies weaknesses and details actions for improvement
  • May provide insight on competitor quality (if competitive benchmarks are available)
  • Supports training and coaching staff
  • Provides a framework for internal management
  • Provides a basis for incentive compensation for service quality
  • Public recognition of industry-leading performers
  • Access to Dalbar experts to answer questions and provide guidance

Customized Service Quality Measurement Programs are also available if the objective is to measure service to other audiences or if there is a need for flexibility in the report deliverables and/or frequencies.

Criteria

Service experiences within Customized CCE Programs have the option of modifying the criteria or adding criteria. Below is a list of the criteria used in a majority of Customized CCE Programs:

  • Attitude which looks at the interpersonal elements of the call.
  • Accommodation tracks how well the representative met the transactional requirements of the call.
  • Expertise looks at the representative’s ability to assess the caller’s needs and whether the rep responded appropriately to those needs.
  • Accuracy reports on the accuracy of the information provided to the caller throughout the call as well as the accuracy of any transaction requested during the call. (Optional)
  • Call Interrupts examines how well the representative handled interruptions to the flow of the call, such as extended periods of silence (dead airs), holds and transfers.

The following criteria only apply in certain situations. These items do not affect award eligibility.

  • Problem Resolution assesses how well the representative is able to address negative experiences or feelings brought up by the caller (when applicable).
  • Value Added provides “bonus points” to representatives who go above and beyond on a call. Opportunities to add value are not present on all calls, but attentive representatives are able to take advantage of such opportunities when they do arise.
  • Personal Signature awards representatives for forming a personal connection with the caller and creating a memorable experience that will have a meaningful impact on the caller’s opinion of the company.
  • Predisposition looks at the feelings and opinions the caller brings to the call.
  • Reaction examines how the caller reacted to both the representative and the information provided over the course of the call.
  • Success Rate tracks one-call resolution of the caller’s issue.
  • Security tracks the strength of the identifiers that were used to identify the caller.
  • Sales Integration takes a look at a new trend within the industry where the service center generates sales leads by assessing opportunities and positioning products within the parameters of their licensing and role.

Deliverables

Participants in the Customized CCE Programs have the ability to increase or decrease the number of calls evaluated, modify the frequency of reporting, add additional support or training visits. Below are the deliverables for a typical Customized CCE Program:

  •   A monthly Performance Overview Report including industry ranking and benchmarks
  •   A monthly Call Detail Report describing the behaviors observed in each interaction evaluated
  •   2 hours of support by DALBAR's Client Service Team monthly
  •   Recordings of the calls evaluated during that period
  •   Participation at Dalbar’s Annual Service Quality Measurement Summit
  •   Public recognition in the form of Dalbar’s Recognition for Excellence in Call Center Service (if specific benchmarks are met)

Cost

In order to determine cost for a Customized CCE Program, a discussion with a DALBAR representative is required to determine your firm’s needs and to provide a proposal with a price quote.

Volume discounts are available where three or more audiences are evaluated or a larger volume of calls are evaluated each month.

Gap Analysis of your Call Center Service

The Gap Analysis provides a detailed assessment of your call center service, pinpointing and prioritizing areas with the greatest opportunity for improvement.

Deliverables

Tier I Report includes:

  • Analysis of key findings
  • An itemization of strengths and challenges, as indicated by the call evaluations
  • Industry-leading examples for improvements
  • Recommendations on potential enhancements to productivity, including training, measurement systems, infrastructure
  • A 30 minute consultation with DALBAR's Call Evaluation Experts

Tier II Report includes everything in a Tier I Report as well as:

  • Benchmarks within each key area for comparison purposes

Method

The method used to capture the customer service experience is random sampling. Random sampling involves selection of a representative sample of call activities. DALBAR will request submission of approximately 300 calls for each 30 calls evaluated.

Timeframe & Cost

The report is delivered within 6-8 weeks after the calls have been submitted.

The cost for the Tier I report is:

  • $7,500 for 30 calls
  • $9,450 for 60 calls
  • $11,400 for 90 calls

The cost for the Tier II report is:

  • $9,500 for 30 calls
  • $11,450 for 60 calls
  • $13,400 for 90 calls

For more information about DALBAR's Customized CCE Programs, please contact Brooke Halloran at 617.624.7273.