So, rather than gauging the success of your service center in terms of the cost of handling the average call, or...
talk time per call, it's far better to try to measure such things as "complaints resolved on first call," and to monitor customer service by "mystery shopping" your own call center. Unfortunately, these metrics are more difficult to compile, and often require a more integrated approach to managing your business than many companies are prepared to take. Surveys, test calls and probing questions are the main tools you have to work with.
For an absolutely wonderful review of some of the practical steps you can take to minimize the costs of service while maximizing customer satisfaction, I would highly recommend a new book by Bill Price and David Jaffe, The Best Service is No Service, based on Price's experiences as the chief customer service officer at Amazon.com.
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