Catalog Call Centers Satisfy Customers

Catalog retailers are the stars in the inaugural Call Center Satisfaction Index, a new study from CFI Group. The survey polled customers of call centers in six specific industries using the methodology of the University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which annually rates companies on how well they satisfy their customers.

Customer Satisfaction Index


*As measured by the Call Center Customer Satisfaction Index, based on a 100-point scale
Industry Satisfaction With Call Center*
Aggregate of all industries 71
Catalog retailers 80
Banking 77
Cell-phone services 69
Cable and satellite television 68
Insurance 68
Personal computers 64

Of the industries surveyed, catalog retailers scored highest, 80 on the Index’s 100-point scale (banking was a close second, at 77). The study attributed the high marks given to catalog call centers to the superior customer service their representatives provide, along with good first-call resolution. It noted that catalog retailers are leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell merchandise.

The two issues having the most impact on customer satisfaction with contact centers were first-call resolution and offshoring. Across all industries, almost a fifth of all callers, hung up with their issue unresolved. Of those hang-ups, 68% are at risk of defection, according to the study.

With regard to offshoring, customers who think the call center is located outside the United States rate their satisfaction lower and are almost twice as likely to defect compared to those who assume it is a U.S. call center.

“Customer-service reps located outside of the U.S. are rated lower on communication skills,” said Sheri Teodoru, program director, CFI Group, and author of the study. “When communication skills are poor, customers’ issues remain unsolved in a majority of cases.”