by Nate Brown

I remember seeing the HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report for the first time in 2012. It was incredibly frustrating. Not at all because of the quality of the report…quite the contrary in fact. I recall paging through it having no idea what have the terminology meant or what the metrics even were. While my ignorance was a bit scary, it was also very exciting. My eyes were abruptly opened to the presence of a whole industry of support professionals. It was very much like when Gonzo discovers his alien family during "Muppets In Space."

Knowing now the vibrant community that exists, we are able to benchmark ourselves in a powerful way. It can be so easy to get caught up in ones’ own business and forget to seek out an external perspective. This is how we not only avoid recreating the wheel, but we build something better and stronger then we could have ever made alone. One such example is with metrics. Many of the key phone metrics outlined in the report we were incapable of calculating. Both internal and external stakeholders had expectations of us that we were not sure if we were meeting. Using the practices report to identify the correct focus areas, we upgraded our systems and made the necessary changes. Now, instead of guesswork, we can provide customers and internal stakeholders with impressive metrics that help to sell our department.

In addition to challenging us in new ways, the report also services to validate several decisions using a trustworthy baseline. It reinforces everything from how much we pay our CSR’s, to how quickly we respond to voicemails, to which channels we offer our customers. This report gives us both the foresight and the confidence we need to stay one step ahead of our customers and provide them with the very best support possible!

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