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new CSBA benchmarking results show

According to the last SenseCX benchmarking results published by CSBA.

SenseCX is a quality assurance framework that measures the quality of customer interactions with organizations, based on three indices: success, ease, and sentiment. The results are published quarterly.

A total of 203 major Australian companies from seven sectors, including 51 local councils, have been assessed over the past year. The results, comprising 11,590 independent ratings using 30 key customer-focused behaviors for each interaction, were supplemented by anonymous phone conversations with contact center agents.

In the 12 months from July 2021 to June 2022, the top five players in the local government sector improved by an average of 2.3 points, from 64.9% to 67.2%. Since March 2019, the Top 5 Performers average has steadily improved by 5.3 points, from 61.9% to 67.2%.

However, at the same time between March 2019 and June 2022, the median benchmark fell by an average of 1.5 points, from 54.3% to 52.8%, while the average of the top 5 artists fell by 2 .4 points, going from 48.4% to 46%.

In the latest results, local councils topped the final positions in the benchmarking results for 203 companies across seven sectors, with seven councils falling below the 50% score.

Only top tips get better

CX’s CSBA director for local government, Kate Gorman, said it was evident that only the most successful local councils prioritized customer focus in day-to-day interactions.

“We see top performers focus on need discovery, where they take the time to ask additional questions and offer a personalized solution,” she said. “Another key successful behavior is summarizing key details and reiterating next steps for the customer.”

“These are the teams that go above and beyond, even answering questions customers didn’t think to ask.”

Underachievers get worse

There is a widening gap between the top and bottom performers, where the top performers are improving, while those in the middle and bottom are falling further behind.

In March 2019, the gap between the average of the top 5 artists and the average of the bottom 5 was 13.5 points. In June 2022, it was 21.2 points.

Success – the extent to which the client can achieve their goals – suffered the biggest drop among the lowest performers, with the average of the bottom 5 performers dropping 5.8 points from 59.3% to 53.5% over the same three-year period.

This is in stark contrast to the top performers in Success, where the average of the top 5 performers improved by 4.6 points, from 73.5% in March 2019 to 78.1% in June 2022.

Agents don’t make it easy for customers

Ease, or how hard a client puts in to achieve their goals, continues to be a challenge, especially for those with average to low performance.

The average of the top 5 artists was only 48.5% (an improvement from 40.6% in March 2019), while the benchmark median average was 30.1% (a drop from 31 % in March 2019) and the average of the last 5 artists was 25.3%. (down from 26.8% in March 2019).

Their biggest challenges included gaining control and driving the interaction; ask questions to clarify client needs; and provide a clear summary of key points and next steps.

“The latest results show that the level of customer service by underperformers will continue to decline if there is no intervention,” Gorman said.

“Our research shows that empathy and emotional connection drive customer satisfaction and behavior,” she explained. “Providing a pathway for additional support at the end of the call is an easy way for local councils to improve.”

Local government is the worst performing sector

Overall sector performance declined in the 12 months from July 2021 to June 2022, while education, trade and water showed improvement.

The reference median average for local authorities fell by 0.7 points to 52.8%, compared to Education which rose by 2.8 points to 61.5%, Commercial which rose by 3.1 points to 57.4%, and Water which rose by 0.7 points to 56.8%.

And while the Top 5 Performers average for local government improved by 2.3 points, top performers in other sectors also improved an average of 1 to 2.7 points for the Water, Commercial and Retirement sectors.

It’s time to act

As Gorman simply puts it, those at the bottom are getting worse at a time when customer expectations are rapidly rising.

“The pandemic has raised the bar for customer expectations. And organizations need to work harder to make every interaction count,” she said.

“Now is the time to implement a continuous cycle of improvement using regular analysis and independent feedback on customer interactions. It’s not too late to transform your customer service results.


For more information on the SenseCX programemail [email protected]

About CSBA – The Customer Experience Experts

For more than two decades, CSBA has helped organizations of all shapes and sizes create better customer experiences through independent and expert CX strategy, research, insights, quality assurance and training.

CSBA now works with over 150 clients in 15 different industries, including specialized programs for higher education, local government, pensions, energy and water.

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