The Index is the only tool on the market that
provides companies which offer directory assistance services with specific
competitive intelligence to track and gauge their performance.
Using a “mystery caller approach” and a 300-listing test sample, the
— Customer Fulfillment(sm), database accuracy and the ability of an
operator to provide an accurate listing,
— Customer Care(sm), the way the operator balances customer advocacy
and efficient call handling practices,
— Operator Work Time, the length of time the operator spends on the
line with the customer, and most importantly,
— “Passed Calls,” calls where the customer both received the correct
listing report and was cared for competently, efficiently and professionally.
Retail Directory Assistance Service
Repeating as the overall service leader is TELUS Corporation with a
Passed Call percentage of 89.3%. The margin of error is 3.5%. This compares to
the Canadian average of 87.0% and Bell Canada’s Passed Call percentage of
84.7% (margin of error 4.1%).
TELUS also led in calls fulfilled at 95.7% compared to the Canadian
average of 94.0%. The margin of error for the TELUS result is 2.3%.
Fulfillment measures not only the total number of calls that were completed
correctly but analyzes the factors that prohibited calls from being completed,
e.g., an incorrect listing in the provider’s database, missing information, a
number that was in the database but that could not be found, operator error or
a technical problem. TELUS’ operator accuracy was 98.0% which sets a standard
for national DA service in Canada.
In the area of Customer Care(sm), TELUS is the leader with 93.0% of
customers cared for. Unlike most measurements of customer service, which are
subjective in nature, Customer Care(sm) measures an array of specific,
quantifiable operator behaviors. These include whether or not the operator
acknowledges the customer at specific points during the call, listens
carefully to the caller’s request, asks questions in an appropriate manner to
get additional information, follows the search to conclusion and communicates
Passed Calls are the hallmark of directory assistance. This standard
combines Customer Fulfillment(sm) and Customer Care(sm) to measure whether a
customer received a correct report while being treated in a professional
manner by operators who care for every customer competently and efficiently.
TELUS was the only company surveyed to surpass the Canadian average of 87.0%
of the calls processed correctly.
For the Spring 2006 issue, the Canadian NDA Performance Index(sm)
included an analysis of automated DA system performance. Automated DA is a
directory assistance service option that handles call requests via speech
TELUS successfully automated 42.7% of all calls that were eligible for
automation. Bell Canada automated 28.4% of their eligible calls. Neither the
Bell Canada nor the TELUS Automated DA systems fully automate residential
requests. TELUS’ automation performance is especially significant because they
were able to automate a higher percentage of calls while having the highest
percentage of calls cared for.
TELUS’ Automated DA system provided accurate reports on 100% of the fully
automated calls (no operator involved) while Bell Canada’s Automated DA system
caused one inaccurate report to be given.
Although Customer Care(sm) remains high, neither TELUS nor Bell Canada
showed improvement over previous Indexes primarily because of idiosyncrasies
of automated directory assistance systems. The most common problems occurred
when the system offered listing options that had absolutely no relationship to
what was requested or offered options that were unintelligible. Knowing how
Customer Care(sm) is influenced by automation, being able to track how initial
customer frustrations are mitigated and understanding how different
deployments compare is incredibly valuable for providers and one of the
biggest benefits of subscribing to the Index.
To determine these results, The Paisley Group developed a statistically
valid test sample that included business, residential and government requests.
The sample included a number of new listings and listings with an expected “no
find” result. Geographical distribution, call type and customer type were
factored in to produce a series of calls reflective of actual directory
assistance calling patterns. The call type ensures that the test sample
includes call situations (in a quantity that reflects real-life DA) that test
the operators’ ability to handle calls by questioning, identifying and
suggesting appropriately. The customer type ensures that the sample includes
test situations in accurate quantities that test Automated DA, for example,
where the customer mumbles or presents mispronounced or incomplete names.
The Paisley Group’s National Directory Assistance Performance Index is
the only industry report that is based upon a definitive, DA-specific quality
measurement process. As such, it gives companies a benchmark for assessing and
improving their directory assistance service. In addition to the Canadian
Index, The Paisley Group also publishes a U.S. and a U.K. Index.
The Paisley Group Ltd. is the leading directory assistance/operator
services consulting company and the premier independent measurer of database
accuracy, Customer Fulfillment(sm) and Customer Care(sm) in the industry
today. The company specializes in auditing call centers, designing robust
measurement and statistical models, optimizing revenue-generating
opportunities through consulting, benchmarking and helping clients to develop
plans that work.