Excellent customer service is a must for any business trying to retain and grow its customer base. But how can you tell if your customer service center is meeting customer expectations, or better yet, exceeding them? Measuring the effectiveness of customer service with the right indicators and data is an essential piece of improvement. Are you using outdated metrics to gauge your customers’ experiences? Here are some key questions to help you find out.
- How are you currently measuring customer service effectiveness?
Obviously, in order to improve your customer service metrics, you first need to review what key metrics are currently being collected and analyzed. Go a step further than just identifying these metrics and look at why they are being used. Why were these metrics chosen, what is the data supposed to tell the company and when were these implemented into customer service reporting? This is important because a lot of things have changed in customer service communications and technology over the last decade. You want to be sure these metrics are still relevant in an omnichannel & digital world. Review your current customer service reports, determine if your KPIs are useful and note who the reports are being read by. This can help you in the upcoming steps of revamping your reports and customer service metrics.
2. What outcome do you want from your customer service center?
After reviewing your current metrics, you should have a good idea if they match up with your customer service goals. These goals should be focused around what matters most to your customers and how to improve your customer service to give customers a better experience. Focusing on better metrics can help uncover new opportunities to grow and improve as well as give a much clearer picture on what success looks like. If your current metrics are still useful, focus on what you can add or change to improve the company’s customer service center.
3. What makes a good metric?
There is not a set of metrics that is perfect for every company to use because all companies operate differently. The most important aspect of a useful metric is how meaningful that metrics is to the goals of the organization. If the metrics aren’t moving customer service in a positive direction or telling a story that aids the company in making good decisions about the brand or the products, drop them and concentrate on ones that do.
Additionally, don’t make the data and reporting too complicated. Focus on the key areas that have the most impact on improvement, customer satisfaction and efficiency. Good metrics should be contextualized; not isolated from others and the company’s goals.
Accuracy is extremely important. Inaccurate metrics will tell you inaccurate stories, leading to poor decisions in the future. Consistency is also a key to good customer service metrics. Being consistent over time will allow you to get the best look at the “big picture”. Last, forget about call length. This is a perfect example of an outdated metric. Focus on the holistic interaction between the customer service center and its customers.
4. Examples of great customer service metrics
A somewhat obvious example of a metric that has meaning is successful customer service interactions. Increasing this percentage compared to overall interactions is an essential piece to growth and improvement. Another important metric that can be focused on is customer loyalty and retention rate. A growing customer base is great, but the overall organization can’t grow if its current customers are leaving. The last example seems obvious but is often overlooked — customer feedback. Measuring customer feedback is extremely important because it can help discover ongoing issues, problems with processes and even new opportunities.
Customers expect customer service centers to be knowledgeable, responsive and fast-acting. If you are looking at outdated metrics, it will be very difficult to give your customers the experience they expect as well as improve upon your current operations. Review how you track customer service success, align optimal metrics with the company’s goal and make changes as needed over time so the customer service center can improve ultimately help the organization grow.