Tracking Customer-Focused Metrics

For years, con­tact cen­ter man­agers have been mea­sur­ing oper­a­tional met­rics like aver­age han­dle time, aver­age hold time, turnover, sales per rep­re­sen­ta­tive, aver­age time to respond, and so on. But are these the most impor­tant met­rics to measure?

What’s impor­tant to mea­sure depends on who you are

Cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port man­agers want to mea­sure the oper­a­tional met­rics listed above along with oth­ers like trans­fer rates and queue length to help them run an effi­cient organization.

Exec­u­tives, on the other hand, want to mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, cus­tomer loy­alty, mar­ket share, and prof­itabil­ity by prod­uct or ser­vice line so they can see howeffec­tive the com­pany is at max­i­miz­ing the shareholder’s return on invest­ment. The two do not always jive.

The dis­con­nect between effi­cient and effective

A com­pany could go out of busi­ness if their only con­cern is hav­ing happy cus­tomers at all costs. So while it’s impor­tant to be cost-effective, this doesn’t always mean seek­ing the low­est cost. Take for exam­ple, the usual focus on aver­age han­dle time. Of course, cus­tomers want to keep a call as short as pos­si­ble, too. But they care more about get­ting their ques­tions answered accu­rately and get­ting their prob­lems resolved.

And guess what? Most cus­tomers don’t mind tak­ing a lit­tle extra time to hear about some­thing that will save them from hav­ing to call back in the future. So there’s a dis­con­nect between keep­ing a call short (effi­cient) and tak­ing enough time to resolve the caller’s issue and give infor­ma­tion to min­i­mize a call back (effective).

To meet the goals of the exec­u­tive team, there’s a trend among cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port man­agers to re-examine their met­rics in light of the larger objec­tives of the business.

What is the customer’s point of view?

Start exam­in­ing your met­rics from the customer’s point of view. Con­sider esca­la­tions, for exam­ple. Man­agers seek to drive esca­la­tions down. Of course! Who wants their super­vi­sors or Tier 2 engi­neers tied up on sim­ple prob­lems. But what will sat­isfy the cus­tomer? A speedy esca­la­tion if that’s what it takes to get the prob­lem resolved.

A customer-focused met­ric then, would be to track “appro­pri­ate” vs. “inap­pro­pri­ate” esca­la­tions. Inap­pro­pri­ate esca­la­tions are those where the agent should be able to han­dle the prob­lem, but can’t, and there­fore esca­lates the cus­tomer to the next level. Too many inap­pro­pri­ate esca­la­tions point out a train­ing issue. Once you iden­tify inap­pro­pri­ate esca­la­tions as a prob­lem, you can then pro­vide addi­tional train­ing and give your staff the tools they need to han­dle their level of calls. The result will be fewer inap­pro­pri­ate esca­la­tions, hap­pier cus­tomers, and lower costs.

How about call qual­ity scores? Many cen­ters we’ve worked with tracked behav­iors that did not affect cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion (such as using the customer’s name three times dur­ing the call) and left out things that did, (such as pro­vid­ing an accu­rate answer). Why not con­duct a focus group with cus­tomers this year to find out what you should add to your form and what you can stop tracking.

What else should you track?

There’s a real busi­ness case for first-contact res­o­lu­tion because it’s one of the prime dri­vers of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tionand it keeps costs down.

As Richard Snow from Ven­tana Research puts it:

First con­tact res­o­lu­tion can be even more use­ful when linked with other met­rics and actions. Applied to agents, for exam­ple, it lets com­pa­nies iden­tify best prac­tices and adjust process and train­ing so more agents can resolve more issues the first time. Linked to cus­tomers, it can tell who are the dif­fi­cult cus­tomers and how they can be han­dled in the future. It can help iden­tify why issues occur and what can be done to gen­er­ate fewer calls. It can influ­ence behav­ior, because agents will strive harder to resolve more calls at the first attempt. It can influ­ence call-routing rules, so that more calls are routed to agents who resolve more issues the first time.”

If you have first con­tact res­o­lu­tion within bench­mark lev­els, then go for next issue avoid­ance, also called proac­tive ser­vice. This is another one of the top 10 trends for the upcom­ing year.

Con­fer­ences, webi­nars, and cus­tomer ser­vice forums are all a-buzz about cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, reten­tion, and net pro­moter scores—the same issues exec­u­tives pay atten­tion to. This year, be sure your cen­ter met­rics are well-aligned to deliver solid busi­ness results.

Source: http://www.impactlearning.com/tracking-customer-focused-metrics/

AICEX

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