Managing and monitoring performance metrics helps you deliver great customer service by highlighting where you need to focus more effort. These metrics can provide valuable insights into how your customer service team performs and help you identify areas where you don’t meet standards set for performance to ensure customer satisfaction. Outsourced customer support can give you the edge you need to outperform the competition and gain market share.
In this guide, we will discuss some of the most important performance metrics for assessing customer service and how to effectively monitor and manage them.
Deliver great customer service with great people
It’s nearly impossible to deliver great customer service without great people. And great employees start with a clear, consistent strategy to hire and train people who can support your efforts to deliver great customer service and then motivate them to perform at their best.
Next, to deliver great customer service, you need the right tools. For instance, you might start with a customer service audit that acts as an early warning to identify possible weaknesses in your customer service before they translate into poor customer experiences, hits to your reputation, and, ultimately, lost revenue. If you Google “customer service audit” you’ll find a number of checklists for doing the audit and you’ll likely find one that fits your market. An audit begins with diagramming the steps customers take in the process of buying your products (both goods and services) from their first awareness of the product through consumption and repurchase. Set standards for performance (below we discuss some key metrics you can use to assess the performance of your customer service) and monitor how well your team performs to these standards.
Don’t treat a customer service audit as a stick to beat up on your staff. Instead, approach the results as an opportunity to make improvements. Remember that most failures are system failures, not people failures. If your team doesn’t perform up to your set standards, figure out what they need to improve their performance. I once worked with a client whose business delivered concrete, mostly to new building projects. He asked customers for their biggest pain points and discovered that he failed to ensure on-time delivery, which cost his customers money as they paid workers to stand around waiting for the late truck. To fix the problem, he asked salespeople to get detailed delivery instructions, ie cross streets and nearby businesses, since many projects required concrete deliveries to locations without a formal address (at least not yet). Their on-time delivery rate shot up dramatically with this simple change.
Metrics to deliver great customer service
First contact resolution (FCR)
FCR measures how effectively your customer service team is at resolving customer issues on the first contact. Failure to resolve an issue quickly and completely has a high piss-off quotient and will cost you business. This metric is important because it can help you identify how well your team is trained and equipped to handle customer inquiries, complaints, and problem issues. For instance, ensuring that your customer service staff have access to answers to common queries at their fingertips means they’re prepared to resolve an issue on the first go. High FCR rates can also indicate that your team is providing accurate and timely information to customers, which can help improve customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
CSAT measures how satisfied customers are with the service they receive from your team. This metric is important because it can provide insight into how well your team meets customer needs and expectations
High CSAT scores can indicate that your team is providing excellent customer service, while low scores can indicate areas that need improvement.
To monitor CSAT, you can conduct surveys or use customer feedback tools to gather data. You should track the overall satisfaction score and compare it to industry standards. You can also track satisfaction scores by individual team member to identify top performers and areas that need improvement. Again, these metrics should help improve performance, not beat people over the head. Take your lowest performers and conduct additional training or pair them with high performers as mentors to help improve performance. You might also investigate WHY a team member performs at a lower level than others. Maybe they have a health issue (including mental health) and referring them for treatment might fix performance issues. Maybe there’s an issue with team dynamics. Discovering this can solve a problem that will likely get bigger over time.
Average handle time (AHT)
AHT is a measure of how long it takes for your team to handle a customer inquiry. This metric is important because it can provide insight into how efficient your team is at handling customer inquiries. AHT can also help you identify areas where your team may be spending too much time on a single customer inquiry, leading to delays and longer wait times for other customers.
Nearly all companies face common queries that require a simple answer. Instead of sending these queries to human customer service employees, using a Chatbot might resolve the issue quickly. Plus, Chatbots don’t take time off, get sick, have a bad day, or leave after an eight-hour shift. They’re available 24/7 so customers can get help when your staff is away from the office.
Another option is using customer self-service. Many customers, especially younger ones are perfectly capable of handling some service needs by themselves. And, they prefer to handle routine queries without talking to another human being.
Net promoter score (NPS)
NPS measures how likely customers are to recommend your business to others. This metric is important because it can provide insight into how well your team is doing at building relationships with customers and providing excellent customer service. High NPS scores can indicate that your team is doing a good job of building customer loyalty, while low scores can indicate areas that need improvement. In many ways, NPS is a better indicator of business health than customer satisfaction.
To monitor NPS, you can conduct surveys or use customer feedback tools to gather data. Social media is a great source of information you can use to calculate an NPS. You should track the overall NPS score and compare it to industry standards as well as monitor this metric over time to see how well you’re doing. You can also track NPS by individual team member to identify top performers and areas that need improvement.
Quality assurance (QA)
Quality assurance is a process of evaluating customer service interactions to ensure they meet certain standards. This process can help you identify areas where your team may be falling short and provide opportunities for training and improvement.
To monitor QA, you can listen to customer service interactions and evaluate them based on pre-established criteria. You can also use tools like call recording software to record interactions and use them for training and review purposes.
Better customer service through analysis
Managing and monitoring performance metrics for customer service is a critical aspect of running a successful business. By tracking metrics like FCR, CSAT, AHT, NPS, and QA, you can gain valuable insights into how your team operates.
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