Digital disruption has caused many companies to lose their customer base. Though it remains debatable as to what extent today’s customers are adapting to this digital rush, but it is undeniable that customer journeys and experience are all the more dynamic, accessible and continuous - and as they say, if you cannot improve with time, you may as well become extinct. So, it is of paramount importance for organisations to keep evaluating themselves comparing to their competitors. This is where organisations need to understand that if you are not able to measure or at least quantify your company’s performance against your goals, it is of no use on how to improve and where to improvise – metrics are your answer.
No doubt that in this ‘Age of customer’, customer services unit need to rise up to the challenges as bad customer service costs more than good customer experiences. Customer experience metrics should focus on the there key business areas- acquisition, retention and efficiency. Before pinning on which metrics serves the best for your company, one must understand the value proposition since there is no single metric against which to benchmark the performance and success of your customer experience strategy. Moreover, it depends on the level of your audiences. For instance, the top management may be more interested in higher strategic level metrics that align to corporate goals and relate to brand so that KPIs include overall cost, revenue generated, and satisfaction scores as well as policy and regulatory compliance in many industries. Nevertheless, to get to the ground problem or for day-to-day monitoring, customer service managers need real-time, granular operational data. For example, if you compete on cost, handle time and speed of answer will become your primary metrics. However, if you are focused on maximizing customer lifetime value, first contact resolution will rise to the top.
Having an umpteen number of metrics to measure everything under the sun is not a clever solution as the volume of data that you gather does not correlate to better performance. According to Hubspot, in most cases you should aim to identify somewhere between four and ten KPIs.
In addition, customer service is a time sensitive issue in two diverse (and may be, unrelated) ways – depending on the age of your company and; how urgent and complex the confusion is. To clarify further on the first issue, the metrics used will also depend upon whether the company is in its nascent stages or a large established organisation. Early stage companies may put emphasis on metrics related to business model validation whereas enterprises usually would go for cost per acquisition, average order size or lifetime value. The second issue is a pressing one for any industry as every interaction has an associated cost and value such as cost-per-interaction to optimise the return on investment. Another case would be to consider metrics that shows the value of an active query backlog and the importance of having a timely escalation in the event of a pressing customer matter. Empowered and perpetually digitally connected consumers may bring in bad reputation by airing their frustrations through social channels which will negatively impact the NPS. Therefore, it should be a priority to track the outliers, rather than concentrating on the averages.
More often than not, units measure their lagging indicators (measure of output, based purely on results already achieved) of performance and leave out the leading indicators (predictors of future performance and your likelihood of achieving a goal in the future). This can lead to a myopic view of the world. Top level management need to focus on setting a vision and deliver on it. Methodologies like TIPS model (Trends, Implications, Possibilities and Solutions) may be helpful for sales to customers which can help companies to gain insights on seasonal fluctuations that may skew results. Further, metrics that analyse the digital maturity of customer services as a unit compared to your competitor in the same industry as your business as well different industry may help in throwing light on the future.
Most organisations have a fair idea on how they are doing on customer services, but having a measurement system corroborate these beliefs and provide actionable insights into future.
Author: Debaleena Debnath
Debaleena is a digital media consultant @ speradigital.
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