One of the challenges that customer service directors and contact centre managers have is putting the right systems in place to ensure that customer needs are met in a quick and efficient manner. The desire to create an efficient service operation naturally leads to the issue of KPI’s. For many service professionals, KPI’s are often a vexed issue as sometimes the desire to meet certain numbers can also drive the wrong behaviours. Often the original meaning for the KPI’s gets lost or is simply not communicated to employees. So it’s important that you have the right KPI’s in place to drive the right behaviours.
When deciding the right KPI’s for your contact centre it’s important that you consider the customer, employee and business. The metrics that you have in your organisation need to be geared towards all three, if one metric is weighted towards another there lead to an imbalance. As an example, if you chose Average Handling Time (AHT) as a metric it might benefit the business, but it might impact negatively employee behaviour which would affect your customer delivery. However, if you train your employees well then Average Handling Time can be a good metric for your contact centre. The key is the meaning behind KPI’s that you put in place for your contact centre. Let’s look at the 4 key metrics for customer service that will help positively the employee, the business and the customer.
The Customer Feedback metric
The most important metric for your contact centre and the broader business is customer feedback. From the business perspective, you want to know if your customers are going to stay or leave and if they will recommend your business to their friends and colleagues. If you are the customer you want the right or incorrect processes improved so that you get the best experience. From the perspective of the employee, you want processes that will help deliver good service to customers.
In the industry today there is a lot of customer feedback metrics such as customer satisfaction score, NPS and customer effort score to name a few. For us, at In-gage the main thing that you want to focus on is will the customer stay and will they recommend the business. If you can track these things and link them into the internal CRM system then you can start to measure the ROI of service. In our experience, we have seen companies increasing their NPS scores by 22%, 30% reduction in customer churn and making £500k in additional profits in six months.
The Service Efficiency Metric
The next thing is service efficiency. The main thing is to measure service efficiency at a macro level rather than at an individual level to avoid bad behaviours. The most common story is the service agent that passes customers to other agents to improve their average handling time. As a service organisation, you want to give your employees the tools that they need to provide the best experience for customers.
As a contact centre, the main focus needs to be on first contact resolution. The main thing for a contact centre efficiency is ensuring that all customer queries are completed in the first instance. If your contact centre is in a situation where 25% of customers are repeatedly contacting the service to solve a problem then this becomes costly for the business. In addition to this, you want to ensure that your internal systems are ensuring that internal handoffs are being reduced so that customers don’t have to deal with unnecessary delays.
Quality, Consistency and Compliance
The next of the 4 key metrics for customer service focuses on the effective running of a contact centre or customer service organisation is quality, consistency and compliance. If you’re a customer you want to ensure that you get the same experience each time they come into contact with the service team. As a customer in addition to great service, you want to ensure that processes are in place to protect and safeguard sensitive information.
From a business perspective, you want to ensure that all members of the team are following the same promise that delivers a great experience and that ensures that all compliance rules are being followed. The last thing that you want as a business is to suffer heavy fines because your contact centre team didn’t follow the correct rules. If contact centre agents aren’t following processes, then you want to ensure that they are being trained and corrected when mistakes are being made as a central part of your quality assurance program.
The final metric that we believe to be important is employee engagement. How engaged is the team that is interacting with customers? We have found that engaged employees provide better service and help deliver increased customer satisfaction. As a business, you want to ensure that employees are being managed properly and that employees have a voice in the business.
Are employees responding to their managers? Are they developing and being coached effectively? These are key areas that need to be measured in order to create engaged teams. If you want agents working their best for customers they need to supported by their managers and they need to be provided with relevant training. In our experience, we have found that teams that are managed well tend to perform better than others. Also if agents are not being coached or trained then this can lead to increased levels of disengagement and frustration.
The main thing is to ensure that employees have a voice in the business and have an avenue to speak up about issues in the business. Once employees are engaged in the business you will be able to increase employee retention and this will lead to better quality and consistency.
All together in real-time
It’s one thing to have metrics, but it needs to be a part of a real-time loop. Often the 4 key metrics for customer service are often done at different points in time, sometimes once a year or 2 times a year. The closer that you can get to live feedback will help you to drive change in the business and lead to increased profits for the business. The importance is to get the speed of evolution increased by measuring all 4 metrics for customer service in real-time. It is important that all of this occurs in real-time.
This is one of the reasons that we developed our native salesforce contact centre app to allow companies to measure all of these 4 key metrics for customer service in real-time. The In-gage app allows you to measure in salesforce customer feedback, first contact resolution, quality and team engagement. Utilising AI technology we are able to provide AI-assisted customer feedback that helps to make the task of measuring and analysing customer loyalty and NPS much easier and gives companies the ability to link these to business metrics such as word of mouth sales and customer loyalty. With the assistance of artificial intelligence, we also provide AI-assisted case categorisation and language detection that ensures that the right cases are routed to the most appropriate customer service agent.
Our salesforce contact centre app also takes away the messy excel sheets and allows you to conduct your quality audits inside of salesforce ensuring that you are able to maintain your quality assurance program in real-time. As a company that has been working in the area of customer service for over 20 years, our app allows service teams to prove the business value of service. Instead of service being a ‘necessary cost’ we are able to prove that customer service is an ‘investment’ that pays off.