Every October, we celebrate Customer Service Week worldwide. Some customer experience practitioners used the week as a learning opportunity to reinforce customer service values within their organisations. Others chose to treat customers to various giveaways and tokens of appreciation. However, our consensus is that notwithstanding the celebratory nature of the week, the greatest way to deliver an excellent customer experience is to ensure we have metrics which are effective.
It was the experience of one of my colleagues which cemented this belief for us. One of the managers with whom she worked was livid that she did not provide catered snacks for customers every day of the week. His concept of customer service week was that to show sincere appreciation, customers wanted to be fed, even though his business wasn’t a restaurant! But what really floored me was when my colleague said that this same manager refuses to adhere to any of the customer experience metrics that were implemented!
As I always say, I have never surveyed a customer who wanted a service -provider to give them cupcakes- they want service which is prompt, reliable and accurate. One of the key ways to drive customer service excellence is through the use of customer experience metrics.
So, you have done your customer journeys as well as your Voice of Customer Programme (VOC). Now you know what are the pain points which occur at the touchpoints in your organisation. Your VOC programme will give you an indication as to the frequency and the impact of these pain points. Are these pain points making your business susceptible to customer churn?
These are the critical areas which should be addressed right away. The best way to do this is to meet with a cross-functional team and identify the CX metrics which will address these pain points.
But what do metrics look like ?
Common metrics include first contact resolution, which means that a customer’s issue is solved immediately upon receipt. Others relate to response time, the time it takes to provide a customer with information either in person, over the phone or on-line. It’s also quite common to have a wait time metric, especially if you know that waiting for a lengthy period infuriates your customers. You should also have an average resolution rate as well which relates to how speedily you intend to solve your customer complaints. Other metrics would be specific to your areas of business, for restaurants theirs would relate to the time it takes persons to receive their meal, for some service providers it’s about document delivery etc.
Measure and analyze them!
If the system for measuring the metrics isn’t automated or simple to do –you will end up with lots of questionable data! For instance, you may see the same scores month after month with just a few changes to the feedback! This can be daunting. You must make sure that you have the correct systems in place to be able to furnish timely and accurate reporting on the metrics, otherwise to simply put it, your programme is doomed! Many practitioners use journey dashboards so that the data is easy to input, access and analyse.
Of course, when your metrics are well-measured and they are improving it means that your pain points are also improving and consequently your customer experience is going up. So, the next time you undertake your NPS survey, you should have a higher percentage of customers who are promoters. And remember, promoters are those customers who you have managed to WOW!
Be warned- there will be push back!
One of the key issues you will have to face when implementing metrics is organisational resistance. Metrics programmes drive accountability in organisations and reflect a very transparent and uncomplicated way to gauge how your customer experience is going. They key to overcoming this resistance is to keep your Voice of Customer campaign going and ensure that you continuously show the correlation between the pain points and the need for the customer experience metrics. As consulting firm McKinsey points out you must drive the “measurement mind-set” in the organisation.
As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done. So, don’t be distracted by those who would prefer that you focus on distributing cupcakes and novelty items, that’s not what the core of customer experience is all about. Of course, treating your customers from time to time is admirable, but at the end of the day what customers really want from you is an exceptional customer experience and having the right metrics in place and measured in the right way…. will certainly allow you to do that!