Steve Jobs famously said, “people don’t know what they want until we show it to them.” That may or may not be accurate, but customers certainly recognize and respond negatively to poor customer service.
Quality customer service drives sales growth, yet remains frustratingly difficult to define, measure, and react to. This has never been more true than in the pandemic era. At Televerde, we pride ourselves on our technology-enabled, people-first approach. This allows us to provide you with meaningful customer service metrics that you can focus on your business.
- Look at more than just customer satisfaction to build relationships.
- Customers don’t want to put in a lot of effort to solve their problems.
- If a customer is satisfied with your performance in these areas, they are more likely to recommend your business online or to a friend or family member.
Dive Deeper than Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Today’s consumer is more informed and expects more than at any time in the past. The increase in online sales and marketing brought about by the pandemic and the corresponding decrease in face-to-face transactions have made looking deeper than CSAT more meaningful. Here are five additional metrics to consider focusing on:
- Social Media Monitoring
- Net Promoter Score
- First Response Time
- Customer Effort Score
- First Contact Resolution
Social Media Monitoring
Also known as Social Listening, direct unsolicited contact with customers on the various social media platforms enables this metric. By employing the resources to engage customers, meaningful insights, both good and bad, can be gained. Skilled customer service representatives can use this platform to gather valuable input to guide customer lifecycle marketing. Social media monitoring/listening can also be an effective tool for providing organic and unscripted customer input.
Measurable performance metrics include brand mentions over time, negative comments, and the number of questions not currently answered by support documentation.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS offers a tried-and-true measure of a customer’s loyalty. Achieving and maintaining this while minimizing churn is a goal of customer service. The NPS score provides a “gold standard” measurement of how customers view your business or product. It directly provides a meaningful contrast between people likely to be “promoters” or “detractors” of your goods or services.
The two primary types of NPS are relational and transactional NPS. Relational NPS provides a longer-term strategic view by gauging customer views on a regular (quarterly or annually) basis. Transactional NPS provides precise feedback on granular topics.
NPS uses a 1-10 response range to some variant of “how likely are you to recommend X to a friend?”. Scores that are 9 and 10 are considered promoters. 7 and 8 are labeled passive. Where 0 to 6 are identified as detractors.
To determine the NPS score, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The higher the number, the better the score.
First Response Time (FRT)
Perhaps the most efficient method of positively engaging your customers is via an effective and timely response. Today’s customer is plugged in and savvy about how the always-connected world works. Patience isn’t a strong suit, and the pandemic has strained what little of it remained. Rapid response to support inquiries is expected and supports your customer lifecycle marketing strategy.
First response time guidelines vary according to the source of the customer inquiry.
- Messaging / live chat – instant
- Phone – 3 minutes
- Social Media – 60 minutes
- Email or online form – 24 hours or less.
The FRT metric is measured by taking the sum of the first response times and dividing by the number of resolved cases. If your customer service operation is during business hours only, take that into account. Be careful not to let an interaction that came in after-hours skew your data.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Is your product or service easy for customers to get to and connect with? More to the point, how does access to your product or service compare to your competitors? Human nature dictates that with all other things equal, people will choose the path of least resistance.
CES can provide you with a tool to measure how easy you are to interface with.
After an interaction finishes, CES is generally measured by a survey, typically via email or a website. Customers rate the ease of their transaction on a 1-7 scale or a visual scale based on angry to happy emoticons. The average results indicate the amount of effort customers require for a specific transaction. With higher or happier results comes a better CES score.
First Contact Resolution (FCR)
Successful resolution of a customer’s concern is good. Getting the issue resolved to their satisfaction the first time they reach out to your support system is better. Improving your FCR rate will have a positive cascading impact on the rest of your customer service metrics. If a customer’s issue gets resolved on the first contact, they’re applying minimum effort, are likely satisfied with the time spent, apt to be a “promoter,” and may mention your business in a positive light on social media. This interaction could lead to some of your company’s best lead generation.
The FCR rate is obtained by dividing the number of the first contact resolved cases by the total number of FCR eligible cases. An example of an ineligible case would be if the customer gave an inaccurate description of their issue on the first contact.
Using Customer Service Metrics to Reduce Churn and add New Customers
Marinating a satisfied and loyal customer base is essential to any business. A key to that is employing a successful customer service program. Further, satisfied customers are more likely to cause customer growth by word of mouth. Using these five measurable customer service metrics can positively impact your bottom line.