Call Centre CX: Easy metrics to monitor satisfaction
Call Centre CX: Easy metrics to monitor satisfaction
CX is the new black. It’s definitely a buzz word, but the trendiness of it notwithstanding, it makes a lot of sense for your call centre agents to provide your customers with something more than transactional. After all, we know it costs 6 times as much to recruit a customer as it does to retain one, so you want your customers, no matter how unhappy then are when the call starts, to hang up the phone with a nice, positive feeling about your company. That’s how repeat business happens, and how recruitment via word of mouth is borne.
So how does a time-poor, over-extended call centre manager start to apply a CX lens to their customer service? The good news is, it doesn’t take a lot of time, effort or re-engineering. It’s a matter of knowing your business. What are the drivers of success (or things that result in disaster when they don’t happen) and what matter to your customers? Track these things, using the right system. It’s not rocket science. We’re all customers of something. Just put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what would make you happy, and what would make you cranky. Then do less of the crankiness-inducing things, and more of the happiness-creating behaviours.
Here are the metrics that tend to have a big impact on your CX performance:
- Queue Time
Like death and taxes, waiting is one of life’s annoying inevitabilities. But you don’t have to like it. You especially don’t have to like it when you’re taking time out of your day to solve a problem that’s not of your making. Reducing your customer’s wait time to an acceptable level is crucial to your CX strategy. Look at your abandoned calls, at what point most of these occur, and set your waiting threshold just under this time.
- Call Time
Customers like efficiency, no doubt about that. But there is a big difference between efficiency and speed. As a call centre manager you should understand your call trends- what type of calls you are receiving, and what is an appropriate amount of time to spend on these calls. Few will be simple, question-and-answer calls – that’s what the internet is for. Set an average call time KPI, and monitor it closely. If your agents are finishing their calls considerably faster than this time, monitor this as chances are your customers are not receiving an experience that will make them remember your business fondly.
- Abandon Rate
This one is a no brainer. A high Abandon Rate = not good (in fact it’s the kryptonite for a CX strategy). It’s pretty much the worst-case scenario for the effectiveness of your team. Customers decide they don’t like you before they even get a chance to speak with your customer service staff! You’re not even giving yourself a chance. But there is little point in looking at your Abandon Rate metric in isolation. You need to look at the trend and so what corresponding trends could be driving it. Usually it will be something like your queue time blowing out. If you’re keeping this below your acceptable threshold then you should see a positive return on your Abandon Rate. But remember, don’t assume- monitor both, regularly. You can’t fly blind and assume any of these metrics will track the way you need them to.
- First Call Resolution
I have included this classic metric as of course all customers want their problem to be resolved in the least amount of time possible, and that’s the ideal scenario. But there is a big caveat- it needs to be actually resolved. Customers would prefer to receive a call back after a bit of research and problem solving by the agent, than being told their issue has been resolved only to discover it actually hasn’t. Sometimes solving a problem takes time, and strong communication skills. A customer may call complaining about their bill, but when you probe a little deeper you discover that actually they are on completely the wrong product or plan for their needs. Discovering this will take a bit of time, either a longer conversation or a bit of work off the call. A customer would be more than happy to have this extra time taken for a better outcome. Consider First Call Resolution along with customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are the goal, achieved through one call or subsequent call backs.
- Complaint Handling
Customer complaints and CX do not play well together. It’s not realistic to suggest that you’ll have zero complaints, but you need to keep them to a minimum, and you need to monitor what people are complaining about. Set a threshold of complaints you feel is acceptable (ideally by analysing past performance and understanding the level of complaints in very successful periods), and if you exceed this, get on it. Get your staff together, re-iterate expectations, ensure everyone is clear on the objectives, and monitor agents who are driving the complaints. Provide these agents with live coaching using your call centre software so they can course-correct while on the calls.
Ask every customer to complete a customer satisfaction survey. Examine these scores closely and do not tolerate the score dipping below what you deem is acceptable. Look at the very low scores and address these issues and the agents involved individually. Often the unhappiest customers are the ones who speak the loudest, to the most people, and in the age of social media this can hurt a brand pretty quickly.
- Customer Effort Score
This is a metric that allows you to gauge how easy it was for your customers to get the help they wanted. You don’t want it to be hard for your customers to have their issue sorted out. Even if the issue is resolved to their satisfaction eventually, if it takes them waiting on hold and explaining their issue to multiple people after being put through to the wrong department, their experience is going to be poor, even if you technically achieve First Call Resolution. Keep a close eye on how much work your customers are doing to get what they need.
An effective CX strategy does not come from monitoring metrics in isolation, as critical as these metrics are to success. Your CX will shine if you look at all the key metrics, and monitor them holistically. One is very likely to be impacted by another so to really understand your customer trends you need to take a birds eye view. A little empathy goes a long way. You’re a customer, and a human. You get as frustrated as anyone when you have a poor customer experience, so apply this insight into your own customers. Only then will you be able to really provide them with the type of service that not only retains them, but has them giving you glowing reviews to the people around them. That’s one very good way to grow a business.