Is customer service cultural or a skill
The 6 customer service metrics that should not be missing from your report
Metrics (KPIs) play such a crucial role for good reason. As Peter Drucker noted, "You can't manage what you don't measure."
If you don't measure the quality of your customer service, how are you going to judge the success of your actions? If you are seriously interested in improving your customer service if you want "a seat at the adult table" then you need to check your KPIs.
To avoid paralysis through analysis, however, you should only collect the metrics that are most important to your service. Here are the 6 KPIs that should not be missing from any customer service report.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT, customer satisfaction score)
Measuring customer satisfaction is difficult. You ask your customers to express a feeling - and feelings are more difficult to grasp than objective facts, such as your sales department's financial metrics.
Customer satisfaction is everything. Measuring customer satisfaction is difficult.Bill Price, chairman of Driva Solutions
The most popular KPI for measuring customer satisfaction is the CSAT. In this way, you directly ask your customers to rate their satisfaction with your company, product or service. Your score is the average of all your customers' responses.
Your CSAT scale can consist of regular numbers, but also stars, smileys, tiny unicorns, etc. You can also choose different scale ranges, but note that simpler scales are more resistant to cultural differences.
Net Promoter Score (NPS, index to measure recommendation)
The NPS measures the likelihood that your customers will recommend you to someone else. Its advantage over the CSAT is that it targets an intention, not an emotion. This makes the answer less affected by the mood of the moment.
You ask your customers how likely it is on a scale of 1 to 10 that they will recommend you to others. They assign their answers to one of three categories: supporters (9-10), passive (7-8) or critic (0-6). Take the percentage of respondents who fall under the “Supporters” category (9-10) and subtract that from the “Critics” (0-6). Voilá, this is your NPS.
Some programs use email questionnaires. Trustfuel NPS (free) and Promoter.io (paid) are two popular tools. Others work with surveys within the app, such as Wootric (Freemium) and appear while your customers are still on your website or in your app.
Rob Markey from Bain & Company gives tips on how and why you should compare your NPS to the competition. Take a look at the Net Promoter Network to put your results in perspective. Companies like Apple, which are leaders in terms of customer loyalty, score between 75-85%.
First Response Time (time until the first reaction)
Speed is a critical factor in customer satisfaction. Your customers expect a smooth and efficient shopping experience. Responding to your customer inquiries quickly is essential as your competition is just a click away. Customers think like the Spice Girls: " If you wanna get with me, better make it fast! ”
A Salesforce study found that a third of respondents said they had positive feedback about companies that provided a quick initial response. But here's the interesting part: customers preferred a quick response over a well-researched but belated response - even if it didn't solve their problem.
Take advantage of this by sending an automated message that "someone is looking into the problem". From a technical point of view, this is not a real first reaction, but it makes the waiting time easier for your customer because he is reassured that his request has been received.
We recently outsourced this task at Userlike to Chat Butler, a friendly chatbot that greets our customers and collects their questions when no operator is available in the chat.
Chat Butler - your robot support in support
Always having to be online is - without a doubt - the biggest hurdle for offering live chat support. Meet your newest team member: Chat Butler.Learn more
Note that customer expectations regarding response times differ depending on the contact channel selected.
Customer retention rate
Customer loyalty refers to a company's ability to retain a paying customer for a period of time. Acquiring new customers is expensive and costs a company 5 to 25 times more than keeping a customer.
You may attract a lot of visitors to your website and convert them into paying customers, but can you keep them for a longer period of time?
The success of your company depends to a large extent on customer loyalty. According to RJmetrics, the most successful e-commerce companies generate more than half of their revenue from returning customers. One metric to keep in mind here is the customer retention rate.
It describes the percentage of your customers who have remained loyal to you over a certain period of time. The rate can be calculated on an annual, monthly or weekly basis. Jeff Haden outlines the exact way to calculate it:
- Customer Retention Rate = ((CE - CN)) x 100
- CE = number of customers at the end of the term
- CN = number of newly acquired customers during the term
- CS = number of customers at the beginning of the term
This article provides a sample calculation and more information about customer loyalty metrics.
SERVQUAL (quality of service + customer satisfaction)
This multi-dimensional key figure measures “service + quality”. It was published in 1990 by Valerie Zeithaml et al. in her book “Delivering Quality Service” and is still the most common method to measure the subjective elements of service quality. You ask your customers to rate your service against their expectations.
According to decision-making theory, it is easier to make judgments based on an anchor (here: your expectations). This enables us to better understand abstract information (your satisfaction with a service) and to react to it.
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The questions cover what the authors call the 5 elements of service quality: RATER.
- Reliability (Reliability) - the ability to deliver the promised service in a consistent and correct manner.
- Assurance (Guarantee) - the level of knowledge and the friendliness of the employees and the extent to which they create trust and confidence.
- Tangibles (Material assets) - the appearance; E.g. the building, the website, the facility and the employees.
- Empathy (Compassion) - the extent to which employees care and give individual attention.
- Responsiveness (Responsiveness) - how willing the employees are to offer a quick service.
The first half of the questionnaire aims at the customer's perception of the services provided (“as it is”), the other half at their expectations (“as it should be”). Measure the items on a seven-point Likert scale that ranges from “strongly disagree” to “totally agree”.
The resulting difference in comparison shows how the expectations of your customers differ from the service you actually offer.
While basically all dimensions are important to the quality of service, some could be more important to your use case than others. Also, keep in mind that expectations of excellent service are usually higher than what customers actually need to be satisfied with it.
Take a look at a sample example of a SERVQUAL questionnaire here.
While we're focusing on the KPIs above, it can be easy to forget about one factor that isn't quite as obvious, but just as important: your team. If your employees are not satisfied with their job, your service suffers.
According to HBR, “long-term employment relationships are the key to good performance and sustainable employee motivation”. On the other hand, high employee turnover costs you up to twice the salary of an employee for the search and training of a new employee.
How do you measure the engagement of your employees? By default, you can ask them direct questions: "How meaningful is your work?", "How much does your manager value your opinion on your work?", "Are you proud to be a member of your team?" SurveyMonkey (Freemium) helps you to create such surveys.
Ryan Fuller suggests a different approach in his HBR article. As opposed to measuring self-perceived engagement, he suggests that actual Analyze engagement. The analysis should consist of the following engagement areas:
- Quality of management and time invested
- Influence from colleagues
- work schedule
Both approaches provide valuable information, but the employee surveys have some limitations.
One is the availability heuristic (distortion from recent or noticeable events that quickly come to mind). Another limitation are tricky results (respondents answer according to what you believe, what the other person wants to hear instead of saying what they really think).
Ultimately, customer service is more about people than numbers. Promote a high-performance support team with internal customer service in your company and increase the engagement of your employees.
Also take a look at our posts on the following topics: Measurement of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and service quality.
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