Driving Improved Customer Service With Role-Based Analytics

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We’re just over two weeks into 2018. Did you make any resolutions for yourself? Perhaps you want to get fit, eat better, or save more for retirement? Many businesses have set their resolutions, as well, though they call them goals.

Like individuals, businesses set goals to improve something or to move to the next level. They might include issues like increasing efficiencies, driving profits, or improving customer service.

Individuals have a hard enough time keeping resolutions, and they are a single person determining success or failure. For businesses, it’s a lot more complex: goals are often set at the executive level and flow down through management to the individual contributor level. The ability of the business to meets its goals lies in both alignment from top-to-bottom, but also that everyone understands the goals and the impact their contribution is having in achieving them. Sometimes missing, though, is the visibility at all levels into work performance as it relates to their part in shared goals.

There is a solution to this! By embedding role-based analytics throughout the business.

Let’s say a company is trying to drive improvements in customer service, specifically around customer satisfaction scores (or CSATs). Analytics at each level of the organization can provide the correct insights to communicate and drive the change necessary.

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Executive Level

At the highest level of the organization, visibility to CSAT trends is critical. Customer satisfaction is one indicator of loyalty, and as Forrester Research and others have pointed out, loyalty drives revenue.

The head of customer service is aware of this link between service and revenue. But great service comes at a cost, and leadership probably doesn’t have limitless funds to spend on service. As a result, they are interested in optimizing the relationship between service expenses–staffing, technology, etc.–and CSATs.

Their dashboard of analytics is going to reflect this interest in CSATs and costs, and the connection between them. As they invest in customer service–making funds available to management to hire more agents to answer telephone calls, chats, and emails or to implement newer, more efficient customer service technologies–they will see how that has an impact on CSATs.

Returning back to the point about how CSATs and loyalty drive revenue, another typical relationship the head of customer service–as well as the rest of the executive team–could be monitoring in their dashboard is the correlation between CSATs and sales. Of particular interest might be the relationship between the CSATs and spending of top customers, but of course monitoring the sentiment of the entire customer base and their individual spending is something also easily followed.

Management and Operations

The management level is where the more tactical options will be identified and implemented. Here, the focus is on the relationship between the problem areas affecting CSATs and the remedial actions to be taken and their result.

Let’s consider what their dashboard might look like. Management would be concerned with service level performance across all service channels, since long wait and handle times can negatively influence CSATs. They would be monitoring their team members’ individual CSAT scores, to determine which agents were delivering higher numbers and those with lower numbers who might benefit from additional training or coaching. CSATs measuring customers’ experience across all available service channels–such as automated self-service, online communities, and knowledge bases–is equally important. But that’s not all.

While numbers and graphs can provide an overall view, it’s digging into the details that help drive the remedial action necessary to improve CSATs. Review customers’ CSAT comments, and be on the lookout for remarks such as:

  • “I waited on hold for too long” (a staffing issue exists)
  • “My agent didn’t seem to know what he was talking about” (indicating a need for additional training)
  • “The agent was rude” (time for some coaching)
  • “The directions didn’t make sense” (a knowledge base article requires updating)

In The Trenches

Outside of automation and other self-service options, the agent’s work will be the biggest influence on CSATs. Some of the most important analytics to make visible to them as they work are the following:

  • Their current average CSATs–and providing them the ability to see it today and the trend over time
  • Their average compared to peers (because gamification might provide an additional push)
  • Their bearing on the current CSAT goal so they can not only be aware of the overall goal but also to demonstrate how their personal contribution is making an impact

As they work directly with customers, more in-context, relevant data can be helpful: for example, greater awareness of customer’s situation and sentiment as they assist them. Does this customer’s last reported CSATs indicate prior interactions were poor? Have they opened more cases than similar customers, on average, and might be frustrated? A little extra information about the customer disposition gives agents the insight they need to go above-and-beyond and positively impact CSATs.

Alignment With Visibility Drives Results

Setting goals is a great opportunity for a company to not only understand where they are, but where they aspire to be. But in order to be successful in achieving them, a company must cascade them throughout the organization–from the strategic to operational and tactical levels–to ensure alignment. In addition, visibility to execution at each level is needed.

A customer service organization can definitely benefit from this approach. While the executive level is focused on summations of CSAT across the larger organization and managing costs, management can monitor team performance and other operation that influence. Meanwhile, the customer service agent can see how their individual actions are impacting results. With the entire service organization aware of its shared, measurable customer satisfaction goals and each level has visibility to their performance, the correct behaviors are driven and faster, impactful change is more readily achieved. Are you making the right insights available at all levels of your organization?

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