Measuring Customer Service Saves Lives


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Is your customer service program good enough to save lives? Photograph by Sherman Tan.

How do you provide customer support to a group that doesn’t just use your products, but relies on them to survive?

That was the question facing one of Innoveer’s clients, a large biotechnology group. The company sells very expensive but utterly lifesaving drugs for a specialized disease that affects about 200,000 people. Despite the relatively small population of users, the drug is essential for their wellbeing.

Accordingly, forget the typical, banal questions used by most consumer-focused companies to gauge the effectiveness of a customer service call. “Did I provide you with excellent customer service?” isn’t going to cut it.

Instead, this biotech group needs to proactively ensure that it’s providing excellent customer service, to make sure that their customers are not just doing well, but thriving. That’s why the firm has tooled its customer service operation to ensure that people:

  • Procure the drug
  • Understand  how to take it
  • Know their dosage requirements
  • Manage correctly any side effects

In this equation, customers are critical, but so are customer service personnel. That’s why the company carefully monitors the call center, including agents’ job satisfaction and their attitude toward customers.

World-Class Customer Service Measurement

When it comes to customer service effectiveness, the aforementioned biotech firm arguably runs a world-class operation. That’s because it maintains  a relentless focus on service quality, keeping customers happy and informed, while also ensuring that service staff are happy.

How do you know if customers and service personnel are happy, and the customer service operation is not just succeeding, but continually improving? Based on Innoveer’s extensive CRM experience, we’ve found that organizations must focus on:

  • Service quality improvement: Continuously measure and monitor customer service delivery metrics, then focus on improving the quality of each one
  • Agent attitude: Understand the service climate — for agents — by monitoring the working atmosphere and helping agents maintain a positive attitude
  • Customer feedback: Capture customer feedback — for all aspects of their engagement with the company — using explicit mechanisms
  • Metrics and benchmarking: Identify specific measurements for monitoring service performance, including comparisons with competitive (equal to you) and best-in-class (better than you) service operations
Benchmark, Redress, Benchmark Again

Succeeding at customer service measurement requires establishing clear metrics to measure against various benchmarks. For the aforementioned biotech firm, such metrics involve patient happiness with the product, quality of life, and longevity. This is not an academic exercise.

Other organizations — product manufacturers, utilities, cell phone carriers — may interact with their customers in less serious circumstances. But they should take a page from companies that customers rely on for their wellbeing. Treating customers with respect, and anticipating the problems they will encounter, makes for customer service operations that don’t always have to put out fires. Instead, they can be used to proactively increase customer satisfaction. And that makes everyone happy.

Learn More

When it comes to creating a world-class customer service program, just measuring service won’t cut it. Organizations must also master service operations, services leadership, case management, and experience management.

To translate the above into business results, Innoveer applies its CRM Excellence Framework to benchmark organizations’ current customer service practices, and then identify which next step will provide the most return for the least investment.

In a brief, 1-3 day workshop, Innoveer helps companies identify the cost, time and business benefits associated with achieving new and more mature — which is to say, more effective — CRM capabilities.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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