Shifting the KPI scorecard: the importance of customer-centricity

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The practice of measuring success spans all industries and lines of work. Outlining the metrics
of success, or key performance indicators (KPIs), is how most organizations determine whether or not they are on the right track to meet their goals. KPIs can be extremely helpful; however, it can also be easy to get lost in the numbers and lose focus on what actually matters to customers.

The customer experience (CX) industry is ripe with efficiency and effectiveness KPIs such as first call resolution (FCR), which is used to measure the percentage of customer calls that are resolved in a single engagement, and Quality Assurance, which tracks the continuous evaluation of resolution processes and customer service agents and their ongoing coaching. To achieve these types of KPIs, many of today’s digital-first brands rely on next-gen tools and technologies, from AI-powered chatbots to automated agent-assist tools.

While efficiency and effectiveness are always a factor when it comes to highly-rated digital customer experiences, today’s consumers are also simultaneously seeking to make authentic connections with brands. A customer-centric approach – one that ensures customers are seen and heard and measured with customer satisfaction (CSAT) and loyalty (likelihood to recommend) KPIs – should be front and center. With this in mind, we work in close partnership with the brands we support to ensure we are taking a balanced approach to measuring key metrics for efficiency and effectiveness at 25% each, and customer-centricity at 50%. Here’s how we do it.

Focus on the importance of connection

According to recent research from Salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. The same report shares that 68% percent of customers expect brands to demonstrate empathy, while only 37% say brands deliver it. While metrics such as Average Handle Time (AHT) deserve a place on the performance scorecard, a customer-centric approach with a heavier weight on CSAT will demonstrate more holistically how effectively, or ineffectively, customer expectations are being met.

Instead of speeding through customer requests to meet low AHT scores, enable team members to take the time needed to build authentic connections with customers and place empathy at the heart of each interaction. With virtual assistants working in the background to help support the customer inquiry, your support team will have additional time to actively engage with customers to drive a truly personalized experience.

Make an effort, so customers don’t have to

In today’s competitive marketplace, customers are looking to do business with brands that make it as easy as possible to do so – whether that means offering multiple channels of engagement or multiple languages for live and chat support. As such, a Customer Effort Score (CES), which measures the amount of effort customers must put forth to resolve an issue, is a key component of measuring customer-centricity. For instance, if customers are having to repeatedly call the help desk for the same issue or inquiry, this can indicate that the coaching and training for voice support CX may require some improvements.

A CES KPI is uniquely able to highlight the seamlessness (or not) of a brand’s issue resolution processes in addition to the quality of the customers’ experience. The ease of doing business with a company is a key driver of customer loyalty, which is a top indicator of a brands’ success in today’s increasingly complex, competitive and crowded market.

Emphasize the value of loyalty

Today’s customers have more options than ever due to the accessibility and convenience of online shopping. They are constantly bombarded with brand alternatives, better deals, and have access to reviews that can make or break a brand. The quality of your CX impacts your ability to both win and keep customers. Brand loyalty is a key component of success and according to The Loyalty Effect, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% to 100% increase in profit for your company.

Consider Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Retention Rate to determine how your customers are recommending your brand to others and if they are choosing to remain loyal customers.

Get to the heart of the matter

Although specific customer service preferences will always vary among consumers, keeping them at the heart of every experience and interaction you design is a universal priority that spans industries and demographics. While efficiency and effectiveness will always have their place on KPI scorecards, properly measuring customer-centricity is becoming increasingly important.

At TELUS International, we have found great success in designing and building digital tools for the brands we partner with – such as AI-powered automation platforms and chatbots – that help us conduct process and performance reviews of our clients’ digital CX. As priorities and customer expectations change, gathering analytics from these digital tools is a critical means of helping us best advise them on making improvements and developing new iterations of their customer journeys to accommodate for evolving consumer behaviors and new best practices.

Finally, remember that customer experience is an experience. It is more than just the numbers, it is about the people who are actively interacting with your brands. Don’t lose sight of the importance and value of ensuring your tools, monitoring processes, and the weighting of your KPIs are flexible enough to adjust accordingly to deliver the personalized and authentic connections that will create a lasting positive impression.

1 COMMENT

  1. Chuck,
    A great article and appropriate reminder for businesses to take the time to revisit their customer experience metrics to ensure they’re aligned to what customers desire. Traditional metrics such as CSAT, NPS, and CES have, for some time, helped organizations better understand the levers to pull when aiming to improve experiences. Though the retrospective view offered by these metrics no doubt allows for improvement.

    I am part of a team who has spent the last year investigating and bringing a new perspective to the relationships between customers and brands. Our data demonstrates that universal human goals exist – goals that matter to people whether they are in the moment of being a consumer or just living their best life. When brands help customers achieve these universal human goals, which we call Customer Performance Indicators (CPIs), they build more reciprocal value with customers. What do brands get in return? They get more frequent spend, more share of wallet, and more brand loyalty, in short, they get more Customer Lifetime Value. I’d love to share more with you some time, if you have an opportunity.

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