Who’s expectations are they anyway?


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This is the second installment in a four part series of posts where we’ll explore a simple performance management model for customer service called E-C-R: Expectations, Capabilities & Rewards.

The first step in any performance management model is to develop the metrics that accurately reflect your strategic objectives. I’m not really going out on a limb with that one, right? So, why then, when we get to KPI development in customer service, does that goal seem to get lost in the woods? As my friend Chris Reaburn commented about the introductory post in this series “companies with the right service metrics refuse to align them with performance goals because of operational efficiency demands”. Therein lies the challenge. How do we break out of the production, manufacturing floor mentality in in customer service and actually hold customer service leaders accountable to the metrics we all claim to be the most critical? Those that create exceptional customer experiences.

And where do companies turn to identify the right expectations in order to build those customer-centric KPIs? Shouldn’t it be our customers? We already spend countless hours conducting surveys, recording interactions, analyzing call reason codes and other sorts of “voice of the customer” stuff. So, what better use of this data then as the foundation for your corporate performance management dashboard? If customer loyalty is your goal and your dash

In our web 2.0 world, nobody can claim that the information is too hard to access. Heck, lets assume you have no idea where to find your customers. The web is full of brilliant free insights that can point you in the right direction. Just open a Twitter account and take a listen.

Develop the customer-driven metrics, then hold everyone in the organization accountable. Pretty basic, right?

Lastly, while this series are not intended to provide a tactical method for execution, if you’re looking for the cookbook approach to expectation setting, I’ll leave you with one reference that should point you in the right direction. One of the brightest thinkers I know in the area of strategy management, Michael Ensley, has focused his work on developing customer-centric alignment through the process of strategy mapping. Here’s the strategy map for his consulting business. If you start the process defining the foundations of your strategy with goals like build customer loyalty and deliver exceptional customer experiences and come out the other end with operational KPIs like AHT, calls per hour and cost per call, you might want to go back to the drawing board.

Next: Everyone’s capable, but not of everything

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


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