Andrew White at Contexta360 outlines the signs that show you are in control of your customer service strategy.
To be in control of a customer service strategy, you must measure how successful your customer service is.
The good news is that most businesses do measure their customer service success: from Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to Customer Satisfaction (C-SAT); from First Call Resolution (FCR) to Customer Effort Scores (CES), as well as churn and full-blown Customer Experience (CX) surveys.
Good news then, we must be in control of our respective customer service strategies. Let us give ourselves pat on the back all around.
But hold on. In many cases I see customer service strategy being used as an umbrella term, when in fact any measurement being done is only a review of a small subset of the whole customer experience.
I have lost count of the number of times I have been asked to rate an agent or bot service with questions about timeliness, politeness and did they understand my question or concern, all of which are regularly 10/10. But were they able to solve my problem or answer my question? No, rating: 1/10.
It is a bit like my taxi driver asking me if his car is comfortable, smooth and the air is the right temperature, but taking me around the block in circles for an hour when I need to get to the airport. He needs to:
- turn up on time,
- in a suitable vehicle,
- drive well and safely and, critically,
- know where I want to go and how to get there.
Measuring one part of the supply chain is somewhat pointless and damaging.
True customer service strategy is a big deal and complex. It must be integrated into the whole product or services that you provide. This could be a major career opportunity for you if you are dealing with fractional customer service.
Owners of service strategy need to have a seat at the corporate strategy table and the data to back up any strategic changes that are needed.
Service strategy metrics differ greatly in pre-sales, service and support scenarios and, depending on your business sector, you are highly likely to need independent customer service strategy metrics for each scenario to track performance accurately and automatically.
Again, all of these will be (should be) tied back to corporate business strategies and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Objective and Key Results (OKRs).
Another critical indicator is how you capture and process data. I see so many engagements where that data is flawed at source. Critical service moments are moments that matter: escalations, churn moments and up-sell moments.
We must get the raw data right throughout the supply chain. So many systems of record have out-of-date drop-down options, and IVRs and IVAs that are out of date. Additionally, agents who perform manual data entry may start the day with good intentions to use the right categories/topics/call reasons but, by the end of the day, the quality erodes.
Furthermore, much data is not captured at all. For example, surveys may capture only 20 per cent of the interactions (the top 10 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent) or capture in free text fields but not as part of any customer strategy data.
In conclusion, to gain control of your service strategy, you should follow these 10 best practices:
- Measure the complete whole-product service
- Measure 100 per cent of all customer interactions automatically
- Link conversational intelligence to transactional records
- Have regular interlocks with product management
- Automatically detect and track unknown topic detection
- Automatically detect broken processes
- Automatically track Customer Friction Scores (CFS) across all channels
- Measure service impact to revenue
- Automate the C-SAT score without a survey
- Monitor FCR based on conversational intelligence and AI