How KPIs Are Integral To Offer Excellent Customer Service

26-08-2017

Customer satisfaction can make or break your business. It is the single, most crucial parameter to judge the success of an enterprise. Satisfied customers make for repetitive customers; repetitive customers make for high-paying sales.

A hefty percentage of the economic cycle of any company in sales is governed by how many customers are satisfied enough with your customer service to actually come back for more, or have you as their default choice every time a new need springs up, or you announce a new product.

Even though most companies have adopted the use of call center software to help in their outreach programs online by installing chatbots for live interaction, automation to respond to social media comments, tweets and updates, posting interactively and trying to engage audiences, you may be playing completely wrong is you do not let the numbers guide your actions.

This is where the importance of key performance indicators comes in. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are predetermined metrics that define the success or failure of a move in any particular domain relative to a standardized par value.

Following KPIs to gauge customer satisfaction is the most efficient way to understand how customers are reacting to the actions imposed on them, and how those changes can be implemented to draw out the best possible reactions.

KPIs give a picture of what is working and what is not, with respect to customer service endeavors undertaken by the company.

The words of the great Albert Einstein hold true in case of marketing strategies as well. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”, he had said, almost a century ago”.

While there are a million different things that can be analyzed as far as the call center data is concerned, there are a few metrics that can provide far greater insight into the thought process of the customers, while other metrics can be deemed insignificant in that regard.

It is very important to identify which metrics must be monitored to come up with the best actionable strategies.

As marketing techniques have evolved, so have the relevant KPIs. Metrics that were followed a decade back are today discarded as irrelevant. This dynamic nature of the market necessitates that we stop obsessing over the generation of numbers and start focusing on reading the correct numbers.

There is no shortage of data in the digital spectrum. What matters is how well a company can interpret the data that is produced to comprehend the trends it projects, and how it can be taken towards an optimal solution.

Keeping these factors in mind, we will try to highlight some of the most crucial key performance indicators for navigating success with call center service.

These KPIs provide comprehensive coverage of all the most essential aspects of customer satisfaction, and are designed to provide the company with as clear a notion as possible about where changes should be made and how, so as to better their service.

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1.    Net Promoter Score – The Net Promoter Score or NPS is a measure of the number of your customers, so are satisfied enough with your company to recommend it to others, against the number of your customers who are not satisfied enough to do so or are not willing to do so.

If there are more people who are willing to recommend your brand than people who are not, you are assigned a positive score. The converse of that gives you a negative score. The magnitude of the scores give a clear indication of how good or how bad a state you are in.

2.    Internal Benchmarks – All companies would ideally want all of their customers completely satisfied all the time. However, in a realistic scenario, there are bound to be occasions when things do not go exactly according to plan, leaving some part of your customer base feeling that the service provided was unsatisfactory.

Therefore, it is useful to have benchmarks predetermined within the company to assess overall satisfaction. Benchmarks being met repeatedly signals that things are going in the right direction, and it is time to increase the benchmark.

3.    Industry Benchmarks – While internal benchmarks provide the best means of constant evaluation of improvement, it is also important to know just where the company stands with respect to the competition out there in the market.

Keeping an eye on industry benchmarks and how you fare on that scale will give you an indication of how quickly you need to improve your internal benchmarks to match up to the rest of the market.

Ideally, you would want to set your internal benchmarks higher than the industry, and be meeting the internal benchmarks regularly.

4.    Average Resolution Time – One of the primary purposes of a call center is to provide help and clarification quickly and comprehensively to a customer. The average resolution time is an indicator of how you are able to answer your customers when they bring up an issue. A shorter average resolution time is an indication that call center employees are able to satisfy the customer quickly yet completely.

5.    Brand Attributes – The brand attributes indicator measures whether your customers view your brand in the same way as you want to project it. It analyzes the words that customers are likely to use when describing your brand, and whether that fits into your expectations of how you want the company to be described.

This also gives a fairly clear indication of what qualities you need to work on strengthening and promoting so as to reach your desired goal.

6.    Call Abandonment Rate – This is a measure of the percentage of callers who dial in but are unable to get through to any of the call center agents and have a conversation. Call abandonment rate is one of the KPIs that companies keep a close watch on all the time, and try and get it down as close to zero as possible.

Calls can be abandoned for several factors, including technical glitches such as call drops, but the bottom-line is any customer lost is potentially a sale lost.

7.    Service Level – This is a measure of whether the number of employees assigned on-phone duties at any given time is enough to cope up with the volume of calls coming in.

It gives you the number of calls being answered as a fraction of the number of total calls being received. A low service level indicates that call volumes at that specific time window are higher than normal, which means that scheduling must be done so that the maximum numbers of agents are online during that time frame to cope with the higher number of incoming calls.

8.    Complaint Escalation Rate – This can be a tricky metric to gauge, because the number of complaints is expected to increase as the number of customers increases.

What companies must look out for is random spikes in the complaint graph, which would indicate a centralized issue that customers are facing with a particular product. Complaints also increase just after a new product is launched, because people are unfamiliar with its workings.

9.    Cash Flow – This is the KPI that ties customer satisfaction directly to monetary factors of the business. Monitoring cash flow is very important to understand the level of satisfaction among customers, because trends in cash flow reveal whether the majority of business is being done to new clients or whether old clients are being successfully retained.

10.    Conversion Rate – This key performance indicator is the be all and end all of telecommunication marketing strategies. Conversion rate is a measure of how many leads are actually translated into customers.

The goal of every company with regards to customer service is to maximize the conversion rate. If the company provides quick on-phone solutions, this conversion rate should be fairly high, as users are likely to be convinced in investing in that product or service if all clarifications are attended to.

The Case Study

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The KPIs that have been spoken about here are some of the biggest indicators of how a business is doing in terms of providing quality customer service.

Adhering to the benchmarks set for these KPIs will facilitate providing quality call center solutions.

These are also some of the most commonly monitored data sets in the best call center software to set a measure of how are your satisfied customers .

To illustrate this point, we will take the example of Creative Connect, a telemarketing agency providing call center software solutions for a large corporation. In this case study, we will look at the scenario they found themselves in, what sort of specific problems they faced and how they drew up solutions to counter those problems.

We will also look into the effect of the changes that had been implemented, and how they impacted the company’s business.

The Problem Scenario

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The company requires continuous assessment of its customer service tactics to understand what it can do to improve. It has been noticed that even though they are generating a lot of leads through aggressive promotions, a lot of the leads are not translating into sales. They are finding it difficult to understand exactly where they are going wrong.

The Challenges

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The company faced several challenges during its operations. Some of the main ones are listed below.

1.    The company found it very difficult to decrease the number of calls being abandoned during peak hours. They found themselves to be understaffed at these points and unable to deal with the sheer volume of calls coming in.

2.    Conversion rate was lower than market averages. This meant that the company was not gaining as much business as it was supposed to be gaining normally. This caused stunted growth in the business, and made the company fall behind competitors.

3.    Employees did not have the KPI values available to them so they were unable to take data-driven decisions right from the outset. This meant that a lot of trial and error activities had to be conducted before an agent found the correct solution to a problem. All of this resulted in a loss of efficiency in the general day to day operations.

The Solutions

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The managers identified these problems and agreed that finding solutions was critical to their success. They came up with the following changes to counter the challenges that they faced.

1.    Key Performance Indicators were monitored and changes were made accordingly to get the best out of the available resources. Changes were made as per the requirements brought out by the performance of the KPIs.

2.    On-ground performances were compared against predetermined benchmarks to assess internal efficiency. Moreover, these benchmarks were set based on the guidelines of the industry in general. Therefore, the performances could be mapped against the expected output in the market.

3.    All of the important KPI values were made available to the agents during their working hours. Thus they could dynamically see how their work was influencing the indicators and shape their work accordingly to benefit in real-time trends.

The Results

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The data available started becoming meaningful information as soon as the KPIs were being monitored. In this systematic approach, the positive results started becoming visible from the very first week itself.

The data influenced changes in staff scheduling, call techniques, efficiency and other factors which generally improved the procedure of operations at the call center.

Within a year, conversion rates had gone up by 5% and the increase in business was up by over 8% compared to the previous year.

We see how KPIs are integral to providing good customer service. We have listed out 10 of the most important KPIs to provide good customer satisfaction with Call Center service.

Keeping track of these numbers will help to understand how effectively different aspects of the call center service is performing. Any change in the final result can be traced back to an anomaly in one or more KPIs, and thus rectified.

In this manner, a continuous process of learning can help operations reach closer and closer to the goal of finding an optimal solution, or an optimal chain of operations that will work with the maximum possible efficiency.

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