July 15, 2015
5 Customer Service Metrics Every Business Owner Should Follow
BY John Paul Narowski IN Customer Service, Sales and Marketing One Comment
Good customer service is the lowest criteria every business has to correspond to, in order to enter the business environment in their industry and at least be able to stay afloat. Great customer service is what most of the companies offer their clients and thus, make their business appear at the top of their industry.
However, if you want to truly shine, you have to offer not just great, but superior customer service. Customer service is one of the most important parts of any business, in the same tier as product/service quality and pricing. etc.
If a product is working fine, everybody is happy, but when there is a problem, even if it’s a tiny one, this is where a superior companies differentiates from just good ones. It’s important to understand that the customer is less concerned about the actual problem, than what solution he/she will be provided with.
At the same time, these metrics can be a great way to assess the effectiveness of your work staff. The happier your customers are, the more bonuses your employees deserve.
Let’s take a look at the 5 most important customer service metrics that every company has to track and upgrade continuously, in order to achieve the highest possible level of customer satisfaction.
1. Response Time
This is the first touch point between your company and a customer with an issue and it’s pretty simple and straightforward: customers want you to respond to them quickly, they don’t want to wait too long, nor do they have the time for that. If a company fails the first step, it’s a huge hit to customer satisfaction level before starting the process.
Usually, people contact customer service using either phone or email.
Phone call customer service is widely utilized by all companies and it’s a great opportunity for you to show your professional level of service. People consider 3 minutes to be a reasonable wait time for a response. However, you should aim to minimize this number as much as you can, in order to get your customer unexpectedly happy and positive before even beginning the call.
Emails are a little trickier to get the hang of simply because they take more time to read and respond to and the average reasonable waiting time for consumers tends to go lower each year.
First, it was considered okay to get a reply via email in 24-48 hours’ time. Today, this number has shrunk to 4-5 hours, with some companies going as far as 1 hour. While it’s important to minimize the response time for your customers, you shouldn’t prioritize it over service quality. If you need more time to respond in order to deliver a higher quality of service, then do it. You can always work on the response times later.
2. Resolution Time
Customers want their issues solved, and they want them to be solved fast. Here is a fun fact: companies that provide fast and quality service regarding problem solving enjoy a higher customer satisfaction rate than companies whose product/services do not have any problems in the first place.
This is enough to show how much great customer service is valued among people, and you better stand up to their expectations, if not exceed them. Aim to minimize the amount of sessions your customers need to take in order to resolve the issue. Ideally, that number should be one.
3. Did You Solve the Problem?
Customers contact your company because they have a problem, and you should have the solution. It’s very simple and straightforward. You need to monitor and follow-up if you were able to provide a solution for your customer. If you could not, then think about what you can do, in order to solve that same issue later for other customers, since if somebody had that problem, it’s natural to assume that others will have it too.
Track the time on how long your customers stay on an article/blog post you created for the resolution of common problems. If that time is less than 1 minute, then there probably is something wrong with your article and it doesn’t help your customers much.
Use social media to your advantage and engage with your audience. Constantly ask them to provide feedback about your product/service and possible problems/improvements that you should know about.
Answering their questions online will not only help increase your brand awareness and trust among consumers, but will also save your time on phone calls and emails about that problem, which is already answered on social media and can be well known to your audience.
Encourage your customers to engage with each other. This is a great way to help resolve any issues they might have. Simple problems are common among online businesses and there is a high chance somebody has already had some issue solved and he/she can assist another person in your stead. This will basically create your social media customer service team online, with zero costs and no additional work for yourself.
4. Overall Experience
Overall experience is measured by all of the metrics above, combined. How much time did it take for you to respond? How many sessions did you need to resolve the issue? Did you resolve the issue?
The importance of steps goes from last to first. The most important thing is surely to resolve the issue regardless of the response time and sessions. Then you look at the number of contacts needed for resolving, followed by the response time. Ideally, customers are most happy with your company, if you resolve their problems on first touch and fast.
Another important metric to track is how many issues were solved upon the first call? More often than not, customers have more than 1 issue that need solutions and you should be able to provide all of them during the first session. Getting this metric up is a solid sign of superior customer service.
Last but not least, you should measure the volume and capacity of your channels. Track the time during the day that your customers tend to contact you the most, and be prepared for it. You can impress your customers by being prepared at the busiest moments of the workday and increase satisfaction level.
No need to mention that your customer service must be active and reachable 24/7. When a customer has a problem, he/she isn’t going to wait for a convenient time to call you, they want their solution right there and now. The more you can put up to those standards, the better your business is going to get.
Satisfied Customers Involve Their Friends, Unsatisfied Ones Involve Google
By providing superior customer service, you will not only save a customer for yourself, but also get him/her to tell some friends about your company, resulting in more business for you.
Unhappy customers will most often post their disappointment online, and you know how quickly word spreads nowadays. Do yourself a favor and avoid a bad online reputation. If your customers are really unhappy, they will let everybody know.