Metrics reflect and validate when a new service experience is delivered
Productivity and quality metrics are historically part of all service organizations. To transform customer service into value centers instead of cost centers, new outcome-based metrics are needed to align agent behaviors to deliver your defined customer experience.
In the continuum, you can see how metrics evolve from a focus on cost and productivity to lifetime value, loyalty and sentiment, measuring the service experience and product engagement. How customers feel about your brand is determined by each interaction, on the phone, digitally and socially.
Instead of average handling times to serve a customer, look at the experience customers have with each interaction using first-person resolution (FPR), revenue per call or the number of services per customer. Efficiency will always be important, but let’s consider the value that an extra minute can drive to deepen loyalty. Sentiment analysis, as performed with AI, can also indicate whether a call is running longer than typical not only because of a dispute but because services are being offered and a relationship is being strengthened.
Finally, think about how you will align metrics per channel — for instance, through digital self-service. You can measure how many people adopt your mobile app, the time they spend using it, how many clicks it takes to find a resolution, and levels of product churn or incremental adoption.
The pandemic’s universal impact on customers, employees and performance
Regardless of service expectations and delivery goals shown in the continuum, all employees and your customers are living in a new reality caused by COVID-19. The step change in remote working has turned the typical call center into a virtual collection of at-home workers enabled with laptops or mobile workstations.
New talent strategies and real estate priorities should be revisited for a mix that makes sense based on what your customers demand and what your workforce prefers. Does it make financial sense to bring them back to one location — or have hybrid at-home and in-person staffing based upon your workforce preference? Should your call center be based in a different location — or, with a remote-enabled workforce, no specific location? Should you pivot from an offshore hub to onshore, with gig workers? If location is less of a factor, how does that affect whom you really want to hire and where? And what do these changes mean for work/life balance?
Retail stores should also revisit customer experiences. Whether these spaces “return to normal” is unknown — but the pandemic has offered opportunities to re-envision and reoptimize service in modern, technology-driven ways that are more aligned with customer and employee needs.
For those whose jobs can be performed at home (or elsewhere), many companies may find that they don’t have centralized coaching for agents to learn from their peers and learn the next best product to offer. Help and support must come from technology — through engaging AI and machine learning technologies that augment agent performance, as well as web learning, videoconferencing and other means that facilitate human interaction and a team atmosphere.