The Importance of Service Standards to a Customer Engagement Strategy
In an era where customers have more choice than ever before, companies must differentiate themselves not only by the products and services they sell, but also by how they engage their consumers and customers before and after the sale. According to a recent Daily News report, 86% of consumers will stop doing business with companies because of a bad customer experience. On the other hand, 60% of customers are willing to spend more money with companies they believe provide an excellent customer experience. In a recent whitepaper, we identified twelve steps to take to achieve customer engagement excellence. Step 3 was adopting service standards.
Contact Centers by nature have always had a performance management focus, with many of the measurements being the primary indicator of the contact center’s service quality. Traditional metrics – average wait time, average handle time, abandonment rate, etc., translate to customer experience in more qualitative terms like “they answer quickly” or “they are able to resolve my problem efficiently.” Customers expect service to be fast and efficient. And they expect most transactions, whether a simple address change or order fulfillment, to be completed instantly.
Now, in addition to quick and easy interactions, most customers also expect resources and services to always be available and available through the channel of their choice (email, chat, phone, social media, etc.). Contact centers are responding. More than half of the organizations surveyed in Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report say they will soon be managing an omnichannel contact center, featuring at least eight different forms of contact methods.
When it comes to service level metrics, there is no industry standard. Each contact center must develop metrics that fit its organization – taking into account business strategy, customer expectations, costs and other factors.
Contact centers must be equipped to analyze, manage and adjust an ever-changing and ever-growing mix of performance metrics in order to meet customer expectations and deliver a service level that customers value. Incorporating a regular cadence of voice of the customer surveys, voice of the employee and KPI measurements is a good place to start. These metrics can provide outlier insights that can help quickly achieve a balance between customer experience and budget. Consistent review and alignment to key performance indicators (KPIs) are necessary to respond to ever changing customer expectations and requests.
If you would like to learn more about what other steps you should be taking to achieve customer engagement excellence, click the image below to download a free copy of the whitepaper “12 Steps to Customer Engagement Excellence”.
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.