How can we evaluate our online customer support?
As a fairly new developed mobile app, we still get a lot of questions and feedback directed towards customer support. Part of our branding strategy is we want ensure our users we care about them and value their loyalty by answering their questions in a timely manner and addressing their issues. What other ways can we evaluate if we are effectively impacting our product and brand by delivering exceptional online customer support?
Hi Bryan, there are some great strategies in addition to the recommendations below. I would start by determining your criteria. Are you trying to measure interaction time, efficiency, accuracy in providing answers, etc?
Internally, you could generate a survey delivered to the customer's email after an interaction. Monitor interaction internally. Direct engagement can be done after an interaction by placing a call to your customers asking for feedback. Offer a coupon or discount for feedback. Asking questions such as: “What did you think of your experience and the agent you worked with?” or “Did your service experience match the promise made in our advertising?” It’s very important to map high-quality interactions with your customers’ expectations, comparing internal evaluation scores with customer scores.
Finally, reach out to your employees. They are on your front line and deal with many of the issues that customers are complaining about.
Wishing you business in abundance,
A lot of good answers have been provided.
First of all I would be very careful in establishing what is the desired level of service. You need to know what are the successfull outcomes, you need S.M.A.R.T. targets. Once you establish that, you can start defining what is to be measured and why it is being measured. A lot of organizations jump straight to the gathering of data, without defining the desired outcome or analyzing what data is needed for analysis. They end up with a lot of data, which takes a lot of effort to process and in the end you don't have a clear picture.
You will need a combination of hard metrics(objective) and soft metrics (subjective - customer surveys), examples have already been provided.
A useful model for Continual Service Improvement could be CSI Model:
1. What is the vision?
2. Where are we now - this is the step you seem concerned about
3. Where do we want to be? - measurable targets
4. How do get there?
5. Did we get there?
6. How do we keep it going -> back to step 1.
You need to have metrics around your customer journey, specifically the interaction between the CSR and your customers. Some may not apply, but they may stimulate ideas for replacement or additional metrics for you.
I have listed some areas that you may consider necessary and these metrics are regular "Key Performance Indicators" some leading, some lagging, but all, I believe valid to your issue.
So try measuring the following: Customer Service Metrics
Inbound Calls Handled per Customer Service Employee
Number of inbound calls completed divided by the number of customer service full-time employees
Outbound Calls Handled per Customer Service Employee
Number of outbound calls completed divided by the number of customer service full-time employees
Account Correct Setup Rate
Percentage of new accounts that are set up correctly
Average Speed of Answer Rate
Percentage of inbound calls that are answered within thirty seconds
Cost per Customer Call
Total employee expense of processing customer calls divided by the number of total customer calls
Client Response/Resolution Rate
Percentage of responses to customer requests that meet existing service level agreement standards
Self Reported Transactions
Customer satisfaction surveys (internal)
Customer satisfaction surveys (external)
External benchmarking comparisons
Possibly even Number of Notification Points (Activity on account)
Number of locations that can be notified for certain account service functions
a. Transaction execution
b. Account closings
c. Customer service/account inquiry
d. Non-financial information changes
Contact Centre Metrics
1. Calls per Contact Centre Employee
Number of telephone calls per day divided by number of contact centre employees.
2. Calls per Customer
Number of telephone calls per year divided by number of retail customers
3. Call Handling Method
Percentage of telephone calls handled by each of the following;
a. Branch customer service representatives
b. Voice response system
c. Centralized contact centre
d. Other (please specify)
4. Expense per Call
Direct cost per telephone call answered by each of the following
a. Branch customer service representative
b. Voice response system
c. Centralised contact centre
d. Other (please specify)
5. Call Abandonment Rate
Percentage of calls that are abandoned before answered
6. Call Answer Rate
Percentage of calls that are answered in 30 seconds or less
7. First Call Resolution Rate
Percentage of first call resolutions
I think the question that you've asked has been well answered here, Bryan. However, I'll suggest a solution that is at the heart of your company's intent. If you want to answer questions, then answer them in a way that benefits not only your customer base and your customer service team, but also users of other similar applications. I'm suggesting that you create a search engine optimized video FAQ series.
If you're not already, you should be documenting the questions that are asked by your customers and the answers that your customer service is providing. Determine your top 10 to 15 most common questions. Make sure that your answers are consistent for each query.
Answer these questions in a video format best suited to your app's purpose -live-action, screen cast, or animated explainer video. Place each video on a dedicated page -having each page and video's title optimized for your customer's specific question. i.e. The title of both the page and the video is your customer's question.
There's more to this optimization process, but for brevity's sake, I'll get to the outcome. When customers, prospects, or competitor's clients are searching for the answers to their questions, your company's videos will be there waiting with the answers. You will also enjoy the benefit of having your customer service team being able to answer more in-depth questions -secondary and tertiary level questions- while your videos answer the most common questions.
Last, if your competitors have a client base with similar questions that you are answering, your app will look like a more viable alternative. And by quickly answering current customer questions online with video, you'll be improving customer experience, building a brand experience, and becoming their hero.
Hire a few dozen friends to be "difficult customers" for an afternoon and have them test specific aspects of the service.
Talk to your customers. Ask them these questions. They will give you the answers you are looking for. Wish you a good business
Ask them to rate your customer service after their issue is solved (or if the service ticket has closed). If they rate below a certain mark (e.g. below 5 out of 10) ask them for feedback. Actually, allow them to leave optional feedback in any case because it gives customers the feeling you care and sometimes it will lead to some good ideas.
We should talk about application, branding, added presence and business development.
Clark Smidt Thank you.
Great customer support is the key to any business. You can set up a mobile survey to measure customer satisfaction. I would measure you analytics to see how many people overtime have downloaded the app. Remember word of mouth still is your best marketing tool. People remember a great customer experience and tell their friends.
Incoming questions provide core guidance about what to do and not due. In our software at Simply Magazine we learned people preferred the less intrusive audios than videos, then they preferred one hour or less audios compared to our longer ones, etc and so on. Terrific guidance. The CEO should read them. After awhile it becomes east to separate the poor suggestions.