I recently came across Kate Leggett’s article on Forresters about choosing the right customer service metrics. She called it, “Choosing the Right Customer Service Metrics Requires Alignment to Your Brand” and I think its focus is perfect for any organization, public, nonprofit or private.
The point that the article makes is that customer service metrics need to tie directly to an organization’s specific brand and core mission. Using a cookie-cutter set of metrics will result in your customer service operations existing as an almost external entity—not as a true extension of your organization. If customer service metrics speak to both the value proposition and the organization’s brand, however, they will pump life into the operation and demonstrate, internally and externally, that the customer service function drives value into the organization.
Although I agreed with the entire basis of the article but I also found three of Kate’s points particularly useful when considering which customer service metrics to choose:
1) Metrics depend on the audience. Kate writes, “Once you understand your value proposition, choose the high-level KPIs that support your company’s objectives. These metrics are the ones that you will report to executive management and include overall cost, revenue, compliance, and satisfaction scores.” Kate then goes on to argue that while high-level KPI’s should speak to the organization’s value proposition, operational metrics should tie directly to a company’s brand or mission. (Metrics that relate to first contact resolution, handle time, etc. depending on what’s important to the organization.)
2) Don’t track too many metrics. With this point, Kate warns not to choose metrics simply because they were suggested or supplied by a vendor. Use a senior or executive team to decide on which key metrics will actually work for you. If you have a small amount of key metrics, each number will seem more relevant and the right reactions to performance will seem more apparent.
3) One of the most important parts to choosing key metrics is communicating results and meaning to staff. Metrics are nothing if your staff does not understand what they mean and how they are affected by specific behaviors. In fact, a customer service operation is nothing if the staff behind the operation does not live and breathe customer service excellence. Choosing the right metrics is one great way to communicate customer service values to your staff. A way to give these metrics meaning is to celebrate and reward staff members when great performance metrics come back.
What are some of your organization’s customer service metrics? Why did you choose them? Leave me a comment below.
Rosetta Carrington Lue is the Chief Customer Service Officer and Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director. Follow Rosetta on Twitter @Rosettalue or visit her blog at www.rosettacarringtonlue.com