It’s not enough to have a killer product anymore, no matter how innovative. Customer experience (CX) is set to overtake goods and price as the key brand differentiator by 2020.
Buyers will go elsewhere if they’re unhappy with your service. It’s that simple. And a quick Google search will point them towards the next best thing in seconds.
But aiming to deliver amazing customer service and actually doing it are two very different things. You need to know where you’re going right and wrong before you can take effective action.
So, how do you do that? By measuring your service with the most practical and illuminating metrics. Let’s take a look at the top four.
1. Average response time
One of the most frustrating aspects of bad customer service is waiting for a response. This might include being put on hold, receiving slow email replies or staring at a live chat window while your place in a never-ending queue creeps closer.
Know the feeling? It’s not just you. Research shows perceived wait times are longer than actual wait times: so the more you make customers wait, the slower that period will pass.
Whatever the specifics, you can’t afford to keep your customers waiting. They may lose patience, change their mind and take their money elsewhere.
Measuring your average response rate gives you an indication of how fast and efficient your support agents are. The lower this figure the better. And if it’s higher than it should be, you need to get it down.
- Focus on boosting productivity and streamlining agents’ tasks by eliminating unnecessary steps.
- Keep the process of handling support requests and making first contact with the customer as short and easy for agents as possible.
2. Customer satisfaction scores
Customer satisfaction scores are one of the most crucial metics to keep your SaaS company on top of its CX game.
- Invite customers to rate their experience on a scale of 1 - 10 at the end of every interaction. It’s fast, easy, and convenient, so you’re likely to get high response rates.
- Compare the best and worst scores with their respective interactions: how can you train other agents to avoid the same mistakes or deliver the same great service?
3. Average handle time
The more time agents spend on an interaction, the less time they have to help other customers.
And that’s a big problem if your agents spend twenty minutes on every interaction. Long handle times could be caused by a lack of training in resolving problems or standard operating processes featuring too many steps.
Regardless, customers will feel frustrated by drawn-out interactions and your team’s productivity will suffer.
- Try to keep interactions as brief as possible: review scripts and tools to make sure they aren’t hindering agents rather than helping them.
- Incorporate role-play into staff training to help them resolve diverse problems.
4. First-contact resolution rate
First-contact resolutions are fantastic. They show customers how fast and professional your support team is. And they maximise productivity by reducing the time an agent has to spend resolving a single problem.
- Look at the number of first-contact resolutions achieved in a set period and examine the agents’ work. What can you learn?
- Keep agents’ resources up-to-date to align with all changes to your SaaS product, no matter how minor — this minimises the time they have to spend finding answers.
Act on your data
Your customers depend on your SaaS product for one or more reasons:
- Maybe your CRM makes it easy for a business to track customer details and find data on historical interactions in seconds.
- Perhaps an organisation relies on your invoicing system to manage their finances and stay on top of incomings and outgoings.
- Your cloud computing solution empowers companies with safe storage for sensitive data, accessible from any device.
Each of these (and so many others) can benefit users in a big way. But as we’ve already said, your product isn’t enough. No matter how amazing it is.
You need to deliver a personalised customer experience that aligns with — if not exceeds — expectations.
That’s why measuring your customer service is vital. Yet you actually have to take action on your results — here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Apply insights from your metric-driven analysis to training, performance reviews, and managerial meetings to drive positive changes based on concrete research.
- Contextualise the best and worst results: don’t just write an agent off as being inferior if their performance dips. Listen to call recordings, read emails, and check live-chat transcripts to understand what went wrong.
- Management and technical issues may be to blame: a low customer satisfaction score could be due to an overworked, exhausted agent making a clumsy mistake on an outdated system.
- Listen to your customers too: welcome feedback through surveys and questionnaires. Keep them brief to increase responsiveness. You’ll learn a lot from your buyers when you give them a chance.
- Consider how you can incentivise employees to work harder and hit targets, such as setting up an EMI options scheme to reward loyalty and make staff want to provide outstanding service.
Measuring your customer service is vital to understand where you’re going right and wrong. Even if you think your agents and company as a whole is delivering a great experience, you have no real idea until you start gathering actionable data.
Analysing customer service with key metrics is the best way to determine what lessons your team can learn, how you can teach them and what positive results you can expect.
Combine an innovative product with consistent, quality service to make your brand a formidable force in your sector.