Many people view customer service as a purely reactional exercise. Questions come in, answers go out. That's it. Right?
For many businesses, customer service interactions are the only moments where customers directly talk to your company. On the management level, most companies have a well thought-out mission statement, core values, and a vision. But if your customer service team isn't aligned with your vision, how can they possibly provide the customer experience your brand promises to deliver?
1. Why set customer service objectives?
I'm sure you have a general idea on how your team is performing. You know their workload and whether or not they leave an empty inbox at the end of the day.
But what about your customers? Do you know if they got the service they expected? How did the service interaction impact their perception of your company? Which of your team members does the best job at delivering customer satisfaction? Who finds answers the fastest?
Without setting objectives, you won't know what to measure, and which measurements to use to assess team performance. And without measuring your performance, how can you hope to improve it?
2. What is your goal?
Objectives are the stepping stones on the way to reaching a destination; your goal. So in order to set your objectives, you need to have a goal destination in mind. So what is your department's goal? Talk to your management team to clarify what customer experience your company is trying to deliver, and how customer service can contribute to the strategic goals.
Take these two example mission statements:
1. "We aim to be the most efficient service provider in the world, resolving any issues with lightning speed"
2. "To treat every customer like family and leave them with a smile, every time."
These are two vastly different missions. To measure the extent to which the goals set in the mission statement are being met, you'll need to focus on a different set of KPIs for both,
3. Which customer service objective supports your goal?
The customer service industry has a plethora of KPIs to measure which can generally be divided between:
- Efficiency metrics such as Average Handling Time and Service Level adherence
- Customer feedback metrics such as Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score
In most cases, you'll want to use a combination of both approaches. The difference is about which to emphasize.
In some cases, efficiency will be at odds with personal attention, and that personal attention can come at the expense of efficiency, so knowing which your team should value more is important.
Whichever KPI you end up choosing, it's important to set a quantifiable goal for you to measure. A few examples:
"To receive an average Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score of 7.5 for all customer interactions"
"To keep average call time below 5 minutes per call"
Quantifying your objectives means they can be measured and improved. It means you can start rewarding your team members who consistently meet your objectives, and coaching those who don't. Setting and communicating your objectives is the first step to boosting your team's performance.
4. How to measure your objective
Once you've set your team's customer service objectives, you'll need to find ways to measure their performance against the goal(s) you've set.
How you go about this depends entirely on the systems and tools your team works with. Any customer service tool worth its salt will have these reporting capabilities built right in.
We're big fans of Zendesk's automated CSAT survey that can be sent after a customer case is closed. Our PureCloud telecommunications platform gives us all the info we need about average call & hold times, and a slew of other reports that we use to steer our teams.
At 5CA, we've put a lot of effort into building an analytics platform that integrates metrics from all the tools we use into a single place. This allows us to see, for example, which issues are reported per channel, combining information from traditional channels (phone and email) and social media. Have a look at this live demo.
Now it's your turn
Hopefully this article has inspired you to start thinking about your team's objectives and how customer service contributes to your company's strategic goals.
Need a hand determining and measuring your customer service objectives? Reach out to talk to one of our consultants.