Tag: KPIs

27 Oct 2016
Facebook fail - customer service metrics to focus on

Facebook Fail: why customer service metrics matter so much for marketers these days

Three seconds. What can you do in three seconds? Not a whole lot it would seem. Three seconds isn’t enough time to apply lipstick, nor is it enough time to check your phone. It’s not even a sufficient amount of time to update your Facebook status. But apparently it’s enough time to effectively evaluate whether or not a video has been viewed by any particular user.

What actually constitutes a “view” on Facebook

Facebook owes a nice chunk of their revenue and growth altogether to the fact that historically, they have been able to claim bragging rights when it comes to being the platform that gets the most views per video. In a tight space that includes potent competitors like Vine and YouTube, metrics such as this can mean a whole lot when it comes to where companies place their marketing dollars. But the way some platforms measure ”views” was always a bit amorphous and ad buyers and marketers apparently never thought to stop and question just what Facebook constituted as a “view.”

Well, long story short, now we know – While Vine measures a view as having watched an entire video (which last up to all of six seconds) and YouTube clocks in at 30 seconds, since 2014 Facebook has felt that a mere three seconds was enough to consider a video as “viewed”. According to the Wall Street Journal, this elastic definition used by Facebook’s video metrics has likely led marketers to overestimate the average time spent watching videos on the platform by 60-80 percent.

Inaccurate Customer Service Metrics = A Shaky Foundation

The backlash Facebook experienced isn’t very surprising. Undoubtedly, many marketers misjudged the performance of their video material and the inflated rates surely caused teams to place too much emphasis on Facebook alone. David Fischer, VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships at Facebook apologized for the faux pas that influenced business decisions for two years, saying “While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”

It’s true that looking at total views is just one of the many metrics that marketers evaluate in their quest to create a complete picture of what’s taking place within a brand. The thing about metrics is that each individual marker on its own is useless. Think about your individual markers as bricks. Here is one brick – “How many people visited your site on October 15th?” Here’s another for you – “How many shares did your last blog post get?” “Have calls to customer service increased or decreased in the last month?” is another potentially important marker. But each on its own is limited in its usefulness, telling a very small part of the larger story of your brand, just as individual bricks strewn across the ground are little more than stumbling blocks. Put them all together though and a structure begins to emerge. And if one of them is wrong, misleading, or over/under emphasized, your structure is likely to be far less stable than it would be if the foundation were properly grounded.

Metrics Make Marketing a Science

Before the concept of big data came around, marketers had no choice but to rely on shoddy, half-proved figures to attempt to measure success. But today, with all the information that companies can potentially draw from their resources if they understand how and where to look, there is simply no room for inaccuracy. As marketing maven Jayson DeMers says “Measurement is what makes marketing a science, rather than a superstition.” Accurate metrics move your brand from merely pitching blindfolded guesses to making highly educated decisions backed by hard core data. Proper markers yield the power to take action exactly where it’s needed the most and optimize a customer’s journey with your brand. Most importantly, if something can be measured, chances are it can be improved.

The Customer Service Metrics you should be Focusing on

Now that you understand why accurate metrics are critical when it comes to getting crystal clear insight into the true state of relationships with your customers, let’s take a quick peek at some of the most important metrics you need to keep a close and regular eye on. Tracking views on videos can certainly yield some, if extremely limited, insights into your customers and their satisfaction with your brand but the following metrics provide far more salient data:

Now that you understand why accurate metrics are critical when it comes to getting crystal clear insight into the true state of relationships with your customers, let’s take a quick peek at some of the most important metrics you need to keep a close and regular eye on. Tracking views on videos can certainly yield some, if extremely limited, insights into your customers and their satisfaction with your brand but the following metrics provide far more salient data:

Rep/Agent-based activity metrics:

Are your reps/agents able to get the information they need to help customers in a fast and seamless way? Are they able to handle problems themselves because they have access to the knowledge they need or do they need to refer to supervisors, which delays the process?

Customer expectations metric:

At the end of interactions, provide quick and easy channels for feedback. Find out if customers’ experience with your brand met their expectations, exceeded them or fell short.

Customer retention rates:

How well does your brand hold on to customers? Getting new customers is nice but a much greater indicator of success is found in the ability to hold on to existing customers.

Issue resolution time:

Are customers able to find the information they need on their own in real time? Or do they need to sift through virtual piles of information to find the answers they need? If they need to upgrade to an agent, are their issues resolved within the initial interaction or do they need to make contact numerous times?

Overall customer service satisfaction rate:

Once again, provide channels for feedback and find out how likely customers are to recommend your brand to friends, if their experience was a positive one and if they plan on returning to your site.

You don’t need to look to Facebook or their video statistics to collect metrics like these, the ones that provide a much more accurate and complete picture of how effective your brand is at delivering experiences that keep customers coming back time and again. Checking in on a regular basis with these metrics will keep your pulse on the true state of your customers’ experience and will help you determine the best course of action to deliver experiences that will create loyal customers for life.

29 Sep 2016
measuring customer satisfaction with KPIs

You Need to Measure Customer Satisfaction – But How?

Why data, not intuition, is the key to measuring customer satisfaction

It’s not likely to come as earth-shattering news to any marketer, but there’s a straight line between customer satisfaction and customer retention. But knowing it and acting on that knowledge to improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) can be two very different things, because measuring customer satisfaction has traditionally been a particularly elusive metric.

How do you pin down a purely qualitative experience – how happy a customer is after buying your product or service – and translate it into actionable, quantitative insights? How do you attach a score to an emotion? For many companies the answers to those questions have remained frustratingly out of reach, even in a time when new data-based solutions and analytics have emerged to put them at hand. Unlike a straightforward metric such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), with a single, uncomplicated query that’s easy to reduce to a score and easy to interpret, CSAT is the sum of numerous emotional reactions that, taken together, have everything to do with whether a customer is coming back or not.

That’s not to say that NPS is not a customer satisfaction KPI that any business wants to overlook. But NPS alone can’t tell the story that can lead to significant – and ultimately profitable – improvements in overall customer satisfaction.

Look to the big picture to measure customer satisfaction

While different businesses will settle on measuring different customer satisfaction KPIs, in every case the need to collect data and information is only the first step in arriving at actionable insights. The greater challenge comes in assembling the information in an accessible format that provides an integrated, real-time, and readily monitored visualization that turns every customer interaction into an opportunity to optimize the customer experience, as in Nanorep’s powerful Voice of the Customer (VOC) solution.

Voice of the Customer uses Natural Language Processing technology to capture insights about abstractions such as the customer’s preferences, expectations, and reactions throughout each engagement, adding otherwise unattainable depth and context to any range of customer satisfaction KPIs.

Important KPIs for measuring customer satisfaction

  • When it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, the obvious starting point, of course, is the CSAT itself, although it’s important to remember that, like the Net Promoter Score, it has its limitations. Also like the NPS, CSAT is most often derived from a single question – something along the lines of “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” scored on a simple numeric scale. One caveat is that many customers, especially those who felt the experience was unexceptional, may simply pass over the survey. It can also have the effect of glossing over the more nuanced emotional aspects of the customer’s experience that can be key in retaining them and building on the relationship.
  • Measuring Expectations vs. Results helps dig a little deeper, and again with only a simple question at the end of each transaction or engagement. Typically, it’s enough to ask customers to agree or disagree (with room for gradients) with a statement such as “The service lived up to my expectations.”
  • In the same way, Net Promoter Score, as mentioned above, only requires a single question–“How likely are you to recommend . . . “ – to yield a world of information about both an individual transaction and, when aggregated, how well a business is doing in meeting the goal of turning customers into brand ambassadors.
  • In addition to questions about the customer’s feelings, it is also important to track harder data to gain specific, concrete information about the customer experience. One very important customer satisfaction KPI is Response Time, a common source of frustration and dissatisfaction for customers when they perceive they are being kept on hold too long, or emails and chat requests aren’t answered promptly. Tracking this metric not only serves as a further gauge of customer satisfaction, but also can alert businesses to potentially damaging delays.
  • Closely related, first contact resolution time will reveal important metrics about how effectively and efficiently customer queries and issues are being resolved, another factor that can spell the difference between long-term satisfaction and a lost customer.
  • Average handle time is yet another metric that provides a picture of how efficiently the customer is being served, and shines a light on opportunities for improvement, as can tracking the number of repeat contacts needed to close a case to the customer’s satisfaction.

Bring all the data together to truly measure customer satisfaction

Whatever KPIs and metrics are used to measure customer satisfaction in a comprehensive manner, in the final analysis the data has to be brought together in one place where it can be integrated so it paints the big picture. Only then can it yield a full, data-based understanding of how well a company is meeting its customers’ expectations, and what the implications of that are for the company’s long-term success.

22 Sep 2016
Data-driven Improvements in the Customer Journey

Customer Service KPIs Lead to Creative, Data-driven Improvements in the Customer Journey

It’s one thing to determine which customer service KPIs a business needs to track in order to understand the customer journey. But it can be another thing entirely to dig down into those KPIs and discover all they have to say about the overall quality of that journey, and how it can be improved to optimize the customer experience.

In fact, that was all but impossible to do before the new generation of cutting-edge customer service metrics solutions came along to afford marketers a comprehensive, real-time, and visible rendering of each of the metrics underlying each critical customer service KPI. The integrated, ground-level detail now available can lead marketers to the actionable, data-driven insights that – combined with a full measure of creative thinking – can pay off in everything from customer satisfaction and brand loyalty to ROI.

What leading companies are learning from customer service KPIs

While any given KPI for customer service may need to be tweaked to fit the particular processes and objectives of a given business – and while the KPIs that can be measured are really only limited by the imagination – there are some common indicators that many leading companies agree are essential for assessing their customer service performance. These KPIs include:

Response time to first reply

Time is money for the customer as well as for the business, and nobody appreciates being kept waiting. In fact, delays in responding to a customer inquiry can be lethal when it comes to fostering customer satisfaction and loyalty. In today’s omni-channel environment, however, there’s unlikely to be one sufficient customer service metric or a single answer to the question of how long it takes for a customer to receive a response. Instead, it becomes imperative to track average and median response times for each channel. In addition to tracking times by channel, these metrics also detail what portion of inquiries are resolved on first contact.

Resolution of customer cases KPIs

Responding to a customer is a first step, but the key to customer satisfaction comes when a company successfully resolves the issue beyond the contact. There are a number of metrics that tell the story behind this important customer service KPI.

How long does it take, on average, to resolve a case? Knowing that makes it possible to gauge how well the customer is being served. How many cases are being resolved successfully? Both the raw numbers and the percentages of successful resolutions are indicative of the efficiency of both processes and personnel. What is the overall handle time for a case? This is a metric that digs deeper into time-to-resolution, breaking down the process into an understanding of the time required for each stage of the process and revealing opportunities for improvements.

Average wait time metric

Once a case has been opened, and if it can’t be resolved during the initial contact, how quickly does the business respond? How many interactions does it take to resolve a case? It’s important to not only monitor the time from beginning to end, but also to track how long it takes to reach each touchpoint along the way. Measuring the time between touchpoints has the effect of both keeping the customer in the loop at appropriate intervals and informing decision-making about possible refinements to the process.

Number of rerouted contacts metric

Every company strives to respond appropriately and efficiently to every customer contact, and that can mean a customer is best served by being transferred to a specialist. How frequently does the front-line rep need to do that? Once rerouted, how long does the case remain open? How long does it take for the customer to get a response and a resolution? This is a customer service KPI that directly measures key elements of the customer experience even as it points out possible operational improvements such as possible training enhancements for reps.

Average hold time

It’s something every customer dreads, and it can be a powerful disincentive for customers to engage with a business. What are the average and median times that the customer was kept on hold? What percentage of them give up and abandon the call before reaching an agent? What are the average and median times before they throw in the towel?

Customer contacts by channel

Call centers are no longer the only way customers engage with a company, and they expect a seamless customer experience whether they pick up the phone or turn to a different mode of contact. What portion of contacts are coming through each of several channels? How long does it take for the customer to get a response via each channel? A resolution? Are customers utilizing multiple channels to resolve a single case? With consumer behavior changing rapidly to embrace new technologies, knowing the answers to these questions can help marketers perfect the customer experience and anticipate emerging trends.

Social media efficiency KPIs

The prominence of social media in daily life has made the ever-evolving array of social media platforms increasingly important to businesses and consumers alike, and it has become critically important for companies to understand how to use them effectively to improve the customer experience. How quickly is the company responding to customers, by platform? How often do cases begin on social media and proceed to another channel? What are consumers saying and sharing about the company on social media? As platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have taken the place of the village green, it becomes imperative to capture KPI customer service data and insights.

Rep activity and effectiveness KPIs

How well are reps performing, individually and as a team? There are any number of metrics that can provide the answer. How long does it take for a rep to respond to a first contact? How many open cases does each rep have? How long does it take to resolve them, segmented by the stages involved? How many activities does an individual rep perform, and how does that compare to overall averages? With the rep at the heart of any customer service program, the ability of management to assess efficiency and effectiveness is an essential ingredient for customer satisfaction.

Churn incidence and potential

No one questions the importance and economic necessity of keeping established customers happy and retaining them. That makes it critically important both to monitor churn rates and the churn prevention metrics. What is the overall churn rate? How many open cases are on the books at any given time, and how long have they been open? When was the last contact? What is the value of each of them, in terms of current transactions and lifetime value? Tracking these data points can inform projections and, more important, allow for a proactive effort to retain valuable customers.

The bottom line: turn customer service KPIs into action

Of course, this brief list just scratches the surface of customer service KPIs that might be right for any particular company. But, whichever KPIs a business chooses to focus on, they all have one thing in common. They are only as good as the insights gleaned from them and the data-driven actions they lead to.

That, in the final analysis, is both the challenge and the unprecedented opportunity for marketers today: when the creativity that has always been the hallmark of the profession is bolstered by the wealth of data now at hand, just about anything is possible.