Goals in digital customer service that go beyond average handling time

Spotler Engage • 5 minute read • 15/10/2020
Online customer service
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There is no doubt that response and average handling time play a major role in customer service and customer satisfaction. So these should not be missed when setting goals and KPI’s for social service. But there are more goals in digital customer service that you can set to increase customer happiness and improve processes. We talked with our Client Consultant Marcel Vergonet about KPI’s in customer service and how you can get the most out of your social service.

When you start with digital customer service you need to set up goals on what you want to achieve and measure these goals with KPI’s. Otherwise you cannot measure the performance of your service team and whether you are making progress.

“I often see that organisations that just start with digital customer service are a bit unsure when it comes to setting up goals. A goal that I often hear is to broaden the existing service with additional channels. But this is not a goal you can measure with KPI’s”, Marcel Vergonet, Client Consultant at Spotler Engage.

Two widely used goals in digital customer service are for example to increase response times on social channels and help customers directly during the first contact (first time fix). Corresponding KPI’s would be “I want to answer questions within XX minutes or hours” and “I want to solve questions during the first contact in XX% of cases.” When you set these and other KPI’s, it is important that they are realistic and in line with your product and service offerings.

“We see that some industries are further than others. While online retailers or airlines like often handle response times of minutes it is still normal in other industries to take a day or longer to respond,” says Marcel.

Marcel also knows from experience that the complexity of questions that organisations are dealing with and the communication skills of customer service agents have a big impact on the first time fix rate.

“When you set a specific first-time fix rate as KPI, you have to consider that your employees have to know the question behind the question. They need to possess the right communication skills to get to the root of the problem and solve it in one go.”

Taking the next step with your digital customer service goals and KPI’s

There is more to customer service then providing customers with quick answers and trying to handle cases as fast as possible. Marcel points out 3 important factors that have a positive influence on your overall performance.

1. Putting more emphasis on the experience level

In a recent blog InSocial describes a trend in customer service towards KPI’s that measure the customer experience level rather than response or average handling times.

“Today’s market and consumer is not only about speed and excellent service, but also about the overall experience of a company or brand”, Monique van Geest from InSocial.

Marcel also sees this trend and the positive impact that a focus on the customer experience has for organisations. He emphasizes that the tone of voice is a very important element that has a direct impact on the customer experience and satisfaction:

“You can influence the experience level if you work on your tone of voice, because it is not what you say but how you say it. Just saying or framing things in a different way has such a big impact on how your message is perceived. After I gave a tone-of-voice workshop to RTL/Videoland they experienced a significant increase in their NPS.”

2. Using digital customer service to improve products and services

One thing organisations often forget to consider when they set up their goals is the improvement of products and services. With a customer engagement and service tool like Engage you have an excellent feedback tool at hand that you can use to discover issues with your products or services.

“If you label messages with specific categories such as “complaint about website” or “complaint about product X” you see if the volume of a specific complaint is very high and then you can take action”, Marcel.

With clear statistics at hand you also have better chances that the problem is taken serious by other departments. Marcel remembers a specific case:

“One customer care team I support, received a lot of questions on the company’s phone number. They reported to the website manager that they had the feeling that the phone number was not displayed well enough, but only when they showed statistics the website manager acknowledged that the phone number needs to be displayed more prominent.”

3. Empowering customer service agents

Customer service agents have in-depth knowledge about customers and know how to solve their questions and problems in the best possible way. So why not involve them more in strategic decisions and in finding solutions for challenges, such increasing volumes of messages? Marcel noticed that customer service agents are much more motivated and happy when they get involved in strategic decisions, for example when the social media guidelines are set up or the tone of voice for the communication is defined.

“When you truly involve your service agents in the process and they feel they can steer the decision, they are more likely to embrace and implement it in their daily work.”

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