Azeem Ashraf (February 16, 2017)
Many businesses claim to provide exceptional customer service. How is their claim verified? The answer can be deduced from various ways that are deployed to gauge the quality of client support being offered. For online businesses, customer care can be quantified and quality-assured by means of feedback, service scoring tests, monitoring social media, analyzing data and using precise metrics. Here, we have chalked out some ways to measure quality of customer support:
The most conclusive way to measure quality of customer service is to ask the end users directly. This can be done via ratings, forms and surveys. These can be presented to clients once or more at multiple points of their journey. Offer rating surveys on official websites or within business apps if it is during or immediately after service. Keep questions short and not more than three in number. People have shorter attention spans these days, so be precise. You may follow up post-service on phone, email or social media with detailed questionnaires. Customer responses will be beneficial in providing a clear perspective on your support and how it is perceived.
There are a number of service scoring tests available. These have been formulated with years of research to highlight service quality from one specific aspect. Popular examples include Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), SERVQUAL and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) among others. Businesses that wish to quantify and assess their support quality can utilize these scoring tests. In present times, a number of businesses advertise providing exceptional service based on high scores achieved in these tests.
Social media has become one of the most preferred support channel for digital consumers in recent years. Since it is unfiltered, personal and public, clients do not hold back in their complaints/frustrations and even suggestions. Hence monitoring your social platforms to gauge your service quality is an effective solution for improvement. Tools such as Google Alerts, Mention and the likes make it easy for online businesses to tap into untagged/unmentioned posts that are directed towards them. Keep an active watch, compare positive-to-negative mention ratio and your business and support will benefit from it.
A good metric for support quality evaluation should be targeted, compatible and contextualized. It should be able to achieve the desired outcome. The metrics should be compatible with trends of service industry to save time, resources and effort. First Response Time, Problem Resolution Time, Hold Time, Abandonment Rates, Incident Volume by Channel, and others are widely used metrics. Ensure that your business optimizes metrics that are beneficial, effective and relevant to your client support.
You can encourage clients to participate in feedback, survey and quality assessment tests by incentivizing the process. If you provide them value for their time and effort, the engagement rate is likely to increase. You may offer discounts, freebies, gift certificates, prizes or give them the spotlight on your social platforms. This gesture will create incentive for inactive customers to contribute and share their opinion. The responses can then be evaluated to help your company create customer service excellence.
Data can also be explored for quality assessment. Being relatively new, every business has its own methodology for taking advantage of it for measuring service quality. For instance, web analytics can track the number of visitors and the duration of their stay on a specific page. If certain pages on your website are witnessing abandonment from visitors, you can deploy live chat to provide instant and proactive support to deflect that issue. Social, along with web analytics can pinpoint peak hours, response rate and similar metrics that can aid in improving service.
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