Offering quality customer service is an important factor for the success of any business. Being able to effectively measure customer service will enable companies to improve customer experience in the long-run. Assessing customer service acts as the stepping stone towards providing excellent customer experience on all fronts in a consistent manner and helps businesses fix flaws or loopholes in the service delivery. Businesses can measure how effective their customer service is in the following ways:
Over the last few years great emphasis has been placed on measuring customer service in terms of return it generates for the business. Research has demonstrated that quality customer service translates into better ratings, increased profits and growth. Therefore, managers should put customers at the center of all business operations, which entails that business and operational strategy should revolve around customers and how best to serve them. Businesses should incorporate comprehensive training programs for their staff as part of their strategy to gather and analyze customer feedback. Similarly, Customer Service Training Modules should be designed in a way which help staff develop the necessary skills to deliver better service experience.
There are several tools available for businesses to effectively measure customer service quality. Instead of relying on just one metric, managers should deploy a variety of metrics and study them in unison to get a clearer snapshot of the company’s customer service performance.
Managers should study the customer’s perception about the experience, which would vary with every customer. Perception needs to be studied on a wide ranging spectrum in order to capture the experience of each and every customer the business interacts with. Other metrics should also be incorporated into the analysis including financial performance of the company and employee satisfaction. It is important to note that CSRs ability to provide high quality customer service hinges upon their own satisfaction at work and overall relationship with the company.
While assessing the quality of customer service delivered, quantitative metrics alone fail to provide a vivid picture of the actual customer service experience, especially from customers’ point-of-view. Companies need to focus on various qualitative measures to assess the customer service performance including interviews with customers, conducting surveys and mystery shopping techniques.
Personal interviews with customers can prove insightful and provide businesses with a profound understanding of customers’ perspective about the service quality. Managers should conduct group or one-on-one interviews with customers periodically to understand their concerns. This would also give an opportunity to managers to collect insightful and honest feedback and suggestions. Surveys are also an effective tool to judge customer satisfaction levels. Qualitative surveys tend to ask open-ended questions, which gives respondents room to elaborate the reasons behind their ratings.
Mystery shopping is an evaluation technique increasingly used by companies to gauge customer service performance. External market research companies are often hired to conduct mystery shopping in order to ensure that the results are unbiased and fair. Company representatives or hired experts pose as customers and interact with customer service representatives. A thorough report is produced at the end of these sessions to evaluate the performance and rate the overall experience.
All the data and information that the company manages to collect should be converted into a meaningful and thorough report. This process would require statistical and qualitative analysis, which would help the company identify various trends and patterns. Most businesses fail to turn the analysis into actionable policy change mainly because the data doesn’t point towards a single component that can be fixed, as it usually requires an overhaul of various procedures and systems.
Managers must undertake all necessary changes to ensure high-quality customer service. For example, if customers complain about slow and inaccurate billing procedures, there is a need to revamp the billing systems and integrate technology to ensure speed and accuracy. The end point of all research and analysis should be enhancing the overall customer service experience by eliminating all loopholes in the service delivery.
It is important to understand that optimizing customer experience might appear costly and might not produce instantaneous improvements in terms of profits or growth, but in the long-run such an effort would translate into lasting brand equity and unprecedented growth.
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