Make the Most of Your Metrics

“Metrics that affect both employees and the end customer must be considered to see the bigger picture of success.”

Having data insights helps bring a level of transparency to your brand. This is essential in making strategic decisions to scale. Key performance indicators are how success is measured. KPIs can help you determine what is working and what needs adjusting. Some brands may strive for extreme efficiency with their customer service, while others care only about high personalization and customization. One brand may even have a different focus at different times of the year. Metrics that affect both employees and the end customer must be considered to see the bigger picture of success.

How to Choose Metrics
One key metric is Average Handle Time, or AHT. This metric is used to determine the amount of time it takes agents to resolve customer service requests. Faster handle times might appear to be positive at first glance, but a quick interaction could also mean the customer did not receive enough information to efficiently solve their problem. An ineffective interaction could potentially result in decreased customer satisfaction (CSAT). This is just one example of how metrics need to be looked at comprehensively to show the bigger picture.

For example, another metric is First Contact Resolution, or FCR. With an FCR focus, interactions may be slightly longer in total handle time, but the focus will be on resolving the customer’s issue fully. This lowers the likelihood that a customer will have the same issue in the future. In the long run this method is more cost-effective. Brands love to see low handle times, but overall customer satisfaction matters most. If customers are happier with their service because an agent took the time to accurately resolve their problem, they are more likely to become loyal customers of the brand.

This leads to a customer satisfaction metric known as CSAT. Customers will be more satisfied if the agent they interact with can handle the request quickly and effectively. A fairly low average handle time with personalized service allows for a first contact resolution. CSAT surveys lead to continuous improvement opportunities and allow for brand partners, customers, and employees to better understand overall performance.

The Big Picture
When analyzing metrics and performance, it’s important to look at the big picture. For example, if CSAT scores were low, you have to figure out why. Are agents not willing to help solve customer questions, or are the agents performing well but are unable to fulfill customer requests as a result of brand policies that prevent them from being able to do so? It’s possible that a customer can be dissatisfied with the outcome of the interaction, yet pleased with the agent’s performance. Making metrics work means leveraging insights as a vendor. This is done by working closely with your brand partners to enhance the quality of customer service through constant, incremental improvements. It’s crucial to find a balance between protecting the brand, customer, and agent, throughout the entire customer service experience.

Putting it all Together
When approaching your executive team to share metrics, think about telling the story of your findings rather than starting with the smaller details. Charts and graphs help shape the story, but it’s delivering a recommendation based on these results that will gain executive interest.
Providing a theme to shape the story around can help facilitate a reminder of why we are in this business. We partner with brands to dig deep and help see the long-term goals. We can’t lose sight of the story or the “why” behind the numbers. Gaining buy-in from your executive team is the final key step in making metrics work. With this buy-in, not only can metrics be captured and analyzed, they can also be optimized to enhance the quality of customer service.

Determining your core metrics will help provide the most relevant, big picture information at a glance to help gain buy-in from executives. It’s like looking at the cover and back page of a book, and every other metric, graph, and chart that is analyzed helps illustrate the finer details of the story.