By Jon Harmer
VP Marketing, Nexidia
Regardless of industry, there’s no question that your customers have a choice when it comes to their spending habits. As the power of the customer grows, companies have been forced to differentiate themselves from their competitors by focusing on the customer experience. In order to effectively manage and optimize the experience of their customers, companies must examine whether or not they are using the right metrics and if those metrics are enabling them to create meaningful change. With the huge amount of interactions coming into a company on a daily basis, it is important that the right information is analyzed and the right programs are put into place.
Let’s take a look at three of the most important metrics that your company should track when it comes to managing your customers’ experience:
Sentiment scoring is fast becoming the best way of finding out what parts of your company are working best and what parts are in need of a fix. But knowing that a certain percentage of your calls have a positive sentiment while others have a negative one only gets you so far. The key is to measure not only the sentiment score, but to tie that score to the context of the call as well in a derived “sentiment by call type” metric. By doing so, you’ll find that you can better understand what exactly is driving the most negative calls to your company. If, for example, you notice an uptick in negative calls that are primarily associated with a piece of faulty equipment or a particular charge on a bill, you can proactively fix the problem before more calls come in. In other words, understanding that correlation can allow you to reduce or eliminate issues that drive negative sentiment and replicate and enhance things that lead to positive sentiment.
Gone are the days when a phone call was the only way a customer could get in touch with your company. Now more than ever, customers are contacting companies through a variety of different channels, whether they choose a phone call, chat, email, or social media channels. It is becoming increasingly important to track a single customer’s journey across this multi-channel landscape. An ideal metric would track the number of contacts across each channel that a customer has to resolve a given problem. Are you noticing that a certain set of customers have reached out an unusually large amount of times about a particular part of your software? Or perhaps you see an uptick in chats that are then sent to phone calls. This information can lead to real change in the form of proactive fixes to products or a better routing process for interaction types. The upshot of such a system is two-fold: first, your company will have the ability to research a customer’s history in order to provide better and more specific service in the future. The second point is that your customers will find their experience with your company to be much easier and more rewarding. As a result your company will be able to conduct business more efficiently and your customers will be much happier with their service.
Properly handling complaints from initiation through to resolution is about more than just responding to your customers’ concerns, although that is an important aspect. Certainly, managing a customer’s complaint quickly and in an accurate fashion will encourage good will with your current and future customers, but will also help to ensure that your company remains compliant to both internal and external controls. As more and more scrutiny is placed on companies and how they respond to customers, penalties for mismanaging customer relationships are increasing.This trend is especially prevalent in industries such as financial services and healthcare, where an ignored or poorly handled complaint can mean hefty fines and a black mark on the company’s reputation. A successful program will chart the entire complaints process, with specific metrics on the types and number of specific complaints that are received, overall rate of resolution, or just how many complaints aren’t properly dealt with. Through a better understanding of these numbers, your company can better ensure that the right people are involved and that the proper steps are taken to get the best resolution. Doing so will make sure that your company remains compliant while creating the best environment and experience for your customers.
Now that you’ve become aware of the three most important areas of customer experience metrics to track, it’s vital that you turn that information into actionable programs. In essence, the metrics that you’re tracking will tell you the “what” behind the interactions: what issue is driving people to call in or at what point in the customer journey do most calls have trouble? The key is to take that information and design the answer to those issues. By fixing the root cause issue or the portion of the customer journey that is broken, your company can effectively satisfy your customers before they even know something is wrong. This program will, in other words, ensure that your customers’ experience is top-notch from start to finish.
As Nexidia’s Vice President of Marketing, Jon Harmer has leadership responsibility for all branding, marketing, and public relations. Jon brings more than 17 years of experience leading marketing, product management and strategic business development for organizations across a number of vertical markets, including telecommunications, cloud services, and digital advertising. Jon holds an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and earned his undergraduate degree in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.