There are many common customer service metrics in place in contact centres: CSAT, NPS, FRT, CES, AHT, FCR, the list goes on.
Some are more valid than others and some are simply outdated and add confusion and conflict to both the organisation and customer. When measuring customer service, it’s important to firstly be clear as to what you are scoring against.
The front-line agent? The organisational growth? The customer journey?
Different measures all suit different purposes.
When we look at the front line, the first thing organisations need to do (if not already done) is remove AHT (Average Handle Time).
This antiquated stat only serves to pressure the agent into a quick wrap-up and offers nothing to the customer in return except reducing the quality of service. Whilst it may be important to measure AHT as a business to understand trends and consumer behaviour, this should never be used as a KPI at the front line.
NPS (Net Promoter Score) is the most commonly used measure for organisations when tracking their customer service standing. But again, is this really a fair way to verify front-line performance when so many other factors contribute to the decision the customer makes?
The initial reason for their interaction, the organisation processes and tech, the level of empowerment the agent has to enable them to assist – an agent cannot be rated on NPS alone!
So what can you use to measure your agents’ performance? At Top Companies for Customer Service we use five key criteria to evaluate the Customer Experience, all of which can be used at both front line and an organisational level.
These are: Timeliness, Ease of Use, Reliability, Staff Knowledge, and most important of all, Personalisation.
These pillars of excellence are adopted from customer expectation research carried out by our partner Ipsos Mori, and encompass many elements of other classic metrics. The difference is that all our findings are gathered from a customer perspective and provide the measure of a journey from start to finish. For example, we do not measure AHT, but instead ask if the length of time of the interaction was reasonable based on the specific experience had.
Our research shows the key Drivers of Customer Dissatisfaction are a mix of both soft skills and basic hygiene factors, including: Agent Knowledge, Understanding and Caring Attitude, and Ease of Access. Whereas the Drivers of Satisfaction – Effort, Loyalty, and Advocacy – are predominately enhanced by strong personal skills.
Our findings reveal the measure that should be top of contact centre KPIs is FCR (First Contact Resolution).
When you have trained, coached, and empowered your agents to enable them to confidently, calmly, and swiftly respond and resolve the customer enquiry without barriers and technical issues holding them back, you will see FCR increase and in turn Customer Satisfaction, Effort, Loyalty, and Advocacy stats will advance in the right direction.