• 11:40:27 pm on September 4, 2009 | 1
    Tags: , , , ,

    Can you monitor your service experience in real time?

    We know that:

    • Not all companies need to provide exceptional customer service – just good enough service that is in-line with their brand.
    • This service offering must work for the customer and work for the company.

    We illustrate this outward-inward tension using a balanced scorecard of (1) cost of service, (2) customer satisfaction with the service experience, (3) ability to comply to company policy (and in heavily regulated industries this becomes very important – think HIPAA standards for healthcare) and (4) the ability to generate more sales.

    These balanced scorecard metrics are hard to measure, and if they are measured, it is done after the service interaction has unfolded. But why can’t we measure them during the service interaction?

     – Cost of service – You should know the average cost of a process flow used to answer a customer’s question. What about measuring the cost of a single interaction as it unfolds and comparing it to this average? You could display this to the agent so that he knows how he is doing. And, if the cost of an interaction greatly exceeds the average, you could proactively route it to a Tier 2 agent or SME to ensure a good customer experience and a low cost interaction for you.

    – Customer satisfaction – We use enterprise feedback management to survey customers after the fact, but what about surveying them during an interaction?

    – Compliance – What about implementing programmatic ways for agents to follow company policy – for example applying BPM flows to customer service interactions, and not allowing an agent to proceed through the flow unless compliance steps are done?

    There are new technology solutions that help with these real-time measurement activities which would allow you to be more proactive in the way that you deliver service. Do any of you do this already?




  • Haim Toeg 3:44 pm on September 5, 2009 | # | Reply

    Kate – My experience comes from the enterprise software market which colors my comments to some extent. I read your post several times, and I think overall it is very compelling. The more we measure the better we understand how well the organization works and where the bottlenecks and successes are. And I like the balanced scorecard idea, as it forces the organization to deal with the different aspects of the same problem.

    On the other hand, I am not a big fan of measuring everything in real-time and expecting to take immediate actions on every metric. This maybe stretching it too thin. Cost of service, for example, does not change easily through immediate, reactive measures. It responds far better to strategic initiatives, like training, knowledge management, access to information, improved processes, and so on. So, there needs to be some sort of distinction between the different types of metrics, from the immediate (size of the phone queue) to those that are longer term (employee attrition rate, customer attrition rate).

    The two examples you give illustrate how this can be taken to the extreme very easily: If we make first tier agents responsible for the cost of the interaction we are giving them another metric to manage to, beside bringing the interaction to the most successful conclusion in the fastest way possible. Since cost is easily calculated I can envision a little taximeter application on the agent’s screen telling them how much their two pleasantries with the customer on the other end of the line just cost the company. This will be one metric gone lunatic.

    The second example, measuring customer satisfaction at various stages through the interaction reminded me of the old joke about the girl that went on a date with an optometrist. It can very easily degrade the experience if not managed carefully and can be overdone very easily.

    Many thanks for raising a very important subject, I hope a few more join this discussion.


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