Hype or Hyper-Measurement?

Recently, Seth Godin posted on how we are moving into an era of “hyper-measurement.” As he explains, a journalist being fired because his or her web content isn’t drawing a lot of traffic is not going to be a newsroom novelty for much longer. In a world where, more and more, success can be measured in quantifiable metrics, why wouldn’t a publisher base business decisions on newly available evidence? It just makes sense.

The customer service industry is no different. As my fellow blogger, Kate Leggett, points out, to truly maximize the value of their contact centers, customer service mangers must take an experimental approach towards service processes.

For every end-to-end service process they design and deploy, managers must define a testing period during which they play around with different aspects of it and measure results against business objectives. These metrics can then be used to determine the relative effectiveness of the process – what worked and what didn’t – and update the service process, or eliminate it entirely. To ensuring ongoing optimization, no process should ever be viewed as final. Rather, managers must consider each and every service process as a prototype and resign themselves to always retesting and tweaking them.

Delivering “evidence-based service” in this manner will help consumer-facing companies break bad habits, discover new tricks and cope with the constant shifts going on in their marketplace.

For instance, a business introduces a new tool that captures and analyzes customer interactions in various community forums – essentially, pooling the collective input of the crowd at given time. The customer service manager applies that insight in real time to change, reprioritize and improve information presented to a customer on the self-help portion of a website or educate agents on a shift in incoming questions (depending on the level of service the company provides). Over time, they begin to see patterns in terms of what information is just chatter and what type of information is important to meeting their business objectives and their customers’ brand expectations. And, the way they use the tool – and incorporate the customer voice – becomes a highly sophisticated and beneficial to their service processes.

The “hyper-measurement” trend, as Mr. Godin puts it, shouldn’t be ignored. It should be embraced. It offers a way for service departments, as well as publishers, to be more precise and pragmatic with their decision-making – to remain in control and one step ahead of the customer.<