December 29, 2014
Any company that wants to be around for the long haul knows that customer service is the lifeblood of the business. But all too often, company owners take the approach of serving customers on the most basic level: answering questions, putting orders through and the like, often with an emphasis on cost-control and volume.
The irony is that there won’t be any customers to serve if those basic functions don’t contribute to a company’s ROI in more impactful ways, i.e., in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty, and upsell/cross-sell success. This is where more advanced strategies come in, which should include clearly defined, measurable results criteria and feedback loops.
“Measurement” is a key principle here. Overall, it’s the ability to objectively measure and analyze the success of customer interactions that contributes to successful strategic decisions.
Overall, “if you can’t measure your strategy, you can’t deliver it,” said Andrew Mutch, chief customer officer of BPA Quality, in a blog. Successful companies are “continuously monitoring their systems and ensur[ing] that everyone in their organization buys into it. Organizations that fail to measure, monitor and train run a serious risk of seeing their strategies fail.”
Central to this idea is the implementation of independent quality-control mechanisms. Tools like third-party call monitoring can ensure a baseline of excellence, by making customer-service reps accountable to oversight. Automatic benchmarking and mystery shopping are other, similar approaches to consider (which approach is the right one depends on the nature of the business, of course).
“[Successful businesses] are continuously monitoring their systems and ensure that everyone in their organization buys into it,” Mutch said.
The metrics by which to assess one’s strategic plan are myriad, but customer satisfaction is often tied to a company’s investment in customer excellence and delivering results, including robust and rigorous training, coaching and development programs, he added. These all contribute to maintaining performance and goal focus.
Edited by Maurice Nagle