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Why Customer Service Metrics Matter

Jan 18, 2008
Customer service metrics are performance measures that will aid the company in realizing profits with every customer contact. With the right system and adequate employee training, profiting from every revenue opportunity would not be a problem.

Customer service, or client service, refers to the services accorded to customers before, during and after a purchase. These may come as a series of services that are meant to improve the customer satisfaction level of the target market. These supplemental services may be provided by employees like sales or service representatives or they may be provided by automated devices like self-service Internet sites and Integrated Voice Response (IVR) devices. As a response to tighter competition, a company gain competitive advantage by providing superior customer service. Recent advancements in technology have made it easier for companies to provide customer support to their customers. Some of the most common customer service tools used by companies are support websites, live chats with technicians, customer preferences databases, service levels specialist software and call centers. Companies have also devised various ways of obtaining customer feedback to help them improve their products and services.

Various research undertakings have shown that good customer service is instrumental to having more loyal and happier customers. These studies also show that with satisfied customers come happier employees. Potentially, these two conditions will lead to increased profits and revenues because satisfied customers tend to increase their purchases and make recommendations to other people. Most customers appreciate having vendor support after spending their money on a product or service. Most companies provide this kind of support through face-to-face interactions like email, telephone calls, and chat. Often, the customers choose which interaction channel they are most comfortable with. Call centers or contact centers are often hired to provide this kind of customer support. Companies that are not capable of providing customer service often take advantage of outsourcing. To minimize operating costs, other companies use offshore call centers that usually operate outside of Europe and North America.

When asking about customer service standards that make some call centers stand out, replies such as, "Our target goal is to have 80 percent of calls answered within 30 seconds" or "We strive to respond to all customer requests within 24 hours" are very common. Indeed, customer service standards may differ from company to company depending on the call center capability and the interaction channels used. However, the bottom line of these services is that they enhance the experience of the customers with a specific brand. The interaction becomes an extension of the company's relationship with the customer. In order to do this, employees should be properly trained so that they can effectively address the various concerns and problems of the customers.

To assess the effectiveness of the services provided to customers, managers use customer service metrics. These metrics will serve as performance indicators so that the company will know what needs to be improved and what needs to be maintained. Among these metrics, fast customer service resolution (FCR) rate stands out because of its correlation with customer satisfaction.
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