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Article : Lifetime Customer Value: Measuring Customer Service Performance

Don’t we all wish that customers came with a lifetime guarantee? They’d make their first purchase and be irrevocably smitten for life? In that perfect world, customer retention would be at 100% and customer turnover would be zero.

Since that’s not the world we live in, customers need to experience prompt and dedicated attention at every major customer touch point. Otherwise, you risk turning healthy customer retention rates into customer turnover turmoil, and ultimately reducing the lifetime value of your customer base. For anyone who doesn’t like the sound of that (and we certainly don’t), it’s important that you are effectively measuring the customer service performance metrics that roll up into the customer value equation.

Can Any One Contact Center KPI Boost Customer Lifespan?

Let’s start by dispelling one misconception. There is no one contact center KPI that can totally predict a given customer lifespan. In certain companies, some customer service metrics are more relevant than others, but none come without their own limitations.

Plus, every contact center has its own panorama of values and service objectives that make a one-size-fits-all approach to measuring customer service performance a little questionable. Here are a few incisive ways to sift through the data for a glimpse at what makes customer loyalty last.

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Customer Satisfaction Score
(CSAT) - How would you rate your overall satisfaction (1 being very dissatisfied and 5 being very satisfied) with the service you received?

On the surface, it seems like this question for measuring customer service performance is all about the immediacy. Yet how do you translate that gut response into an action plan for prolonging the lifetime of your customer?

It starts by adopting the right mentality. 80% of customer service organizations use the CSAT score, and those who see results remain aware of certain realities:

  • Any customer service performance data is bound to be altered in some ways by the non-response bias - most people with lukewarm responses won’t take the time to rate their satisfaction. Remember to factor that in to keep your stats honest.
  • Peak, unwavering satisfaction doesn’t happen in one go. Every customer interaction needs to feel consistent and unique, as if your customer service is tailored to the specific customer and conveys that you want them back next time. Otherwise, research shows that there’s not much keeping them tethered to your business.

Net Promoter Score
(NPS) - How likely is your customer to recommend your company to a friend or colleague? It’s the simple question that gets to the heart of where you stand with customers. For NPS metrics, Promoters (10-9), Passives (8-7), and Detractors (6-0) divide how you’ll be measuring customer service performance, but they alone won’t give you the keys to the castle.

It’s critical to know the tangible value of your promoters to the overall lifetime customer value.

Promoters are your moneymakers. Though it’s an obvious conclusion, the revenue differences between promoters and detractors is worth a glance.

One company studied the difference between detractors who were converted up and those who stayed dissatisfied, finding the average sales growth to be notable. Those converted to promoters increased their average purchases by 25% while those who remained detractors dropped in purchases by 36%. Even detractors who became passives saw a 16% increase in purchases.

Moreover, when you have a higher Promoter score it should be more than just a pat on the back. 80% of your positive referrals come from your Promoters. That means the positive experiences that encourage referrals need to be a customary part of your customer service model. Once again, this points to why you can’t let an exceptional experience be a one-time thing.

Customer Effort Score (CES)
- This measurement essentially boils down to asking your customer to rate how hard it was for them personally to have their request handled. Generally this is measured by asking the customer to answer the question: How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request? The customer can provide a score from 1 (very low effort) to 5 (very high effort.) Looking at customer effort from a holistic, end-to-end experience requires collaboration from many functional areas - on both the client and the contact center side.

At first glance, the concept of measuring customer effort seems weighted toward the negative. But the value in CES measurement comes from narrowing your focus from the full spectrum of service interactions to just the negative, high effort ones because that’s what your customers remember.

Terrible experiences are what affect customer loyalty the most. Even social psychologists tend to agree. Bad impressions tend to outweigh and outlast good impressions in our memories. One bad experience can tarnish all the good ones that came prior.

Because of that, the greatest value of the CES for your customer service solution comes from identifying barriers to a quick and painless customer interaction. That means, ensuring that none of the following problems diminish your first-contact resolution:

  • IVR phone systems that run customers through a maze of extensions.
  • Email communication that is sluggish or repetitive.
  • Multiple interactions to resolve a single, repeated problem.
  • Shifting between multiple channels of communication to resolve a problem.

Do you think you have excellent first-contact resolution? You may be wrong. Almost a quarter (22%) of all downstream issues are related to the issue that encouraged your client to reach out in the first place.

By gathering extensive data about related issues in your customer effort survey, you can expand the information and offerings your contact center reps provide in the initial interaction, decreasing the level of overall effort your clients need to exert.

The Extensive Effort Behind Lifetime Customer Value

What happens after you go through the process of taking all these measurements? You do it again and again. Effective metrics are constantly updated. Good customer service is never interrupted (not even for a minute). It can be a strain on your workforce, but having a customer service arm without measurement tools makes it little more than a cost center.

With all of the features of modern multichannel customer service - telephone, email, live chat, social media support, SMS texting, and more - it can be tough to keep up strong customer retention on your own. That’s why you bring on a contact center that strives to be an authentic extension of your business and your brand.

About Kim Campbell:
Kim has an excellent track record of growing her clients’ revenue and building trusting relationships. Her success has been driven in large measure by her analytical skills, her ability to identify and resolve challenges, and her dedication to improving performance through creative solutions.

About Blue Ocean Contact Centers:
Company LogoWe thrive on delivering critical customer service solutions that go beyond transactional interactions. As such, our goal is to enhance lifetime customer value, providing support that is a reflection of your brand promise, even in high-pressure, complex customer service scenarios.
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Today's Tip of the Day - 5 Ways To Start Motivating Agents Today!

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, June 5, 2015

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2021 Buyers Guide Training


Charlotte Purvis
Charlotte Purvis is a speaker and communication consultant who has influenced an average of one million customer interactions each year for over 20 years. She consults, trains, and speaks on customer service, business communication, and leadership development for global companies, universities, and community organizations. She practices what she teaches as evidenced by nearly 100% of her engagements coming from repeat or referral business.


Call Centers
Contact Centers
Admin Training
Supervisor Training

Davis-Mayo Associates

"Service Excellence" Customer Service Training
Live onsite training for your teams. Experienced by more than 450,000 people in 48 US states and 18 countries. No-nonsense approach by our experts with field-test content customized to your situation and using your scenarios.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics. As a result, Happitu slashes training time, delivers higher resolution rates, and reduces handle times.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the...
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Lieber & Associates

Training Executives, Managers, Supervisors, and Reps
Lieber & Associates provides training for all levels of the contact center team. The firm customizes its off-the-shelf trainings to meet your specific company needs,

Executive and manager sessions address topics such as customer experience, metrics, technology, AI, and video calls. Supervisor sessions train your leaders to better coach and motivate reps. Phone staff modules include sessions on customer service, order-taking, cross-selling, handling difficult calls, phone "soft skills," and more.

Manitoba Customer Contact Association

Making Training and Development Part of Your Corporate Landscape

Organizations are always on the look out to save money and make more profit. Usually when it comes to crunch time some leaders will scrap training in order to tighten the belt. The downside of this is the cycle it creates.

Because some employers see training as a flexible benefit, employee development is often taken off the table. When employees don’t feel valued it becomes easy to see a revolving door. The constant need to hire goes up which ultimately means costs go up; we know that hiring costs more than retaining the right people.

Start the conversation: Explore our Training Page
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CSAT.AI Scores Better Customer Service with Gamified Guidance!

CSAT.AI lets agents know when they’re on the right track by predicting CSAT scores in real time (when they’re fixable!) - because most customers don’t leave feedback, they just leave.

Agents have the immediate positive feedback that reinforces good behaviors for self training.

OMNI HR Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Human Capital & Organisational Development
Omni HR Consulting provides business and people development solutions through Training and Consulting services.

We work across a number of sectors to provide solutions from both a Skills Development / Business perspective.

Skills Development: accredited & non-accredited learning solutions including Learnerships, RPL solutions and Skills Programmes, including a curriculum for developing future skills.

Business Solutions: are designed to be customisable, relevant and industry-related to support businesses to achieve their strategic objectives and needs.

Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development for Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.


VADS Training Center
PT VADS Indonesia as a Learning Center provides trainers, modules, development programs for individuals and teams. VADS Indonesia owns a vast curriculum for training provided by local trainers with flexible training locations that can be arranged at the client's place or PT VADS Learning Center. VADS Provide knowledge process, transformation consultancy, customer service training, leadership training, interpersonal development, and training for trainers.

Benefit :
- Customizable training by experienced trainers
- Increase motivation and engagement
- Improves customer service skills and knowledge

Service Quality Institute

Customer Service Training Programs
We have over 20 customer service training programs you can use on-site. With our technology, we eliminate 95% of all travel expenses for participants and trainers. The design of our programs reduces the training time by 80% which is the most expensive part of training and we eliminate the need for professional trainers and facilitators.

The Forum

Get connected to raise standards. Established in 2000, we are celebrating 20 years of best practice, our community of professionals is recognised as the ‘go-to place’ for innovation in customer operations, from contact centre and digital to field, back office, branch & retail services, working across all industry sectors.

We offer an independent and trusted space for learning and sharing, proud to welcome members are into a thriving and active community to network with other like-minded professionals. Benchmark against the best in class and learn from innovators and pioneers. Our team of independent experts can also offer bespoke advice, consultancy and training. We have helped many organisations develop the capability of their vital support functions.

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