The experience economy has arrived, and with it comes new priorities for consumers beyond product features. Price and product are no longer considered key differentiators; customer experience has become a critical factor to a brand’s success. Customers are no longer just looking for the right service at the right time – they are looking for proactive service that is engaging, immersive and leads them to the next best action. With the experience economy, comes the need for all businesses to rethink how they attract, retain and grow their customers through positive and engaging experience. In this article, we will dive into some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that drive enhanced customer experience, specifically in the contact center.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
It’s a tale as old as time: a successful brand is driven by loyal, happy customers. Customer satisfaction continues to be the number one direct measure on experience. Whether you measure by NPS(R), CX score or calculate it any which way -- they all point to happy, satisfied customers. Satisfied customers buy more, stay longer, bring in more customers and have a direct impact on revenue – not just cost. In an age where any experience – good or bad – can be shared on social media instantly, it is more important than ever for businesses to make sure satisfied customers far outweigh dissatisfied ones. Getting customer feedback across multiple touch points all through the customer journey is critical to identifying and fixing fractured experiences
First Contact Resolution (FCR)
If you were to choose one other metric (other than CSAT) to measure customer experience, that would be FCR -- the ability to resolve customers’ issues the very first time they connect with agents. First impressions can last a lifetime, and brands that can get it right the first time will remain top of mind for consumers. Integration with CRM and other customer data applications is critical to provide a complete customer context in terms of profile, interaction and transaction data.
While agent productivity might seem more like an efficiency and cost metric, it is as much a customer service metric. Productivity makes agents happier which in turn makes customers happier, this translates to happy agents and hence happy customers. Productivity can come in several forms – a unified desktop to manage all channels, CRM integrations that get all customer data in a single application, seamless omnichannel session handling, easy transfers to other agents, integration with workforce optimization, learning tools and many more. Each one of these make an agent’s job less frustrating and transforms them into customer heroes who can solve customer issues with ease and confidence.
In addition to these, there are two more important and seemingly counter intuitive metrics when it comes to customer experience.
Average Handle Time (AHT)
In the experience economy, it is not just personalization but also speed which is paramount to driving great experiences. Reducing AHT can be seen as a counter intuitive approach to creating great experience because chances are the agent is taking a longer time to listen, understand and solve a customer problem rather than wrap up quickly with ineffective solutions.
So, it is important to understand the root cause of longer AHTs – did the customer get routed to an agent who has no expertise in the specific area, or was the agent not trained enough or were there multiple, siloed systems causing longer time for an agent to look up information about the customer and problem at hand? If it is one of these, then we absolutely have to think of reducing AHT and hence driving better experience. The only acceptable reason for longer AHT is positive customer engagement – anything else must be analyzed, assessed and corrected.
Cost to Serve
Cost to serve still remains as the absolute critical metric that every contact center leader gets measured on. Balancing customer experience with cost to serve is one of the biggest challenges. A well architected and balanced self-service strategy can help here. While self-service is not generally associated with great service, younger generations prefer self-help. They feel much more empowered solving their own issues, rather than being in long wait times for an agent to help them. Self-service, when executed for the right use case with the right context and AI and machine learning driven technologies, can absolutely lead to faster resolution times and better experience. Success lies in balancing which use cases are the best ones for self-service as well as building a seamless escalation path to agent-assisted service when needed.
Investing in open, cloud customer experience technologies has become more critical than ever because they drive exceptional customer experience and have a direct impact on growth and revenue. As the experience economy continues to take precedence, businesses should pick and choose KPIs that can boost their customer experience strategy.
About NICE inContact:
NICE inContact works with organizations of all sizes to create customer experiences that create deeper brand loyalty and relationships that last. With NICE inContact CXoneTM, a cloud customer experience platform, we combine Customer Analytics, Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, all on an Open Cloud Foundation to help any company transform every single customer interaction.
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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