Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Customer Care Team: 5 Crucial Steps
Leading brands understand the importance of providing top-quality customer service. A bad experience is often as much of a deal breaker as an inferior product. The most successful brands make deep investments in their customer relationships, and, in turn, their customers remain loyal.
It’s up to those on the front lines of customer care to make meaningful connections, differentiate a brand, and boost revenue through improved service. So, how can executives, directors, and managers grasp the effectiveness of their teams? Below are five steps to rate and improve their performance and evolve your own strategy.
1. Monitor adoption and usage of smart technologies. The best team is an empowered one. Provide a robust workspace and easy access to intelligent tools. For example, our agent workspace has features that drive a seamless user experience — like cobrowsing, visitor profiles, and CRM integrations to pull in third-party data as needed. But don't assume all customer care professionals (CCPs) will take advantage of new technologies. Track metrics like average time logged in, total number of engagements, and average resolution time to measure agent adoption rates.
2. Track average response time. A slow response time can be detrimental to an existing customer relationship. After all, with more and more channel options, brands are increasingly at customers’ fingertips. According to a survey from The Social Habit, 32% of consumers that complain on social media expect a response within 30 minutes, and another 42% expect a reply within the hour. And that’s just on social platforms — customer care also fields daily inquiries via phone, email, web chat, and mobile messaging.
A telltale indicator of a well-oiled customer care team is real-time (or just-in-time) responses. Interestingly, however, time to resolution is becoming an increasingly less important factor depending on the urgency of the issue at hand. As long as an inquiry has been acknowledged and customers know their time isn’t being wasted, they’re content to let the matter sit for hours — even days.
3. Watch for spikes in contact requests. According to Buffer, the best customer care teams “pay close attention to the most frequently called times and prepare for it.” Document the number of daily and monthly contact requests, segmented by channel, and make sure you’re staffed to handle them. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, make the proper adjustments — whether it’s to your approach to customer care, the product itself, or your service. While you can expect customer care requests to peak around the holidays, for example, you might see a regular influx during more surprising times. The best teams are flexible enough to make adjustments easily.
4. Rate consumer sentiment. A meaningful connection with consumers is a key differentiator for brands. An automated voice on the other end of the phone instructing us to press one, two, or three is just a barrier between brand and consumer and developing an important relationship. We crave authentic engagement with another human who can empathize with us.
Thanks to new technology, there is a way to assign an unbiased measurement to the consumer–brand relationship. We rely on the Meaningful Connection Score (MCS), which is determined through a powerful text-analytics system based on advanced natural language processing techniques, customized specifically to live chat conversations. Every exchange between the brand and consumer is given a positive or negative score in real time. If a conversation starts going downhill, your customer care team can quickly address the issue and turn the sentiment around.
5. Count the number of returning customers. Loyal customers have a significant impact on brand reputation and the bottom line. They tell their friends and family; they broadcast their experiences on social media; they share the pieces of content they find truly engaging. Not to mention that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than attain a new one. The number of returning customers is a key metric tracked by savvy brands. If consumers drop off after one or two purchases, it might be time to rethink your approach to support and the customer experience. Customers are usually looking for something to go back for.
The most successful brands are also the most agile, and they use hard data to inform decisive action. Is your customer care lackluster? Revitalize it with LiveEngage — and take the first step toward developing the meaningful relationships that will help grow your business.