Tech issues, even small ones, can have an enormous impact on customer experience. Today's contact centers are extremely complex, featuring multiple communication channels, self-service applications, routing schemes, agent groups and vendor equipment. Often times, companies may not even know there is an issue until it is reported by a customer. Frustrated customers today have no problem taking their business elsewhere, and they're likely to tell others about their experience. A complaint that a few years ago would have been aired to a small circle of family and friends can now easily reach thousands, potentially even millions, via social media.
To illustrate this point, consider the global retailer attempting to provide better service with a CTI screen pop via its newly deployed CRM system. Unfortunately, they experienced multiple integration issues. Although everything worked properly at low call volumes, the solution was not able to handle peak traffic loads. The screen pop response time went from less than two seconds to an astounding 38 seconds.
In addition, while the agent waited for the screen pop, the entire custom CRM application froze, making it impossible for the agent to assist the customer at all. This resulted in hundreds of frustrated customers.
To better understand the customer experience, it is important to track certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). By closely monitoring these KPIs in real-time, companies can spot service degradations and possibly preempt their impact on customers. The top five KPIs to watch include:
Voice Quality of Service: Poor voice quality reflects badly on any company. It also leads to an increase in call length when customers and agents cannot understand each other and are forced to continuously repeat themselves. In extreme cases, customers will hang up and try again. Either way, these delays can be extremely expensive to both customer loyalty and overall cost per call.
Repeat Calls: This is a measurement of how many times a customer contacts the company before his or her issue is corrected. A variety of technical issues can lead to higher repeat call rates, improper routing, long queue lines, dropped calls and more. This KPI also reflects how successfully agents are able to satisfy customers the first time.
Call Blockage Rate: Used by most contact centers today, the call blockage rate measures how well customers can access services. When solutions are not working properly or the contact center cannot handle the sheer volume of customer inquiries, calls are not answered. A high blockage rate has an immediate and negative effect on customer satisfaction.
Call Abandonment Rate: High abandonment rates indicate application problems, incorrect routing latencies in back-end communications or inefficient management of customer service resources. These conditions result in frustrated customers who are unable to get their problems fixed in an efficient and timely manner.
Mean Time to Diagnose: Pinpointing the cause of problems in today's complex environments can be difficult. Decreasing the Mean Time to Diagnose is essential for limiting the negative impact on customers. Additionally, it drives considerable cost savings for the organization since support man-hours can add up quickly.
No one wants to lose a customer because of a technical glitch. Fortunately, a new breed of performance monitoring solutions has emerged that can provide an end-to-end view of KPI performance across the entire contact center. More than just tracking how well the bits and bytes are floating through the network, they assess application performance, service quality, system delays and related factors to provide a true picture of customer experience. End-to-end performance monitoring simplifies KPI reporting and enables companies to more efficiently isolate, drill into and diagnose issues, thereby reducing their negative impact.
In the end, customers do not care how hard it is to manage complex contact center environments. They just want great service whenever -- and however -- they contact you.
Author Tim Moynihan is Vice President of Marketing, Empirix.
Jennifer Bach, Marketing :
Posted: 2012-02-10 @ 8:59am PT
You are quite right in highlighting attention to detail as key to customer retention. As customer experience spreads to an increasing range of social platforms even the most basic details, like perfect grammar, are essential to good CRM. Online chat presents a new range of challenges for effective customer service. Our current white paper takes a look at essential grammar rules for chat agents. www.telusinternational.com/chat
Posted: 2012-02-08 @ 5:52am PT
Agree wholeheartedly. IT Teams have to take into account all of the related pieces that deliver a service to their customers. People want to be able to do their job and they don't care about root cause, they want to make sure they can access the services they need. Finding performance degradations before they impact your users is the best recipe to ensure customer satisfaction. www.sevone.com