How do you accurately measure customer success? It’s a question that has stumped too many BPOs and call centers. Many look to industry standard call center metrics to measure their success—after all, they’re standards for a reason, right?
But you may be surprised to find that many of those metrics do not give an accurate representation of customer success. Even worse, chasing improvements in those metrics may leave your business worse off than before.
However, there are several call center benchmarks you should consider measuring if you want a true representation of customer success. This article addresses them.
What Is Customer Success?
Before we go any further, it’s worth defining what we mean at ClearSource when we talk about customer success. In short, customer success is when a caller feels satisfied and listened to after interacting with one of our customer service representatives.
We want all our callers to leave feeling like they’ve had a unique experience, and our agents truly care about their concerns.
Standard Industry Call Center Metrics That Don’t Matter
Many “standard” call center metrics don’t matter much in the grand scheme. Sure, they may inform some data points about your customer calls, but they don’t directly translate into customer success or satisfaction. These are KPIs like:
- Average Handle Time (AHT): How long does it take to remedy the caller’s problem? This operates on the notion that the customer’s time is precious—which is true. But it can also encourage customer service agents to rush toward a solution without giving the caller’s concerns the attention they deserve.
- Average Speed to Answer: How quickly does your agent pick up the call? This metric can give insight into how efficient your call forwarding system is, but it’s not a great metric for customer service success.
- Agent Productivity: How many calls are your agents fielding in a day? Highly productive workers can mean that more callers are getting their needs met. But it can also lead to employee burnout.
Why Should These KPIs Be Avoided?
We’re not trying to say these metrics are bad and should never be tracked—we’re just saying not to overemphasize them.
If you do focus on these types of metrics, you’re probably more interested in maximizing your margins—which can lead to incredibly high attrition rates. In the United States, that can lead to upwards of 200% attrition in BPOs, and almost 100% attrition in near- and offshore BPOs.
When you have high attrition, you’ll constantly have to find new employees who exude the positivity you need at a BPO—a quality that’s hard to find. So instead of keeping your top performers, you’re constantly churning out people who aren’t committed.
Now let’s talk about the metrics that really matter.
5 Metrics That Actually Measure Customer Success
How do we measure the kinds of quality interactions we strive for? The concept is often too complex to box into a few quantifiable metrics many BPOs use. Instead, ClearSource looks at the following five KPIs for our call center benchmarks.
1. Customer Satisfaction
An obvious starting point is how satisfied your customers are. You may measure this through a customer satisfaction survey or by tallying how many callers ended their call with a resolution to their initial query.
If you want to know how to improve on this metric, check out our four tips for improving customer satisfaction in a BPO.
2. First Contact Resolution
Was the customer’s concern adequately answered in the first interaction with your service? This is crucial. It illustrates that your call center agents are committed to addressing your customers’ problems. Without that commitment, your customers may bounce around to several agents or not find a resolution at all.
3. Client Satisfaction
As an outsourced service, BPOs are beholden to the organizations they take calls for. If those organizations are satisfied with how the calls are handled, you know your agents’ interactions have left a positive impression on your client’s customers.
4. Quality Assurance Score
Quality assurance should be a regular occurrence for your customer service agents. At ClearSource, we have our managers sit down with their agents weekly to go over their performance. This helps us ensure a few things:
- The agent continues to perform at or above expectations.
- Managers know what skills they need to train for.
- A level of trust is developed between managers and employees.
After one of these 1-on-1 meetings is completed, managers will give their agents a QA score. Not only does this help improve the quality of calls, but it also keeps agents from feeling stagnant in their roles by filling any skill or knowledge gaps they may have.
5. Employee Satisfaction
Unsatisfied employees mean unsatisfied customers—it’s a fact. If a customer service agent is unengaged in their job, they won’t put much energy into making sure your callers get the care they need.
But how do you rate employee satisfaction? One approach is to meet with employees regularly and make room for an open discussion about their roles. What do they like? What do they wish was different? You can do this during those weekly QA meetings we discussed earlier.
There are two other metrics you may consider looking at to determine employee satisfaction:
- Absenteeism: Low absenteeism means your people are coming to work on time and for the hours they’ve committed to. This likely means they are satisfied in their roles.
- Attrition: ClearSource has less than 40% attrition globally because we look beyond the “valuable” metrics. Since our clients are happy and our employees are satisfied, we can keep our best employees around longer. And while we know how to handle short-staffing issues, we don’t have to rely on that expertise.
Take Better Control of Your Customer Satisfaction
Want to improve customer success at your organization? If you work at a BPO, we hope you can take advantage of the tips we’ve shared and look past those “industry standard” call center metrics.
If you’re an organization looking for a BPO service, contact us today to learn how our processes can ensure your customers never leave a customer service call unsatisfied.