Reassessing the Metrics Used to Understand the Customer Experience

By: Guest Blogger

November 11, 2013

By:  Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst, Customer Experience & Interaction, Ovum

Customers are driven to web customer service by frustrating experiences with complex IVR menus, hold times, and transfers. They can easily access social media and communities on their smartphones, and are becoming more comfortable with requesting support from both businesses and peers in these forums. Contact centers must adapt and support customers on the Web; they need to ensure that customers remain loyal and minimize the spread of negative sentiments online. In order to do this, contact centers need new tools to track customer behavior and help them understand how online interactions are impacting customer satisfaction.

However, measuring customer satisfaction can be challenging. Contact centers have a limited view of customers’ actions before they call or email the organization, and metrics typically focus on one part of the customer journey. Contact centers need to link data points in order to pinpoint issues and improve resolution across all channels. Metrics such as first-contact resolution (FCR), query serviceability, and customer effort should all be compared to help pinpoint gaps in the customer support process:

  • FCR allows contact centers to measure whether a customer’s query about a particular issue is answered at the first point of contact, regardless of channel. Although many customer inquiries begin on the Web, many end up in a private phone call or web chat. Contact centers need to improve resolution rates on social and mobile channels so that customers can resolve their queries faster in the channel of their choice.
  • Query serviceability rates show whether online queries are resolvable within the channel in which they begin. Although FCR rates indicate how effectively online customer service teams are working, there are limits to the interactions that can be entirely resolved in one channel. For example, a query over unexpected bank fees will need to be resolved in a phone call because the agent needs private account information to find the cause. Contact centers need to review the ways customers are using online tools for support, and determine which queries can be resolved in which channel.
  • Customer effort is the understanding of how difficult it is for a customer to resolve their issue. To determine customer effort, contact centers should track the number of channels a customer uses, how many times they speak to an agent, the length of phone calls, and whether the resolution is achieved. When customers expend little energy to resolve their problem, they are more likely to continue to do business with an organization, and less likely to spread negative sentiments about their experience.

I will be sharing more insights around these metrics and the tools needed to track them in my webinar on November 14. The webinar will include a discussion of some of the issues that customers have with today’s support, and how contact centers can connect data to understand the broader customer picture.