customer-service-metrics

How to measure good customer service

 

Customer service is a very measurable activity. There is an almost endless supply of data that can be measured to assess overall performance and quality: call volumes, chat times, resolution rates for a start.

But while it may be tempting to simply measure everything, sifting through mountains of data is unlikely to be an effective way to determine how good your service really is and highlight areas for improvement. So what exactly should you be measuring to get the most enlightened view of your customer service performance?

Let's have a look at how you can choose the best metrics for your business and some examples of the metrics for success.

Choose your own metrics

Quantifying your customer service efforts is a fantastic way to maximize your potential to improve the way that you communicate with customers and ultimately your brand image. However, not all metrics will be useful for everyone.

Don't chose generic metrics.Metrics should be chosen to be specifically useful to your business.

Every company is different and while there are some general rules, simply copying another business's metrics is unlikely to give you the best results. Instead you should carefully consider which metrics will be most useful for your own goals and deliver useful insights into your own processes.

When deciding which metrics you should be measuring within your business first consider:

  • Why are you reporting? It seems like a basic question but it really gets to the heart of your ultimate goals. Understanding 'why' will give you a solid foundation to pave the way for later detailed decisions.
  • What are the desired outcomes? Everything you're measuring should have a direct link back to your overall objectives. If a number isn't helping you to achieve the insights and actions you want to see, it is effectively useless. Be ruthless with your metrics - fluff numbers waste everyone's time.
  • Who will be looking at these reports? Understanding who your audience is can help you to better leverage your insights. If it's a C-level who has little on the ground experience, broader data points will be more useful than specifics. However, someone with a deeper insight into customer service may benefit from an overview of the nitty gritty. Also consider how often these reports will be communicated and in what format.

An important point to remember is that there is no single magic metric that will be able to show you the whole picture. Your metrics are most useful in relation to each other. Choose them based on the combined insights they give you, rather than their perceived unique value.

What makes a good metric?

There are several key attributes that good metrics have. They should be:

  • Actionable: It is not only pointless but frustrating for your team to be measured on things that they can't impact. Make sure your metrics reflect your customer service performance and highlight avenues for improvement.
  • Authentic: All of your metrics must tell the true story. Fabricating results to create a more pleasing picture is not useful for improvement.
  • Meaningful: We have mentioned this before, but it's worth doing so again. Everything you are measuring should have a direct link back to your overall objectives. If it's not then it's a poor metric for your business.
  • Consistent: Trends over quarters or even years often give a more useful insight into your processes than specific daily or even hourly data. Metrics that can be measured consistently over prolonged periods will be much more use to you in the long run.
  • Contextualized: Raw data presented in isolation isn't desperately useful when looking at a complex process like customer service. Make sure that your metrics can be contextualized at every stage to give them more value.
Customer service metrics should give you the best insight into your processes. The best customer service metrics give you a clear insight into how to improve further.

Metrics you can measure for success - some suggestions

For those actively looking for some tried and tested metric ideas to monitor your customer services, here are some suggestions:

1. Resolution rate

This metric represents the overall percentage of issues that your customer service staff resolve. A higher percentage indicates efficiency and expertise from your staff and lower percentages could indicate a number of issues preventing a resolution.

When tackling this result you should consider whether you need to hire more staff, or whether there are systemic issues that take up time or hold up processes.

2. Reply time

This simply refers to the time taken for customers' queries or complaints to be followed up. This metric is often a great indicator of customer satisfaction and your businesses' success at effectively communicating with customers.

If it's taking a long time to reply, you may wish to consider whether you need to increase your number of staff or whether there are broader issues that are preventing reps getting back in touch with people sooner.

3. Customer satisfaction

This can be a complex metric to measure as it has some subjective aspects. It also relies on a lot of external factors such as how the measurement is designed and even how people are feeling on the day of the survey.

This metric is most often measured by a quick, simple survey after a significant interaction with a member of your team. The results of these surveys are most useful when aggregated over a substantial period of time.

However, it is important to think seriously about how you can most effectively measure customer service in relation to your own specific business structure and customer base. For example a younger, digitally-savvy customer base may prefer an online survey, while an older demographic may like to give their feedback on the phone. Also take time to think about your questions and how ranked levels could be interpreted by the audience. For example,four out of five may be very good for some people and only OK for others.

With this measurement, you should consider whether your staff may need further training to improve their customer facing skills. It may also indicate more systemic issues with your user interface.

To learn more about improving and measuring the quality of your customer service get in touch with Call Design today. Our training and solutions in areas such as performance and quality management can help you identify measurable weaknesses in your delivery, and work to improve them.


workforce-planning-tool

4 features to look for in your next workforce planning tool

 

Workforce planning tools are essential to the smooth running of any contact center or back office. Choose an effective workforce planning tool and you'll have access to a suite of human resource features that help you get the right staff in the right place at the right time. Choose an ineffective tool and you're at risk of falling behind the competition.

When it comes time to upgrade your suite, it is essential to choose software that doesn't just meet your needs now, but that will continue to do so long into the future. So today, we discuss what features to look for when investing in new workforce planning software.

Your new software must be quick to scale or upgrade if you are to keep up in the future.

1. A solution that is future-proofed

Business needs are always changing, and you must be able to keep up not only with the wider market, but with your own growth. By moving your business away from clunky legacy systems (like spreadsheets) to a modern, intuitive suite, you're laying a foundation that you can build upon in the coming years.

For example, choosing a cloud-based workforce planning solution enables you to access the scalability and ease of use that is inherent with cloud tech. Cloud-based software can be installed easily into your business (requiring little to no on-site infrastructure), upgraded in a timely manner by the software host, and scaled up and down depending on how many users require access.

 

2. A solution that is easy to use

If your new software is hard to use, people aren't going to use it. It's as simple as that. And if this is the case, you're not getting the most from your investment.

So, it's vital that you find a suite that makes life easier. Take Aspect WFM for example. Aspect WFM is one of the global leaders in workforce management and planning not only for its functionality, but its usability too. The user interface is designed to be fast to learn and quick to use, pulling inspiration from common UI designs such as those from Microsoft, Apple and Google.

3. A solution you can use on any device

Being able to use smartphones at work could increase staff productivity by 34 percent.

The modern office is a multi-device office. Your workforce planners are using multiple devices everywhere in their lives, so why not at work too? In fact, a combined Frost & Sullivan/Samsung report found that enabling staff to use smartphones at work can increase their productivity by 34 percent.

Combine your next workforce planning suite like Aspect WFM with a user-based mobile app such as Call Design's ME. This would allow staff to access the software from their mobile device even if they are out of office, without sacrificing the security or administrative oversight that on-site software would provide.

4. A solution that packs bang for buck

Finally, like any major software investment, your next workforce planning tool must come packed with a host of modern features. That means strong, data-backed forecasting and scheduling, accurate productivity and performance monitoring, and robust leave management and shift swapping - all the foundations of any good contact center or back office success story.

At Call Design, we believe Aspect WFM is the tool for the job. And we back that decision with expertise - we have vast amounts of experience in the workforce optimization and management space, with a team of consultants who have an average 15+ years of experience. If you'd like to find out more about how Aspect WFM and Call Design's accompanying apps can help you business, contact us today. 


contact-centre-staff

Retaining staff: A guide for contact center managers

 

It's no secret that attrition is one of the biggest challenges facing contact centers, and it's something the industry acknowledges. In fact, 40 percent of contact center managers want to improve retention rates among staff, according to Deloitte's Global Contact Center Survey.

So what can you do to hold on to your top performing agents? Let's explore.

Contact centre managers need to know how to deal with unhappy staff.Staff attrition is one of the greatest problems facing contact center managers.

1. Analyze your hiring process

Reducing contact center attrition starts with your hiring processes.

It can be difficult to know from a resume how well a candidate may suit your company, but it's important to begin building an idea as early as you can. Cover letters in particular should allow you to gain an understanding of how their past experience sets them up for life in your centre, but also what they expect from the role, and how they might fit into the structures you have in place.

Your hiring process should determine whether someone will slide seamlessly into your culture.

This information can then be added to at the interview. As well as digging deeper into their professional skills, a substantial proportion of this time should be allocated to determining whether the candidate will slide seamlessly into your culture. A good indicator comes in the form of their soft skills.

Soft skills is a category that includes attributes such as communication, leadership and collaboration, all of which permit people to work well alongside others and produce an atmosphere where people want to stay and develop.

2. Establish clear objectives, and clear rewards

Opportunities to progress finished second only to a good work/life balance in the list of factors attracting millennials to a workplace, according to Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey. Once hiring is complete, therefore, part of the onboarding process should involve giving your new recruits a clear picture of not only their own role, but what they can do to advance.

Crucial to this is having well-defined and easily available employee handbooks. Among other things, these should detail incentives for good performance, as well as Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets that need to be met. This approach gives your staff something to aim for beyond their day-to-day targets. Though, as we will see in point four, these are also important when it comes to improving retention in contact centers.

Having a clearly defined progression for employees is a great incentive.Employee handbooks are great ways to show the opportunities for promotion.

3. Personalize incentive schemes

A great way to go the extra mile for your staff, and increase their loyalty to your business, is to personalize the incentives you offer.

This could be something as simple as giving employees a range of options if they're eligible for a reward, showing that you take these processes seriously and aren't simply going through the motions.

Digital rewards are also a great option. Acknowledging high achievers on social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn provide public acknowledgement of good results, and even a well thought-through email can be an effective way to build manager-staff bonds.

4. Stay on track

Using trackable metrics is an essential aspect of managing agent performance and the quality of client interactions.

This not only ensures that your customers experience a consistently high standard of service, but also allows you to catch potential problems and turn them around.

Tracking performance using metrics gives you the chance to catch problems and provide a solution.

Using metrics allows you to identify areas of weakness and provide the necessary training to bridge gaps. As well as showing interest in the professional development of your individual agents, this proactive management can halt the disenchantment that often comes with poor professional performance. Ultimately this may result in preventing an employee from leaving the company.

However, even when employees aren't missing targets, providing regular commentary to staff, based on the insights gained from metrics, is highly recommended. In fact, 51 percent of millennials surveyed by PwC said that feedback should be given very regularly or continuously, and the more detailed, the better.

5. Open up your culture

Vital to preventing unnecessary loss of staff is creating a culture where agents feel comfortable talking to management about problems they may be having.

As these issues may range from professional to personal, it's vital that leadership are properly trained to make these interactions productive. As with feedback on trackable metrics, these are opportunities to catch issues before they snowball and provide a resolution that aids with retaining the staff involved.

However, sometimes enlisting the help of outside experts can be the best solution. Call Design's Contact Center Consulting service is designed to help managers who are too close to identify the root cause of what is preventing an easy fix to culture problems. This service will optimise the running of your contact center down to the smallest details, including leadership skills that could help you better understand the challenges facing your staff.

Exit interviews allow you to get insights on what went wrong,Exit interviews provide a valuable opportunity to learn how you can improve your systems for future employees.

6. Conduct exit interviews

Even if you adhere to all the guidance mentioned in this article, from time to time staff will leave. Rather than view this as a failure of your retention initiatives, use it as an opportunity to learn why this employee felt it was time to move on.

This is a golden chance where the individual in question is likely to be far more honest than they were during their tenure at the company. If there was no single reason that led to their departure, you can still gain valuable insights on what they feel your organization does well, and what could be improved.

Learning from past mistakes and engaging with your staff is integral to reducing attrition in your contact center. However, if you want more information on the relevant professional services you can make use of, get in touch with the team at Call Design today.


Retaining staff: A guide for contact centre managers

 

It's no secret that attrition is one of the biggest challenges facing contact centres, and it's something the industry acknowledges. In fact, 40 per cent of contact centre managers want to improve retention rates among staff, according to Deloitte's Global Contact Centre Survey.

So what can you do to hold on to your top performing agents? Let's explore.

Contact centre managers need to know how to deal with unhappy staff.Staff attrition is one of the greatest problems facing contact centre managers.

1. Analyse your hiring process

Reducing contact centre attrition starts with your hiring processes.

It can be difficult to know from a resume how well a candidate may suit your company, but it's important to begin building an idea as early as you can. Cover letters in particular should allow you to gain an understanding of how their past experience sets them up for life in your centre, but also what they expect from the role, and how they might fit into the structures you have in place.

Your hiring process should determine whether someone will slide seamlessly into your culture.

This information can then be added to at the interview. As well as digging deeper into their professional skills, a substantial proportion of this time should be allocated to determining whether the candidate will slide seamlessly into your culture. A good indicator comes in the form of their soft skills.

Soft skills is a category that includes attributes such as communication, leadership and collaboration, all of which permit people to work well alongside others and produce an atmosphere where people want to stay and develop.

2. Establish clear objectives, and clear rewards

Opportunities to progress finished second only to a good work/life balance in the list of factors attracting millennials to a workplace, according to Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey. Once hiring is complete, therefore, part of the onboarding process should involve giving your new recruits a clear picture of not only their own role, but what they can do to advance.

Crucial to this is having well-defined and easily available employee handbooks. Among other things, these should detail incentives for good performance, as well as Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets that need to be met. This approach gives your staff something to aim for beyond their day-to-day targets. Though, as we will see in point four, these are also important when it comes to improving retention in contact centres.

Having a clearly defined progression for employees is a great incentive.Employee handbooks are great ways to show the opportunities for promotion.

3. Personalise incentive schemes

A great way to go the extra mile for your staff, and increase their loyalty to your business, is to personalise the incentives you offer.

This could be something as simple as giving employees a range of options if they're eligible for a reward, showing that you take these processes seriously and aren't simply going through the motions.

Digital rewards are also a great option. Acknowledging high achievers on social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn provide public acknowledgement of good results, and even a well thought-through email can be an effective way to build manager-staff bonds.

4. Stay on track

Using trackable metrics is an essential aspect of managing agent performance and the quality of client interactions.

This not only ensures that your customers experience a consistently high standard of service, but also allows you to catch potential problems and turn them around.

Tracking performance using metrics gives you the chance to catch problems and provide a solution.

Using metrics allows you to identify areas of weakness and provide the necessary training to bridge gaps. As well as showing interest in the professional development of your individual agents, this proactive management can halt the disenchantment that often comes with poor professional performance. Ultimately this may result in preventing an employee from leaving the company.

However, even when employees aren't missing targets, providing regular commentary to staff, based on the insights gained from metrics, is highly recommended. In fact, 51 per cent of millennials surveyed by PwC said that feedback should be given very regularly or continuously, and the more detailed, the better.

5. Open up your culture

Vital to preventing unnecessary loss of staff is creating a culture where agents feel comfortable talking to management about problems they may be having.

As these issues may range from professional to personal, it's vital that leadership are properly trained to make these interactions productive. As with feedback on trackable metrics, these are opportunities to catch issues before they snowball and provide a resolution that aids with retaining the staff involved.

However, sometimes enlisting the help of outside experts can be the best solution. Call Design's Contact Centre Consulting service is designed to help managers who are too close to identify the root cause of what is preventing an easy fix to culture problems. This service will optimise the running of your contact centre down to the smallest details, including leadership skills that could help you better understand the challenges facing your staff.

Exit interviews allow you to get insights on what went wrong,Exit interviews provide a valuable opportunity to learn how you can improve your systems for future employees.

6. Conduct exit interviews

Even if you adhere to all the guidance mentioned in this article, from time to time staff will leave. Rather than view this as a failure of your retention initiatives, use it as an opportunity to learn why this employee felt it was time to move on.

This is a golden chance where the individual in question is likely to be far more honest than they were during their tenure at the company. If there was no single reason that led to their departure, you can still gain valuable insights on what they feel your organisation does well, and what could be improved.

Learning from past mistakes and engaging with your staff is integral to reducing attrition in your contact centre. However, if you want more information on the relevant professional services you can make use of, get in touch with the team at Call Design today.


aspect-logo

Aspect Software Named #1 Workforce Management Market Share Leader in North America by Pelorus Associates

Date: 11/13/2018, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Aspect retains top spot in North America in Pelorus Associates’ Workforce Management (WFM) rankings for the 12th consecutive year
  • Aspect recognized for a reputation of delivering excellent customer care, most complete contact center portfolio in the industry and commitment to technology innovation

Aspect Software, a leading provider of fully-integrated consumer engagement, workforce optimization, and self-service solutions, announced today that Pelorus Associates, an independent consulting company specializing in the contact center space, has named Aspect® Workforce Management (WFM) the WFM market share leader in North America in its 2018 World Contact Center Workforce Management Systems Market report. Aspect’s share of 29.8 percent is the largest of the North America workforce management market. Since Pelorus began tracking WFM market data 12 years ago, Aspect has consistently held a top market share ranking for the North American market.

“Aspect offers the most diverse set of solutions in the contact center industry and maintains one of the largest and most comprehensive service and support organizations of any vendor,” said Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst, Pelorus Associates. “Only Aspect has native solutions for virtually every core application required in the modern contact center. Aspect leaders recognized that by tightly integrating these applications into a complete suite, delivered within a flexible and economical architecture, they could bring to the marketplace products unmatched by other WFO vendors.”

Aspect has retained its market share leadership due to the company’s ongoing technological innovation, success of the product portfolio and reputation for exceptional customer care. Pelorus also highlighted that Aspect WFM software can be tailored to unique customer needs, sports a modern user interface and is available in numerous deployment models, from on-premises to private and public cloud environments.

“From introducing the industry’s first workforce management solution in 1973 to developing an AI-driven intelligent assistant for workforce management, Aspect has consistently recognized key emerging technologies that would help our customers deliver truly exceptional workforce solutions. By engaging customers, employees and contractors, Aspect has been able to maintain our leadership position for so many years,” said Mike Bourke, SVP, Product Management, Aspect Software. “Newly added features address how the gig economy is changing the way agents work and companies hire. By weaving the power of AI throughout the management of our workforce solutions, Aspect will continue to help our customers address the challenges they will face as the market evolves.”

About Aspect
Aspect helps enterprises break down the walls between people, processes, systems and data sources, allowing organizations to unite around the customer journey. By developing fully native interaction management, workforce optimization and self-service capabilities within a single customer engagement center, we enable dynamic, conversational interactions and create a truly frictionless omni-channel customer experience. Leveraging the agility of our worldwide cloud infrastructure and over 40 years of industry ingenuity, Aspect conveniently and easily connects questions to answers while helping enterprises keep service levels high and operational costs contained. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.

 


According to Customers, Aspect Workforce Management Leads the Pack

November 13, 2018 Shelley Hofman
Workforce Management, Workforce Optimization

The G2 Crowd results are in: Aspect has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all leading WFM solutions.

The growth and popularity of crowd-sourced customer review and recommendations sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor are where consumers go for authentic, unbiased, user-driven information about products and services they are thinking about purchasing. So nowadays, when you are looking for a hotel, you don’t just want to hear how a hotel describes their rooms, you also want to hear from someone who’s actually stayed in them.

So as is often the case, consumer trends find their way into the enterprise space. The growth of peer-to-peer business solution review sites like G2 Crowd enable organizations looking for software to hear directly from existing users in a forum with an objective and bias-free environment.

G2 Crowd is one of the world’s leading providers of online business software reviews. With more than 500,000 reviews, they offer easily understandable rankings of a wide variety of software products using objective criteria combined with the actual reviews from verified users.

What do G2 Crowd reviews show about Aspect Workforce Management software? As you can see from this real-time G2 Crowd Grid, Aspect Workforce Management is ranked in the Leaders quadrant and has achieved the highest ranking for customer satisfaction among those leaders. In the Enterprise view of the grid, Aspect is the only leader.

G2 Crowd also makes comments, ratings, and actual customer reviews available so users of the site can really get inside the heads of the people working with the software. You can find the full list of reviews here, but below are some examples of what Aspect customers are saying:

Every day, thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of agents rely on Aspect Workforce Management to provide accurate forecasting of interaction volumes, flexible and personalized agent scheduling and insightful daily tracking of real-time agent productivity and adherence.  We think it’s the best in the industry but don’t just take our word for it, ask our customers!

https://blogs.aspect.com/according-to-customers-aspect-workforce-management-leads-the-pack/


The Cloud….. so what??

I’ve been thinking about the cloud for a long time now, and while there is no doubt that it is here to stay for the foreseeable future, I’ve been asking myself… so what?

I know that it is seen by some as heresy to question conventional wisdom, and today’s conventional wisdom says that everything needs to go to the cloud. However, what is the benefit and what is the point? What are organizations getting out of a move to the cloud – because after all it is surely only being done to provide a business benefit??

So, as I see it, organizations are getting the following benefits out of a cloud migration.

  • Consumption based costs / charging
  • Ability to flex up and down in scale as business dictates
  • Removal of the need to manage infrastructure
  • Removal of the need to implement a software lifecycle management regime
  • A change from capex to opex and associated tax benefits

But… if everyone does this then how is it a ‘competitive advantage’? As I see it, you either do this or you become irrelevant. However once everyone has done it then they are all the same again… so there might be a ‘first mover’ type of advantage, but beyond that you need to do it to remain competitive with everyone else… OR you need to do something entirely different.

Back in the 60’s companies knew they needed these new-fangled computer things… but  lots of smaller organizations couldn’t afford them… so along came the idea of a ‘bureau service’ that sold computing by the minute / hour.. exactly like a consumption model. Then as time went on, computing became cheaper, and more organizations could afford computing, but probably more importantly, they could not afford not to have THEIR OWN computing as the bureau services were not flexible enough, or did not provide a competitive advantage as everyone was doing the same thing.

Then, along came the idea of departmental computing with midrange systems using Unix or vendor specific operating systems like IBM’s System 36, 38, AS/400. These came into vogue because the ‘big iron’ in the corporate computing center wasn’t flexible enough, cost too much, took too long to do half a job (sounding familiar?).

Finally, along came desktop computing which gave the end user ultimate control, albeit with very little in the way of corporate control which turned out to be the biggest issue (data security, corporate licencing, support of different versions, different applications, etc etc). So as organizations worked to resolve these particular challenges, they took back more and more control until the idea of the end user having any real control became nonsensical.

Along this ride the world also moved to fixed function terminals (dumb screens) and then to emulation of dumb screens on PC’s, and then to applications that accessed host data and presented in a more graphical way, and then finally on to web based applications… where the PC is really not much more than a – you guessed it – dumb screen.

So I hope that I have presented a case that the technology, while always evolving and changing, hasn’t actually done a whole lot for businesses besides causing them to spend money to stay compliant, safe (from a data safety perspective at least) and relevant, because it seems like everything old is new again, and it’s possibly the ‘change’ that is important, and not what you are changing from or too.

What does all this really mean??

Well, I think that what it means is that the most important thing a business can do for itself to continue to be successful is to provide products and services that their customers want, and do that in a way that is uniquely better or different to their competition. If that means a move to the Web, or new computing, or saving money by doing something in a different way, then of course those things MUST be done… just don’t expect that the shiny new toys are the savior of your business, because the real savior is going to be how you use and build on whatever it is that you have. It may be a case of throwing it all out and starting again, but from my experience that is very rarely actually needed.

I like to think of it in motorcycle racing (or car or whatever) terms… you can have the fastest bike out there on the track, but if you aren’t the fastest rider, you aren’t necessarily going to win!

And then of course there is that very hackneyed expression…. To finish first, first you must finish.

Comments always welcome!

Regards,

Brett Redman
Director


Absence management: Methods for reducing worker absenteeism

 

Absenteeism is costing US and Canadian businesses $225.8 billion and $16.6 billion per year respectively. These stats come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Conference Board of Canada, which highlight the cost of absenteeism in the hourly and salaried workforces.

Understanding the statistics is one thing, but fixing them is another. To help your contact center, we discuss four absence management strategies below:

Absenteeism in the form of excessive sick days be by symptomatic of a larger problem.An increase in sick days may be one of the first symptoms of a growing absenteeism issue in your business.

1. Identify the root cause

Absenteeism is not a problem, it's a symptom of a problem. Most likely a variety of problems, compounding together. Issues that can cause absenteeism include:

  1. Low morale or engagement levels.
  2. Stress or burnout.
  3. Workplace conflicts (e.g. bullying or harassment).
  4. Illness, injury or disability.
  5. Work/life conflicts (e.g. the needs of work and the needs of, say, childcare, conflicting with each other).
  6. Limited consequences for lack of attendance.
  7. Time theft (aka taking elongated breaks, regularly leaving early or turning up late).

Awareness is the first step to solving a problem. Take time to investigate what issues your contact center may be suffering from. This can be done through regular 1:1 personal sessions between staff and their team leader, and through anonymous feedback surveys.

 

2. Create an attendance policy

A clear attendance policy has two major benefits:

  1. It sets out your expectations for attendance so staff and their managers know what is and is not considered acceptable.
  2. It helps you benchmark individual attendance levels against the company expectation, so you can measure their performance. Without this, unconscious bias or favoritism may lead you to challenge some staff more than others.

What goes into an attendance policy?

An attendance policy should include comprehensive descriptions of your expectations around annual leave, sick leave, what constitutes tardiness, leave request procedures, rules around special leave (i.e. bereavement or jury duty) and so on.

This should be included in your employee handbook and all staff should be able to find and access it easily.

Employee wellness programs combine policies, perks and initiatives to encourage staff to better look after themselves.

3. Consider employee wellness programs

Employee wellness programs are typically a combination of policies, perks and initiatives that encourage staff to look after their physical and mental health. This could include discounts at gyms or medical centers, health insurance packages, policies designed to promote better self-care, and environment support (e.g. desk ergonomics, green spaces and so on).

These programs have been found to work. In a Comcare review, it was found that wellness programs such as smoking cessation interventions, physical activity and/or nutrition interventions, and changes to organizational culture showed real health-related benefits to employees.

4. Offer more flexibility

There's a growing call for flexible working around the world. One study by the Intelligence Group showed that 74 percent of the Millennial generation use work-life balance as a leading factor in evaluating job opportunities, while workers in Generation X can find themselves in need of workplace flexibility in order to care for aging parents.

Can your business handle flexible working arrangements? Some contact center leaders find it difficult to accommodate variable hours or working from home due to the schedule-intensive nature of the job. Staff levels must be carefully planned and easy to predict in order for the business to handle call volumes.

However, this is not an unsolvable problem - it just requires a technology upgrade. Consider investigating workforce management solutions that enable smart scheduling and easy shift swapping, as this will help you encourage staff to balance their working lives and personal lives without impacting your company's bottom line or the customer experience.

Choose Call Design to help you

If you aren't sure you can do this alone, it's time to seek help. Call Design is a leading workforce optimization consulting provider, featuring a team of experts with an average of 10+ years of experience. We have an array of WFO tools, solutions and training courses to help your business find and improve the root causes of your absenteeism issues.

To learn more, contact us today.


Terminology 101: Customer service vs customer experience

 

Customer service and customer experience are two terms that are thrown around and often used interchangeably. This shouldn't be the case.

While there are similarities and areas of overlap, it's vital that contact center managers understand where these two ideas differ if they're to implement effective improvement to either.

This article will explain the practical distinctions between customer service and customer experience in contact centers, and how both are crucial to customer satisfaction.

The differences between customer service and customer experience are important to process improvement.Managers need to be aware of the differences between customer service and customer experience.

1. The time period

The first difference between customer service and customer experience is to do with when they take place. At a fundamental level this can be described as follows:

  • Customer service: This usually refers to a one-off interaction. Usually the customer will engage with your business to ask a question, purchase a service or product, or register their feedback.
  • Customer experience: Here we're talking about an ongoing phenomenon which follows the customer's journey across all company touchpoints. As we'll see a little later, this can include a range of platforms and a variety of different circumstances.

Customer experience can also be thought of as the sum of all the dealings a customer has with your teams, with each separate snapshot contributing to their overall perception of your company. As a result, customer service is one element of the larger customer experience.

2. The goals

Ultimately, with customer service and customer experience, you want to create positive outcomes for your customers, as both are essential to your overall success.

In fact, a staggering 88 percent of respondents to Deloitte's 2017 Global Contact Center survey said that customer experience was the main driver for growth in their organization. Given that we've already established that customer service is integral to customer experience, you need to ensure that staff can deliver consistent quality in both areas.

However, when we drill down deeper, there are some important differences in setting goals for customer service and customer experience. When it comes to customer service, your approach should be resolutions oriented - this means establishing the pain point for the customer, and providing an effective and efficient response. This is reflected in the data from the Deloitte survey which suggested that the most important contact centre attribute from a customer perspective was the accuracy and quality of the information given, with first contact resolutions also ranking highly.

While these objectives also translate to customer experience, the latter is more proactive than reactive. In other words, your customer experience should aim to promote good feelings about your brand at a holistic level, which means learning who your customers are, and devising a strategy that will best connect with them.

Customer experience needs to be omni-channel.Customer experience includes all interactions a client has with your business.

3. Who is responsible?

Traditionally, customer service provision involves a specific department of trained human operators dealing directly with customer needs. Customer experience is much more of an omnichannel situation, and this is becoming increasingly apparent in today's market.

A separate Deloitte survey shows that over 60 percent of customers use more than one platform to engage with companies. Increasingly, of course, this is through social media, but automated website chats and FAQs are also important and, crucially, these often don't involve person-to-person interaction. The challenge from a management perspective is to ensure that the customer encounters high quality, and consistent, systems no matter where they look.

It's only through fully understanding the theory behind these two terms that managers can hope to improve their provision from a customer perspective. However, when it's your teams, you can often be too immersed to identify precisely what needs work.

This is where Call Design comes in. Our training and solutions in areas such as performance and quality management can help you identify weaknesses in your delivery, and work to improve them. For more information, get in touch with our team today.