Are you doing everything you can to improve, grow or save your business?

If you’re not measuring every part of your service delivery, you’re missing the boat.

In her post titled “My Top Five Customer Service Metrics,” Barb Lyon, a customer service expert with over 20 years of experience, outlined key metrics companies can use to accurately measure customer satisfaction.

“But,” you say, “We already track client complaints – and we haven’t received any in over three months!”

That’s great, but be careful not to mistake silence for satisfaction.  If your company is only measuring customer service by the number of complaints it receives, it could be in big trouble and not even know it.  Remember, not everyone will take the time to send you feedback on their negative experiences!

Next month I’ll be writing specifically about the dangers of silent customers.  In the meantime, here are a few key metrics to gauge how shareworthy your service is, by actively soliciting feedback:

First Call Resolution:  What percent of complaint calls are completely resolved, the first time the customer contacts you?  Never underestimate the power of timely, thorough service recovery.

Customer Retention:  What percent of your client base do you retain, year over year?  Beyond knowing this raw percentage, you should also know why you lose customers.  Take it to the next level and use follow-up surveys, phone calls or “how can we get you back” e-mails.  These feedback methods will help you better understand the real reasons customers leave – and how you can earn their business once again.

Time with the Customer:  How much time are sales reps spending on the phone (or on site) with your customers?  People do business with people, so make sure you reward reps for spending quality “face time” with clients addressing their top recruiting and workforce challenges.

Response Time:  How quickly do you respond to inquiries or orders?  We all know how highly customers value rapid response, especially when their staffing needs are last-minute.  If you don’t have a response goal, set one (be sure to consider what your competitors are doing) – and then track it.

In every step of your service delivery – from the initial phone call through the final invoice – you should know how well your company performs.  So actively solicit feedback on the service you deliver!  While the list above is certainly not comprehensive, it will give you a starting point for measuring and tracking satisfaction.

As you collect data, post key performance indicators in your office or on your intranet.  Regularly communicate these statistics to everyone in your organization.  If you make measuring service a priority, you’ll be taking great care of your company’s most important asset – its customers.

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