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Measure Customer Service Performance: How to treat a customer like a customer.

Customer service metrics and how the choice of which indicators to use can change the performance statistics collected by a call center.

There are many measurements and choices of what to measure in order to decide whether an adequate guarantee of customer service is being met.  However, it is unfortunate that many businesses select the wrong factors to measure or the select the correct elements to measure but make some logic leaps which means the collected data is false or misleading.

A frequent error is to make the assumption that any two or more metrics can separated from the others.  As an example, a business call center may measure an employee's performance level by setting maximum average times to complete a customer call.  On the corporate level, management may count the number of calls handled during a specific time period and assume that more calls answered means better service.

In fact, a large number of calls handled may reflect poor service quality rather than great service.  If the service is so poor that customers don't want to deal with the call center--which unfortunately happens fairly frequently.  By the same token, spending longer on each call doesn't mean that the customer is receiving better service.  The number of calls has been used as another measure of satisfaction.  While fewer calls may mean that fewer customers have complaints about the product or service, it may also mean that the wait times were so extraordinarily long that people simply gave up and hung up the phone.

So, it's important to use enough indicators to make sure you are getting metrics which are measuring different aspects of customer service quality.  Another common error which companies make is to use metrics which are easy to track, but that mean little to the satisfaction of the customer.  An example would be the amount of non-customer time which the employee spends making notes or acting of the information which the customer has given.

In addition to measure things which are not contributing to customer satisfaction, by choosing the wrong call center performance metrics, the call center management may present a false picture to the employees about what is and is not important to promote customer satisfaction. If the pressure on the employees is only about increasing the number of calls which they can handle during any one period of time, the employee may feel pressured to do almost anything just to get the customer off the line quickly.

When a company is assessing the quality of the customer service which it provides, it's important to first choose enough metricsBusiness Management Articles, so that both scope and number is measured.  Second the measurements chosen should rate the things which are important from the customer's point of view.  Employees should also understand what is the important factors which they are being rated for their own performance.  The employee must always have a clear picture of what is and what is not meant by the term 'quality of customer service.'

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