Customer service efforts can often feel difficult to quantify. How can you really put a number on customers’ satisfaction with your product or service? That being said, it’s almost impossible to improve on something if you aren’t sure where you currently stand. That’s why customer service analytics are essential; they help you recognize where your service team is currently so it can constantly improve, therefore serving your customers better and bringing them back for future purchases.
But measuring your customer service efforts isn’t always straightforward. Analytics remain a hot topic in the customer service world because with the vast majority of data available, there are plenty of schools of thought when it comes to utilizing those numbers. Here are four common misconceptions about customer service analytics—and how to shift your mind-set to better serve your client base.
The More Data, the Better
There are more data at our fingertips than ever. You can see not only how long customers are spending on your website but also which products they’re clicking on. You can see what they’re putting in their carts and how long it takes them to check out; where people live, how old they are, and what their gender is; and who’s opening your e-mails, who’s reading them for longer than a minute, and who’s actually clicking links.
But does more data automatically translate into better analytical strategy? Not so much. In fact, oftentimes, the more data you have, the more overwhelmed you can feel. It’s kind of like when you decide to go on a diet, so you suddenly cut calories, implement a workout routine, embrace a gluten-free lifestyle, and give up drinking. When you start losing weight, it’ll be impossible to know which of those changes actually made a difference. When you’re staring at a wall of numbers, it’s hard to know what to tweak or what’s having an impact.
Instead, pick a few analytics that are a high priority to you and have an actual return on investment in your business. For instance, social media follower numbers don’t really matter if you aren’t an influencer charging per follower. What’s more important is a high click-through rate on links. Or, if you really want to focus on a high e-mail open rate, abandon the idea of growing your list rapidly, and instead, concentrate on delivering high-quality content that entices people to open messages from you, turning warm leads warmer. These may seem more like marketing analytics vs. customer service ones, but the more your customers engage with you, the higher level of service they’ll be expecting. Decide on which numbers you’re going to prioritize, and focus on those instead of being hit with number-overwhelm.
Analytics Will Instantly Help Your Service Team Perform Better
Numbers are meaningless without actions behind them. It’s important to not just track numbers but also interpret them. Make sure you set aside time in your calendar to make action steps when it comes to increasing the statistics you’re seeing. If you’re trying to get a higher customer satisfaction rating, how can you teach your agents to provide higher service?
Just watching your numbers isn’t going to help your business reach its goals. You need to also implement plans that will empower and encourage your customer service team to change those numbers. It’s one thing to be diligent about data tracking, but it’s another to use it for good instead of allowing it to become another hollow task.
You Can’t Accurately Measure Customer Satisfaction
As stated before, customer service can feel hard to quantify. But it’s far from impossible.
The easiest way to “rate” customer service is by giving straightforward customer satisfaction surveys after an interaction. That’s a simple way to quantify the level of service a customer feels he or she received. But those surveys can have a low fill-out rate, and furthermore, without asking why a customer ranked you a 3 out of 10, it isn’t incredibly helpful information. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be gathering it—it just means you shouldn’t consider a satisfaction survey the extent of your customer service analytics efforts.
You can’t see the wind blowing, but you can tell its direction by looking at the leaves on trees. In the same way, you can keep an eye on other important metrics to gain insight into your customer service effectiveness. If a customer turns into a return customer, that’s a good sign he or she received a high level of service. If customers have short phone calls in your call center instead of lengthy ones with a lot of rerouting, you can assume their problem was handled quickly. These are signs you can look for to try and get a firm grasp on how well your customers are being satisfied.
Automation and Analytics Are Incompatible
When customer service efforts are automated, it’s easy to feel like you can’t really track them, as well. For instance, an abandoned-cart reminder e-mail is going to just take care of abandoned carts, right? Not so. Automation and analytics should work hand in hand. If you got rid of wait times for customer service phone calls and instead are implementing a callback software, you can still track things like how long the actual phone call is and how long it took agents to call the customer back. Automation should help give your analytics that important context, not mask them.
However, this does mean that analytics need to be more frequently gathered. With all of the changes in technology and new artificial intelligence practices popping up in customer service every quarter, it’s important to constantly reevaluate which numbers you’re tracking and what they mean for your customer service efforts. If you’re implementing some type of automation, you can’t afford to kick back and expect it to handle all of your service—you’re still going to need to track your success and interpret it. Even automated data reports can’t do that important interpretation work.