Call center

How to measure customer service excellence

Delivering and Measuring Customer Service

Excerpted with permission from "Delivering and Measuring Customer Service" by Richard D. Hanks. Published by Duff Road Endeavors.

How to measure

When it comes to measuring how well your employees are performing there are multiple tools at your disposal. There are numerous efficiency andeffectiveness measures. They include so-called "hard" measurements suchas units sold hours worked customers talked to complaints resolved etc.

Then there are the more subjective metrics used to measure how wellan employee is performing. At Mindshare we work with major globalcompanies in multiple industries. While the industries vary greatly thegeneral methods used to evaluate employees are easily grouped into acouple of buckets. Most types of customer measurement fall into one ofthree general areas: (1) internal auditing (2) external shopping or (3) theactual customer experience. Let me briefly address each of these methodsand their strengths and shortcomings.

Internal auditing

In call centers this is usually called "ghosting" or "whispering." Infood and retail locations this is often called something like "supervisorshopping" or "internal shopping." With this method employees ofthe company use their skills to audit a location and/or employee foradherence to processes and procedures.

Pros: Company and policy knowledge relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Subjective and biased not the actual customer not continuous.

External shopping

This is often called "mystery shopping " as conducted by "secretshoppers." In this method third parties are paid to pretend they area customer. They visit a location and perform detailed reviews ofperformance against pre-determined standards and specifications.

Pros: Detailed more areas can be graded can measure processes.
Cons: Questionable quality (because shoppers are notalways sufficiently trained) expensive not the actualcustomer very small sample not continuous day-to-dayinconsistencies will not get noticed.

Customer experience

Sometimes called "customer satisfaction measurement " "customer experience management " "compliance monitoring " or simply"customer feedback." In this method customers themselves voluntarilyleave comments about the experience they just had.

Pros: Feedback from the actual customer anonymous inexpensive continuous large sample.
Cons: Not as precise in measuring compliance to desired processes.

Read the rest of this excerpt and download the chapter: In God we trust, all others bring data

About the author: Richard D Hanks, President and Chairman at Mindshare Technologies, a customer feedback services company. Rich has been a senior executive of several Fortune 500 companies as well as several start-up ventures. His experience spans multiple industries and disciplines, including many years as an adjunct university professor and as an executive consultant.