Your customer support team plays a vital role in determining the quality of your customer service. It directly impacts customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, your company’s reputation and bottom line. These customer service statistics highlight how imperative it is to invest time, effort, and resources into improving your team’s capabilities.
If you find yourself in a situation where your current team is not meeting expectations, you may be wondering how to turn things around. This concise guide is precisely what you need to address that challenge.
In the following sections, we will delve into various aspects, starting from the key characteristics of a successful customer service team. We will then proceed to guide you through the process of defining clear goals, and objectives, and implementing key performance indicators (KPIs) to drive your team toward success.
What do successful customer service teams look like?
While the effectiveness of a customer service team may vary based on individual circumstances, business industries, and other influencing factors, certain common characteristics tend to be present in successful teams. Here’s what we think successful customer service teams have:
- Excellent communication skills: your team should possess strong verbal and written communication skills to understand customer needs, empathize, and provide clear, concise solutions.
- Empathy and emotional intelligence: demonstrating empathy and emotional intelligence allows your team to connect with customers on a deeper level, understanding their emotions and addressing their concerns with compassion.
- Knowledge about product and process: customer service team should be well-informed and have in-depth knowledge of your products or services. To ensure your team stays up to date continuous training and product/process knowledge updates are essential.
- Problem-solving abilities: strong problem-solving skills are vital for handling a variety of customer issues and providing quick and effective solutions.
- Adaptability and flexibility: successful customer service teams can adapt to different situations and customer personalities. Flexibility in approach and willingness to go the extra mile is what customers expect from great customer service.
How to form a successful customer service team?
To cultivate the aforementioned common characteristics of a successful team, it is crucial to establish them as exemplars and encourage your team members to foster these abilities and traits. An effective approach to achieving this is by setting clear goals and objectives for each customer service agent as well team goals. When you define specific targets, they serve as a guiding framework, ensuring that your team’s efforts are harmonized with your overall business objectives.
When creating relevant goals and objectives for your team, first think about:
Improving customer satisfaction should be a top priority. Establish specific targets, such as achieving a certain percentage of positive customer feedback or reducing the number of complaints received. Measure customer satisfaction by:
- monitoring feedback (read about how customer feedback can enhance customer experiences),
- conducting surveys, or
- analyzing customer sentiment.
Then, look into making a:
Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance
SLA compliance is a key performance indicator that measures your team’s ability to meet predefined service standards. SLAs define metrics like response time, resolution time, and quality expectations.
Make sure you define SLAs for different types of customer interactions and measure your team’s adherence to them. Ensure that your team is consistently meeting or exceeding these service standards.
And speaking of service standards, it’s important to emphasize:
Reducing your customer service team’s response times should be one of the main goals. Reducing response time is a critical aspect of providing excellent customer service. Customers value prompt assistance and expect timely resolutions to their queries or concerns. Establish a target response time for different channels of communication, such as phone, email, or live chat, to ensure that customers receive timely support and feel valued.
Another target to consider is:
Improving team efficiency contributes to enhanced productivity and service quality. Set goals within your team to:
- optimize processes (read about effective customer service workflows),
- reduce average handle time (AHT), and
- increase first contact resolution (FCR) rates.
Encourage your team to find ways to streamline workflows, utilize effective tools and resources, and continuously improve their efficiency levels.
And then finally, make sure to not forget:
Training and improvement
A crucial aspect of goal-setting is making sure that continuous learning is a common practice within your team. Encourage ongoing training and development opportunities to enhance product and process knowledge. By investing in your team’s growth, you equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide exceptional service.
In essence, defining clear goals and objectives for your customer service team is essential as it establishes a solid framework for success and equips your team with the necessary tools to excel in their roles. These targets act as guiding principles, driving your team’s performance and ensuring alignment with your overarching business objectives. To effectively monitor and maintain your team’s progress, the next section of this guide introduces several key performance metrics (KPIs) that can accurately measure and evaluate their performance.
Which KPIs to use to measure customer service performance?
Measuring the performance of your customer service team is crucial for gaining insights, identifying areas for improvement, and ensuring that you deliver exceptional service to your customers. Customer service KPIs can help to measure performance, and, subsequently, understand how well your customer service team is working.
Here’s a list of 6 common KPIs that measure your customer service performance and a separate explanation of how to use each of these metrics:
1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT is a widely used KPI that measures the satisfaction level of customers after interacting with your team. Typically collected through post-interaction surveys or feedback forms, CSAT allows customers to define their experience in numbers, using a common scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.
To calculate CSAT, divide the total number of positive feedback responses by the total number of customer satisfaction survey responses and multiply by 100. This provides you with a percentage representing customer satisfaction.
2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS assesses customer loyalty and the likelihood of customers recommending your business to others. In this survey, only one question is asked, and that is how likely are the customers to recommend your company to friends and colleagues. Customer responses are then ordered into three groups:
- Promoters (scores 9-10),
- Passives (scores 7-8), and
- Detractors (scores 0-6).
You can calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. NPS scores can range from -100 to 100, with higher scores indicating more positive customer sentiment.
3. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
FCR evaluates the percentage of customer issues resolved during the first interaction without requiring follow-up. A high FCR rate is indicative of efficient problem-solving skills and a better customer experience.
Divide the count of issues resolved on the initial contact by the total number of reported issues, and then multiply the result by 100. And that’s how you calculate the FCR.
4. Customer retention rate
Customer retention rate measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with your company over a specific period. It is an essential KPI that reflects customer loyalty and the success of your customer service efforts.
You can calculate the customer retention rate by dividing the number of customers at the end of a specific period by the number of customers at the beginning of that period and then multiplying the result by 100.
5. Average Handle Time (AHT)
AHT measures the average duration taken by your customer service representatives to handle customer interaction. It includes the time spent on calls, email, chat, or any other communication channel. A lower AHT indicates that your team is resolving issues quickly and efficiently, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
6. Customer Effort Score (CES)
CES measures the ease of a customer’s experience when dealing with your customer service team. Customers are asked to rate how much effort they had to put into resolving their issue or completing a transaction. This can be measured using a scale, such as “Very Easy” to “Very Difficult.” A higher CES score indicates that customers find it easier to interact with your team, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.
By aligning your goals and objectives with relevant KPIs to measure customer service performance, you lay the foundation for cultivating a highly successful customer service team.
To ensure effective tracking of KPIs, consider employing modern customer service software and tools. Utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, survey platforms, and data analytics tools can simplify data collection and analysis, empowering your team with valuable insights. Additionally, regular performance reviews, feedback sessions, and training programs can help address any areas that require improvement.
Moreover, establishing realistic and relevant goals for your team that are in alignment with your business objectives will enhance their clarity and yield more favorable outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt a comprehensive approach to measuring and improving your customer service team’s performance.
And finally, embrace the power of measurement and continuous improvement to establish a customer-centric organization that excels in delivering remarkable customer service.
Automating customer service performance measurement in Zendesk
Zendesk’s ready-to-use customer service software is adaptable and scalable, and it can be seamlessly integrated into your existing business infrastructure. Whatever your use case, Zendesk is designed to provide your teams with the tools they need to provide the experiences your customers demand, and measuring customer service performance is an essential component.
However, Zendesk is capable of far more than what is provided out of the box. With Knot’s Zendesk apps and middleware, there is much more that can be done to automate customer service performance and use the data effectively. The more structured and productive your customer service team is, the faster and more professional service you can deliver to your customers, resulting in multi-faceted benefits for your company. Check out our ROI calculator to see how much time and money you can save with Zendesk apps.