3 Ways to Test Your Customer Service Strategy

How do you take your customer service and kick it up a notch?

This is a big question, so where do we begin?

As an overview, it's a given that the answer is three-fold: People, Process, and Technology. Let me say right from the start, my bias is on the people side.

A few questions for you to ponder:

1) Do you collect and measure any data? After all, what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets better.

2) Do you have customer satisfaction statistics? And if yes, how and where are you getting them?

3) Do you have ongoing training in place - not sales training - not product training - not protocol or rules and regulations training - but true relationship building skills training?

Let's address the first question. Just because your system has metrics available to you doesn't mean you need to use all of them.

My advice is to start at the end. What are you trying to achieve and what measurement would absolutely reflect that achievement? That's what you want to measure. The first time you measure gives you a benchmark to use for charting your progress 1 month, 3 months, 6 months down the line. You're not comparing yourself to any one but yourself so it's fairly accurate. Yes, there are environmental, economic or seasonal issues, but you're getting a pretty truthful snapshot.

As an example, lots of companies measure length of call. This is a useful statistic. But if you are committed to customer service, I would suggest first call resolution is more important than length of call. Southwest Airlines is committed to quality customer service and they don't even calculate length of call. Same with Jet Blue and Zappos.

Again what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets better.

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