Magazine article CRM Magazine

Analyze the Cost and Effect of Customer Experiences

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Analyze the Cost and Effect of Customer Experiences

Article excerpt

HOW DO YOU cut costs while providing great customer service? This is one of the most popular questions among customer service executives. And, as the use of different customer interaction channels (e.g., mobile, social, and Web) increases, the question becomes more difficult to answer.

Already, countless studies have indicated that positive customer service experiences benefit customer satisfaction, influence, and sales. Progressive organizations know this. They also know, to stay competitive, they must continually improve upon their already good customer service experiences. But in hyper-competitive markets, with tight budgets and increasing customer demands, which metrics should customer care professionals focus on?

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We answer this question in our cover story, "The New Measure of Customer Service Success" (page 32), by News Editor Leonard Klie. The feature maintains that it's not enough to evaluate metrics that mainly focus on lowering costs, such as first call/contact resolution rates and average handle times. Instead, customer care executives must get a more complete picture of customer interactions--not only focusing on the cost of customer interactions, but the effect of interactions on customers and prospects as well. Organizations must consider additional metrics, such as the Net Promoter Score, feedback or voice-of-the-customer (VoC) data, and the Customer Effort Score, which tracks the amount of time and effort required of customers to resolve their issue.

Customer effort is an important issue. In fact, it's why Associate Editor Kelly Liyakasa walked out of one retail store without the item she eagerly wanted to purchase, which she explains in her feature story, "Connecting Retail and E-tail" (page 44). Retailers, as her feature points out, are also recognizing the need to improve customer experiences, especially as they move more sales and support to the Web. …

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