Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting service-minded stories for the week as part of a Friday recap. We’ll comment on one story each and then add 3 others for your review.
For the sixth installment, and week 11 of 2017:
Topic: AHT. It’s time to Move On.
Source: HBR: https://hbr.org/2017/02/call-length-is-the-worst-way-to-measure-customer-service
Commentary: We agree that AHT (average handle time) shouldn’t be the barometer for customer support performance. As customers engage in a higher degree of self-service for low complexity issues, they are likely to reach out for live support for issues that are complex and require proper diagnosis and care. In this, putting agents on the clock drives the wrong behavior. TSC’s research has shown that organizations are slowly gravitating towards a framework of scores to measure customer service and customer experience. Most organizations still look at CSAT and loyalty scores. An emerging group, 37% of our group, now measure and evaluate customer experience on the basis of customer effort or ease of doing business.
The authors do indicate that AHT is useful for an organization to assess its overall performance and its cost drivers and can help prioritize future investments. That said, agent performance and recognition should be based on resolution as opposed to speed.
Topic: Breaking down silos to create culture of service
Source: Marketing Week: https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/03/09/siloes-bureaucracy-holding-back-customer-experience-study-finds/
Commentary: The siloed organization is nothing new. I feel like we’ve discussed this topic for a decade already, if not longer. But as this article highlights IT departments are still siloed from service, and HR still doesn’t work with customer support to identify and deploy a strategy. For service organizations that mainly support break/fix, reactive service engagements, the entire organization may not be needed and thus a siloed structure won’t cause havoc. But as service models evolve to being more proactive and predictive, other teams are needed to successfully deliver service. For example, IT is needed to design equipment to capture performance data, HR is needed to hire service workers with soft skills, and sales is needed to position contracts that charge for predictive support. As recent TSC data shows one of the top reasons why innovative projects like IoT connectivity don’t get off the ground is the inability to gain internal buy-in across departments (as stated by 41% of respondents) – silos of thought, strategy, and action. Service is a team game and the entire organization needs to be involved and bought-in to achieve service excellence and wow customers. If walls remain between functions of the business, the ability to deliver innovations in service will remain stunted.
Our Three Other Articles
1- Customer service still makes the difference at Mequon Ace (OnMilwaukee, 3/14/17)
2- VW Korea promotes higher customer service through ‘We Care’ campaign (The Korea Herald, 3/16/17)
3- In a tiny town, a phone company right out of a Rockwell painting (The Boston Globe, 3/11/17)
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Till next week.