Of all your business KPIs, customer service can be one of the toughest to track. It’s the sticky mixture of qualitative and quantitative data that can be challenging. And, given that the vast majority of customer service positions are taken up by junior members of staff, it can often lead to problems. However, there are several warning signs that your customer service is failing. And unless you stop the rot, your business could go downhill - fast. Watch out for the following signs and make sure you take action to avoid potential trouble.
The wrong ratios
One of the best ways to judge your customer service is to look at specific ratios in your overall performance. The first is the ratio between the number of leads you get and the number of sales you make. If you have a far higher lead rate, then your sales team is not doing their job properly - which could be a customer service issue. Similarly, if the ratio of your new customers is far higher than your repeat customers, there is clearly a retention problem.
You don’t invest in training
Not everyone you hire is a customer service genius - people need direction. It’s down to you to provide new employees with the skills they need to deal with clients and customers. If you aren’t training your staff, you can guarantee there will be unhappy customers at some point in the future.
Too many blockages
Are your customers finding it difficult to get what they want when they want? There are a few things to look for depending on your business type. Online retailers, for example, should look at their shopping carts and try and work out why so many are being abandoned. Offline businesses should look out for repeatedly massive queues at the cash register. Perhaps more people taking money would help you get those numbers down? You might also benefit from investing in a mobile credit card reader for shop floor staff. The idea is to reduce those queues and speed up the time it takes for a customer to choose a purchase and pay for it.
Lots of escalations
If you are finding that you are fielding too many calls from irate clients needing to speak to a manager, your service levels are failing. Your customer service team should have the skills to deal with the vast majority of issues. Managers should not have to deal with any more than one in twenty complaints. Again, it’s all down to making sure you train your staff so they have the tools to deal with people’s problems.
You aren’t seeing customer service as marketing
Finally, customer service is the ultimate marketing tool. It is expensive to find new customers, and far cheaper to keep old ones. But if you make a poor impression in any area, you will lose that customer - and many of their friends or relatives - for life. Make sure that you see customer service as your number one marketing channel, and you should see instant improvements.