How do we build a top class service team for internal or external customers? Here are the ways I suggest:
- Identify key performance indicators based on business needs
- Define indicators based on analytics and insights
- Plan a roadmap to achieve those objectives through research and analysis framework
- Ensure the roadmap does not conflict with employee and customer satisfaction
Now there is a very common model named SMART currently exists in the industry which seems to be easy to understand but not necessarily well comprehended. SMART criteria were originally popularized by Peter Drucker in his book The Practice of Management published in 1954. Since then the concept has evolved with many different authors. I would explain SMART in the following manner:
Specific: Derived from well analyzed business need and stated in a simplistic manner.
Measurable: Defined through data analytics within a well-designed framework.
Attainable: Derive from evaluation of requirements vs. capability thorough data and process analysis.
Result-focused: Create a framework on consistently measuring and ensuring adherence to expected outcome.
Time bound: Derive from mutual understanding between agents and leaders guided by business need.
Here are some tips that will radically change customer support teams’ performance and bring both customer and employee satisfaction rates together and higher.
Ownership: Key factor in building a successful support team is to have the support team members own the KPIs and not just business imposing on them. This is achieved by mutual understanding between (1) what business needs to achieve in order to sustain and (2) what employees can deliver.
Analytics: The success of business in modern times depends largely on analytics and insights. The better the organizations are capable of listing to data and process analysis, the higher the performance would be. Now that being said, analytics initiatives should be carefully designed within a proper business analysis framework and process engineering. Informal and impromptu analytics without collaboration usually misses critical insights and results in a waste.
Coaching: Coaching is vital as leaders needs to listen from agents about their challenges; customer inputs etc. and agents need support and training according to their need. It’s an empathetic bond between leaders and agents. When results start going down, in traditional organizations, leaders start to frantically book coaching sessions thinking that to be agents’ training need. This may create unnecessary pressure on remaining workforce affecting service level. The problem may not necessarily lie with the agents. This happens largely due to lack in analytics and insights into current processes and practices. Majority of the time it’s not people that’s at the core of the problem, but the processes and practices that currently exists and unwillingness to change. I would call that Continuous Intelligence Gathering in the world of customer service.
Employee and Customer Satisfaction: At the end the most vital of all components is togetherness of both employee and customer satisfaction – the beginning and the end. It’s the fine balance without which we would be building a team to fail irrespective of what we do to succeed.