Everyone in business recognises the importance of great customer service. It is often the one aspect of a customer's experience that remains stuck in their mind for a long time afterwards - for good or for ill, depending on how they were treated.
Yet it can often be a tricky thing to measure accurately. Unlike sales, which have clear numbers to focus on and can easily be compared month to month, customer service skills can sometimes seem more nebulous. There are, however, concrete ways to measure customer service – and learn where skills are most impressive and most in need of brushing up.
Customer Satisfaction – a Vital Metric
Who are the real experts on your customer service? Your customers.
When looking at customer service quality levels, your customers' feedback is golden and is the single most important thing to take into account when measuring your customer service levels. There are several ways to do this:
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys. These are a great way of getting a rounded perspective on how you're meeting your customers' needs. You might be surprised how willing your customers are to give you detailed feedback, especially if it's framed to them as a way to understand how better to serve them in the future. Send these fairly regularly and you will have a consistent, easily understood way of tracking your customer satisfaction levels over time.
- Reviews. Encourage your customers to leave reviews after interacting with your company. It's likely that several already exist online on the different platforms, so try to take all of them on board. The key thing to watch out for is patterns: if several customers pick out the same strengths and weaknesses relating to your customer service offering, this is very valuable information to act on.
- Social Media. Regardless of whether you have an active social media presence, it's likely people are sharing ideas and feedback about your products and services on these platforms. It's a good idea to be on social media to respond to these and keep informed about what people are saying.
New and Returning Faces
A good reputation will help attract customers; good customer service will help keep them. Keeping track of your customers' spending habits with you is another way of seeing how satisfied they are.
- Repeat Customers. Once customers have placed their first order with you, do they return again? Do they recommend your business to others? These can be a great indication that your customer service is doing its job well.
- Order Values. Of those returning customers, do they increase the value of the orders they place with you? This shows they are trusting you with a greater proportion of business and resources – something that reflects well on your products or services and customer service alike.
It's always a good idea to keep an eye on what your competitors are offering their customers and prospects.
In terms of customer service, this can include scanning their reviews and social media comments and finding any running themes. How does your business stack up against theirs? It can also help to find the little extras they're offering that you could consider. For example, if your main competitor is offering free delivery on orders over a certain value and you aren't, it might be worth considering if this is something you could match or beat to please your customers.