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Measuring customer service excellence

Start measuring customer service in your organization with this chapter from "Delivering and Measuring Customer Service." Learn the three ways any company can measure the level of service their employees are providing and get the pros and cons of each method.

Delivering and Measuring Customer Service

 

Excerpted with permission from "Delivering and Measuring Customer Service" by Richard D. Hanks. Published by Duff Road Endeavors.

How to measure

When it comes to measuring how well your employees are performing, there are multiple tools at your disposal. There are numerous efficiency and effectiveness measures. They include so-called "hard" measurements, such as units sold, hours worked, customers talked to, complaints resolved, etc.

Then, there are the more subjective metrics used to measure how well an employee is performing. At Mindshare, we work with major global companies in multiple industries. While the industries vary greatly, the general methods used to evaluate employees are easily grouped into a couple of buckets. Most types of customer measurement fall into one of three general areas: (1) internal auditing, (2) external shopping, or (3) the actual customer experience. Let me briefly address each of these methods and their strengths and shortcomings.

Internal auditing

In call centers, this is usually called "ghosting" or "whispering." In food and retail locations, this is often called something like "supervisor shopping" or "internal shopping." With this method, employees of the company use their skills to audit a location and/or employee for adherence to processes and procedures.

Pros: Company and policy knowledge, relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Subjective and biased, not the actual customer, not continuous.

External shopping

This is often called "mystery shopping," as conducted by "secret shoppers." In this method, third parties are paid to pretend they are a customer. They visit a location and perform detailed reviews of performance against pre-determined standards and specifications.

Pros: Detailed, more areas can be graded, can measure processes.
Cons: Questionable quality (because shoppers are not always sufficiently trained), expensive, not the actual customer, very small sample, not continuous, day-to-day inconsistencies will not get noticed.

Customer experience

Sometimes called "customer satisfaction measurement," "customer experience management," "compliance monitoring," or simply "customer feedback." In this method, customers themselves voluntarily leave comments about the experience they just had.

Pros: Feedback from the actual customer, anonymous, inexpensive, continuous, large sample.
Cons: Not as precise in measuring compliance to desired processes.

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