Customers are at the heart of any business, which is why it’s so important to keep them happy. Someone who has a bad customer experience is likely to remember it, talk about it with family, friends, and colleagues, and avoid contacting that company again. It’s essential that you have processes in place to be able to provide a good level of support – but how can you measure the effectiveness of this? Here are 5 things to monitor and review on a regular basis.

Average response time

You need to know – and keep a record of – how long it takes to respond to a customer query. Nowadays, there are so many ways people can connect with businesses that it may be worth keeping track of each channel. Advancements in technology have increased customer expectations over the years which means we want quicker answers and quicker resolutions in order to remain satisfied. Once you know the average response time for channels such as phone, email and live chat, you can create a benchmark. Set a goal to work towards too, if you know there is room for improvement. Equally, an increase in the average response time should raise warning bells.

Ticket backlog

Some businesses operate on a queue management system where they’ll issue a ticket number to customers. The idea is to clear the backlog as quickly as possible while achieving good levels of customer satisfaction. If you notice a backlog building up, it could indicate that an increase in complaints. Similar to the point above, it may be worth creating a benchmark so you can see whether a backlog of X number of tickets is normal, or out of the ordinary and needs investigating.

Complaint escalation

In an ideal world, everyone would be happy with the products/services you provide, but it’s true that you can’t please everyone all of the time. You’re going to get complaints now and again, and probably more as the business grows. Look at how many complaints you’re receiving (on average) for any given month – are the complaints all different or are many of them about the same issue? Look at complaint escalation in conjunction with returning customers to get an indication as to whether you’re providing a good level of customer support.

Returning visits

It goes without saying that happy customers are likely to come back, and may even bring you new sales as they recommend your products/services by word of mouth. You may have your own software in place to monitor customer retention rates; if you don’t, you may want to use Google Analytics as a starting point. Google Analytics can give you a breakdown of new vs. returning visitors, from there you can see how many ‘sessions’ they have on your site, how long their average session was and whether they went on to complete a ‘goal.’ A goal could be anything from signing up to your newsletter, to making a purchase or clicking on a call to action button.

Surveys

Surveys are a great way to receive honest feedback from your customers. It’s commonplace for businesses to send out automatic surveys once someone has made a purchase, asking them how they found their experience and what, if anything, could be better. Some companies also choose to do a quarterly or annual survey, to gauge what’s working well and what can be improved on. Remember to make your survey concise; customers won’t be willing to spend an hour filling out 50 questions!

About the Author:

Paul Macildowie is the founder of outsourced contact center company Mpl Contact.