Contact Centre Management: Setting Customer Service Goals

Why set customer service goals?

Improving customer satisfaction is the obvious benefit, but certainly not the only one.

Driving growth

Company growth doesn’t happen by itself, and there’s always room for improvement in one area or another. By regularly setting customer service goals, you can ensure that your centre is never content with being mediocre.

Gaining insights into the centre’s performance

As you measure the company’s progress towards meeting a goal, various performance stats will emerge. These can provide a series of really useful insights, such as your top-performing team members or areas that need improving.

Providing promotional value

Success-stories about meeting an ambitious goal can be used in marketing campaigns for the company. They’re also sure to impress prospective B2B customers.

Fostering company culture

Working together towards a common goal is an excellent team-building activity. Fostering a sense of shared success and shared responsibility can go a long way towards enhancing company culture.

Even failure to meet the goals can be beneficial: if the team is unsuccessful at first, this can be a valuable learning experience. The insights produced along the way will reveal areas that can be improved.

Involving the team

Though setting customer service goals may seem like a task for the management, it’s a much better idea to involve the entire team.

The reps are the ones interacting with customers. Their involvement in the goal-setting process can provide a series of invaluable insights, giving them an opportunity to highlight problem areas and suggest ways to improve. The team’s input will also be helpful in determining how attainable each goal may be.

If the team is involved at every stage, it will also make them feel more engaged and motivated towards meeting the goals. At the end of the day, we’re all more likely to care about a decision we helped to make than a poster in the staff room!

Specifying SMART goals

‘Improve customer satisfaction’ is always a worthy goal, but it’s far too vague to be of any real value. What constitutes an improvement? How will you know whether you’ve succeeded in meeting the goal?

In order to transform an idea into an actionable plan, we need to turn it into a SMART goal.

The SMART goal-setting principle works very well in business and enterprise settings, contact centres included. According to this model, your goals need to be: 

Specific – what’s the exact objective?

Measurable – what constitutes success? How are we going to monitor our progress?

Attainable – is it something we can realistically achieve right now? Once we’ve achieved it, will we be able to keep it up?

Relevant – how does it fit into our long-term plans and company values? How will achieving this goal help the company?

Time-based – what’s the projected deadline? 

By answering these questions, we can go from ‘Improve customer satisfaction’ to ‘Improve customer satisfaction by 10% across all channels by Q4, using a survey at the end of every interaction as a progress-monitoring tool’. Much clearer, isn’t it?

Other examples of SMART goals for contact centres could include: 

Increasing customer retention to 8% in a period of six months

Bringing the maximum time customers wait to speak to a representative over the phone down to 30 seconds by the end of the year

It’s important not to rush the goal-setting process – the quality of the goals can make or break the entire project.

Implementing action plans and measuring results

Once SMART goals have been picked, it’s up to the contact centre management team to provide action plans and tools necessary to achieve them. This could include training existing and/or additional staff, improving scripts, and acquiring new software or hardware.

While the team is working towards meeting the goal, remember to do the following: 

Measure relevant metrics in a systematic, consistent way

Regularly check in with the team and take their feedback into consideration

Remain flexible – don’t be afraid to slightly alter the goal if it turns out to be unattainable in the given time

Keep the team updated on the progress, especially when reaching milestones

It’s also a great idea to keep the team motivated and engaged through a visual representation of the progress. For instance, a progress board in a common area or a site on the intranet showing the latest metrics will remind your staff what they’re working towards and how far they’ve come.

Still, even the best-laid plans won’t succeed if your contact centre is lacking appropriate talent or training. If your contact centre staff needs a bit of a boost, Clarion People can help you hire the right agents for the job.

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