Understanding the three dimensions of good data – customer experience, product, and policy – is the first step toward instituting a better data strategy. These steps will help you turn meaningful insight into positive action.
There are tens of millions of customer interactions that take place in any customer service environment. Those interactions allow you to capture data and measure myriad things related to operation, product, and customer policy and procedure.
Typically, companies measure customer satisfaction levels after a service call. But that’s only part of the story. That metric in no way accounts for how a customer feels about policies or even the actual product. You’re gaining insights from data that is only a part of the whole picture, leaving you a giant blind spot for the remaining factors of the customer experience.
What metrics actually mean
When talking brand image, senior leadership should be just as involved as those overseeing customer service directly. To make meaningful changes to your brand, every level of a company must understand not only where your gaps are in customer service, but also where your products and policies fall short of customer expectations.
What does a policy without customers in mind look like? Imagine a customer spends $10,000 on a credit card every year with no issues but calls one day and disputes a $25 charge. A company that forces the customer to contact the merchant or refuses to credit the account does not have a frictionless customer service policy in place. Think about it: Simply crediting the small charge for a loyal customer costs less than the alternative, and it boosts customer loyalty.
Firm policies often mask opportunities for brand improvement. For instance, only 17 percent of organizations have fully integrated customer data throughout the organization.
Policy, product and associates work together to create a holistic picture from which actionable measurements of performance – not just metrics of customer service satisfaction – can arise.
Gathering (and using) good data
Understanding the three dimensions of good data – customer experience, product, and policy – is the first step toward instituting a better data strategy. These steps will help you turn meaningful insight into positive action:
1. Measure quantitatively and qualitatively. Create avenues to collect both quantitative metrics and qualitative feedback. With 50 percent of C-suite executives saying they don’t consistently measure the customer experience, doing so helps you stand out against the competition.
Qualitative measurements give meaning to the cold data and metrics. You need to have the verbatim feedback from customers to know whether your approach is trending in the right direction. When you have the right measures across all three dimensions with both quantitative and qualitative pieces, you gain a much clearer picture of how customers see your brand.
2. Summarize your findings. Identify your need to improve in all three areas and find where your opportunities to enact your strategy lie. If you have a data set of trends and qualitative reports from customers, you can compare that information to understand where your spots of customer dissatisfaction lie.
After recognizing those areas, match them up with your overall business strategy and build a set of recommendations to transform the experience. Whether that means the customer experience, policy, product or all three, be flexible in how you implement your findings.
3. Create new strategies. The end goal is to transform your service experience and provide an improved outcome. In some cases, these are easy fixes; often, however, you may need more information outside of your organization to make a decision. What does the competitive environment look like? Maybe you’re not satisfied with your customer satisfaction level, but everyone else is measurably worse. Maybe you’re fine domestically yet lagging internationally.
Most frequently, you’ll fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. While frustrating, this is also a prime opportunity to break away from the competition. If there’s a large market, such as international customers, that isn’t specifically catered to by another company, consider making a dramatic shift to secure that demographic if you can do so without losing sight of what your brand represents.
4. Transform strategy to action quickly. Why bother collecting data if you aren’t willing to act? Once you identify your opportunity to improve and settle on a strategy, don’t wait for a golden moment – act immediately. The longer you sit on information, the less impact that information has.
Our company used to provide a wireless client with monthly metrics reports that outlined customers’ frustrations with its products and policies. In addition, we provided actionable suggestions for solutions. Unfortunately, the company sat on the information and continued to degrade the customer experience until one of its competitors took the majority of the market share. Inaction cost the company customers and, ultimately, the business.
Metrics without measurement is like looking at a beautiful painting in a room without any light. The information is all there, but without something that shines clarity on it, you can’t use it the way you need to. Follow the above steps to see the bigger picture of the customer experience, gather better data and execute more effective strategies.
Martin F. DeGhetto is the COO and executive vice president of TeleTech’s Customer Management Services arm. DeGhetto joined TeleTech as its executive vice president of operations in 2010 before ascending to his current post in 2012. DeGhetto served in executive roles at American Express and AT&T/American Transtech, was a senior vice president for North American/European operations at Convergys Corporation, and spent two years as an executive vice president and COO in Connextions, Inc.’s commercial division.