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Build Predictability Using Key Performance Indicators

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Jul 23, 2019

What you can measure, you can improve. In customer service, it's important to make sure you can not only keep track of how your company is working with your clients, but how you can ensure that you keep improving. Customer service is a component of the Discipline of Business Development, along with marketing and sales. Taken together, they lead to predictability.

Sustainable businesses create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each department and each position in that area. KPIs are used to measure progress, comparing today's results with yesterday's and with the projections for tomorrow. As a result, every member of the team understands how their work contributes to a winning company with consistent leads, a consistent conversion rate, and repeat customers.

Customer service is an area that benefits from KPI. One critical KPI is whether the number of transactions a customer makes is above or below the company's baseline number. If this KPI decreases, you can take the following steps to improve:

Make customers feel extra special. Use their name as much as possible and learn and remember their interests. Find out about their family and do something for them.

Under-promise and over-deliver. Do a little more than the customer expects. If you say the product will be in stock on Wednesday, get it in on Tuesday, and call them on Monday to let them know the good news. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but keeping something small in reserve can produce surprising results. There is a catch, however: the more you deliver, the more the customer expects.

Deliver consistently and reliably. All it takes to lose a reliable customer is a single bad experience. You are only as good as your last encounter, so don’t become complacent.

Keep in regular contact. Endeavor to contact with all your clients at intervals that make sense for your business, but at least every three months. Your business is the last thing on their minds, so make your correspondence memorable. A personalized postcard is more special than an email; a special offer can inspire a call or a visit.

Inform customers of your entire range. A customer looking for a specific solution may not be aware of everything you offer. Introducing them to even a single additional product or service could produce tremendous results. If already they trust your company, they'll be more inclined to do further business with you for other products and services. After all, they're probably buying what they need from someone else already.

Increase your range. As you discover what your customers need, keep accessories or complements to existing products in stock. Advertise and alert your customers as to what you offer.

Make sure you always have stock. Nothing is more annoying for a customer who needs something than to be told that it's out of stock, especially items that comprise your core business. When they buy it elsewhere, they might just stay with their new supplier.

To recap, every customer's experience should be predictable. This means that providing excellent customer service should be automatic for everyone in the company. To do this you must create clear boundaries of what we will or will not do for the customer. This includes clear guidelines for communicating with your customers.

We'd love to hear from you. What key performance indicators does your company have in place for customer service? Thank you for sharing.