Five Critical KPIs When Considering Self-Service
Self-service has firmly planted itself at the core of contact center digital transformation projects. Streamlining repetitive or cumbersome activities improves the customer experience, and impacts the employee experience. Across customer experience, modern technology is transforming many KPIs.
Today’s consumers demand digital self-service. A Software Advice survey found that when a customer has a question for a business, 73% check the website first. Customers want to be empowered to find solutions to their problems on their own. For simple, straightforward customer service calls, self-service provides a fast, accurate, and easy-to-use method for achieving results that customers love. As companies continue implementing these solutions through more channels customer experience will continue to rise. Customer service managers can see the impact with these critical KPIs.
“For simple, straightforward customer service calls, self-service provides a fast, accurate, and easy-to-use method for achieving results that customers love.”
The most direct measure of self-service, deflection rate is the proportion of customers who are able to completely solve their problem using self-service solutions without speaking with a customer service agent or connecting to an agent-led chat. At Zappix, we track how many callers to the traditional IVR channel opt into Visual IVR and reach a conclusion using the visual menu system instead of moving down the IVR tree to a live agent conversation, for example.
Businesses can track deflection across multiple self-service channels. Businesses with robust website self-service experiences (like knowledge bases) should track how many visitors search for terms and click on results but don’t escalate the issue to a service call or live chat.
“The most direct measure of self-service, deflection rate is the proportion of customers who are able to completely solve their problem using self-service solutions without speaking with a customer service agent or connecting to an agent-led chat.”
Repeat Contact Rate
Tied to deflection, Repeat Contact Rate measures how many times the same customers are contacting your customer service. This stat sheds light on just how valuable deflection to self-service can be. For many customer service call types customers can end up calling multiple times. When order status calls are shifted to self-service, for example, those repetitive calls stop bogging down CSRs and free up phone lines for more complex calls.
Cost Per Contact
As business implement end-to-end automation and complete self-service solutions, customer service managers should be careful to focus on cost per contact across all channels more than cost per contact over traditional agent-led channels.
It is important to bring context to the cost per contact calculation. When customers are resolving the majority of simple, straightforward calls using self-service, the average length of live agent calls might increase as a result. When the only calls reaching customer service reps are complex calls, the number of contacts tends to decrease, but these interactions can end up being longer and the cost per contact can actually increase. However, if you factor in the efficiency of self-service contacts (self-service automation can serve more customers at once, increasing the total amount of customers you are helping) your cost per contact across all channels should decrease overall.
All customer service operations should consider customer satisfaction one of their top self-service KPIs. The good news is that it is easier to deliver surveys to customers via self-service channels. Through your Visual IVR, chatbot, or other channels, you can gather feedback on your content, service, and technology to ensure your self-service options are providing the right quality of care.
“The good news is that it is easier to deliver surveys to customers via self-service channels.”
Customer Effort Score
Gartner considers customer effort “the strongest driver to customer loyalty.” Fast, straightforward, end-to-end customer self-service experiences provide a great opportunity to reduce the customer effort required to resolve simple inquiries. By providing these experiences that customers crave, loyalty increases and, almost more importantly, customer churn decreases.
Measure customer effort score by adding a simple “The company made it easy for me to handle this issue” statement to user surveys. Ask users to rank their answer 1-5, with 5 being strong agreement and 1 being strong disagreement with the statement. CES is calculated by finding the percentage of customers who respond with at least “somewhat agree” (4 or 5) to the statement.
Modern customers crave simple, easy resolutions to their problems. As customer service leaders implement more and more self-service channels, those straightforward experiences will increase customer satisfaction and keep customers happy and loyal. By keeping an eye on these 5 critical KPIs, contact center managers and business leaders can accurately understand how successful their new digital transformation projects are and where they might need to improve their customer service automation.