It’s important to have goals and targets – in business and in life – and setting meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the customer service setting is the key to going the extra mile for clients and getting the most out of customer service training and people development. KPIs are the goals used to measure a team’s overall performance. For example, larger call centres would set KPIs around call volumes, abandonment rates, call durations etc., while smaller centres focus on more qualitative KPIs, such as improved customer satisfaction scores or first-time resolutions. These need to be clearly established for any customer service training programmes to be effective, as they will help the trainer create a truly bespoke experience, tailored to the company’s needs.
However, choosing the right KPIs requires a good understanding of what is important to the organisation, which often depends on the department in question. So for customer service leaders, it is critical that we make the connection between what we want our people to deliver and the values we hold during programmes in customer service. “Don’t lower your goals to meet the level of your abilities, instead raise your abilities to meet the height of your goals” is a great mantra to adopt here!
It’s important that your KPIs are established during your people development and customer service training. They must then be communicated in a way that helps staff appreciate their purpose and merit, otherwise they won’t have any affiliation with the company’s values or any inclination to provide a remarkable customer service experience. It’s far too common for KPIs to be communicated from ‘the top down’, with little or no input from the people who are actually out there delivering them on the frontline. Handing everyone a sheet of A4 and telling them “Here are your targets – see you at your next appraisal” won’t boost employee motivation or improve customer care. There has to be ‘buy in’ from the outset – your staff need to embrace the organisation’s values through the KPIs they’re working to each and every day for results to be realised and a great customer service experience to become the norm.
More importantly, management have to be as engaged as possible with their staff, ‘walking the talk’ and modelling the KPIs they expect their staff to follow, so that they’re aware of what’s happening on the frontline and thus able to make informed decisions about the organisation’s customer service experience in the future. This way, staff will be both keen to follow their KPIs and more engaged during their customer service training programmes.