New performance metrics needed to retain customers in downturn
Businesses need a new set of strategic metrics to retain customers and drive sales in the current economic downturn. That is one of the findings in a new survey from customer software company Genesys.
The survey found that UK firms are the best in the world at driving profit from customer intelligence – but they still rely largely on operational metrics. 61 per cent of contact centres use ‘call duration’ to assess customer service, while only 30 per cent measure revenue per call.
The research shows that while UK firms are more likely to adopt strategic metrics than other regions to better assess customer service delivery and retention, there is still work to be done. Contact centres are largely operational and use traditional metrics, such as call duration or average speed to answer, to assess the customer experience. Only 30 per cent measure revenue per call which would provide more useful customer intelligence.
Almost a third of UK businesses surveyed (31 per cent) are taking actions to address performance management and reporting in the next 18 months and have implemented proactive business management strategies to enhance end-to-end customer interactions. The comprehensive global survey was carried out for Genesys by independent research company, Equation, and polled key employees ranging from CEOs to customer service professionals at 927 companies in 47 countries.
Keith Pearce, marketing director for EMEA at Genesys, commented: “A downturn can be an opportunity for an organisation to gain a competitive advantage. Some companies will certainly have to close their doors, but those with more focused efficiency strategies, meaningful employee performance measurements and customer-related targets, have the potential to thrive in the current climate.”
He added that it is crucial to measure in the right space because organisations can follow the direction of their measures – measure transactionally and you add to your costs and often your staff’s stress levels; measure strategically around the benefits you deliver, and things fall into place.
The research found that a large number of businesses still don’t measure revenue from customer care interactions. Although 77 per cent of UK respondents said that the contact centre plays a role in revenue generation, only 33 per cent of customer service professionals and 28 per cent of C-level executives said their customer service is measured on revenue per call.
Organisations need to assess therefore how performance is measured and employees and customers are managed, particularly as customers are being more careful in how they spend their money.
“Now more than ever, businesses should assess how performance is measured and how employees and customers are managed,” Pearce added. “And our research shows that UK firms are taking the lead here and embracing strategic metrics more readily than their global peers. A much higher proportion of UK businesses (55 per cent) track customer expectations compared to only 48 per cent in other regions, with over 28 per cent of companies in the UK planning to link business drivers with customer behaviours.”