Head of Consultancy UK
At the end of the day, it's your Service Desk customers have the last word about your services. And that's why it's increasingly important that you track how they feel about their interactions with you. But how do you actually measure how well your service department resonates with the user base?
Truth be told, measuring customer experience is as important as it is difficult. The service satisfaction among your customers depends on how you’ve solved their query rather than what you did to solve it. To make quantitative measurements on something that may seem pretty qualitative can be a bit tricky, but don't panic. There are ways forward!
Why track customer experience?
First things first: Why should you do it in the first place?
The obvious reason for tracking customer’s experience is of course evaluating and understanding your interactions with clients. But more importantly - by focusing on other things than just resolution time, you show your customers that you care about them and that you’re more than just a robot who executes things because you’re supposed to.
Of course, you still need other KPIs and you shouldn't make all KPIs Customer Experience-focused, but you should at least infuse some metrics that show that you're on track.
How to track Customer Experience
When you're tracking CX, simplicity is key. Can we realistically assume that customers will go out of their way to tell you exactly how they felt about an interaction? Chances are they're more likely to do that if they have a complaint.
But there are ways to get accurate feedback. And it boils down to convenience. Customers are always most willing to give feedback as long as it doesn’t take them long to do so. Build short and quick surveys that get to the core of the sentiment, and if you find you need more information in order to improve something, sit down with some focus groups. Don't ask your users about every aspect of your service at once.
Simple and effective ways to track customer satisfaction can be as plain as basic star ratings or surveys. It’s best to get feedback in a continuous way than punctual feedback periods. That way you can keep a steady flow of information and progress fluently.
What customer experience KPIs are there?
Tracking customer experience is a big deal for us, and we've put some of our favourite ways to do it in this blog post on 4 KPIs to Measure Customer Satisfaction. But in summary, you could be looking at: number of first time fixes, NPS, Customer Effort Scores and self-service. Have a look at the blog post for more details and ideas on each.
Another good example KPI could be keeping your call satisfaction rate above 4.5 stars, or but a target on your self-service uptake, for example. Other examples which aren't numerical but still good to keep track of is to keep consistent quality among operators, professional communication, clarity about products and services the department supplies, and operators being accommodating and seeing problems from the customer perspective.
The main thing is to ignore the focus on too many introspective metrics like resolution time. Just because you solve something on time, doesn't mean your customer is happy. See this blog post by my colleague Sarah for an illustrative example.
We also really like what Happy Signals are doing. They developed a tool that partially measures lost productivity time. The more active work time people miss because of an incident, the less happy they become with how you solved it. No one likes just sitting around. And on top of that, it puts a monetary value on it in terms of lost work hours!
How can I survey Service Desk customers?
There's tons of ways to measure CX. Here's some common classics, along with some KPIs you can track with them:
In-the-moment surveys are the best way to capture customer sentiment and most tool have this functionality. Sending out a short and specific survey, that it will take less than a minute to complete, is a good way of making sure respond. Also, these are a great way to get real-time feedback as it’s still fresh in the customer’s mind.
What to measure: Use a star rating, and aim to keep customer satisfaction above a certain amount of stars.
If you prefer having periodic measurements rather than continuous measurements, SERVQUAL could be a good option for you. SERVQUAL is a research model that divides the quality of services into five dimensions - Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness. When asked about their experience based on the five dimensions, your customers point out which dimension matter the most to them, and where you need to improve. Here's an example questionnaire - and remember that you're better off trimming even this type of survey down as much as possible.
What to measure: One set target score per Service Dimension every survey period
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used to gauge customer loyalty. Its aim is to determine an evident and simply interpretable customer satisfaction score to be compared over time. The core of NPS all comes down to how likely are your customers to recommend your services to others. Essentially, it tracks your departments reputation within the organisation.
NPS gives you a percentage figure that essentially indicates the percentage of your audience that are happier than average with your services. Mind you, this figure doesn't tend to fluctuate that much, so even if it's a quick survey for your end user, you don't have to send out company wide emails every month to track it.
However, if your score is bad, you may want to follow up quite fast with some investigation into why that's the case.
What to measure: A global guideline is that between 30-40% net promoters is a good score, so aim in that area.
This isn't really a KPI, but what do people think about when they think about your department? Considering this allows you to know where you stand in the customers’ perception. If their perception reflects the reality of what you aspire to be that's great. If not, you’ll be able to build a strategy to move away from that association.
Are you tracking your customer journeys? It's the best possible way to drill into your Service Delivery from your customers perspective and make sure you give them proper service at each touchpoint: from ticket logging to ticket resolution. Essentially, just look at any scenario - like the onboarding of a new employee - and research how they experience the interaction, using the methods above.
What to measure: A certain average customer satisfaction score on multiple touchpoints
How do I set KPIs for the Service Desk?
The most important thing to remember is to not set too many KPIs. Any set of metrics is not a KPI, and - in fact - the word key in the abbreviation loses it's purpose a bit if everything you track is treated as equally important. Ask yourself: what are our top 5 ways of measuring our performance, and how do we make sure we infuse some customer thinking into our approach. Here's a blog we wrote once on this exact thing.
And of course, that your KPIs should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timbound) should go without saying.
Deliver Better Services
For more on how to re-focus your Service Desk processes on the customer, and more tips on KPIs, download our Best Practice Service Management e-book here.