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Setting new standards for success – 5 steps for redefining KPIs

Measuring all-round performance should be a continual process. In Calabrio’s second blog on the subject of change, Patrik Vesterberg outlines a five-step methodology for defining metrics that add real business value.

My first blog about change discussed how resistance to doing things differently is the arch nemesis of customer service. One aspect of adopting change and encouraging new ways of working is often the need to remodel key performance indicators (KPIs), these are the measurable values that demonstrate how effectively goals and objectives are being achieved.

Like Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”, successful organizations stand out by their ability to pre-empt change and adapt to it while retaining the loyalty of their customers. Measuring all-round performance, whether in Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations, Manufacturing or Customer Service should be a continual process. Therefore, is it time to revisit your KPIs?

Leave the past behind: five steps to future KPIs

The answer lies in taking a fresh look at your business to create a relevant set of measurement criteria that support an evolving organization. Follow these five steps to re-define new parameters for success:

1. Collaborate for meaningful customer service metrics

Why are customer service teams so obsessed with the number and the length of the calls they handle and yet customers still complain about repeating themselves or not getting the answers they want? It’s like running the same old reports without analyzing the statistics properly – do they really add business advantage. Instead, collaborate to establish measures that enable the business to devote more energy to the customer. Liaise with colleagues in other departments to identify customer service goals to support corporate goals in terms of customers and the experience they receive from the organization as a whole.

2. Ban the fear factor

Companies that are afraid of changing the status quo will always be left behind. Lead from the front by building a corporate culture around doing whatever it takes to make customers happy. Set clear parameters to empower staff across the board to use their own initiative to satisfy internal and external customers. There should be no limits on the number of customer service calls and no KPIs around call handling times. Encourage everyone in the company to focus 100% on creating an amazing customer experience, measured by feedback and additional revenue.

3. Instill a customer first approach

Instill a customer first approach throughout the whole company by eliciting customer stories from all departments – credit control, sales, marketing and operations – they all deal with people on a regular basis, people who are customers in one way or another. Allow everyone their moment to shine, to exchange new ideas and learning via constructive group discussions and positive online forums. Avoid a ‘head in the sand’ mentality when it comes to negative customer feedback – it’s a great opportunity to turn bad customer experiences into good ones. Taking this approach to fresh thinking leads to the development of meaningful customer service metrics including new customer satisfaction (CSat) KPIs.

4. Swap roles for the day

Introduce a regular programme of events that encourage different departments or even people in the same department to change jobs for a few hours. Why not invite engineers to become marketers, salespeople to work in the contact center or product managers to become warehouse managers? This will help everyone gain a better understanding of the unnecessary pressures they put on each other or the impact their departmental decisions have on the rest of the business. This two-way collaboration can become a cradle of creativity that sparks inventive solutions to problems along with better ways to measure the collective success of the organization.

5. Uncover hard evidence for change

Finally, encourage a culture that embraces new technology. It’s an automated way to keep track of the customer experience and business performance in the past, present and future. The latest Workforce Management (WFM) solutions capture staff skills, experience and availability to match them against demand, specific roles and client KPIs while ensuring organizational compliance with Work Time Directives or important quality and safety legislation. Use this hard evidence to re-align your processes and metrics, re-deploy your people (rather than replace them) or even present a sound business case for investing in extra headcount and other resources.

There are no limits. Think again and use KPIs and technology as strategic tools to support the overall business by re-energizing people and customer interactions for tangible success.


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