The most common calls I used to field at Gartner were people looking for average metrics. The conversation would be:“We are measuring Average Handle Time and we need to know what the average is for our industry” “Why are you measuring AHT?” “Well, that is something we have always done – so we want to know if we are doing the same as everybody else” “Why?” (picture a Bugs Bunny cartoon, crickets chirping, no other noises)
Most organizations are using metrics without knowing why and want to make sure they are doing it the same as everybody else. They don’t know where they are going, but want to make sure they don’t get there too fast!
Why be like everybody else? Are you assuming that they are all doing such an exceptional job at Customer Service that if you meet their metrics you’d do the same? Not only that is not true, but that leaves out the ability of your organization to do something unique and different and use that as a differentiator.
When Four Seasons delivers exceptionally personalized customer service –do they want to make sure that no one talks to a guest on the phone for more than three minutes?
When Zappos tries to wow each customer by exceeding their expectations –are they ensuring they won’t spend more than two minutes on hold on the phone?
Emulating other’s metrics only makes sense if you have their exact strategy and setup. If you operations and processes are identical. If you can never aspire to be more than mediocre and have to depend on someone else to tell you how to act and behave to impress your customers.
Do you want to deliver mediocre results as your competitor tells you it should be done?