Leaving Behind Crutch Metrics to Succeed in CEM

The metrics you are using won’t give you the results you want.

You are using metrics that don’t lead to your goals or are related to your strategy. You are either using efficiency-driven metrics (aiming to get top performance from your operations) when your goals are calling for effectiveness, or you are using old metrics than don’t mean much to your business anymore – but that you have used them forever.

The metrics we use time and time again are the safest ones to use. We know them, we know what they mean, we know what deviations may signify. They may not be related to our business today – but they are the wonder tools that make our organization move.

They are your crutch metrics – without them you don’t think you can walk.

Consider the case of a client who used to measure the precise amount of time it took to close a ticket. To the second, they knew exactly when the ticket was opened and when it was closed. They had incentives to close them faster, and bonuses were tied to this. Their customers continued to express satisfaction with their time to close a ticket.

However, the tickets were closed without solving the problems in some cases. The workers knew they had to close them, and they did.

The client would come back and ask the same questions again and gain until they got it right. Their clients wanted more accurate information, regardless of time to close the ticket.

The company thought that by expediting the process of closing tickets they were doing a great job of customer service. After all, that was what they had always done and the customers were satisfied with the time to close ticket – it cannot be all that bad.

Their clients left to the tune of close to 40% annual turnover ratio. They were doing things as always – and getting the same results as always.

Are you still using your crutch metrics? How do your metrics correspond to your strategy and goals?

3 Replies to “Leaving Behind Crutch Metrics to Succeed in CEM”

  1. Good story! I also believe that many co’s and managers do not dare change their metrics. They have “sold” them for a long time and they achieve “satisfactory” results (or at least they can make believe they do). Few people dare to take it to the next level.

    Also, the Service Experience does not flourish with single focus metrics. The time you need to close a ticket can be a good metric if at the same time you measure how many repeat tickets you get (from the same customer) and aim to get the repeat percentage down as well. The latter should come first (learn how to solve effectively) and then close them more quickly (not loosing out of the first one).

    Another metric you should also track (and aim to improve) would be the average number of tickets per customer or product/service sold, including target yourself to reduce significantly every year. This ties into getting rid of the root cause of the ticket itself, since it is always best not to have to service at all.

    With your own words: easy to say, takes a lifetime to master..


  2. I think you got it. Thanks for reinforcing my faith in Service people.

    Ultimately, the measure that any organization should take on is not whether the ticket was closed, and what time, or what manner – but whether that was what the customer needed at the right time and with the right information.

    I have seen plenty of implementations to know that it is not only that one metric does not cut it – but that measuring the wrong thing is the biggest problem you will see. Whether one or many metrics are used.

    Thanks for the comment!


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