Most service and support executives I know want to know the answer to this question:
Is my organization fulfilling my customers’ needs better than it has before?
That’s a particularly hard question to answer in services and support. Team members constantly face a steady stream of new cases – we get one customer to their goal just to see the next one appear, needing help from the beginning.
We need a measure that shows us if our organization is able to help our customers in new and different ways. We are proposing acceleration as a new measure to show whether organizations are doing this job better or worse than before.
But what is acceleration?
Like most measures, acceleration is hard to define. We need to look at our organization from different angles to truly understand whether we are accelerating (and how quickly). I’d like to propose three different ways to understand acceleration.
- How much effort is going in to outside-the-workflow projects?
How much time and money is your organization spending to improve the customer experience beyond just taking cases? These investments are terrific indicators of our organization’s acceleration in the future. Any one of these projects might not accelerate the organization, but taken together, they are a commitment to serving the customer better (quick note: there are diminishing returns when a team takes on too many projects).
- How many friction points do your customer encounter from purchase to truly engaging with your products/services?
A great measure of acceleration is the customer’s experience. From starting with your company to being a fully engaged (and referenceable) customer, how smooth is the process? Most support organizations can point to multiple examples where the process isn’t that smooth (so there’s no lack of a place to start).
- How quickly does change find its way back into the organization?
The third measure of acceleration is probably the most obvious. How quickly do recommended changes to processes or practices make their way 1) to someone who can do something about the change and 2) back into the day-to-day work of the team? There’s a twist to this measure, too. Change absorption can be measured in two ways axes – the number of changes recommended and the level of the person recommending them. Accelerating organizations accept changes (again, not too many) from all levels of the organization. Service and support organizations where all accepted changes come from managers or above are definitely not accelerating.
Acceleration is only one of the six categories of measures that are on the table for a new, industry standard for executive dashboards. Want to find out about the other five?
Get started by being among the first to receive our report, created by industry leaders, Creating an Executive Dashboard for Customer Support.
It will give you
- Insight on the need for new customer support standards and KPIs
- Six high-level, outcome-based metrics
- Specific recommendations for applying these metrics to your own executive dashboard