How do you provide customer support to a group that doesn’t just use your products, but relies on them to survive?
That was the question facing one of Cloud Sherpas’ clients, a large biotechnology group. The company sells very expensive but utterly life-saving drugs for a specialized disease that affects about 200,000 people. Despite the relatively small population of users, the drug is essential for their well being.
Accordingly, forget the typical, banal questions used by most consumer-focused companies to gauge the effectiveness of a customer service call. “Did I provide you with excellent customer service?” isn’t going to cut it.
Instead, this biotech group needs to proactively ensure that it’s providing excellent customer service, to make sure that their customers are not just doing well, but thriving. That’s why the firm has tooled its customer service operation to ensure that people:
Procure the drug
Understand how to take it
Know their dosage requirements
Correctly manage any side effects
In this equation, customers are critical, but so are customer service personnel. That’s why the company carefully monitors the call center, including agents’ job satisfaction and their attitude toward customers.
World-Class Customer Service Measurement
When it comes to customer service effectiveness, the aforementioned biotech firm arguably runs a world-class operation. That’s because it maintains a relentless focus on service quality, keeping customers happy and informed, while also ensuring that service staff are happy.
How do you know if customers and service personnel are happy, and the customer service operation is not just succeeding, but continually improving? Based on Cloud Sherpas’ extensive CRM experience, we’ve found that organizations must focus on:
Service quality improvement: Continuously measure and monitor customer service delivery metrics, then focus on improving the quality of each one
Agent attitude: Understand the service climate — for agents — by monitoring the working atmosphere and helping agents maintain a positive attitude
Customer feedback: Capture customer feedback — for all aspects of their engagement with the company — using explicit mechanisms
Metrics and benchmarking: Identify specific measurements for monitoring service performance, including comparisons with competitive (equal to you) and best-in-class (better than you) service operations
Benchmark, Redress, Benchmark Again
Succeeding at customer service measurement requires establishing clear metrics to measure against various benchmarks. For the aforementioned biotech firm, such metrics involve patient happiness with the product, quality of life, and longevity. This is not an academic exercise.
Other organizations — product manufacturers, utilities, cell phone carriers — may interact with their customers in less serious circumstances. But they should take a page from companies on which customers rely for their wellbeing. Treating customers with respect and anticipating the problems they will encounter makes for customer service operations that don’t always have to put out fires. Instead, they can be used to proactively increase customer satisfaction. And that makes everyone happy.
When it comes to creating a world-class customer service program, just measuring service won’t cut it. Organizations must also master service operations, services leadership, case management and experience management.
Work with Cloud Sherpas, one of the world’s leading cloud services brokerages, to better adopt, manage and enhance your CRM investment by identifying desired business goals, finding the right tools and technology for the job, and delivering rapid implementations that remain focused on achieving the desired business capabilities.