For most service agents, it’s important to focus on delighting and supporting your customers to boost retention. But that becomes substantially more difficult if you’re not setting and pursuing the right objectives.
Great customer service shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought or an occasional luxury. As the client-facing side of everything, your service team plays an enormous role in the current and future health of your business.
Like any other department, those who are setting and achieving impactful customer service objectives thrive. In fact, 84 percent of organizations working to improve CX report an increase in revenue.
To begin setting the right goals, you need to understand the scope of impact they’ll have first.
Customer Service Objectives and Goals
Setting proper customer service objectives is an essential part of your flywheel. Think about it. When your service team hits their marks, you don’t experience friction in your flywheel and you continue fueling business growth.
To keep this valuable performance going strong, the inbound methodology is a must in your approach.
With inbound customer service, the focus is centered on attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers. This turns your smiling customers into passionate advocates for your brand.
The methodology can be broken down into the following three stages:
Utilizing resources and positive testimonials, you can attract both existing and future customers to your company.
These resources can be in the form of an informational blog, video content, case studies, or any other content offers that can offer value to your audience.
Being ready to quickly engage with your customers in case the resources you’ve supplied aren’t enough is critical. Customers should be able to reach you through different channels, like email, phone, instant messaging, and even social media.
Responding to tickets in a timely manner not only provides quality service to them, but it boosts your reputation too.
Delighted customers leave happy reviews and may become a strong advocate who will share their positive experience with their friends.
Be sure to get helpful feedback from surveys to learn how you can improve each customer’s experience. Positive comments can even be used as recommendations.
Defining Customer Service
Make sure that your customer service objectives align with each stage and are mapped to each aspect of your service team. The vague concept of “customer service” exists within a spectrum, with three different aspects of service.
Much more centered on reacting to a customer’s needs, support is about helping them with whatever they want, whenever they want. The customer calls the shots in this interaction, from start to finish.
Here, the services team takes much more initiative in reaching out to customers in order to offer a service. In this phase, you aren’t reliant on them to reach out to you with a problem. In contrast, service is more about you guiding the customer to business.
Expanding value mutually for your business and for the customer is what customer success is about. This occurs when you are able to upsell or cross-sell new products or services.
The customer may not have even known that they needed the new offer, but it supplies greater value to them. This requires in-depth knowledge of your clientele and can only be achieved once you’ve proven that you can guide and support effectively.
With each customer service objective you set, there should be important metrics tied to it. For example, on an internal level, the metrics you might use to manage and track your goals include:
- Average time to first response
- Average call handling time
- Average number of interactions per resolution
- Overall resolution rate
- Customer satisfaction score
- Customer request volume
For actual customer service success, there are plenty of metrics you can use:
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): This provides a direct measure of client happiness.
- Customer effort score (CES): A measure of how much effort customers have to provide.
- First response time (FRT): How long it took a customer to receive a response to their ticket.
- First contact resolution rate (FCR): The average of problems resolved within that first response.
- Net promoter score (NPS): Another way to measure customer satisfaction, centered on the likelihood of your customers actually recommending you to a friend.
- Average handling time (AHT): The average amount of time it takes to provide a solution to a customer’s issue.
- Resolution rate: The percentage of issues resolved in a given time period in relation to the number of issues received in that time period.
How to Craft Your Objectives for Customer Service
The first step in creating service objectives should be to audit your current processes. From there you can prioritize what weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and gaps you want to address.
Next step? Determine what area you want to focus on, which you should base on your audit. There are several areas of service you can set goals for, like:
- Customer relationships
- Customer advocacy
- Customer recovery
- Customer loyalty
- Customer lifetime value
- Product knowledge
- Word of mouth
Write out SMART goals for each element once you’ve figured out your priorities. You want to do this as comprehensively as possible.
Build in due dates or time frames for each service objective that you write out and involve the whole company so that everyone is on the same page. Keep your team on track by aligning specific tactics and action items with each goal so that there’s no confusion in what needs to get done.
Customer Service Objectives Examples
Here are some examples to review for a better idea of what great objectives look like.
- The average handling time (AHT) for customer issues will be reduced from 25 minutes to 15 minutes by the end of Q3.
- First contact resolution (FCR) to be improved by 15 percent by Q4.
- By end of year, first response time (FRT) across time zones to improve from 37 minutes to 20 minutes.
- The service call resolution rate to be improved from 72 percent to 85 percent by Q3.
- All customer service requests via all channels will be resolved within 24 hours of receipt.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) to be improved by 6 percent by the end of the current quarter.
- Surveyed customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) to be improved by 15 percent by Q3.
- Customer effort score (CES) for service instant messaging to be improved from eight minutes to five minutes by Q4.
- The minimum number of customer interactions per agent, per week to increase from 120 to 185 within two months.
- The number of repeat customer service calls (within one month) to be reduced by 13 percent by Q4.
5 Tips to Help You Crush Your Customer Service Goals
No matter what goals you set, you should always cross refer your process with some best practices to make sure that you actually reach them. Here are some tips to follow:
Get Buy In From Your Team.
They should understand why they’re chasing these goals and really believe in them. Be an example by demonstrating how your service goals align with the company’s bigger goals as a whole.
Make Each Goal Visible.
Put them up in communal spaces where everyone can be reminded of what they are working toward. It’s key to keep these goals at top of mind for your entire team.
Do this as often as achievements happen. Make a point to recognize your key players who stand out and have a large impact on the team’s goals.
Set Your Team Up for Success.
If you provide the right training and resources to educate your team, they’ll learn where they can improve and how to further excel.
Don’t leave your team in the dark when it comes to the development process. Share updates if your goals shift and evolve so that they can pivot accordingly. This keeps them on track and also builds trust between team members and leadership.
Equipped with the right customer service objectives, a thought out action plan, and full cooperation, your team is ready to drive customer retention and fuel business growth.