Providing great customer service is a never-ending journey. Still, setting goals can help you quantify your performance and align your efforts with your company’s objectives and key results.
Read on to get started with effective customer support goals.
What are OKRs and Why are They Important?
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a framework for setting and tracking objectives and their results. OKRs are usually time-bound and are aligned with the company’s core vision.
OKRs give you a clear guideline of what matters to your business at any given time and how to achieve it. Your objectives should be ambitious and realistic, and your key results should be finite and measurable. OKRs bridge the gap between your ambition and reality.
How to Set Effective Customer Support Goals?
Effective business goals follow the SMART thumb rule – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
How to Align Customer Support Goals With Company OKRs?
Customer support should not operate in silos. When you don’t democratize goals, your teams may keep passing the buck around without meaningful engagement. You need to set goals that the entire team can get behind. Look at some key customer service goals to start with.
Customer Support Goals
Before every ambitious win, there are consistent and daily small-wins. Meeting daily targets is not easy. Your customer service representatives must be really good at handling unpredictable situations. Agents who hit their daily targets no matter what are valuable team players. They make ambitious long-term goals possible. Set service level agreements (SLAs) and quantifiable metrics like the number of tickets to be addressed per day. Such goals can also help you reflect on your current workload and whether you need more team members on board.
Handle ‘X’ tickets per day.
Customer satisfaction affects both the support team and the wider organization. Happy customers stick longer and also spread the good gospel about the brand. Thus customer satisfaction is a top priority support goal. It is not measured randomly based on a positive social media review or how happy a customer sounds at the end of a support call.
Set quantifiable goals such as increasing your CSAT or decreasing your CES by X% in a month or a quarter. Start with standard industry benchmarks and level up as you grow. Measuring satisfaction reminds agents that each interaction is valuable and that they are here to build better relationships and not just close tickets.
Improve CSAT and NPS by ‘X’% and ‘Y’% respectively by the month-end.
Improving the delivery time does not just refer to reducing the resolution time or the time per call. Customers rate speed as the most important attribute in customer support. You should make speed a habit, but by choosing meaningful goals and not ones that rush closure. Not every ticket is equally urgent. Rushing customers can bring down the quality of support and also satisfaction.
You can instead set goals to keep the first response time within ‘X’ minutes or reduce the wait time by ‘Y’%. Such KPIs can help you assess the nature of tickets you get and how your service agents approach them. At the same time, keep your goals realistic. Say you want to respond to every ticket in an hour. Your team will have to constantly worry about falling behind a goal that isn’t realistic in the first place. A better goal will be to improve your response time by X% per month.
Make the goals time-bound so that your teams are not onto wild goose chasing. Only when you know where you are headed can you adjust your path when you go astray. Usually, a month is a good enough time to measure goals vs. actual performance and see what worked.
Reduce the average handling time to ‘X’ minutes by the month/quarter-end.
In an ideal world, customer support would get any budget they want to hire people, reduce wait times, and make the customers happy. But the reality is far from it. A customer service team is usually the last to scale when an organization scales. You might have goals to achieve and simultaneously a strict budget to stick to.
Reducing costs is also directly related to improving process efficiency. You should ensure that your teams have the tools and resources required to achieve their goals. Say you’re an e-commerce company that receives several calls a day regarding the order status or the delivery time. You should get self-service Chatbots and Knowledge Base where your customers can clear such minor doubts on their own. Reducing the support volume invariably reduces the costs. If you’re a B2B SaaS company receiving a lot of customer issues regarding a new product, train your service reps to become more knowledgeable in those areas.
Reducing costs is a matter of identifying and prioritizing your business needs and coming up with the best solutions to address them.
Increase the deflection rate by ‘X’ percent this month.
Agent satisfaction may not be a monetary goal but is just as important. Happy employees create happy customers. When you address what bothers your employees, you stop them from leaving the company and creating a void that takes some time to fill. After all the effort that went into training and improving your employees, you might want to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship for the long term.
Improving agent satisfaction helps you achieve that. Set goals where you conduct ‘X’ internal satisfaction surveys in a week/month/quarter along with a deadline to act on the results.
Conduct ‘X’ internal CSAT surveys in a month.
Customer loyalty can indeed be quantified. When we talk about customer retention, we talk about the recurring business from an existing customer. You can set goals to achieve ‘X’ positive customer feedback/reviews or decrease the churn rate by ‘X’% within a specific time frame.
Retention rates assure you that you are providing excellent customer service, and also creating a loyal customer base needed to sustain your business growth.
Improve active engagement in loyalty programs by X% this year.
Good customer service fulfills the needs of customers and makes their lives easier. Unless you measure the effectiveness of your service with robust goal-setting, you won’t know where you are headed.
To summarize, set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound to set your teams up for success from the get-go!