A beginner’s guide to benchmarking customer effort with Tethr

Abigail Sims

August 31, 2021

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Your customers want your company to be easy to do business with. They want to have their current issues resolved on their first contact with your service department, and the issues they don’t have yet anticipated and met. They want your services to work smoothly and without issue. They want you to deliver on your brand promise every time, without a hitch. 

It’s a tall order... and one that companies everywhere are racing to keep up with. 

Many companies have invested in effort-reduction strategies and scores to begin to combat this issue, but that’s just the beginning of a much greater work. It’s one thing to start to reduce effort on an as-you-can basis—and quite another to invest in a tool that will help you systematically measure effort reduction over time. That’s why we’ve introduced a brand-new feature to our conversation intelligence platform that does just that.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of that new feature: benchmarking for customer effort.

What is benchmarking for customer effort?

Benchmarking, by itself, is probably a familiar concept for astute readers. “The practice of comparing business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies” – thanks, Wikipedia – is an essential part of any business strategy or operation. You can’t make business decisions without hard data, and you don’t get hard data without, well, measuring things. 

Customer effort, on the other hand, has long been a concept that defies measurement… Until now. Thanks to the Tethr Effort Index (TEI) and the Agent Impact Score (AIS), here at Tethr we have been able to quantify customer effort over and over again for our customers for the last few years. Now, we’ve taken that data and utilized it to create a system for benchmarking your effort scores against the average and top 25% scores in your industry. 

So, what is benchmarking for customer effort? To paraphrase our friends at Wikipedia, it’s the practice of comparing customer effort performance metrics to industry bests. 

Benchmarking for customer effort is the practice of comparing customer effort performance metrics to industry bests. 
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How Tethr’s benchmarking feature works

We know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of highly valuable information you’re claiming to have, you say to yourself, how do you know what the top 25% of effort scores in my industry even are?

It’s all science. Let’s break it down into a simple five-step process: 

  1. Gather data. First, we recorded information across 500 different categories and smart filters, over a wide range of industries, in order to ground our findings in the most comprehensive data set possible. 
  2. Track it. Then, we tracked more than 50 key measures—including agent behaviors, customer emotions, operational factors, and more—across all that data.
  3. Identify the leaders. Next, we analyzed, to identify both the baseline (average performance) when it comes to effort, as well as the top 25% in each category. 
  4. Make it visible. Finally, we put all that information into the Tethr platform in an easy-to-read graph, with a side of insights telling you what each line means. 
  5. Now, it’s your turn. All that’s left is to input your call, chat, and case data into the platform, and discover where you rank. 
benchmarking customer effort tethr general dash

Check out that insight breakdown on the top left, in blue

This is an extremely complex data analysis process broken down, analyzed, and automated, so that we can share it with you. (That’s one of the perks of having an in-house research department!) This is just another instance where we’ve leveraged our research-backed perspective to help show you what’s important in your customer conversations. 

Want to learn more about how we measure effort across dozens of industries? Watch our research experts Matt Dixon & Ted McKenna explain in our benchmarking announcement video.

Why get serious about benchmarking customer effort? 

Now that you know what it is and how it works, let’s talk for a minute about why we recommend benchmarking effort in the first place. While we’ve discussed the value of benchmarking effort for customer experience gurus before, the most pertinent reason to start benchmarking is the competitive advantage it offers. When you get granular about where you’re succeeding and where your team needs improvement, you have something to work on, sure. But when you can see those scores mapped against leaders in your industry, suddenly, you have goalposts.

Benchmarking helps you and your team see where the leaders in your industry are on effort… and gives you the tools you need to catch them. 

Take the next steps on your low-effort journey with benchmarking…

With benchmarking for customer effort, the paradigm of effort measurement has changed. We’ve stripped away the guesswork; and made it easy to see at a glance how your company compares to market leaders when it comes to increasing customer loyalty, reducing cost of service, and improving the customer experience. 

Want to find out how your company compares against the leaders in your industry? Request a demo today to see where you rank on effort reduction.

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