Measuring customer service: Put an end to churn by focusing on customer effort

Ashley Sava

January 24, 2020

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What if everything you thought you knew about measuring customer service and the customer experience was wrong? 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score and Net Promoter Score (NPS) are ubiquitous customer service metrics. CSAT asks customers to rate the quality of their experience with a business, assigning a score to an in-store visit, online shopping event or phone conversation with a customer call center. On the other hand, NPS measures customer loyalty by asking customers whether or not they’d recommend a business to their family, friends or colleagues. CSAT has proven useful to gauge short-term happiness of your clients, while NPS is used to predict long-term happiness, or customer loyalty. 

But those metrics alone just aren’t cutting it anymore. 

What CSAT and NPS can’t tell you is what specifically is negatively impacting the overall customer experience. These metrics aren’t capable of gauging how much effort it took for these customers to get their issues resolved. After all, the process customers face when seeking help significantly impacts their overall experience with your brand and their loyalty. It's time to start measuring customer service a little differently.

Legacy methods for measuring customer service don’t provide actionable insights

Enter the Tethr Effort Index.

The Tethr Effort Index (TEI) is the market’s first machine learning-based, predictive effort score. Leveraging over a decade of research on customer experience, TEI enables businesses to track customer effort at a conversation-level, and immediately drill down into high-effort interactions that spark disloyalty and churn. 

The TEI score is automatically assigned by the Tethr platform at the completion of every customer interaction, allowing managers to immediately understand the effort level of an interaction so improvement to the customer experience can commence sooner rather than later. 

TEI is based on the premise that leaders should stop using surveys to answer questions with answers that they have in their possession. Customers provide all of the insight a company could possibly need in the interactions that precede surveys. With TEI, companies can quickly and easily identify high-effort interactions before it’s too late.

In the age of instant gratification, high effort experiences propel churn

Customers are frustrated by interactions that involve multiple channels (switching from web to phone), repeat calls, long hold times and transfers to multiple contact center agents. They become impatient when they have to repeat their story more than once. Such experiences yield high effort, and as customers endure high effort experiences, they become dissatisfied and disloyal to your brand. They might be gone before you realize why they were dissatisfied to begin with. 

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Rather than focusing on the score of a single interaction, businesses must deliver customer experiences that are effortless. Deliberately acting on this insight can upgrade customer experience, reduce customer service costs and curtail customer churn.

Let Tethr help you nail down the driving your customers away, such as:

  • Why customers are calling multiple times to resolve a single issue, or downstream issues (repeat contacts are toxic to the customer experience)
  • Knowledge gaps where agents are not handling certain calls effectively
  • Policies and procedures that are most frustrating to your customers
  • Agent language and responses that are annoying your customers

Tethr provides actionable insights, making it easy to start really measuring customer service. In real time, discover the underlying issues that create high-effort experiences for your customers. Providing highly targeted training to your call center can turn struggling agents into top performers. The more highly qualified agents you have, the more loyal your customers will be.

In the name of customer churn, it’s time to understand where you’re causing high effort for your customers.

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