In part one of the blog series, we looked at a framework for building a strong business case to invest in customer experience technologies. In this blog, we will take a deeper look at some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that drive enhanced customer experience and true financial benefits.
Of the many metrics that Contact Center Executives care about, here are some key ones that directly impact customer experience:
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – This continues to be the #1 direct measure on customer experience. Call it any name NPS score, CX score or calculate it any which way, they all point to happy, satisfied customers. Satisfied customers buy more, stay longer and bring in more customers and have a direct impact on revenue not just cost.
- First Contact Resolution (FCR) – If you were to choose one other metric (other than CSAT) to measure customer experience that would be FCR, the ability to provide a resolution to customers issues the very first time they connect with agents. Integration with CRM and other applications provide a complete customer context in terms of profile, interaction and transaction data that helps agents solve customer issues right, the first time.
- Average Handle Time (AHT) – This is one of the most significant metrics when it comes to driving down costs. Reducing AHT is no longer the best strategy in contact centers because chances are that the agent is taking a longer time to listen, understand and solve a customer and thereby providing an enhanced customer service. But it is important to understand the root cause of longer AHTs – did the customer get routed to an agent who has no expertise in the specific area, or was the agent not trained enough or were there multiple, siloed systems causing longer time for an agent to look up information about the customer and problem at hand? If it is one of those, then we absolutely have to think of reducing AHT. The only exception is customer engagement.
- Agent Productivity – While agent productivity might seem more like an efficiency and agent metric it translates to happy agents which translates to happy customers. It turns out it is as much a customer experience metric. Productivity can come from several aspects like unified desktop, CRM integrations getting all customer data in a single application, seamless, omnichannel session handling, easy transfers to other agents, integration with workforce optimization, learning tools and many more. Each one of those translate to a better customer experience
- Self-service – While self-service is not generally associated with higher satisfaction rates, the newer generation prefers self-help and the newer technologies like AI drive chatbots are driving much better accuracy. A NICE inContact survey on end customers revealed that faster service was one of the top asks from customers much more than the ability to serve in all channels and self-service assures faster resolution time than waiting longer for an agent. If built right and if they have a seamless escalation path to live service, they can enhance customer experience
NICE inContact commissioned Forrester Consulting to build a Total Economic Impact (TEI) model for NICE inContact CXone. Forrester quantified $22M in reduced cost of improved customer experience for NICE inContact CXone and organizations can realize through a 5% improvement in FCR, 10% reduction in AHT, and a gradual 5% improvement per year in agent utilization, resulting in 20% to 30% agents deferred. With NICE inContact CXone customers have gotten up to 44% increase in CSAT scores driving huge revenue benefits and some customers removed 10% to 20% of calls from live agent queues by deploying a virtual agent.
Metrics matter the most in contact center, but it is important to realize the true economic value of the ones that have the highest impact. Stay tuned for the next part, which will discuss how customer experience technologies drive topline.