In today’s world steeped in social media, quality customer service can be your businesses top marketing asset. Just take a look at Zappos. Since day one, the shoes and apparel dealer has made customer care central to culture, and as a result, reaped the word of mouth and customer loyalty benefits.
“Zappos invests in the call center not as cost, but the opportunity to market,” author of The Zappos Experience, Joseph Michelli, told me.
Recently, my company Software Advice had a chance to ask one of Zappos loyalty managers how they track and measure this customer-centric strategy. He told me about four performance metrics they use to drive productivity and incentive emotional connections with the customer. Here’s summary of these measures:
Monitor Total Interaction Time, Not Call Quantities
Instead of valuing quick time to resolution or processing high call volumes, Zappos looks at the percentage of a time an agent spends on the phone.
Agents are expected to spend at least 80 percent of their time in customer-facing communications.This measure – called personal service level – is a way to empower the team to utilize their time how they see best promotes customer loyalty.
Quantify Wow Moments
Zappos measures calls against a 100-point scale called the “Happiness Experience Form.” CSRs are expected to keep a 50-point average or higher. If they fall below that line, they receive extra training. This scale is based on answers to the following questions:
- Did the agent try twice to make a personal emotional connection (PEC)?
- Did they keep the rapport going after the customer responded to their attempt?
- Did they address unstated needs?
- Did they provide a “wow experience?”
Zero in on Idle Chats
Zappos monitors “abandonment time,” or periods when an agent has a session open even though the customer already disconnected from the chat.
This strategy of looking for idle chats zeroes in on the cause of unproductivity. When agents aren’t productive, customers wait longer. And the longer they wait, the more apt they are to abandon the session.
Reward Perfect Attendance and Punctuality
Zappos uses a program called Panda to combat absenteeism. Employees receive a point for every day they miss work or come in late. Staff with zero points in a given period receive a varying number of paid hours off. These hours can be accrued and stacked for an entire paid day off, Carder explains.
The key take away is that Zappos created metrics that emphasize relationship building over rushing the customer off the call. At the same time, these KPIs still successfully improve performance and make employees feel appreciated and rewarded.