Customer Service, Data & Metrics

How Winning Customer Service Teams Reduce Time to Completion

Would you like to see your customer service team improve its completion times and improve the customer experience? Here’s how winning customer service teams are reducing their time to completion.

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Recently, I interviewed the head of customer service for a global medical device company. When he took on his role, the first thing he noticed was that the company’s time to completion was 40 hours. From the time a customer contacted the team to when issues were completely resolved was tracked through this key performance indicator (KPI). Time to completion is an important metric, and it can help you understand where you’re doing well and where you can improve your customer experience (CX).

Establish a benchmark. That which is measured gets managed, as the saying goes. If you don’t know your time to completion statistics, establishing a benchmark is important. Some firms have that data and simply haven’t crunched the numbers. Others have not tracked this information and need to put a plan in place to collect data for several weeks (or even a few months) to establish a baseline. From there, it’s possible to compare the information against industry benchmarks or previous data and determine whether you have an issue that can be resolved.

Identify reasonable targets for your business. A reasonable time to completion will vary depending on the nature of your business. It can also shift based on the type of customer you’re dealing with or the type of concern you’re working to resolve. Once you establish reasonable targets, you can identify where the gaps are and begin to put a work plan in place to resolve the issue.

Focus on delays in your gap analysis. One of the biggest issues is determining exactly what’s causing delays. Often, the issue relates to problems such as an overloaded call center, a process that doesn’t get customers to the right person, or managerial approval backlogs. By finding the sources of delays, you can take actionable steps to correct the problem. The faster you resolve your customers’ issues, the more satisfied they’ll be in the long run.

Assess progress and update the plan. Over time, you’ll be more likely to be successful if you have a plan in place to revisit the data and assess your progress. Ideally, your time to completion should be reduced. Some firms find that a single change can alleviate a major problem, while others find that they need to make a series of incremental improvements to see big gains. Periodically revisiting your data, actions, and results can give you insight into whether further changes are warranted or whether you should continue on.

The quality of your customer service plays a big role in the customer experience you provide. Address one of the biggest causes of customer dissatisfaction by analyzing the right data, finding where gaps exist, and finding ways to fill them.