The idea is that the more data you have about any given subject, the more knowledgeable you can be when making any important decision regarding that subject.
“Metrics give you data, which is the raw number of value of actions completed,” writes Flavio Martins of WinTheCustomer.com. “Metrics can be used to measure or show the differentiation of service between different periods of time. Metrics are useful information and can help you make your case for why your service is better than a competitor.”
According to Martins, customer service metrics give you “an accurate picture of what happened” during a relationship between company and customer. Metrics show what you did in the past and are benchmarks for what you do in the future (or cautionary tales, for that matter).
“Your previous metrics are the starting point,” writes Martins. “Your future metrics will be the indicator of whether your customer service plans are working.”
So what do all these numbers means as far as customer satisfaction? Anne Miner of the Dunvegan Group reminds us that customer retention is the ultimate goal, not just satisfaction.
From the Dunvegan Group blog, reporting on the results of a study by the firm:
Using the numerical scale as an example, we have found that a customer who rates their Overall Satisfaction (OSAT) 8, on a scale of 0 to 10, is just as likely to stay (be retained) as the customer who rates their OSAT either 9 or 10. And, a customer who assigns a rating of 10 is just as likely to leave as a customer who assigns a rating of 8.
Martins also reminds us to remember that all those numbers we collect are actual customers, not just numbers.
“Metrics represent people, they are REAL customers you’re working with. What is an extra 2%? What does X number more REALLY mean?” he writes. “…Whatever the number your organization wants to focus on, whatever you want to use to measure performance, remember that it’s not just a number, it’s about the person behind the number.”