Companies not tracking ‘customer effort’

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Only two in ten firms are tracking how much effort customers need to expend when dealing with them, meaning they may be unaware of frustration among their sales base, according to a new report from Capita and the Customer Contact Association (CCA).

This is despite the fact that a CCA survey has suggested eight in ten people have cut off contact with an organisation because effectively communicating their needs became too difficult.

Customer satisfaction features in the top three most important measurements of customer experience, making it stranger that more firms do not maintain their awareness of difficulties facing potential buyers or clients.

Automation and technology can offer a route towards a solution, with CRM software potentially making it easier to track customer data and ensure that they do not become frustrated in attempting to contact an organisation.

According to the CCA report, first contact resolution and average handling time are the second and third most important issues for customers – again, CRM can drive up efficiency and ensure that handling time drops, assuming that staff are well-trained and able to utilise the software effectively.

Simon Hunt, head of quality, insight and improvement with Capita, suggested that people are more willing to put the effort in for a company if they are offered a unique, tailored experience that makes them feel valued.

“This is why it’s important that we don’t look at customer experience measurements in isolation and instead view what’s going on in the bigger picture. It’s encouraging to see that the industry is constantly seeking ways to measure and improve the customer experience, but it’s a little surprising to see such measures as average call handling time still relied upon by some,” he added.

Anne Marie Forsyth, chief executive with the CCA, agreed with Mr Hunt and called on more firms to improve their service offering and put the right metrics in place.

With technology such as CRM available, it is becoming increasingly simple for companies to analyse customer information and use it to produce useful insights.