Coleen Cartwright is Coordinator of Customer Service and Design at City of Boroondara. Here she gives an overview of customer service measurement in the public sector.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) we have lots of contact centre measurements at our disposal. Some are useful and others are just time wasters. When it comes to measuring individual performance, it’s important to identify the behaviours you want to encourage and then focus on measuring them. After all, what you measure is what you get.
With that in mind, we wanted to develop a framework where agents had clarity about their role and accountabilities.
We started the process by developing some very simple service objectives:
- We serve our customers promptly.
- We provide our customers with the right information.
- Our customers find us friendly and helpful.
From there we translated these into agent accountabilities:
- Being in the right place at the right time (adherence to roster).
- Keeping up to date with information.
- Being helpful and friendly.
Adherence to roster has a huge impact on customer wait times – it’s a fairer measure than average handling time or number of calls answered because adherence is the only measure that agents have full control over. For those who work in contact centres without workforce management technology, I will share in my presentation how we developed a reasonable alternative measure that worked well.
The second accountability, keeping up to date with information, is an easy one. Every month a sample of service requests submitted by each agent is assessed and scored.
Finally, helpfulness and friendliness is assessed through either remote or side-by-side monitoring.
The process is simple and sustainable. For example, if we were to assess agent knowledge by using a 50 question test, the results may provide a detailed analysis of learning gaps but we would never be able to deliver this on a regular basis. In the long term it would not be as valuable.
Every month, the team leader meets with each agent. They have a call coaching session and review the month’s results for all three accountabilities. Three simple scores, every month. Each agent has confidence that their good performance will be acknowledged, agents who require help will get it and that poor performance will be held to account. The numbers by themselves don’t change behaviour but once you add a regular one-on-one meeting with the team leader the process becomes a real tool to improve performance and build staff engagement.
The next Enhancing Public Sector Customer Service conference takes place in Melbourne in February 2017. Attend to develop strategies for measuring and meeting changing customer expectations.