If you are reading this, you probably don’t have a call center that is supporting your business. Most of small businesses don’t. Instead, you probably either handle customer issues directly, or you have someone on staff who handles customer issues. You also have several pages on your website, or a portal, where customers can get their needs met through self-service.
Self-service makes sense for all businesses, but it is particularly important for the small business. Small businesses just don’t have a lot of resources to throw at the issue of customer service, so the efficiency from having customers meet their own needs through support pages on a website is a key customer service tactic.
The problem is that not all self-service is created equal, and poor self-serve options that are forced on customers as a stand-in for customer care can drive away repeat business and harm the reputation of a company.
This is where good metrics come into play. You need to track the effectiveness of your self-serve customer service and either make adjustments or augment self-service with more live-person customer care when self-service comes up short.
Self-Serve Customer Care Metrics that Matter
But where to start? Most businesses are built around a product or service, not servicing these products or services. No entrepreneur starts his business thinking customer care.
Here are eight metrics that you can both collect and use as a small business to assess the effectiveness of your self-service customer care.
1. Abandon Rate
How often do customers visit your self-service pages but abandon them quickly? If you are getting a high abandon rate and visits to support pages that end quickly, this signals that your self-service options might be inadequate and are not properly serving your customers. This is a warning sign to revise your self-service customer care pages.
2. Contact Deflection
How often are your self-service pages successfully solving the issues that your customers face? Look at the ratio of incoming self-service interactions that were successful against the total number of self-service visits and the success rates of your agent-assisted customer service. A low deflection rate means your self-service is not working.
3. Content Vitality
Is your self-service evolving with customer needs? You can assess the vitality of your self-service offering by looking at the number of self-service pages created, modified or deleted within a given time frame. If your self-service pages are not changing, chances are that your self-service offering is not aligning with the needs of your customers. This signals the potential for underperforming self-service pages.
4. Conversion Ratio
Self-service can bring in new customers as well as service existing customers. So how is your self-service selling? Look at the percentage of leads who visit your support pages and then become customers. If the percentage is lower than your sales average, you know you are not doing enough with your self-service options.
5. Customer Effort
Are you making it hard for your customer to get the answers they need? You can infer the answer to this question by looking at how often a customer repeatedly visits your self-service pages, and how often they’ve called or emailed about a customer issue. If you are seeing repeated requests for help, or transfers from self-service to live-agent support, this is a sign that your self-serve is not up to snuff.
6. Customer Retention
Are your customers repeat buyers? Look at your ratio of first-time customers to repeat buyers. If first-time customers represent a significant portion of your business, this might signal many things (none of them good). One area it could signal is that your customers are not getting the customer care they need and are going elsewhere.
7. Escalation to Agent-Assisted Communication Channels
How often are customers moving from your self-service offerings to live-agent customer service? Look at the ratio of self-service users who escalate to the next level of customer support. You should be able to track this through Agile CRM by using web activity tracking. If there is widespread escalation to a live agent, this is a sign that your self-service is failing.
8. Recontact Rate
Are your customers repeatedly visiting the same self-service support documents? If so, this is a clear sign that your self-service options are confusing or incomplete. Recontact rates show that your self-service offering is not resolving customer issues.
Self-service is an important customer service tool. Make sure your business is using it properly by tracking its effectiveness. These eight metrics will help your business reach that goal.