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The Key to Better Customer Service Operations? The Answer’s Hiding in Your Data

Three professionally dressed women review customer service operations on a computer.
Customer service operations leaders need relevant and timely data to make better business decisions. [Jessica L J /]

If you're looking to take your customer service operations to the next level, here are 3 easy ways to step up your game.

How do you increase revenue, decrease costs, and maintain the best possible customer experience — all at the same time? It’s a delicate balancing act. And it’s only possible when your data is comprehensive, meaningful, and easy to understand.  

Unfortunately, that’s pretty rare. Our research shows that 94% of business leaders feel their organization should be getting more value out of their data.

But here’s the good news: there’s a clear way forward. Let’s take a few minutes to review the principles of great customer service operations — and what you can do right now to take your organization to the next level.

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Service Intelligence, a powerful new analytics app for Service Cloud, can help you boost agent productivity, cut costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

What is customer service operations, and why is it important?

First, the basics. Customer service operations is everything a company does (its day-to-day activities, processes, and strategies) to assist customers. Does that definition sound general? That’s because it is: customer service operations can impact everything in your organization, so every improvement goes a long way. With the right strategy in place, you can:

  • Boost customer satisfaction and retention: When you have a complete view of the customer, you have more ways to help them feel valued and understood.
  • Grow revenue: Analyzing customer purchase history and behavior helps identify opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.
  • Cut costs: Data-driven operations can identify repetitive tasks suitable for automated customer service.

3 ways to improve your customer service operations

Many customer service organizations lack relevant and timely data to make informed business decisions and identify key areas of focus. Here’s how to turn that around.

1. Don’t settle for basic metrics

You might already track traditional customer service analytics like customer satisfaction score, Net Promoter Score, and lifetime value — but it can be hard to connect those metrics to meaningful business outcomes. Get deeper insights by adding these analytics to your toolkit:

  • Case type 
  • Speed to answer
  • Average handle time
  • First contact resolution
  • First response time
  • Customer effort score
  • Total work items
  • Accepted and declined work items

If pulling this data feels overwhelming or challenging right now, try selecting three metrics to focus on for the next few months, then go from there.

2. Use AI to get a more holistic view of your customers

Many “a-ha!” moments are hidden within your customer data, but how do you find the signal in the noise? Enter AI for customer service. You can use this technology to answer the following questions by analyzing customer calls, emails, and chatbot conversations:

  • What are the signs that a customer is likely to escalate an issue?
  • How much time will it take to resolve an issue?
  • Which issues could be resolved with a knowledge article?

These insights can help you create new paths to improve the customer experience. For example, if customers often ask for an agent when they want to change their address, a chatbot can proactively share a relevant knowledge base article to minimize escalation.

3. Unlock the power of your data

Let’s face it: customer service agents have a tough job. How can you help them succeed? Start by sharing important metrics like incoming cases, cases by priority and status, average time to close, total escalated cases, and average CSAT. With these insights at their fingertips, agents can see what’s coming, evaluate what’s working, and track any improvements.

Contact center managers also benefit from in-depth data. For example, you can help them track case volume, average handle time, and agent utilization so they can monitor performance and find ways to make it even better.

Customer service operations plays a crucial role in shaping customers’ perception of your brand. That’s why it’s important to get it right — and unlocking data-driven insights will help you lead the way to the future of customer service

Make your service analytics smarter

Boost your operations with actionable insights and AI-powered recommendations so you can make better business decisions. 

Nausheen Najib Product Marketing Manager

Nausheen Najib is on the Service Cloud product marketing team based in the Bay Area. When she’s not building customer-centric marketing programs, you can find her traveling to new places or baking something extra sweet.

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