Customer Service Goals

How to Develop Challenging Yet Realistic Customer Service Goals

It is a generally agreed-upon fact that in order to accomplish something worthwhile, it is not enough to simply have a goal in mind; we need to have a way to back it up. A solid process, tangible steps along the way to getting to obtaining that objective, is absolutely vital.; The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is credited with saying “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In other words, do you want your success to depend on things you choose not to control, or would you rather grab the wheel and steer yourself onto the right path?; This concept holds true especially in the world of business. But the question is, what are the appropriate, practical goals for a company in the area of sales and marketing? And how can these goals help a company in regard to the all-important area of customer service?

How Goals Improve Your Company’s Customer Service

An obvious reason for setting customer service goals is that it allows the entire team to focus and work towards one common objective.

For example, if the department’s goal is to improve the level of customer satisfaction of those that contact customer support, some businesses offer customers the opportunity to participate in a “simple survey” at the end of the phone call or online response. This allows the customer themselves to rate the quality of help they received on KPIs that the department sets as priority and indicative of “customer satisfaction” such as knowledge, professionalism and whether the service representative solved their problem.

The survey could even include something as basic as how friendly and personable the service representative was. Such feedback can give the supervisors valuable information as to the customer's level of satisfaction.

Another reason for setting objectives for your customer service department is that it allows the team to measure the success or failure of their team, and if needed, to reevaluate the direction of that team. Basically, defining metrics that will service to set a baseline of what’s an exceptional level of customer satisfaction, acceptable satisfaction, average and so on.

How to Identify and Set Effective Customer Service Goals

Customer service is all about establishing a good relationship with your customer. If the representative is knowledgeable and pleasant to work with, it can and will pay big dividends for the business. Here are several things that need to be kept in mind when setting goals and objectives for your customer service:

  1. Be Specific: The goals set should be specific and strictly defined so that success can be easily determined.
  2. Don’t Make Goals Too Easy: The objective should be challenging. In order for your company to grow, you need to continually be challenging to reach higher. In the world of modern business, if you are not going forward, then you can be assured that you are losing ground to your competitors.
  3. Setting Realistic Goals: Goals should be challenging but they shouldn’t be impossible. Set your customer service goals and objectives so that they are achievable with work and effort. Start small and be practical. As your team meets specific benchmarks, the goals can then be revised and raised to a higher level.
  4. Relationship-Focused: All goals in a company's customer service area should always focus more heavily on the customer relationship rather than on the profit margin. If the degree of customer satisfaction is rated high, then it follows naturally that the profit margin will increase. The opposite of this is, unfortunately, true as well.
  5. Quantifiable Goals: In the same way that goals should be specific is the same way that they should be measurable. If your objectives aren’t quantifiable in some way, then it’s difficult to define the success of your department.
  6. Empower Employees: Customer service representatives should feel as they are supported in reaching their goals. Organizations need to supply their employees the information, resources and the authority to fulfill customer needs in the majority of scenarios.
In fact, top support teams are nearly 3.5 times as likely as underperforming teams to give their service agents the authority they need to make customers happy.

How to Reevaluate and Revise Goals

Goals should always be flexible and never set in stone. There are so many variables to consider, and, in the ever-changing world of technology, the goals must continually be adapted and revised to fit the given circumstances. But always remember to keep the revised goals challenging and realistic, as mentioned in the paragraph above.

Excellent Customer Service Is Dependent on the Right Goals

The top three service challenges faced by customer-centric organizations are:

  1. Customers having to re-explain issues
  2. Customers having to expend too much effort to resolve issues
  3. Customers having to rely on contacting customer service

In order to address these and other customer-satisfaction issues, you need to have the ability to create and achieve adaptable goals.

Leave No Room for Guessing Games

Even the most impressively-written, articulate goals won’t do a company any good if they aren’t measurable and are impossible to attain. This holds true especially in regard to customer service teams, where the heart of the company's success depends on the day-to-day interaction between the team and the customer.

Being “knowledgeable,” “pleasant” and “providing exceptional customer service” are subjective. If your company’s goal is to provide exceptional support, give knowledgeable answers while remaining pleasant to your customers then you’ll need to define each in a way that is challenging, realistic, customer-focused and quantifiable.

On top of that, give your support team the tools to be “knowledgeable,” “pleasant” and “exceptional”. Keeping these rules in mind when setting your service goals is how you’ll ultimately achieve (and exceed) the customer experience your targeting… every single time.