In the business world, companies tend to take one of two stances on customer service and measure different key performance indicators (KPIs) to their determine success. Some focus on the quantity of calls agents answer in a day and measure average handle time or first call resolution rates. Others focus more on the customer’s experience with a goal of delivering quality service and measure customer satisfaction instead. This ongoing debate leaves many businesses questioning if quality or quantity is the better approach to customer service.
Quality versus quantity
While today’s customers want speedy service, they aren’t willing to sacrifice a personalized experience to get it.
In the first scenario, businesses are focused on quantity and push their agents to answer as many calls as possible. Why? Because speed is easier to measure than customer satisfaction. Often, agents feel so much pressure that they neglect the customer on the phone, rush them through their questions and move on to the next call without ever acknowledging the customer by name. Customers end up feeling unappreciated and not important in these types of scenarios.
Other businesses such as Zappos, have taken an approach that focuses on their customers. These businesses encourage call center agents to build rapport with customers on the phone, which requires spending more time on one call. Even though agents can’t field as many calls a day as the quantity scenario, customers are happier with the experience. As a result, these businesses create a loyal following that come back multiple times to do business with them.
Benefits of focusing on quality
It may seem counter-productive to encourage agents to spend more time on each call, but the customer-centric approach pays off in the long run. Here are five benefits of focusing on quality calls and not the speed.
1. Customer Feels Important
Nobody wants to feel like a number when they contact a customer service department for help. If your agents are equipped to deliver a great experience, customers feel appreciated, and customer satisfaction increases as a result.
2. Agents are Happier
Customer service agents tend to be happier when they work in a customer-centric environment. Since they can spend time building a relationship with callers instead of rushing them off the phone, they manage fewer disgruntled calls, which reduces their overall stress. Agents also feel as if their well-being matters in this type of culture, which improves employee retention, too.
3. Increase Customer Retention
When you deliver customer service that customers enjoy being part of, they are more likely to come back to your business when they need your services again.
4. Increase Customer Referrals
Having a strong customer base of repeat customers leads to more referrals. When customers are happy with their experiences, they are willing to share that information with others. Their friends and colleagues are more likely to trust you because of the praise they hear.
5. Improved Bottom Line
When you retain more customers and employees, your business has fewer costs to attract or train new ones. That, paired with an increase in repeat customers and referrals, increases your overall profits.