Customer Service Goals: 6 Tips to Consider

Everyone, from your employees to your customers, wants to be treated with respect. You probably do things to show your employees that they are valued and important, like throwing parties or buying lunch. It's also important to show your customers that they mean a great deal to you and your business. Setting goals and objectives when it comes to customer service is a great way to help your employees understand their value, and yet, this this is an often overlooked part of doing business. By setting customer service goals, you can track progress, increase sales, and gain repeat business.

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1. Set Measurable Customer Service Goals

When setting goals, it's important that you are able to measure progress and success. Just stating that you want to make customers happy or gain their trust isn't enough. You need something measurable because it's the only way to know if your goals have been achieved. Have methods in place to track average response time, new customers or clients, and customer satisfaction scores. Keep track of some of the challenges your employees face when dealing with customer service, then use them to help you set goals that will improve customer experience.

For example, if your employees frequently have customers asking question that they cannot answer, set a goal for increasing knowledge about the service or product you provide. When your team members are able to answer more questions, without turning customers away or sending them to other departments, your goal has been reached. This can be measured both through the amount of time each employee spends gaining knowledge as well as through customer satisfaction scores. The time customer service agents spend learning could ultimately lead to more new customers with increased satisfaction.

2. Have a Time Frame for Achievement

To achieve your customer service goals and objectives you have to set a time frame. Having a deadline for when you expect a goal to be achieved will help ensure success. Simply telling your employees that you expect them to resolve issues promptly doesn't give them a deadline, and they will likely feel that they are already doing their best.

Give them an obtainable goal that has a time frame attached, such as responding to all customer inquiries within 24 hours, which gives them a better idea of what you are trying to accomplish.

Make sure that you are talking to your employees about what some realistic time frames are because some situations may require longer turnaround than others, and you want all your team members on the same page when it comes to setting goals. For example, if you want to increase your overall star rating on a certain platform, it may take a few months to do so, while if you only want to receive a certain number of five-star ratings, you could set this goal to be archived in a shorter time period, like a few days or a week.

Having good records of how long certain tasks take, such as responding to customer complaints, will help you get a better idea of the time frames you can expect when setting goals. If you know that your support team takes a week to respond to complaints but you want them to do it within 24 hours, a realistic goal might be to increase response time to three days first. Once the first goal is met, you can then increase it to the desired 24-hour time frame.

3. Be Specific

Try to be as specific as possible when laying out your customer service goals to your employees. Be very clear and concise with the steps that should be followed to create more a more satisfactory customer experience.

Avoid being vague and using statements like "We need to improve customer satisfaction" or "Let's get better feedback on social media." These kinds of statements don't lead to results. For measurable improvement, lay out a plan that gets people excited about the goal.

Start by explaining the problem, for example, customers are complaining about long wait times when trying to conduct a live chat. Next, discuss why this is a problem, even if it seems obvious. Explain that when customers' calls aren't answered, they don't feel that they are valued, which leads to lost sales. Then, talk about ways to alleviate this problem. Finally, set your goals accordingly, and take employee suggestions into consideration when doing so. A great goal to set for this problem would be for customer service reps to answer live chats within one minute.

Being specific with your goals lets your employees know that you have expectations regarding their interactions with your customers. It also gives them an opportunity to improve in areas that are valuable to your company or small business. Then, they aren't left to make guesses about what you really want them to do. Make it challenging yet fun to reach the goals you set by keeping them realistic and offering rewards.

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4. Reevaluate and Revise Goals

Sometimes we set goals that are never met. If you notice that your team members are struggling to achieve what you have set out for them, it might be necessary to reevaluate and revise your goals. This could happen for a number of reasons. Maybe your service agents didn't quite understand what was expected of them, or perhaps the time frame was unrealistic. No matter what the reason, you'll need to find another way to achieve success when it comes to your customer service goals.

Discuss with your customer service reps what they think went wrong, and ask for suggestions on new ways to improve. If the issue stems from a failure on your part to set clear tactics to achieve goals, you can go back and see if there's a way to make them clearer and easier to understand. Maybe your time frame wasn't realistic because you expected to improve customer satisfaction by 50% by the end of the month when you should have allowed closer to six months.

Regardless of why the goals were unsuccessful, you will need to revise them in order to keep your business growing and profitable. Don't give up just because a goal didn't work. It's a great time to meet with your team to get feedback and create a new set of goals with a fresh perspective.

5. Make a Connection With Customers

Connecting with your customers on a personal level will help you to gain their trust and repeat business. This is a big challenge for busy customer support teams. Taking extra time with one customer means that there's another customer waiting for help. So, how do you make a connection with customers while still helping everyone who needs it? The answer to this question is by setting goals.

It may not be realistic to give extra personal time to every customer, but give your support team a goal to go above and beyond for at least one customer each day. This could be measured by offering a customer satisfaction survey. When an employee receives a really great rating or response, reward them. This will encourage their continued success and improvement, as well as create strong relationships with your valued customers.

6. Keep It Realistic

Goals need to be realistic. You can't expect your employees to work 25 hours a day, just as you can't set goals for them that they will never achieve. You want goals to be challenging, but in a good way. If your goals are adding stress and anxiety levels to your already frazzled employees, they will not perform their best. On the same note, setting goals that don't require any effort won't get you the results you're after.

Asking an employee who normally helps 10 customers a day to reach a goal of helping 100 customers a day by the end of the week is unrealistic. This type of scenario will likely result in a highly stressed out customer service rep who is even less efficient at their job, resulting in loss of customers. Instead, look at what is already being achieved compared to what you would like to see accomplished, then set reachable goals that allow you to track progress.

In the above example, for instance, you want to look at what an employee has achieved (10 calls a day) and compare it to what you would like to see (100 calls a day). Take this data and really consider what a realistic time frame for achieving this goal would be. Give this employee smaller goals to work toward each week, like an increase of five calls a day or 15 calls a week. At the end of the time frame, see how they've done. If they are able to achieve the laid out goal in an acceptable time frame, you can then increase it accordingly until the desired results are achieved.

By keeping goals realistic, you will make them challenging without overwhelming employees and creating a stressful, unpleasant work atmosphere. To ensure that the customer service goals you set are realistic and obtainable, meet with your team regularly to get feedback both before setting goals and afterward. They can let you know what is working and what isn't so that everyone can stay focused, providing the best possible customer support.

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