Engaging the Customer- why Net Promoter Scoring* is a better KPI by Niels Kjellerup editor of the Call Centre Managers Forum July 3rd 2009.

Slowly but surely customer service centres are making the transition from Call-producing sweatshops to Value Adding partners by contributing to the business model.

Recently I was introduces to iiNet, an Australian internet service & telecom provider. In surveys amongst telecoms and ISPs iiNET rates a clear number one in customer satisfaction.

iiNet has 4 service centres in order to provide 24/7 service. From Auckland in NZ via Sydney and Perth in Australia to Cape Town in South Africa the centres are all in house and allows for the best utilisation of staff resources while ensuring 24 hours service.

I asked Neil Harrison the Customer Service Management how he encouraged staff engagement with the customers? The simple answer was: “Every service rep and manager is primarily measured on their Net Promotor Score. This ensures that the importance of each and every customer contact is made operational and given the importance it deserves”. The challenge according to NH is, that call centre managers and team leaders are so conditions to be measured on calls, call length and wait times, that Neill continually has to explain and clarify to his call centre managers that workforce management & service levels are his responsibility and their responsibility is 1) The outcome of calls and 2) The customer experience as measured by The Net Promoter Score.

This little case-story contains several significant points:

1. Call Centre managers are responsible for the Customer Experience.

2. Customer experienced is measured in real-time by applying Net Promoter Scoring.

3. Workforce management and other operational measures are NOT key performance indicators.

4. To sustainably become number one in customer satisfaction in your industry you need the management-focus to be on the Customer, the call outcome and the customer experience.

5. An entire generation of call centre managers have been indoctrinated to believe that operational call statistics are the key indicators of service delivery success. 

For those of you who want to know more about Net Promoter Score here’s an introduction article with more links and references.  

* NPS is the registered trademark of Satmetrix, Bain & Co & Fred Reichheld.

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