The True Cost of the World Class Customer Experience
“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.” -Nikki Giovanni
What is world class service to you?
A typical response is 24/7/366 support from knowledgeable, friendly and empathetic, live agents by email, live chat, phones or social). So, let’s go with that.
The obvious next question is: what do you think it takes to create a World Class Customer Experience? The most common answer is: great people. That’s true. But do you know how many people it takes to deliver this experience?
I was once told a CX budget was less than $30k for four years. I scratched my temple on that one. What that showed me is there is not enough insight into what it takes to build a world class service team. So, allow me to tell you what that looks like.
Let’s begin with a Support Strategy.
How do you plan to service your customers? Define your channels. Channels are the ways in which Customers will contact you: Email, Live Chat, Phone Calls, Social Media, etc.
Email is cheapest, followed by live chat, then messenger (social) and finally phones. Why? Because of the time you must get back to the Customer, and the concurrent (many at once) Customer engagements (live chat). The longer you allow a Customer to wait, the cheaper it will be for you to service them. But does that equate to “good” service? Likely not.
Now you'll need to decide how quickly you want to respond to Customers by channel (email, live chat, phones and/or messenger).
Develop a Plan
This plan will be based on predictions, and they will sometimes be wrong (unless you possess a crystal ball, in which case, please share!). Regardless, rework your plan as you obtain new learnings.
To create a plan, you will need to know the following:
Your drivers (what causes people to contact you), and Y
Your contacts volume (how many people message or call you) historically.
Sure, there are ways to guestimate for future without either, but let’s assume you have both.
You will take the Drivers and Contacts and turn that into people. How many people will you need to do the work? This is based on how long it takes to do the work and how you want your team to use their time: meetings, trainings, paid time off, etc. This is known as shrinkage.
This practice is known as Workforce Management (WFM). WFM includes forecasting workload, creating capacity plans, scheduling, tracking, reporting & analysis. We offer a free training on these concepts, just click here (use coupon code TWPLearner).
We can help you with the planning aspects easily, but tracking, reporting & analysis will require dedicated resources. Sometimes to the tune of 1 person for every 10 employees in your Contact Center, because you’re managing in real time.
If you need help creating a plan, click here to create your own weekly plan FREE.
Get the Right People
Depending on the level of expertise you hire (which has a lot to do with your location), you will need to hire more leadership to mentor and develop the frontline. If you have seasoned leaders, you can have 8 employees reporting to 1. If your leadership is a bit more novice, you’re looking at no more than 5 to 1.
You may be shocked by this, but an “excellent” Customer experience means different things to different people. Thus, leaving your CX up to “good judgement” can be a mistake. People need guidelines, checks and balances. This cannot all be done with one leader, but this needs to be someone’s responsibility. I usually put this under Learning & Development. It’s called Quality Assurance. We’ve all heard some variation of “your call will be recorded for…. quality assurance”. This simply means, someone is listening to determine whether you received the level of service the business expects. You’ll need 1 person for every 10 employees in your Contact Center.
If we put this all together, let’s say the following is true:
You’re expecting 2,500 contacts next week, and it takes 15 minutes to handle each contact, with a shrinkage factor of 15%, you will require 18 people. (Estimate your needs in under 1 minute).
If you require 18 agents, you will also require the following:
At least 2 leads or supervisors (8 to 1 ratio)
At least 2 Quality Assurance people (10 to 1 ratio)
At least 1 WFM person (25 to 1)
At least 1 Manager or Sr. Manager
Based on this example, it will take at least 24 people to properly run a team of 18 and deliver World Class Customer Service.
Ty Givens is the founder and CEO of The WorkForce Pro, the leader in contact center success solutions. Her strategic guidance played an integral part in the global success of Thrive Market and ShoeDazzle. Given’s is known for her ability to save client’s millions in revenue, improve call answer rates by over 40% and increase productivity by over 30%. She is a trusted advisor to many high profile clients within the e-commerce, healthcare and retail space making her one of the most sought-after strategists for contact centers.