How to Set Goals in Customer Service (With Examples)
Updated September 30, 2022
Customer service jobs exist in many industries, with helpful and friendly employees working as representatives of a brand. Customer service employees help employers reach their goals because they work directly to handle customer questions, process orders, and manage issues as they arise. Understanding the importance of customer service goals may assist you in advancing your career. In this article, we define goals in customer service, explain how to set them, discuss different types, and share several examples.
What are goals in customer service?
Goals in customer service are targets that a company strives to reach through its approach to serving customers. Like all goals, customer service goals are targets to achieve in the short or long term. They provide direction and focus, give customer service employees a benchmark for their performance, and motivate teams towards success.
Customer service team goals align with the entire organizational strategy and work to reach targets for shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders. Achieving and setting goals involves ongoing discussions with teams to track their progress and measure the impact of their work. Each customer service employee contributes to achieving goals and understands their role in meeting these results.
How to set customer service goals
Goals are essential for any customer service team who may work in a variety of industries, including retailers, credit card companies, insurance companies, cell phone providers, and financial institutions. The importance of creating goals and reaching them impacts organizations, customers, and employees. Here are some steps for setting customer service goals:
1. Review organizational goals
Customer service teams represent their employer in achieving its wider goals and targets. Review the strategic plan to find out goals, direction, and timelines for initiatives and projects. An employer may set goals in several broad areas, including those relating to finances, growth, customers, employee development, and its community.
2. Specify customer service goals
Specify customer service goals by thinking about how you can help customers have a positive impression of your products and service. You may set these goals by identifying challenges to providing the best customer experience, such as slow checkout times or response times in service. Customers can have common questions about products, or a customer hotline menu may contain multiple layers that are hard to navigate.
Customer service goals can relate to handling difficult customers or dealing with the potential for customer service outages. Other goals may include measures to reduce turnover or hire and train customer service representatives. Goals to serve customers are specific to address these challenges and may include plans to:
Simplify ways that customers use phone or chat support
Expand the customer service team to address customer needs faster
Add more customer support through an online help desk and chat service
Streamline the checkout process with a new application
3. Set realistic goals
Goals seek to challenge customer service teams while being achievable and practical. To check whether the goals are realistic, consider the amount of time to reach these targets, and the resources you may require, such as the number of employees, workspace, and technology. For example, if a product line expands, it's reasonable to secure more resources to provide high levels of customer service.
Practical goals may also be set for individual customer service representatives to expand their skills and career development. All representatives may share some goals, such as a target customer satisfaction score, while others are custom for each employee, such as learning new techniques to better serve customers.
4. Consider employee and customer relationships
Relationships between customer service employees and customers form an important part of setting goals. Goals may increase productivity and profits, while customer service goals focus on behaviours and relationships. Serving customers takes exceptional interpersonal skills and revolves around interacting with those seeking help with your products and services.
For example, a goal relating to relationships can be increasing customer satisfaction scores in a call centre. Central to achieving this goal is improving interactions between call centre employees and customers. Teams may approach setting this goal by understanding how customer satisfaction ratings relate to the ways they communicate with customers in the centre.
5. Measure your results
Setting measurable goals allows you to monitor your progress and make any corrections towards reaching targets within a set time. Measuring goals can involve metrics that assess customer satisfaction or the time for customers to receive the first response to questions and concerns. You may also measure the average amount of time to resolve a customer's issue.
Results come from surveys of customers who contact your call centre or customer service representatives. You may also survey customers who purchase your products and services and haven' contacted your customer service department. Consider measuring results by asking customers if they may recommend your products, services, and customer service support to their friends and family.
6. Make slight adjustments to your goals
Customer service goals are important to establish and it's common for them to adjust slightly over a financial quarter or fiscal year. External factors such as natural disasters or virus outbreaks may create different challenges for customers and customer service teams. For example, a goal of reducing customer wait times by 10% at the checkout may change when several retail locations close due to a natural disaster in a region.
Types of customer service goals
Goals in customer service measure the impact of a brand's ability to treat customers well and efficiently. These goals often involve interacting with customers by being friendly and helpful when they have a question, concern, or want to buy a product or service. Here are a few different types of customer service goals you can consider for your team:
Customer satisfaction relates to the happiness of a customer with the service from customer service agents or representatives. You can track customer satisfaction through surveys, talking with customers about their encounters, and logging input from customers at the in-person or online customer service desk. Companies often track this metric over several months or years to determine strategies for improvement.
Productivity in customer service relates to the quality and quantity of customer interactions by the service centre. Measuring productivity in customer service allows you to track the number of customers a centre helps each day and the time to resolve any concerns or questions. You can also measure productivity by tracking the types of questions and problems to find trends you can report to other departments, such as the sales and marketing team.
Customer recovery goals involve re-engaging with previous customers so that they return to purchase products and services. Improving customer service may convince former customers to consider your products or services again. You may set a goal of recovering 10 former customers in one month and track progress on this goal through a welcome back promotion.
Customer loyalty goals relate to the likelihood that a customer may return to make another purchase. You can also set a customer loyalty goal for how often existing customers make further purchases. Measuring customer loyalty allows you to track how many customers return to make purchases and monitor which customers use customer services on several occasions.
Ratings and reviews
Ratings and reviews are goals relating to direct feedback that customers provide to a customer service department or the whole company. Measuring ratings and reviews may involve monitoring and tracking a third-party online platform or social media sites where customers provide feedback on their experiences. Some companies set goals for reviews and use their social media accounts to promote customer testimonials to track feedback and resolve lingering questions or concerns.
Examples of customer service goals
Consider the following examples of customer service goals:
Promoting products in a department store
Below is an example of a customer service goal:
A department store's customer service desk assists about 50 customers a day and wants to increase this volume so that customer representatives can directly promote a new product line to customers during their interactions. They establish a goal of serving 70 customers each day for the next three months. The department then sets a second goal to expand after three months to serve 100 customers daily.
Reducing dress store returns
An example to illustrate another customer service goal:
A dress store notices an increase in the volume of customers with returns at their customer service desk and that these dresses return to shelves in three to four weeks. The customer service department establishes a goal of getting these dresses back on store shelves in three business days. Customer service representatives discuss strategies to achieve this goal and suggest an extra representative process returns at the desk so that other representatives can focus on helping customers.
Decreasing customer wait times
See an example of an online company's goal of reducing customer wait times:
An online technology company has a goal of decreasing customer wait times for service by 10% in the second quarter. Data reveals that customers wait for service on the telephone and through e-mail. They review and analyze the data, check the efficiency of the customer services team, and determine that the team may reach this new goal with several new technology tools.
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