Local Government Professionals group invited me to speak at their Customer Service Conference in Melbourne, with the theme of the being ‘maximising Customer Experience’.
The conference was designed around a series of workshops on the first day followed by a series of keynote presentations on the Friday, 8th September. The first keynote was on Customer Experience Strategy , delivered by Isabella Villani and the second one was Graham Tobin from Service NSW and he delivered an inspiring case study on what his group had achieved over the previous year with wait times at an all time low and customer satisfaction at 97%. The third keynote was on KPIs, and then a Q&A Panel.
Having consulted with a few Local Government organisations over the last few years I was pretty sure what they were looking for. A couple of calls with the organisers confirmed that councils were frustrated with the current KPIs the had – mainly because they were taking the seemingly easier data driven route, which was to measure the data they had. These measures typically end up being ‘counts'” of thing that you do.
The presentation covered the PuMP approach to performance measurement and added the customer service perspective. That is, if you take a data driven approach to KPIs in a customer service centre, you will typically measure how many interactions you did, average handle time (AHT), percentage of calls or service enquiries handled within a certain time frame (Grade of Service for example). The downside of this data as measures is that it focuses the people that deliver the service on the wrong things – that is, not their customer, but the time and number of things happening.
If we take a PuMP approach we might find that the result we want to achieve is that “Our customer have a great experience with us”, or “Our customer love our service”. These results would push us to measure things like call quality, or the overall experience the customer has, or that our customer love our service contact. Focusing on the result we want to achieve, rather than the data we have we prompt us to focus more on the outcome we want, rather than the data we have.
The Q&A session went for 90 minutes and was really engaging, lots of questions. One of the key themes of the questions was about how you get senior management to buy-in to the customer experience and measuring things better. For me, Exec’s and senior managers are often very focused on the actions, or projects; which in many cases they see as being the solution to a particular situation they wish to resolve.
One of the things we need to do here is find out what the outcome is that the action or project is designed to achieve. When we know what the outcome (or result) is then we have a much better chance of (a) shifting our focus away from the action has happened and onto the result or outcome we are working towards, and (b) design performance measures that provide feedback on the result/outcome, rather than the action or project. Then we show managers what we have developed – results and measures – rather than tell them they need better KPIs.
The shift here is to focus on the outcome or result and show the difference between measuring progress towards results, rather than monitoring actions or counting activity.