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Metric for Customer Service Evaluation

The Power of Agent Touches as a Metric in Measuring Customer Service

Dhivakar Aridoss

Dhivakar Aridoss

Marketing Head

Every interaction between an agent and a customer represents an opportunity to resolve issues swiftly and effectively.

Agent touches, or the number of times an agent engages with a ticket or customer issue until its resolution, stand as a crucial metric in understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of these operations.

Customers, quite understandably, prefer their issues to be resolved with as few interactions as possible.

This desire for swift resolution directly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty.

After all, who enjoys being bounced around or waiting endlessly for a solution?

It’s no surprise, then, that reducing the number of agent touches has become a focal point for organizations striving to enhance their customer service experience.

But How Exactly Do We Measure This Metric?

The process is straightforward: track the number of times an agent interacts with a customer or ticket from the initial contact until the issue is resolved.

This encompasses all forms of communication, including emails, calls, chat messages, and more.

Fortunately, most modern customer service platforms and ticketing systems automatically capture this data, simplifying the measurement process.

To comprehensively understand overall performance, it’s essential to calculate the average number of agent touches across all resolved issues within a specific time frame.

This average is a barometer of efficiency, offering insights into how effectively customer issues are addressed and resolved.

Tips to Improve Agent Touch Metric and Enhance Customer Service

Comprehensive Training

Providing agents with thorough training in product knowledge, problem-solving, and communication skills is akin to equipping them with a versatile toolkit.

Allow your agents to tag along with customer service champions during the training program to understand the nuances of helping customers resolve issues quickly.

Studies have shown that companies investing in comprehensive training programs witness a significant decrease in the number of touches required to resolve customer issues.

Agent Empowerment

Granting agents the authority to make decisions and resolve issues autonomously fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.

How do you know how much you can empower your customer-facing representatives? This is a tricky subject for most people, but here is a simple solution.

For instance, let us assume that an agent’s decision will result in revenue loss for the organization; then, we should cap the value to which an agent is empowered to make decisions. Besides, they will be answerable for the decisions that they took. This would make it practically possible to empower agents.

Have you heard of Ritz-Carlton allocating discretionary spending of $2000 to every employee to ensure they are on the side of the customers?

Empowered agents can substantially reduce the number of touches needed to address customer inquiries, leading to greater efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Knowledge Base and Self-Service Options

Implementing a robust knowledge base and self-service options empowers customers to find solutions independently, decreasing the volume of inquiries requiring agent intervention.

70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. In fact, 40% of customers now prefer self-service over human contact.

And a study by Dimension Data estimates that 73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website instead of using social media, SMS, and live chat for support.

Organizations that offer comprehensive self-service resources experience a notable decrease in agent touches.

Proactive Communication

Proactively reaching out to customers with updates, notifications, and personalized recommendations demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Companies prioritizing proactive communication strategies observe a measurable reduction in the number of touches required to resolve customer issues.

Cross-Training and Collaboration

Encouraging cross-training and collaboration among agents enables them to support each other and handle a broader range of inquiries.

Organizations fostering a collaborative culture witness a decrease in the need for multiple transfers or escalations, ultimately reducing agent touches.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Soliciting feedback from customers and agents allows organizations to identify areas for improvement and refine their customer service strategies.

Agents are on the front line of customer relations. Their direct and personal experiences with customers give them valuable information and insights into creating and cultivating strong customer service.

Companies prioritizing feedback mechanisms and continuous improvement initiatives achieve a measurable reduction in agent touches over time.

Technology Integration

Leveraging technology solutions such as chatbots and artificial intelligence automates routine tasks and gives agents real-time insights.

Besides, ensure that you offer an omnichannel customer experience, allowing your agents to have a single view of your customers across all channels and interfaces. The customer will never have to repeat themselves.

Integration of technology tools results in increased agent efficiency and a corresponding decrease in the number of touches required to resolve customer issues.

Real-time Analytics

Utilizing real-time analytics enables organizations to monitor key performance metrics and identify opportunities for intervention.

By leveraging data-driven insights, companies can optimize agent efficiency and reduce agent touches across customer interactions.

Celebrate Successes

Recognizing and celebrating instances of efficient issue resolution reinforces positive behavior and motivates agents to strive for excellence.

Organizations that celebrate successes observe higher levels of agent morale and a corresponding decrease in agent touches.

Agent touches represent more than just a metric – they reflect organizations’ customer service experience.

By prioritizing efficiency and minimizing unnecessary interactions, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive long-term success.

Embracing this metric as a cornerstone of customer service strategy is not just a recommendation – it’s a necessity in today’s competitive landscape.

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