While support executives have made great strides in making sure our teams think about the customer first, this way of thinking runs smack into reality when we reach across internal departments to get an issue solved for a customer. The further away you get from people who interact with customers on a daily basis, the more likely you are to go from a personal, emotional connection with a customer and their issue to an ‘escalation’ (read: interruption from my ‘real’ job) that has to be dealt with.
Want to know perhaps the simplest, most powerful measure that aligns every customer-facing department with the customer? Time to Customer Value.
Here is how to calculate it.
Time to Customer Value = Time to Value (before sale) + Time to Value (after sale) + Time to Smile (after interruption).
Measured in days. If your Time to Customer Value is zero or even negative (days), you are doing really well.
Let’s break this down.
Look carefully what separates ‘success that lasts’ from ‘yet another shiny-object-turned-failed-initiative’, and you will often find the same root cause. Measures, and how they are used. Specifically if they are used to ‘grade’ people or if they are use to guide people to do better.
This was the same obstacle we noted in the last post — the one thing standing in the way as we moved from focusing on Knowledge to Knowledge-in-Action.
If you are what you measure, customer support/service (and if we aren’t careful, customer success) is in a terrible place because most of what we measure is based on outdated phone-based call center metrics from the last century.
The problem is that our world of customers and employees is complex, and we have no way of knowing what specific thing we did caused a specific outcome. We don’t have a way to measure what is important, so what we can measure becomes important.
Even worse, we often put ‘goals’ on activities — the predictable result of which is a set of bad behaviors with poor outcomes for our customers and our employees. We end up ‘grading’ people, and no one likes being managed that way.
If Phase I of Klever Insight was all about knowledge-sharing, Phase 2 was about putting knowledge in action. Sounds great, but what the heck does that actually mean?
The best run organizations have a strategy everyone understands with ways to connect behaviors to achieve that strategy.
Viewed through the lens of knowledge, this means that they apply knowledge about their customers, employees and how their business really works and take simple, practical steps that everyone can rally around.
Klever Insight is the first-ever, interactive digital advisor that leverages company and industry expertise to help customer success and support leaders always know “the smartest next step” to best engage employees and customers.
Yup, that’s right. Software. What we always wanted to build.
Four years ago, we began a journey to build software that we wished we had when we ran complex global service and support operations. The journey hasn’t been easy and isn’t over. But this is a major public milestone that we will (modestly) celebrate.
So how did it start? Our first focus — Phase I of Klever Insight if you will — was knowledge-sharing. Why knowledge-sharing? An astounding 60 – 90% of what we do has been done by someone in our ecosystem before.