One of the leading indicators of business success is great customer experience

By | Business Advice

Measuring your customer experience performance is essential to creating an exceptional customer journey. Like driving a car, if you can’t see what’s happening around you, how can you expect to stay on the road? Measuring and monitoring CX allows you to assess what is effective and what isn’t. How and what you measure depend greatly on the type of experience you would like to offer your customers.

Some of the main measurements of CX are:

  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Customer Sentiment
  • Customer Effort Score (CES)
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), measures short-term satisfaction, or how a customer feels about a specific product or service. CSAT is the average satisfaction score that customers rate a specific experience they had with your organisation, such as a billing enquiry or customer support call.

It’s generally measured by sending customers an automated survey on a website, IVR, smartphone, email or other channel, asking them to rate their level of satisfaction with the interaction on a scale of “Not satisfied at all” to “Very satisfied.”

A key benefit with CSAT is that it’s based on a relatively real time reaction to a customer’s satisfaction with a product or service as the aim is to try and get a CSAT score within 30 minutes of a product or service being used.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is measured on a single question based on a customers’ overall interaction with a company to measure customer loyalty. NPS is the percentage of your customers who would (or wouldn’t) recommend your company to their friends, family, or colleagues. It’s typically measured with a customer survey that asks the customer, “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” Customers rate your company on a scale from 0-10. Your NPS score is calculated by subtracting the Detractors from the Promoters.

Customer Sentiment

Customer sentiment analysis is the measurement of positive and negative language, usually in text format, to determine the underlying emotional tone of the words. It is used to help brands understand the opinions, attitudes, and emotions expressed by their customers online, and is often applied to social media platforms.

Analysis of aggregated data over time provides insights into trends, while analysis of individual cases in near real time lets companies address and resolve customer issues quickly, making customer sentiment analysis a very powerful tool in creating a unique and positive customer experience.

Customer effort score

Customer effort score (CES) measures the effort required by your customers to accomplish a task. It’s typically measured by sending customers an automated post-interaction survey asking them to rate a specific statement on a defined scale. The statement will depend on the interaction they just completed. For a customer billing interaction, for example, you might ask “How much effort did you personally have to do to resolve your issue?” and have them rate the interaction on a scale ranging from “Very low effort” to “Very high effort.”

When it comes to service, companies can create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily. Customers resent having to contact a company repeatedly or be transferred to get an issue resolved, having to repeat information, and having to switch from one service channel to another. Equipped with this understanding, we can fundamentally change the emphasis of customer service interactions to remove obstacles for customers and make it easy for them to transact with your company.

Customer Churn Rate

Churn rate is measured by the percentage of customers who either don’t make a repeat purchase (for transaction-based businesses) or cancel their recurring service (for subscription-based businesses).

The churn rate is calculated by dividing the total number of lost customers by the total number of active customers for any given period of time. Regardless of how you choose to calculate churn, tracking your churn rate is critical to success. It’s almost always cheaper and easier to retain customers than it is to go through the process of acquiring new ones. Monitoring churn is the first step in understanding how good you are at retaining customers and identifying what actions might result in a higher retention rate.

First Contact Resolution

First Contact Resolution (FCR) measures the percentage of contacts where the customers issue was resolved on the first interaction with your company. A frequent pattern of multiple calls or contacts from the same customers means customer service isn’t being handled properly. Customer satisfaction goes up when needs are met more efficiently and effectively.

FCR can be a difficult metric to accurately measure as it looks at how customers perceive their experience and this information is not always easy to collect. Before companies can begin to measure FCR, they need to define what FCR means for them and establish criteria for measuring it. For example, FCR might be defined as resolving a case on the first call, regardless of whether the call needs to be transferred to another agent.

Once the FCR criteria has been set you need to define how much time you allocate for customers to follow up on a case before defining the contact as being resolved on the first contact (also known as a contact window).

Ultimately, every business is different and there’s no single metric that will work for every organisation in every industry. Whatever you decide on, just make sure you’re measuring the things that are most important to your customers, and that you can draw actionable insights that can be used to improve customer experience.

If you would like to learn more about any of the different ways to measure customer experience please contact us.

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Consumer Directed Care: working in a new world of funding and client relationships

By | Community Care

Many people would prefer to live independently at home as they get older. If someone is generally able to manage but just needs some help with daily tasks, there are support services available to assist, however access to these services is based on age.

Services for older people, people aged 65 and over and Aboriginal people aged 50 and over, are funded and managed by the Commonwealth Department of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). These services include help with housework, personal care, meals, social support and group activities, nursing care, allied health and home maintenance.

Community care services, otherwise known as Home Care Packages, are provided either through a government funded package or private funded home care services.

Government funded Home Care Packages

Government funded Home Care Packages provide older people with the in-home support necessary to remain living independently in their own homes. There are four Commonwealth Government funded Home Care Packages available, depending on the level of assistance required:

  • Level 1 – Basic care and support needs
  • Level 2 – Low level care and support needs
  • Level 3 – Intermediate care and support needs
  • Level 4 – High level care and support needs

The following range of supplements are also available to people across all levels of Home Care Packages who meet the eligibility criteria in recognition of the additional costs associated with certain care and service requirements:

  • Dementia and Cognition Supplement and Veteran’s Supplement
  • Oxygen Supplement
  • Enteral Feeding Supplement
  • Viability Supplement
  • Top-up Supplement
  • Hardship Supplement

An overview of the government funded Home Care Package assessment process is as follows:

  • Assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) Assessor using the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF)
  • The assessment is then entered into the My Aged Care system so that the correct level of service can be determined. The person applying for care will then be placed in a queue until a suitable package becomes available.
  • Once a package becomes available, the person nominates their chosen service provider and enters into a service agreement

If eligible for a government funded Home Care Package most costs are covered, however some costs may apply which are calculated based on the income of the person receiving the services.

What is Consumer Directed Care?

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is a model of service delivery designed to give more choice and flexibility to consumers. The term “consumer” is used to refer to the person receiving care and services through a Home Care Package. The introduction of CDC is a significant change to the way that home care is delivered in Australia.

The principles of CDC are:

  • Consumer choice and control
  • Rights to individualised aged care services, support and budget
  • Respectful and balanced partnerships
  • Community and civic participation
  • Restorative or enablement framework to be as independent as practical
  • Transparency of costs, care and budget

The 2012-13 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) saw the introduction of conditions of allocation requiring all new places to be delivered on a CDC basis. From 1 July 2015, all existing and new packages were required to be delivered on a CDC basis.

From February 2017, the Government changed the funding arrangements for government funded Home Care Packages to attach the package to the individual and not the home care provider. The term “home care provider” is generally used to refer to the corporation that has been approved by the Department of Social Services under Part 2.1 of the Aged Care Act 1997 as suitable to provide home care.

Prior to February 2017, aged care places were allocated across Australia to home care providers via an annual Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR). The ACAR was a competitive application process that enabled prospective and existing approved providers of aged care to apply for a range of new Australian Government funded aged care places and financial assistance in the form of a capital grant.

Impact of Consumer Directed Care on the industry

Though the ACAR process did not restrict commercial organisations from entering the market, the majority of registered home care providers as at 30 June 2018 were faith based and/or not for profit organisations. With the removal of the ACAR allocation process and the portability of packages from February 2017, commercial organisations have recognised the opportunity and have started entering the sector in greater numbers.

Although CDC was phased in over a number of years, the faith based and not for profit sector has been slow in embracing the cultural change needed to survive in a commercially competitive environment.

There is a fundamental business risk that if these organisations don’t transform into a more commercial operating model with a strong sales culture, then as their customers no longer require community care there will be a huge financial gap, which will not be passively filled from ACAR as per previous arrangements.

How we can help

BMS Advisory can help your organisation integrate a consumer directed care based model into your services.

We offer a broad range of services that can be customised to meet the particular needs of your organisation in the following areas; customer journey mapping, sales strategy and pipeline management, CRM design and sales tools, phone system & IVR, webchat & email channels, customer loyalty and retention, customer satisfaction surveys, organisational structure and alignment as well as staff sales and customer management training.

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can customise our skill set to suit your needs.

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Threats and risks to the BPO contact centre outsourcing industry in Australia

By | Telecommunications

Business process outsourcing (BPO) essentially involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of a specific business process to a third-party service provider.

There are many reasons why an organisation outsources. Outsourcing provides a whole range of benefits including; helping increase a company’s flexibility, business process speed and efficiency are enhanced, employees may invest more time in core business strategies, control capital costs, reduce labour costs, start new projects quickly and reducing risk.

In addition, organisations look to outsourcers to provide process efficiencies and economies of scale, as well as continued investment in the latest technology, which can be more effectively cost-justified when spread across multiple organisations.

The types of BPO cover both front office, namely customer-related services, and back office which includes things like finance and accounting. The industries in Australia that have embraced outsourcing and third-party relationships are those from banking and finance, insurance, telecommunications and energy.

Most services provided by BPO vendors are offered on a fee-for-service basis with a variable cost structure. In Australia in many cases there is little that differentiates the BPO providers other than size. They often provide similar services, have similar geographic footprints, many have near or offshore capability, leverage similar technologies, and have comparable quality improvement approaches. However new technology provides fresh opportunities for increased quality, reliability, scalability and cost control, thus enabling BPO providers to increasingly compete on an outcome-based model rather than competing on cost alone. The opportunity here is to differentiate with a new offering, for example it may be the introduction of an additional marketing channel through the enablement of innovative technology.

In some cases, outsourcing involves the transfer of employees from the company to the outsourcing company or vice versa. It’s worth noting that a large part of the 2000’s, the major factor to work with a BPO was all about cost efficiency and reduction.

With the average length of a BPO contract being approximately 5 years; it’s important to continually monitor the sentiment of the relationship and to be constantly working the sales pipeline nurturing further business opportunities.

The future of the Australian Call Centre Outsourcing industry continues to show signs of growth with the potential to build a sustainable long-term business operation looking brighter than ever.

That said it is still important to remain aware and vigilant of the threats and risks to the BPO industry. There is no disputing that running contact centre operations in Australia is more expensive than any other destination. And organisations that utilise the services of BPO’s understand the risks to their business; data privacy breaches, underestimated running costs and overdependence on service providers.

Domestically some of the threats and risks for BPO’s include the following;

  • Technology has enabled a lower barrier to enter as a supplier, increasing competition
  • Lower cost of technology enabling organisations to access the latest contact centre technology in-house without the need to invest significant dollars as in the past
  • Online channels, marketing automation, digital transformation, content management, with the single greatest unifier has been marketing automation software linked with CRM systems
  • Employment costs and other associated labour costs
  • Competition; more global corporations are making a footprint into the market
  • Government regulation and consumer laws
  • Cloud technologies allowing organisations to think about “work from home” resource model
  • Consumer self-service customer engagement models & applications (sophisticated IVR’s) allowing consumers to help themselves on their terms

The contact centre space is becoming more exciting as new trends and technologies continue to emerge and where the traditional contact centre will need to rapidly evolve to become an omni-channel contact centre.

Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for sales and marketing efforts to enable customers to successfully make purchasing decisions on their own time and using their own methodologies via an organisation’s website and online marketing is happening now and will be more so in the future.

The demand for high-level skills will increase due to the opportunities and challenges challenge of AI. As AI replaces process-driven jobs, BPO companies should shift their focus from traditional call centre services to higher value industries such as big data analytics, information management and applications development.

In respect to the inclusion of AI into the contact centre, AI and robotics are gradually replacing the more basic and low level tasks in businesses across a large number of industries. The prediction is that it’s only a matter of time before computers become intelligent enough to conduct telephone conversations with customers in the same manner as currently with a human contact centre agent.

At the end of the day we must not forget that we are all selling to human beings. Voice will always be here to stay, but customers will demand more; and remember the good old telephone is still the best channel to use for complaints.

To remain relevant, companies should keep up by assigning specialists or intensively training agents so that they may able to help clients on the spot with quality and precision. And there aren’t any channels or sources of information quite as powerful or credible as that delivered by knowledgeable, professionally trained human beings.

Running a call centre in Australia is cost intensive. Pricing models are being centred on performance, achievement of SLA’s, indicating movement away from the traditional fixed price model. BPO vendors are realising that the traditional sources of cost advantages, human capital, real estate and infrastructure costs, may no longer be sustainable. Vendors will need to initiate significant cost control and reduction initiatives, such as efficient utilisation of capacity, accurate cost planning techniques and technology on costs to meet future challenges.


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