Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, wrote a book on modern customer service. The book titled Delivering Happiness, staked a claim on the New York Times Best Sellers list and maintained its position for 27 consecutive weeks. Perceiving its contact center, not as a “cost,” but as an opportunity to market, Zappos’ entire strategy revolves around creating loyalty among its customers through the use of effective key performance indicators (KPIs) that lead to emotional connections and ‘wow’ moments. So what exactly are KPIs? KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are types of performance measurements used to evaluate the success of a business or of a particular activity in which it engages. Often, success is considered the repeated or periodic achievement of some level of operational goals. Think zero defects or a 10/10 customer satisfaction rating. Other times, success is defined by how much progress is made towards achieving a strategic goal. Regardless, choosing the right KPI(s) relies on a good understanding of what the company stands for after clearly establishing its “Why.”
How Zappos Monitors, Tracks, and Improves Performance in Their Call Center(s)
1. They measure total call time instead of call volume (quality, not quantity)Instead of focusing so much on high call volumes or quick call resolution, Zappos sticks to its brand promise by giving its customers all the time they need. So much so, that Zappos’ longest call ever was 8 hours long!! What’s more, is that the representatives are required to spend at least 80% of their time in a chat, on the phone or responding to emails.
2. Zero in on idle chatsIdle chats are always a symptom of conversation avoidance. Idle chats occur when an agent leaves a chat window open after the customer has disconnected, which is almost as bad as an agent not picking up the phone or responding at all. By mining out the idle chats, Zappos can pinpoint unproductive agents and the root cause of the unproductive behavior once those agents have been identified. After all, when agents aren’t productive, customers wait longer which leads to increased sessions lost and lower levels of customer satisfaction.
3. They reward punctuality and perfect attendanceAbsenteeism can be a huge hindrance to delivering exceptional customer service, which is one reason why Zappos has adopted a program called “Panda” which gives points for every day an employee misses work or comes late to work. Agents with zero points within a period of time are given some paid hours off among other rewards; this works to improve punctuality while increasing job satisfaction.
4. It’s all about the experience at ZapposIn a bid to promote natural conversations between the agents and customers, Zappos came up with the Happiness Experience Form; a 100-point scale based on how well the agent fulfilled the following:
- Whether or not the agent tried to make a personal emotional connection (PEC)
- Whether or not the agent maintained their rapport and if the customer responded positively
- Whether or not the agent addresses the unstated needs of the customer
- Whether or not the agent gave a “wow” experience or went above and beyond what is expected of them