The Client Services team at GCS is charged with not only the overall, daily management of our programs, but also in keeping the pulse on what is important to our clients. Knowing their key metrics for success means we can focus on the right things internally to translate our results into what is most important to them.
Most of these metrics are a direct result of the effectiveness of our customer interactions every day. For outreach programs, engaging our clients’ customers in meaningful, two-way dialogue with a compelling presentation translates into the metrics we measure. An important thing to know (probably the most important thing to know) is these metrics are simply the result of the effectiveness of our customer conversations.
The principle to know with program metrics is they are the result of an effective customer engagement. The metrics are driven by each contact, not the reverse. There are many metrics a client may ask us to monitor on a regular basis that will vary from client to client, but here are the important ones we should all be thinking about and watching:
Program Quality – Program quality metrics vary significantly among clients, but the common theme is two-fold. First, our clients measure us for the effectiveness of our customer interactions, including;
- effective customer engagement
- information delivery
- appropriate responses to customer questions or objections
- and professionalism.
Secondly, they measure the compliance aspects of a contact, including;
- proper call flow
- information disclosure
- and call closing.
Program quality is also closely tied to sale conversion rate and is meant to be a tool to improve this metric.
Sales Conversion Rate – Conversion rate can be referred to as multiple things, including sales per contact (SPC), conversion and conversion rate. All of them mean basically the same thing. Conversion rate is a measure of how many customer interactions we have that result in a sale, up-sell or cross-sell expressed as a percentage. For example, if we assist a customer in purchasing a product/service in 3 out of every 10 conversations we have, our sales conversion rate would be 30%. Sales conversion rates drive a myriad of other metrics. An example would be our cost per sale. The more sales we make per billed program hour, the lower the cost of sales are for our client.
Sales per Program Hour – This is a metric we’re all very familiar with. It’s the number of sales we make per billed program hour. If we make 1 sale for every 2 program hours we call, our Sales per Hour (SPH) would be a .50. This is an important metric our clients watch that is a result of the conversion rate mentioned above. It’s the quickest and easiest metric in most cases to insure that the financial aspects of a program work for them.
Family Sales/Upsell Rates – For most of our programs, the customer is presented with the option to purchase family or individual coverage (either when they don’t have a family or are looking for a lower cost alternative) or in some cases there are additional benefits they can purchase as an “upsell” to the base product.
Our clients closely monitor these results for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, they want to be sure we are effectively matching the appropriate product to each customer. The other great benefit, for both us and our clients is family sales and upsells generate additional revenue to offset the cost of each sale and allow more flexibility with performance on other aspects of the program. The higher the premium we can generate per product we sell, the lower the overall cost of our services to the client.
Contacts per Calling Hour – This is an efficiency metric measured by our clients to insure we are effectively managing the contacts we make to customers. Too many contacts per calling hour is a good indication that we may have opportunities for improvement in sales presentation and conversion. On the other hand, when contacts are too low, we may need to review how call dispositioning is being implemented, or adjust times of day we are calling.
Bounced Sales Rate – These can also be called pended sales rates or pend rates. This is a metric we should all watch closely every day. The measurement is the result of a customer interaction where the “perfection” the client requires is not present. As an example, if a client requires a “yes” as the affirmative response to a question during the confirmation of a product/service purchase and it is not present when sales verification reviews the recording of the purchase, this will cause the sale to be pended. The results our clients review to determine our success for areas like sales conversion rate will NOT include bounced/pended sales since there is a “flaw” in them. Always remember that it’s the sales net of those held by sales verification that determine how effective we are.
Remember these are all the results of our interactions. What’s far more important is the ACTUAL customer interaction. How can we individually impact these results?—by focusing on our presentation skills to engage customers in two-way conversation where we offer products or services in a compelling way so that the customer WANTS to purchase what we’re offering. The rest falls in line from there!
Stay tuned for a primer on our customer service, or inbound metrics.
- Engaging, Professional & Valuable Customer Contacts (gcsagents.com)
- Tracking Customer-Focused Metrics (customerthink.com)