Forty-six percent of statistics are made up on the spot2. With the pressure to deliver metrics-based initiatives and numerical ROI, how can we ensure that we are evaluating the right performance data?

In our recent whitepaper, Agiloft CEO Colin Earl presents the 7 secrets of managing an effective support organization. His proposals are remarkably innovative and may just change the way you structure your team.

One of the areas that Colin explores in depth is measuring the right things. Statistics that reflect the wrong customer support metrics can drive the worst decisions. Here are two examples:

Concept: backlog severity
Wrong metric: number of open tickets
Better metric: (number of open tickets) * (average time to close)

Concept: cost of support
Wrong metric: amount of money spent on support
Better metric: amount of money spent on support minus the volume of sales generated by support staff upselling customers on additional products/services

A fractioned view of performance could lead executives to a distorted perspective on the service’s value and efficiency. To overcome this, work to identify the statistics that will accurately reveal the health of your support team — assisted by a system designed to plow the depths of data for real answers.

Colin goes on to expound on the other key principles of the most thriving support organizations:

  • Being adaptable, which includes configurability and short adaptation time.
  • ‘Making it personal’ by adopting processes that empower your service team to connect to each returning customer and immediately acknowledge their history with your product or their SLAs.
  • Hiring the right employees by applying modern practices to identifying and employing experienced candidates.
  • Being proactive, recognizing issues before they become problems; obtaining early warning signs and either resolving them in advance or reducing their severity.
  • Becoming a profit center: customers call service departments more often than sales, so take advantage of this and make sure your team is trained and ready to up-sell.
  • Lastly, utilizing the wisdom of your users: a responsive system can identify and segregate the enormous pool of knowledge and labor that exists in the user base, allocating the time and energy of your resources better.

These topics are explored in greater detail in Seven Secrets for Effectively Managing a Support Organization:

  1. Title based on Benjamin Disraeli quote “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  2. This statistic is one of the forty-six percent alluded to herein