Fine Tuning: Using reports to improve collaboration and drive decisions

16 Comments

  • Sam Chandler

    Greetings, all! Part 1 has officially been posted! 

     

    Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!!!

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  • Colin Piper

    Sam. Great post and I recognise everything you say.
    Please all, do not be bullied into providing pages of data that would take a mathematical expert to understand. Be brave and one week or month send a summary. If you know the kpi that they want then deliver that and that only. And do it in a way that tracks progress not just this week's big number.
    If you are not sure what to show then try some samples on fellow managers etc. Show them a dashboard and ask them what it demostates to them. If it matches what you were trying to show then great and if not then find out why not.
    Often c-grades are not sure what they really need from you also so enlighten them to what you think is important. I successfully moved from spreadsheets to just a dashboard of 5 trending charts. I have never been asked for more detail since.

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  • Karen Farmer

    Hi everyone! 

    Sam's Part 2 content is now live and ready to read! Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments section, as Sam is here to answer questions and brainstorm with you LIVE!

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  • Sam Chandler

    I totally agree, Colin! Thanks for sharing that. When you capitalize on more powerful analysis you further establish yourself as a subject matter expert and garner the respect of your leadership team through their trust in your recommendations.

    How have your conversations with your c-levels evolved since you made that change in your delivery? 

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  • Colin Piper

    Sam. To be honest the conversations have in many ways died off since I give them what they need and trust therefore that I am taking care of the challenges to ensure that the dashboard remains positive  

    If you just present reams of data then are you really delivering? 

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  • Diane Albert

    I have never been required to measure things because my group is so small - officially there is only me now and I utilize the help of another employee for part time support.  I have two other people who help with workflow in another location.

    So I determined what my own pain points were and set up charts based on that.

    Since my work fluctuates seasonally, I can show the slope of increase/decrease not only by month, but by ticket type.  My 3 other helpers don't work traditional customer support, so if I'm getting slammed by calls or pass-offs, I want to show that.

    Over the past 4 years with Zendesk metrics, I've been able to show I needed help, when I needed it, show things that would improve processes and save money.

    None of this from a spreadsheet!  Diane

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  • Sam Chandler

    Colin! You are a...

     

    REALLY good point!!!

     

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  • Sam Chandler

    Sooooo happy to hear that, Diane! That mirrors my experience as a customer as well. Anytime you can turn anecdotal data into quantitative analysis you exponentially increase it's validity. You're harder to ignore when the numbers are on your side.

    I especially love that you proactively distributed your data - really important in establishing your expertise!

    LOVE IT!

     

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  • Diane Albert

    really important in keeping my sanity too! 

    And I am kind of known to collect data in various forms...I typically have tracked a piece of data before someone knows they need it.  Must come from my days in supply chain  :)

    But I find that's really useful to get granular because then I can say "well, this type of customer with this particular demographic is experiencing this type of issue more frequently.  Why is that?"

    I'll admit it's hard to trend and offer support at the same time - but when you do think you start to see something niggle at you, it does allow you to be proactive in changing the way you support as well.  My sales reps say "your processes change all the time", but I'm able to show when a process is beginning to fail.  The change is no different than using a different sales tactic.  It affects them only because they are interwoven into the process in this case.

    I say it makes us nimble.

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  • Karen Farmer

    Thanks for spending the day with us, everyone! Part 3 is live! Don't miss Sam's pro tips for how to make spreadsheets impactful, if you absolutely MUST use them. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Jez-Louise

    Thanks so much for starting the discussion. We report on the Age of tickets in our backlog and the tags against these tickets.This report is used to create triggered response when clients first reach out to our team. The majority of our triggered response solve the query off the bat. 

    From a manager's point of view, we use the backlog report to take a look at what are the road blocks for agents. 

    Always love to hear how teams are using data to look at the bigger picture. 

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  • Graeme Carmichael
    • Because too often the act of compiling data is mistaken for the act of analyzing data

    Hallelujah!  Welcome to the hell that is my world.

    Great post Sam.

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  • Irene Poltronieri

    Fantastic post Sam! It's very courageous to question why something is required but it's so important to do it if we want the output of our day to be meaningful. Thank you!

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  • Joshua Thomas

    Awesome post Sam!

     

    Great insight, and I didn't know that trick about adding totals to tables, very slick!

     

    Thanks!

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  • Suzanne Fehily

    very interested in your point on measuring metrics and in particular one that you called out

    How much revenue is your team responsible for bringing in from their interactions with customers?

    Looking through the available metrics I didn't see one that would measure this, could you elaborate on this point?

    Thanks.

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  • Sam Chandler

    Hi, Suzanne! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my Fine Tuning series!

    This is a great question. Whenever I broach this topic with customers, I ask like this: “How are you currently capturing your team’s impact on the rest of your organization?”

    The answers I receive generally focus on satisfaction scores or improved response times. If financial considerations are brought up at all, it’s to show how much money is being saved based on efficiency gains in workflow. It's a rarity indeed that I have anyone describe to me the way their team impacts revenue. So often support is viewed simply as a cost center, which is unfortunate because it’s often not true!

    The ever-present subscription model that fuels an increasing amount of today’s e-commerce allows for quick, steady monetization of new customers to offset the costs associated with acquiring them. A conventionally-held belief is that a sales team has to bear responsibility for all revenue coming in to an organization. But the new world order brought about by the subscription model means fewer touch points for conversion through a traditional sales team, adding more stress on the marketing team that’s already cognizant of increasing acquisition costs.  Alternatively however, environments like a subscription model that values self-service actually allow support teams to enhance their perceived value to the rest of the organization.

    How many times has a customer spent more money with you based on the recommendation of an agent in a support transaction? How do you capture this? More importantly, how do you turn anecdotal conversion data into quantitative results that can be reported to your exec team to drive real change? While there isn’t a pre-built metric that can measure revenue, you can start reporting on this pretty easily with a couple of workflow changes.

     

    How to achieve this

    There are several ways you could go about this. I’ve seen customers centralize their efforts by creating specialized teams that handle product questions and advice. This type of setup allows for comparative analysis of how much revenue has been generated by customers who have interacted with those teams vs. customers who haven’t.

    There are, however, easier methods of going about it if you don’t have the resources to transition your efforts into a fully-staffed team. If you have an “About” ticket field, you could add “Product  Info Request” option and allow your agents to bring to light any interactions they have that did (or could) result in additional revenue and then pull a weekly/monthly report. You could even take it a step further by adding a decimal ticket field that would allow you to include a dollar amount that can later be totaled up.

    I also want to point out that I’m not talking about turning your support team into a sales team. Quite the contrary, in fact! A huge benefit support teams have in aiding conversions is the fact that they aren’t in sales. We have an awesome infographic over in our resources library that discusses how consumers can actually become skeptical of sales & advertising efforts.

     

    Calculating support’s impact on revenue is definitely a processed that requires refinement, but the ability to show your team’s worth beyond just the common “customer service metrics” is an invaluable investment that’s certainly worth the effort!

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