Support related reporting packs MUST evolve from backward looking accounts of provider and product failure to include as much detail about what went right as well as what went wrong. Focusing solely on the negatives is best left for those with sadomasochistic tendencies and a love for Leonard Cohen albums. If you regularly present your customers with a tale of doom and gloom, how can you expect them to think anything but the worst? I’m not suggesting that you gloss over the real issues, but instead how about trying to bring in some balance by pointing out all of the good stuff that you did on their behalf that they may not be aware of and what the benefits of those activities were. If you don’t tell them, and they don’t know, then don’t be surprised if they are unsure of the value you deliver.
Customer Dashboards (CDs) and self-service consoles must be redesigned and refocused to demonstrate value daily (DVD) bearing in mind that value hides sometimes (VHS) . Note: This paragraph is sponsored by the Acronym Reclamation Society of Europe :-).
Reporting and communications are perhaps one of the most underutilized value demonstration mechanisms that providers have. Reporting typically focuses on historic events and compliance with arbitrary targets that have little correlation with the success of the customers’ business. Many of today’s metrics exist because it was possible to measure them. Internal metrics can be even worse – Often harking back to contact center best practices from the 1980s. As Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”. The development of audience-specific dashboards and reports that clearly show how the support service has added value that is directly related to the role and their specific issues is critical. Demonstrating how your support service continues to add value on a daily basis is one of the primary areas that you as a provider must focus on as you develop next-generation services. If your customers fail to see the value that you deliver, there is no value. Reporting should ensure that no one is unaware of the benefits you are delivering.
Less is more – Providing that the “Less” is actually based upon “More”
Current reporting packs are overly long and often contain superfluous content that adds little or nothing. If your reports are unwieldy and difficult to assimilate then your customers will ignore them. If you provide too much data, you open yourself up to interrogation. Transcending the knowledge pyramid from the noise of data overload to achieve true wisdom is the aim. Aggregating multiple data streams into consolidated Quality of Service (QoS) Indices is essential.
Make it personal – If it’s not personal no one will care!
We have been conditioned by The Godfather and Donald Trump that “It’s business, it’s not personal”. And yet, everything that truly matters is personal. If it’s not personal, it doesn’t matter. Support must become increasingly personal for it to be valued. Generic reports will fail to resonate with any audience. Constituency specific reporting packs are the starting point. User configurable reporting packs and mutually agreed QoS Index algorithms are the end game.
Reporting should not be a value added extra – It is your opportunity to shine!
Some providers consider reporting to be a value added service feature that should only be accessible to premium support customers paying premium fees. This is just plain silly. I can understand that today, many of these high end reporting packs are incredibly labour intensive (as the required data collection, analysis and presentation activities are not yet systemic). But this is a legacy issue. In the future, your services will HAVE to do these things as a matter of course and as such EVERY customer should have access to the outputs of these processes.
Go forth and shout your value from the rooftops!
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