Beyond NPS: Eight Metrics for Support and Success

Beyond NPS: Eight Metrics for Support and Success

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Beyond NPS: Eight Metrics for Support and Success

High customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores as the desired outcome of Support and Customer Success interactions, while positive, is not enough because it does not connect service delivery excellence with tangible business outcomes.

Why NPS is Not Enough for Support and Success

Support and Success must be focused on the attainment of tangible business objectives. For the customer, this implies that Support or Success interactions must help the customer apply a product successfully. For the business, providing these services must contribute to retaining relationships with hopes of expanding their value. This is why organizations must look beyond NPS (Net Promoter Score) when measuring the impact of Support and Success on lifetime customer value.

Attainment of high Net Promoter Scores, while positive, is not enough to indicate that “promoters” will correlate to the positive outcomes the business expects. The measure of Support and Success must be tangible and focused on “end game” results such as:

  • Can the customer use the product?
  • Can customers achieve tangible business outcomes by using the product?
  • Did support or success services help the customer attain their goals?
  • How will the customers’ ability to achieve their desired outcomes influence their ongoing relationship?

Beyond NPS: The Right Metrics for Support and Success

What is the primary reason for offering Support and Success services?  In most cases these organizations are aligned to help customers adopt and apply products successfully. The rationale is if customer can use and apply products successfully, you will increase the likelihood that you can retain and expand these relationships.  A single, simple measure such as NPS cannot provide sufficient insight to indicate that Support and Success efforts are resulting in tangible business benefit.

Consider the following eight metrics for determining the impact of your post sales services.

Metric

Description

1. Onboard

The percent on that new customers have received formal onboarding guidance.

2. Adoption

The rate that customers have met adoption milestones.

3. Success

The percent of customer that have reached established performance goals or milestones on defined journey map.

4. Availability

The rate that customers business operations have not be interrupted due to downtime or outages.

5. Engagement Quality

The percent of all customer engagements that result in positive outcomes.

6. Retention

The percent of active customers that have committed to renew an existing relationship.

7. Health

The relative health of a customer relationship based on the composite rates of adoption, success, retention, and recurring revenue rates.

8. Net Recurring Revenue

The net growth or contraction of the total recurring revenue relationship value. See How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Scaling Support Delivery

Scaling Support Delivery

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Scaling Support Delivery

Scaling Support Delivery requires the digital transformation of support and an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation to scale support delivery.

Support Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of support is enabled by customers desire to help themselves and their broad access to digital devices and platforms from which support may be requested and delivered.

The use of digital technologies in support is not new, but the rate of adoption by service providers and acceptance by customers has accelerated digitization.  Today most support transactions are digitally enabled, many do not involve direct support assistance or human interaction.

Support Digital Transformation

Support Digital Transformation

Some unique characteristics of Support Digital Transformation are noted below.

Support Delivery and Interaction

Support Digital Transformation enhances companies’ ability to engaged and interact with customers through assisted, automated and self-help service delivery channels.

Self-Help

Self-help tools and content allow customers to access information and resources they need to resolve their own issues.  Access to self-help is primarily facilitated through web support sites accessed from desktop computers and mobile devices.

Read more articles about self-help

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/self-help/

Automated

Intelligent automation increasingly supplements delivery of some services freeing humans to focus on tasks not suitable to automation (yet).  Automated support includes unassisted transactions such as chat-bots, renewal notification, monitoring and alerting.

Read more articles about tools and support automation

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/tools-and-automation/

Human Assisted

Digital support platforms enable humans to perform service and support transactions efficiently.  Ticket tracking and management, access to customer data and the ability to collaborate with customers through remote tools enhance assisted support transactions.

Technology Enabled

Support Digital Transformation leverages digital technologies to achieve predictable outcomes and enhanced efficiencies by leveraging customer data and organizational knowledge.

Process Efficiency

Vital support processes such as case submission, entitlement validation, escalation, and the interaction between support experts and customers are digitally enabled through, CRM, case tracking, escalation and bug tracking and customer success management platforms.  Support today cannot operate efficiently without extensive use of technology to enable core support processes.

Data Driven

Digitally enabled support processes assure that what is known about a customer and the products they use can help streamline, personalize and automate customer interactions.  Collection, storage and access to customer data including user preferences, usage behaviors, skill level, and previous interactions establishes a foundation to enhanced future interactions.

Customer data can be supplemented with product data including, configuration, health, and performance. Data access can help anticipate and respond to customer needs and monitor relationship health.

Knowledge Enabled

Customers have more options for access to support knowledge.  Well documented domain knowledge enables searchable knowledge access, just-in-time training, on-demand coaching and guided assistance (human and automated) delivering the answers customers need quickly.

Read more about support knowledge management

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/self-help/

Additional Benefits

Support Digital Transformation offers the following additional benefits.

Expanded Channels

Digital technologies make access to support easier.  Customer can seek support assistance from mobile devices, the web, and directly though product interfaces.

New Service Value

Digital technologies extend support beyond its traditional boundaries.  Self-help, peer-to-peer communities, just-in-time learning, and ever-increasingly sophisticated automation assume a greater burden for overall support delivery.

Proactive

Digital capabilities introduce the means to deliver services before they are requested by customers.  Monitoring and analysis of data helps to anticipate customer needs and provide solutions before they are requested by customers.

Support Pricing Benchmarks

Support Pricing Benchmarks

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

Support Program Price

The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium program.  Prices vary based on the entitlements offered and the ways that pricing is structured.  Here are a few considerations:

Net vs. List

Pricing may be based on the percent of a products’ list price or the net price after discounts.

Add-on’s and Fixed Fees

Some support program consists of a fee tied to the percent of product list or net price plus fixed fee add-ons.  Add-ons are often associated with optional entitlements such as named support resources such as designated support engineers and/or account managers.

Adjustment Fees

The price of support in the first year is often not the price a customer will pay in subsequent years.  Support prices typically include annual adjustment fees to account for inflationary factors.

Pricing by Support Program Tiers

Support pricing is typically established by program level or tier.  It is not uncommon for support portfolios to consist of two or more tiers with names like Silver, Gold and Platinum.  Although support programs may sound alike, they often vary from vendor to vendor.  For the purposes of establishing baseline pricing benchmarks ServiceXRG has normalized support programs into the four distinct tiers described below.  Classification is based on the underlying program entitlements and not on the program names.

Support Program Tier Classifications

Average Support Program Price

Establishing Support Prices

The price of support must be set at a level sufficient to cover delivery costs, yet not too high to discourage customers from buying.   Customers are likely to have preconceived ideas about what support should cost based on experiences they have with working with other technology vendors.  If your “gold” support is priced at 23% of product list price but other vendors are priced at 18%, customers may perceive that your prices are too high even though you offer more for the price. 

It is imperative that you price support reasonably so that you can make a compelling case that the benefits outweigh the costs to the customer.

Support Value Proposition

Setting the right price for support will influence your ability to sell and renew support programs.  As you consider price levels be cognizant of the support value proposition.  Support programs must include the entitlements customers want and need and be offered at a reasonable price level.

Are Your Support Offers and Pricing Competitive?

We can help you develop, modify, or price your support portfolio.  We provide best practices and competitive insights to help you build the Support programs your customers want.

Contact ServiceXRG today.

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Support or Success – What Type of Post Sales Service Portfolio Do You Need?

Support or Success – What Type of Post Sales Service Portfolio Do You Need?

It Is Time to Move Beyond Support Portfolios

Support and maintenance portfolios have been the foundation of many post-sales service offers, yet Support offers alone are no longer adequate to sustain and growth customer relationship value.  Modernization of support portfolios and the evolution to success-focused programs and offers is the future of post-sales service portfolios.

Support Versus Success

If you are creating or modernizing a post-sales portfolio that offers customers more than reactive problem resolution assistance you are likely building a success portfolio.

Success portfolios differ from support portfolios because they offer services typically beyond the scope of technical support and often include services and resources from departments such as Training, Professional Services and Technical Support.

The focus and intent of post sales services programs help to define the type of portfolio you are building and suggests what entitlements to package and offer to customers.  Use the table below to consider what the focus and intent of your post service offers should be.

Support

Success

  • Services focus on responding to, diagnosing and resolving issues.
  • Services are designed to increase supportability by helping customers use and administer products more effectively. 
  • Tools and services monitor issues and provide recommendations or corrective actions to mitigate problems.
  • Speed, effectiveness of response and customer satisfaction are key indicators of success.

 

  • Services focus on helping customers use the full functionality of a product. 
  • Consultation and guidance through high-touch and tech-touch.
  • Onboarding, adoption and success planning services offered.
  • Services focus on helping customers to achieve tangible business outcomes.
  • Product use, customer success, retention and growth of recurring revenue are key indicators of success.

 

Note: Success Portfolios often include support services, but Support portfolios do not include services beyond traditional issue resolution entitlements.

Characteristics of Leading Post Sales Service Portfolios

Well-defined post-sales service portfolios with up-to-date and customer-driven service entitlements can significantly increase your ability to help customers use and apply products.

Market leading service portfolios are well structured to offer differentiated service rights, entitlements, and resources to deliver maximum customer benefit.  World-class service portfolios offer:

  • Access to skills, resources and expertise from across all service departments including Support, Professional Services, Education and Success.
  • Flexible program structure and purchase options provide access to the services customers need when they need it even as their needs evolve.
  • Expert assistance to drive tangible outcomes and achieve quantifiable benefits for the price paid.

Take Your Services to the Next Level

Is it time to update your Support portfolio or add Customer Success programs extensions and add-ons? Give us a call. We can help you define, price, and launch successful new service offers.

Contact us today.

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Effectively Managing Distributed Support Teams

Effectively Managing Distributed Support Teams

Geographically distributed teams are common for many industries and companies, but recent events have created the necessity for more individuals to work from home. For support and service operations that rely on centralized call centers the shift to a distributed workforce introduces new challenges – both technical and administrative. Here are some of the things to consider for effectively managing distributed support and success teams.

From Centralized to Distributed

The chatter of calls centers is distinctive, and the dynamics created by the personal proximity of dozens or even hundreds of service professionals is unique.  Centrally located support teams create opportunities to develop relationships, develop skills and collaborate.

As more companies find that they need to send their workforce home and out of centralized call centers it is important to assure that teams remain focused and effective.  For some, working remotely and being part of a distributed team is new.  Here are some of the things to consider for effectively managing distributed support teams.

Team Objectives

The service mission persists.  While some companies may see a decline in customer demand other sectors will find that they play a critical role in supporting vital operations in health care, logistics, communications, and other industries.   It is imperative that everyone on the team understand the goals and the ways that they will contribute to the attainment of team objectives.

  • Clearly define TEAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES so that everyone understands the expected level of performance and desired outcomes. Share the big picture to the extent possible so that everyone understands the context for the team’s goals.
  • Set clear INDIVIDUAL EXPECTATIONS with team members so that they know what is expected of them personally.
  • Define the METRICS you will use to measure individual and team performance. Clearly describe to the team and individuals what the metrics are and how they will be used.
  • Expand PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT activities (check-ins, reviews, etc.) to help guide team members to meet their levels of performance. For individual that are new to working remotely there will be some challenges getting adjusted not to mention potential challenges due to infrastructure limitations.
  • Create opportunities to COACH AND MENTOR individuals to help develop skills while working remotely.

Team Dynamics

Members of the team may be separated, but the team persists.  Make certain that you maintain a team dynamic so that all members can work towards common goals. Consider the following:

  • DEFINE THE TEAM by introducing everyone. Although remote, relationships, collaboration and mutual support can persist.  Update team photos in the company directory and if you don’t have one, consider making one.
  • ENGAGE as a team and don’t allow team members to become “out-of-sight-out-of-mind.” Consider a more frequent cadence of team meetings through live meetings – encourage everyone to turn on their video.
  • BUILD TRUST among team members that everyone will do their job and help achieve common objectives. Make certain that each team member knows their role and responsibilities.
  • SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER as the shift from a centralized work environment to a remote location can be challenging for some.

Enablement

The ability for team members to conduct work remotely is important.  Remote teams need access to core systems and tools to communicate and collaborate. Under some circumstances not all team members will be able to perform the same functions they could from within the company’s security infrastructure.  Consider the following:

  • Provide the necessary INFRASTRUCTURE for team members to access key systems.
  • Assure that everyone on the team has the means to COLLABORATE AND COMMUNICATE This may require acquisition of video conferencing technologies and expanded licenses or enabling collaboration features within existing systems.
  • Maintain SECURITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY for regulated industries. The security and confidentiality of data shared during a service interaction is essential. Assure that team members understand this and assure that remote infrastructure can meet required security and confidentiality protocols.
  • Have a PLAN B. If team members cannot gain access to the necessary infrastructure to perform functions previous done within the company infrastructure, consider alternatives. Identify tasks that remote team members can perform with the tools and resources they have (develop new skills, write knowledge base articles, post to social platforms, etc.). 
  • Do what you can to KEEP THE TEAM WORKING.

Customer Expectations

Changes to the way your team works may have implications for customers.  Set realistic expectations with customers if service availability or service levels will be affected.  Consider the following:

  • Let customers know if there will be any changes to SERVICE LEVELS AND AVAILABILITY.
  • Communicate any changes to SERVICES DELIVERY including postponement of onsite engagements, or a request to change from submitting cases by phone to using electronic channels.
  • KEEP CUSTOMERS UP TO DATE and they will be more willing and able to work with you.

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The Evolution of Support – Top Customer Support Trends for 2020 and Beyond

The Evolution of Support – Top Customer Support Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Core support practices will persist but Support as we know it will evolve.

The Evolution of Customer Support

Support has been the foundation of post-sales customer engagement for decades. New licensing models and recognition that customer retention is essential has led to enhanced approaches to engage and retain customers. Support must find ways to contribute to the execution of CX and CS strategies and practices. Throughout 2020 we expect to see several key customer support trends play out.

Here are five observations and predictions about the factors that will drive the transformation of support.

Customer Support Trend #1: Support will be asked to take on new customer engagement activities or will relinquish activities to adjacent Customer Success groups.

Support organizations are at a crossroad.  They will either need to fully embrace customer engagement activities such as adoption, success planning, account management, customer retention and expansion or consider divesting from these activities and allow success organizations to take over. 

When this occurs, Support can focus the entirety of its efforts on enhancing product usability and quality as an interface to product groups though case management and escalation.

Will your future Support organization align closer to Customer Success, or Product Management?

Customer Support Trend #2: Support will be held to account for the delivery and contribution to CX strategic outcomes.

One way or another Support will be held accountable to help drive the attainment of CX strategic outcomes.  Transactional metrics will continue, but more emphasis on the impact Support activities have on customers relationships will be essential.

Related Article:

5 PRINCIPLES FOR SERVICE SUCCESS IN 2020 AND BEYOND

Customer Support Trend #3: Measures of support success will shift from transactional efficiency to retention and growth of account relationships.

First Contact Closure, Time to Resolution, and other transactional metrics will inform about how to increase the efficiency of Support, yet primary Support metrics will increasingly focus on the impact support interactions have on sustaining and expanding customer relationships.

Related Articles:

TIME TO RESOLVE (TTR)

BEYOND SERVICE METRICS – FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS

FIRST CONTACT RESOLUTION (FCR) BENCHMARKS

Customer Support Trend #4: The emphasis on NPS shifts to Net Recurring Revenue.

NPS has never been a good Support metric.  Yes, it is easy to implement and provides an indication about how a customer feels about a Support interaction, but it also misses so much.

The best way to measure the full impact of a Support interaction and the status of overall relationship is to measure the sustained value of the relationship – if a customer keeps paying you, or paying you more, then you must be doing something right.  If you lose a customer, then something is wrong. Chances are that if you lose a customer it is not because of a bad Support interaction. 

Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to reinforce and sustain the relationship. Continue to evaluate customer satisfaction with Support interactions, but do not rely on NPS to tell you that the relationship is okay.

Support must assess its role and be accountable for the impact it has (or can have) on sustaining the value of customer relationships.

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USING NET RECURRING REVENUE TO IDENTIFY CUSTOMER SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS

LESS NPS AND MORE HIGH-TOUCH UNDERSTANDING

 

Customer Support Trend #5: Deflection as a strategy is out, Prevention is paramount.

Support must switch its mindset to building and sustaining relationships and not try to deflect customers from accessing support.  If you want to lower Support demand then you are going to need to engage your product teams to find ways to prevent demand by making products more robust, reliable, and easier to use.

Related Article:

HOW TO DEFINE AND MEASURE DEFLECTION

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