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Time for businesses to measure the success of customer collaboration?

18th Nov 2014
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The latest report from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), ‘Beyond Measurement; Customer Service and Business Performance’ highlights a number of changes to how businesses are approaching their relationships with customers, but perhaps the most revealing are in relation to collaboration and co-creation.

It’s already widely recognised that businesses need to improve their engagement with customers as consumer behaviour shifts to more channels of interaction with brands, but the ICS suggests their measurement of how they do so is currently lacking.

Their research found that 28% of organisations do not measure the cost of customer service, while 40% of businesses are not currently measuring customer service ROI at all.

Part of the reason, the report states, is often a historic level of scepticism in many businesses that customer service can actually lead to improved business performance.

However, a combination of customer satisfaction levels in decline and the rise of omnichannel customer engagement has led to the ICS calling for collaboration and co-creation to be placed at the heart of performance metrics:   

“Our latest research has highlighted the dramatic shift in the way we do business and what business leaders need to do to operate in this new environment,” said Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service. “We have moved from a transactional to a relationship economy where an organisations’ success depends on the quality of their relationships, with customers, suppliers, partners and employees so it is critical that they understand how their customers prefer to interact with them.”

“In this relationship economy, customers seek to interact in multiple ways with organisations they trust and to be intimately involved in co-creating products and services. Those organisations that proactively seek collaborative partnerships in order to enhance their agility will be best placed to meet changing customer needs.”

The report suggests that the number of channels available to consumers is what has led to such a sharp increase in customer expectation of brands, and as a result the range of measures considered as hygiene factors has grown.

The types of measures which the ICS states are fast becoming hygiene factors include:

• Ease of doing business
• Ability to access products and services at any time
• Speed of response, across all channels
• Knowledgeable and informed staff

It also stated that the use of more sophisticated customer feedback metrics and ‘emotional engagement measures’ would help businesses establish a better line of communication in order to build more co-creation with customers.

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