Delivering high quality customer service is essential for businesses who want to differentiate themselves and win over loyal, satisfied customers. You have the opportunity to positively impact customer retention and increase profits. The quality of customer service your business offers is strongly dependent on the skills and knowledge of the staff you employ to serve customers.
Customer service is important because:
- 68% of customers will pay more for products and services from a brand that offers great customer service experiences
- 86% of customers who receive good customer service go from one-time purchases to long-term brand advocates
- 89% of customers are likely to buy again after a positive customer service experience
So, now we are convinced of the value of customer service within your business, it’s time to turn our attention to how that service can be improved.
You need to know that your staff can offer these great customer service experiences to generate more sales and increase revenue. That’s why performance evaluations for customer service staff are essential for high-performing teams who want to retain customers in the long-term.
What is a customer service evaluation?
A customer service evaluation is an assessment of your customer service representative’s performance when it comes to delivering customer service during a specific period. It takes into account the representative’s customer service skills and knowledge, ability to solve problems, and manner with the customer. It evaluates how the employee has contributed to the business and highlights strengths and weaknesses in their performance.
Taking the time to evaluate customer service is an objective and constructive method of identifying where your service reps have done well and how their service could be improved.
A customer service evaluation can be conducted on a monthly, quarterly or yearly business, tracking the service rep’s progress against key business goals. It can help them identify areas for professional development and how they can grow within the business.
6 ways to do a customer service performance evaluation
1. Conduct surveys with customers
One of the fastest and easiest ways to find out how an agent is performing is to conduct surveys with customers after their customer service experience. The advantage of this method is you get direct and qualitative feedback about the agent almost as soon as they have completed the interaction.
You can use surveys such as Customer Satisfaction Score to gauge how satisfied the customer was with the service they received. Asking customers how they feel about the business can also identify areas for improvement in the entire customer service experience.
Customer service surveys are best conducted immediately after the service interaction, while the details are still fresh in the customer’s mind.
2. Review customer service correspondence
Emails and chat messages are a rich source of data to help you find out how your customer service agents are performing during customer requests. Make it a point to review correspondence with customers, and highlight areas of excellent customer service as well as things that could have gone better.
Correspondence between agents and customers is useful because the evidence is right there on the screen. You can go through messages line by line.
Customer service representatives should be made aware that their communications will be monitored to motivate them to deliver only the best standard of customer service. You will be able to analyze whether agents are sticking to the company script and whether the tone they are using with customers is on-brand.
3. Use mystery shoppers
Mystery shoppers or secret shoppers can be a great way for companies to evaluate the overall quality of customer experience being offered. Customer service representatives won’t be told who the mystery shoppers entering the store or calling in the phone line will be, so the mystery shopper is likely to gain an accurate picture of a typical customer service experience.
A mystery shopper is someone who is unknown to the service rep, but has a professional understanding of customer service.
Mystery shoppers are well-trained in assessing the level of service that they have received, and can provide highly useful and actionable feedback on what areas could be improved. When the interaction is finished, they can complete a questionnaire that includes specific and measurable feedback.
4. Track and measure KPIs
No performance evaluation is complete without bringing KPIs into the picture. KPIs are measurable goals for your customer service team and every service rep should be made aware of them. KPIs can include Time to First Response (how long it takes service reps to first get back to customers), Average Handle Time (how long it takes for service reps to solve an issue) and First Contact Resolution Rate (how often a customer’s issue is solved in a single service interaction).
KPIs are a good way to bring your customer service department together and measure performance against a shared standard.
KPIs give you concrete data against which your service rep’s performance can be assessed. Progress can be tracked over time so you can see how the individual might be improving. KPIs are an objective way to gain insight and should be aligned with company goals.
5. Monitor phone calls
Telephone calls are still a vital way for customers to get in touch with the business, and a service rep’s phone manner should be scrutinized as part of their customer service evaluation. Telephone calls should be recorded and the service rep asked to look back at their own calls to identify what went well and what could be improved.
Listening back to customer service telephone calls can be uncomfortable but they are an important way to assess performance and ensure you are meeting customer expectations.
Recording customer phone calls is valuable because it makes service reps more conscious of the service they are offering. Evaluating their telephone service gives reps actionable insight into how they are performing and how they might do better in the future.
6. Engage with the employee
Engaging directly with the customer service representative about how they feel they are performing is a critical way to conduct a customer service performance evaluation. Agents should feel fully involved in the whole review process, as they are often best placed to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
No customer service evaluation is complete without input from the agent. Every evaluation should be conducted as a dialogue.
This can be part of customer service self-evaluation, which we’ll go into in a later section.
10 useful customer service evaluation phrases to use
Positive customer service evaluation phrases
- Jeremy demonstrates high levels of empathy when dealing with customers, allowing them to form a relationship while he deals with their issue.
- Jane always goes the extra mile for customers to ensure they are satisfied, and provide a permanent resolution to their problem.
- Katie has very strong verbal communication skills and is always able to convey to the customer the best way to solve their issue.
- Agnes always has a positive attitude when it comes to dealing with customers, and never shows her frustration even in the most difficult calls.
- Deborah is particularly good at dealing with upset customers, bringing them to a point where they feel satisfied with the business.
Constructive customer service evaluation phrases
- James needs to be aware of his tone with customers because he sometimes comes across as overly critical and argumentative.
- Denise needs to work on treating customers as individuals rather than a number to get through.
- Boris could work on being more professional with customers, as his manner might be considered disrespectful by some.
- Leslie needs to improve her knowledge of the company’s products and services in order to deliver a better standard of service to customers.
- Vera asks for help on every customer service ticket and doesn’t know how to solve problems on her own.
What is customer service self-evaluation?
A customer service self-evaluation is when the customer service representative intentionally reviews his or her performance in relation to helping customers. The individual might also receive an evaluation from their manager, but a self-evaluation uses their own perception and insight to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Your self-evaluation is a chance to practice self-reflection and share what you think your wins are as well as your unique challenges. Agents can communicate to their managers what their professional aspirations are and how they think they can contribute to the business.
A customer service self-evaluation because it opens up the channels of communication between managers and their teams. Agents can discuss what they are dissatisfied with, and get help if needed.
9 customer service self-evaluation examples
- Now we have invested in a new help desk, I will take time to learn the system so I can better assist our customers.
- When I run into problems in the future, I will make sure to ask my colleagues for help.
- I will improve my attitude towards customers by ensuring that I come across in a friendly and helpful manner.
- I tend to crumble when dealing with a difficult customer as I don’t feel confident in my ability to resolve the situation.
- One of my weaknesses is being too proud to ask for help and the quality of my work suffers because of it.
- My technical knowledge of the product is an area that could benefit from improvement.
Job performance with evidence
- I closed 25% more tickets than I closed last quarter, which represents a significant improvement.
- My customer satisfaction score is at 95%, which is exactly on target for the business.
- I managed to sell 25 cross-sells in the last quarter which is 50% higher than the company average.
Customer service evaluation checklist
- Put in place goals that relate to the customer service evaluation
- Make sure the agent is aware of expectations for performance
- Identify critical KPIs to help analyze performance
- Review correspondence between agents and customers
- Monitor customer phone calls and reflect on achievements
- Survey customers for qualitative feedback
- Engage mystery shoppers to evaluate the level of service
- Involve employees in their evaluations
- Ask employees for a customer self-service evaluation
- Identify areas for professional and personal development
- Catalog strengths and weaknesses on the part of the individual agent
- Discuss performance with the agent and get their input
- Set targets for improvement
Even though the customer service you are currently offering may already hit the mark, there are always areas for improvement. If you are not evaluating your service reps’ performance then you’re missing vital opportunities for growth, and also doing your employees a disservice.
Employees are more highly engaged when they feel like their work matters, and the company is invested in their development.
Offering feedback to your service reps means they can continue to develop both personally and professionally, and allows you to raise the standard of customer service across the board. Service reps who understand their own strengths and weaknesses are able to objectively raise their performance and engage more effectively with customers.