If you called your customer service department anonymously to have a problem resolved, what would your experience be like? And how would you quantify that experience?

Measuring the results of your company’s problem resolution ability is vitally important.  Without determining how effective your resolution process is, or how satisfied your customers are with it, you could be squandering resources and the goodwill of your customers.  I recently had the opportunity to examine several key metrics connected to problem resolution with Randy MacLean, President of WayPoint Analytics, and together we identified the three most important.

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The Three Key Metrics

When gathering information from your customers, focus on three key metrics:

  1. What percentage of your customers experienced a problem?
  2. What was the nature of their problem?
  3. What percentage of your customers with problems were happy with the resolution?

Always ask your customers whether they had a problem and if it was resolved to their satisfaction. Don’t just make it a habit – make it a policy. Don’t let a customer’s experience, whether positive or negative, fade from their memory before you address it. Ask them about their experiences every three to six months.

Quantitative data has the most significant impact on fast and effective problem resolution. Collecting this data is critical, so be sure to measure your performance on a consistent basis, and use your ongoing performance as touch-points.

As you gather more and more information, themes among your customers and customer service will become apparent. Even when this feedback seems purely qualitative, those recurring themes can be translated into quantitative data points from which it is possible to measure effectiveness, spot opportunities for improvement, and increase the overall satisfaction of your customers.

Collecting and organizing this data provides direct evidence of how your customers experience your service.  Understanding the importance and value of quantitative data provides the means to measure – and now improve – the effectiveness of how your customers experience your problem resolution process.


Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, President of Hurlbert Consulting, brings to her role as STAFDA’s endorsed customer service consultancy expertise in sociology and survey research. After spending more than 25 years in academia, she now uses her extensive behavioral science expertise to help companies like yours distinguish yourselves through customer service. What sets her approach to customer service apart is that she begins by helping companies meld research and marketing to find out exactly (a) what their customers want and (b) how well they’re succeeding in giving customers what they want. Jeanne provides STAFDA members with 30 minutes of complimentary consulting per year; please identify yourself as a STAFDA member when you contact her. You can schedule a consult with her by going to www.ConciergeCustomerService.com or you can call her at 888-590-9677. And, if you’d like to complete her complimentary assessment, just go to www.FixYourService.com.