Infographic: The periodic table of customer service

This table of the chemical elements of customer service arranges the elements in order of similar atomic structure.

With the recent addition of 4 new elements to the periodic table, we thought it would be fitting to create and analyse the periodic table of customer service.

Whilst customer service is not an exact science, there are a number of elements which must be in place to deliver a positive customer service experience. This infographic displays those elements, and how they make up the 5 key sections of the period table of customer service.

Section 1: Customer Support Requirements

In most customer focussed organisations, improving the customer service experience can only begin by understanding the reasons why customers require assistance.

In any business to consumer environment, customer contacts can typically be grouped into two areas; pre sales assistance, or after sales support. There are however multiple possible reasons for customer contacts in each area.

In order to improve the customer service experience, organisations should capture, analyse, and report on each reason, not just in isolation, but by channel, by metric, and by evaluating its place in the overall customer journey.

Section 2: Metrics

The periodic table displays many of the most important metrics used by customer service organisations to the monitor performance of their teams and their respective service levels.

Different organisations will naturally place more emphasis on specific metrics, but from our point of view, some of the most important metrics reflect the attitudes and experience of our customer service agents. Their engagement levels and tenure play a huge part in the way they interact with customers, the way the deliver service to a customer.

Metrics should be monitored as a whole across the operation, but should also be analysed by channel, and by contact reason. In doing so it’s possible to identify key trends and patterns in customer behaviour, and allocate customer service agents to the channel and team most relevant to their experience, skill level and personality type.

Section 3: Customer Experience

Customer service managers like scientists, should be constantly working with their elements, in our case to improve the customer experience. As new technology enters the market, new processes and new operating methods should be considered in order to better improve the way customers get the support they need.

At the heart of the overall experience is the customer journey. Customer service managers have numerous tools available to help drive change in this field. Journey mapping, benchmarking, after call surveys and mystery shopping can all provide valuable feedback. Internal processes such as voice of the customer and ambassador schemes can help increase employee engagement levels, and encourage agents to contribute and take ownership.

Section 4: Technology

The technology used by a customer service operation inevitably plays a huge part in its ability to deliver a positive experience. As cloud based applications continue to evolve and replace on premise solutions, data security and system resilience will continue to be closely monitored in 2016 and beyond.

Data is now at the heart of driving change in contact centres. Through multichannel contact platforms, CRM’s, agent desktops and by analysing key metrics, organisations are able to predict and measure the effects of change in their operation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be a hot topic in contact centres, however time will tell if customers feel comfortable with non human interaction. Perhaps certain customers will embrace AI more than others.

Section 4: Channels

Whilst many sectors continue to see growth in social media and web chat as customer service channels, telephony is still king for most. The customer service experience should be measured holistically, but also by channel in order to understand each channel’s characteristics and trends. In doing so, agents can be organised to best match skills levels, and processes can be optimised to improve the customer journey and improve service level metrics.

Organisations must be willing to add or remove contact channels based on their customers’ preferences. We’ve seen major eCommerce brands move towards WhatsApp and other digital messaging platforms as a customer service channel to better serve younger customers. It will be interesting to see which new channels emerge throughout 2016.

<Click on the image to enlarge>


Trevor Flack

Trevor Flack


Trevor Flack is Inbound Contact Centre Manager at Spark Response, which is part of the Spark eCommerce Group. The company was recently the recipient of two prestigious industry awards; one from the Culture for Success Awards and the other at the North East Contact Centre Awards. Trevor came to Spark in 2001 and after working his way up the career ladder from team leader to performance development manager, he was appointed onto the senior management team in 2010. His role heading up the inbound contact centre team means he has overall responsibility for developing service levels, quality, efficiency and utilisation for Spark Response.

January 14, 2016

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