Standard Operating Procedures Best Practices for Improving CX
All of SQM’s clients are interested in understanding and using standard operating procedures (SOP) best practices in order to deliver OCR, Csat, and to retain customers. SOP practices are specific to the operation that describes the activities needed to complete a task in accordance with an organization’s standards for handling specific inquiries and problems. In fact, SOP practices define the expected practices to be adhered to for all contact channels handling customer inquiries and problems. It has been SQM’s experience that most organizations have used SOP practices to varying degrees for a long time. However, organizations performing at high OCR and Csat levels tend to be very good at SOP practices for their core contact channels. In addition, SQM has many clients who have improved their OCR and Csat performance by making improvements to their existing SOP practices.
The main reason why SOP practices are so effective for improving the performance of contact channels for resolving inquiries and problems on the first contact is because they are based on the most common contact reasons (e.g., billing, claims, orders, or account balance inquiry). In other words, when an organization has great SOP practices for handling recurring types of inquiries or problems, the organization has great OCR and Csat performance. Self-service channels are effective, for the most part, for handling repetitive low-complexity inquiries or problems; however, there is room for OCR and Csat improvement. Self-service channels are more effective at repetitive contact handling than contact channels serviced by CSRs, primarily because self-service is automated and provides consistent messaging. CSRs are human and therefore are more inconsistent. The vast majority of calls that CSRs handle are repetitive types of contacts. This provides a great opportunity to improve OCR and Csat when an organization focuses on improving the SOP practices for these specific contact types. It is easier to improve an inquiry or problem, in most cases, if it is a repetitive type of contact.