Daily Fantasy Sports and the Fallacy of Customer Service Metrics

You have seen the advertisements online and TV. Play Daily Fantasy, win big!. Regardless where you stand on the legality of the issue, the game itself is fascinating. The basic premise is this: You have a limited budget and every player has a cost. Players score points for performing, i.e. home runs or touchdowns. You create a roster all while staying under your budget. You are matched up against other players and whoever generates the most points wins the money.

This is exactly how business works. Limited amounts of money to spend on multiple resources to maximize return.   You have to make hard decisions and take calculated risks in the hopes that you build the right mix to beat your competition. Mathematically, this is linear programming, in this case a maximization model. Select the best mix of resources to maximize your profit based on expected returns from each of those resources.

If you are reading this article, you’re somehow involved in the customer service industry and likely manage your business based on a single or series of customer service metrics. Many of the clients I speak to working with www.bpaquality.com often approach their customer experience by attempting to maximize all their individual metrics. However, it’s possible that those metrics are misleading your business overall. Here is why:

Metrics are not absolute – In daily fantasy, you cannot afford to have the best player at every position. You make choices, choosing a top player in one spot while taking a chance on a lesser one in another. Your goal is to maximize the overall output, not the individual spots. Many of our clients use metrics like AHT and Quality Scores and try to maximize both individually. Let’s assume that they are tied together. The more you improve AHT, the less chance you may have at great Quality scores. Conversely, you could kick up AHT and improve Quality scores. The key is to find the best mix of the two that generates the best overall outcome for the organization.  To that, many studies we have done with clients have identified ideal AHT’s that correspond with the highest quality and vice versa. So, the math works!

Understand the metrics that matter – When playing Daily Fantasy, you select players by the points you think they can generate. In baseball, all the categories are offense. Having a player who plays fantastic defense may look good by name, but it doesn’t impact your outcome. When our team at www.bpaquality.com first launches a Quality project with a client, we take a hard look at the metrics that are being used to manage agent performance. We run correlation analysis to rule out anything that doesn’t matter. For these clients, it’s all about selecting the right things to manage.

Each metric has limited value – Every player on a fantasy roster has a limited value. If their cost is high, the expected return is high but so is the risk. Every metric has a cost and a benefit. It costs money to improve it, and it could cost you customers if it fails.   The key is to balance the cost and benefit of doing to in a zero sum game. In other words, at what point does it make no sense to spend one more dollar to improve those metrics one more. The same goes for your contact center. Improving NPS by one more point might look great for your NPS score, but at what cost?

To build a metric based call center strategy, study the things measured together and find the best mix. If you can, sit down (or stand if you prefer) and do the math. Use the available science to figure out what the best mix is for you. The key for your organization is to figure out where each metric, the cost and benefit, fits into your overall business model.

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