Customer service OKRs: What are some examples?

Customer service OKRs: What are some examples?

by Sam Prince


Published on 09.07.2019

In the age of instant digital feedback, nothing can sink or swim a company like their customer support. Knowing how to handle people, whether they are sharing kudos, complaints, or negative feedback is how good companies become great. In fact, engaging with customers in quirky ways can be an antidote to trolls and increase brand loyalty—like Superhuman’s Twitter account, for example.

Alternatively, research shows that people believe negative reviews more than positive ones online because there are less negative than positive reviews. Being on top of all customer communication is key.

Outside of online complaints, other customer support teams are focusing on order taking, refund processing, customer retention, and expert guidance services like white-glove delivery. But no matter the focus, the question is the same: How can any company build a streamlined, service-oriented goal system that not only delights customers but retains them and draws new ones?

OKRs, objective and key results, are great for setting any kind of goals—and customer service is no exception. From increasing the number of feedback items and praise to lowering negative feedback per quarter to helping with expedited, same-day shipping, OKRs can be used to make sure that customer relations stay on track and head in a positive direction.

The formula is simple.

Objectives are the goals and intents you want your customer service team to accomplish. Key Results are the time-bound, measurable milestones that fall under them. A company should have no more than seven Objectives and they should all fit one line with 3-5 Key Results max per objective.

But if you're looking for some real-world examples of customer service OKRs on how to do things like decrease the number of complaints or increase positive feedback items, check out these examples below.

Customer service OKR examples

In "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr, we are introduced to Zume Pizza, a start-up using OKRs taking on pizza industry giants like Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's. By using robots to make pizzas, Zume is able to free its people to handle things like customer relations. This is one of their OKRs:

O: Delight customers. Ensure that our customers are so happy with our service and product that they have no choice but to order more pizza and to rave about the experience with their friends.

  • K1: Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 42 or better.
  • K2: Order Rating of 4.6/5.0 or better.
  • K3: 75% of customers prefer Zume to the competitor in a blind taste test.

This OKR is time-based, measurable, and also fits under Zume Pizza's mission statement, their company "why." As Alex Garden, co-founder and co-CEO says about Zume, "Zume’s founding principles—our mission—are two things... The first is: Serving food to people is a sacred trust. And the second: Every American has a right to delicious, affordable, healthy food."

Trust and customer support go hand-in-hand.

Another customer service OKR example might go something like this:

O: Expand support coverage to Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish.

  • KR1: Hire and onboard 10 native speakers of each language for phone support by October.
  • KR2: Expand online automated online support pipeline to each language by November.
  • KR3: Develop in-house translation tool to help aid non-speakers in simple problem solutions by December.

O: Test industry’s customer-friendly return policy.

  • KR1: Finish development of automated e-receipt service by February.
  • KR2: Soft launch to Phoenix metro area by March.

O: Highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry

  • K1: Collect feedback from 100 top customers via in-depth interviews.
  • K2: Conduct 200 phone interviews with recently churned customers.
  • K3: Exceed Net Promoter score (NPS) of over 8.0.

Another Objective could focus on complaint response time on social platforms, like Twitter.

O: Reduce response resolution time to negative Twitter mentions.

  • KR1: Have the customer responded to within an hour of the initial Tweet.
  • KR2: Have initial negative Tweet deleted by customer.

Best yet, having transparent OKRs can improve satisfaction with support team work. By setting clear Objectives, every team member knows exactly what is expected them and their communications. From phone interviews to support tickets and answering whatever question are created, OKRs are great for setting audacious, customer success service goals that can ultimately help the sales team, too.

Where can I get more information?

Are you a customer support manager or rep? Did you find these examples of customer service OKRs helpful? Let us know by emailing us here and be sure to check out all the other FAQs, Resources, and Stories here on WhatMatters.com.

Or, if you're looking for an OKR coach, check this out.

Sam Prince (@samprincetweets) is a journalist, storyteller, and the content strategist of WhatMatters.com.


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Get exclusive guidance from John, Ryan, and the What Matters team by signing up for our weekly newsletter, Audacious. You’ll learn week-by-week how to sharpen your OKRs and stay on track to reach your goals.