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Written by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated 23 September 2022 ·

OKR examples for service businesses

OKRs, Objectives and Key Results, a method of setting, scoping and tracking goals, were initially developed and expounded by Andy Grove at Intel in the 1970s. Today they remain heavily used in Silicon Valley and the technology industry. Google has been known to use them heavily, and renowned venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins published a book which became a New York Times Bestseller on OKRs called Measure What Matters - if you’re keen to learn the ins and outs of OKRs, then it’s worth a read.

However, OKRs are somewhat industry-agnostic and used by many businesses, including tech firms, manufacturing, retail, and service companies. Customer service and support are often one of the most fundamental mission-critical objectives within a service business. Therefore, at least one or more OKRs commonly found within a service business are usually devoted to improving customer success or customer experience.

Because service businesses rely so heavily on client service and customer relationships, the well-being of their own (often hard to replace) employees is also a core interest. This is often reflected in their OKRs, where factors such as increasing employee engagement and reducing employee turnover can substantially affect their results.

Service-based businesses are diverse, ranging from software and digital services to finance, telecoms, healthcare and professional services. Specific industries will have their unique points of focus.

OKR examples

Below, we have created an example of an OKR plan for a service-based business in an area such as utilities or software, using our award-winning 1-3-5® OKR planning structure, combing one Vision with 3 Objectives and 5 Key Results per Objective.

Vision: To be rated #1 in our industry for customer service and employee satisfaction.

Objective 1 (Sales and Sustomer Success/Customer Service): Increase customer count to 100,000 within 12 months.

Key Resuts:

  1. Increase warm outreach efforts to prospects/potential customers to 10,000 per month.
  2. Decrease the number of customers entering the onboarding process but failing to complete it to below 5%.
  3. Increase average self-reported customer experience to 9/10, and ‘would recommend to a friend’ to 80% Yes.
  4. Increase the number of customer callers to contact centres who feel their issue has been resolved in the current phone call to 90% (self-reported by the customer at the end of the call).
  5. Reduce the number of failed connections (customer calls who hang up before being connected to a service agent) by 25% in 12 months.

Objective 2 (Digital Customer Experience): Ensure customers can access and change all relevant information digitally without speaking to a customer service agent.

Key Results:

  1. Expand digital services to a level where no more than 10% of customer calls to our service centres are about questions or problems that could have been resolved via the customer portal on our website.
  2. Encourage the use of the new chatbot feature on the website to 5,000 meaningful customer interactions per month within six months.
  3. Increase service uptime across all digital services to 99.99% and eliminate all unscheduled downtime.
  4. Increase customer take-up of our mobile app, with the target of having 60% of customers using the mobile app within 12 months.
  5. Deploy a new analytics system that integrates ERP, web/online and contact centre data to give us a 360° view of our customers and their interactions across all channels.

Objective 3 (Human Resources): Increase average self-reported employee satisfaction to 8.5/10, measured by staff survey.

Key Results:

  1. Reduce unplanned staff absences (e.g. due to sickness) by 10%
  2. Reduce employee turnover by 10%
  3. Ensure all staff have completed all mandatory basic training for their position within one month of joining.
  4. Implement new continuing professional development (CPD) system to upskill staff, ensuring all staff receive at least 12 days of training per year.
  5. Implement a new appraisal system, incorporating feedback from peers, subordinates, and managers.

Further resources

These are just some ideas. You can read more about how to use OKRs to enhance your people strategy here. Or discover more OKR examples commonly found in manufacturing businesses and how they use this method of goal-setting and execution to turbocharge thriller results.

For more OKR examples specifically focused on growth, check out our blog Growth-focused OKR examples to help you achieve your goals.

Finally, if you want to start working with OKRs to improve your pace of strategy execution and accelerate your business growth, download our free OKR builder™ today. It contains a step-by-step guide on how to get started writing compelling OKRS that cascade seamlessly throughout your business.

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