22 Feb 2019

Top Customer Service Metrics that actually matter

Top Customer Service Metrics that actually matter

A happy customer is key to the success of any business. As per statistics, it is found that 70% of Americans prefer companies that provide excellent customer service and satisfaction.

Customer service metrics (CSM) help us track how well we perform in our primary customer service mission—achieving and maintaining high customer satisfaction.

Basically, there is no one particular metric to rule them all. It is essential to track multiple CSM to get a clear view of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

No two companies are alike, hence imitating someone else’s metrics is a dangerous and slippery approach. Here are the Top Customer service metrics that actually matter:

1. Customer relationship metrics

Since our primary goal is customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to healthy customer relationships, we should start with the customer service metrics used to measure customer satisfaction.

But what makes customers satisfied and happy? It actually is an easy question. They don’t want anything to ever go wrong!

And if something does go wrong, or if they need help with how to use the products/services, they don’t want asking for help to be a time-consuming process.

Customer relationship metrics

A. Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT)

You should measure customer satisfaction for each customer interaction. This can be done using the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT), a short survey sent to the customer after solving their issue(s).

After gathering Customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings, you utilize this data and use it as a metric that gives a better insight. For example, you can track the following aspects:

  • A customer’s CSAT rating over time
  • CSAT ratings, by customer types
  • CSAT ratings, by channel
  • CSAT ratings, by product/service
  • Average CSAT ratings for agents/teams

Tracking CSAT helps you track trends that may be affecting customer satisfaction. Satisfaction ratings are averaged to give each agent an overall CSAT score.

B. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

To obtain a better customer relationship analysis, beyond single support interactions, we use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS survey helps us understand if the customer is likely to return, stay loyal, and promote our brand to others.

Unlike CSAT and CES, it is a long-term measurement of the customer’s experience with your company. The NPS asks how likely the customer is to recommend our business to someone else.

Based on the scale of 0–10, customers are divided into three main groups:

  • Detractors (0–6) – they are unlikely to stay loyal and often share their dissatisfaction publicly via social media and through bad reviews.
  • Passives (7–8) – they may be perfectly satisfied but are not likely to go and share good reviews with anyone else.
  • Promoters (9–10) – your happiest customers – are most likely to share their positive experience with others and help you build your business.

C. Social media metrics

You have to analyze both positive and negative social media mentions to understand what is being portrayed about you publicly. This includes your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, along with your product review sites.

Using social media monitoring tools, you can easily collect and analyze the reviews and feedbacks. Use this feedback to determine the following:

  • How many technical or account-specific questions were raised?
  • How many feedback providing comments were raised?
  • How many questions are perfectly answered by the links already provided?
  • When your customers are highly active on social media?
  • How many comments seem to be written in moments of frustration, possibly after a poor customer experience – in person or online?

D. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Some customer service industry experts believe that asking customers about the effort they put into resolving their issue may be a better metric of customer loyalty than CSAT.

Whether you use CES or CSAT, the goal is clear: Focus on customer effort reduction to improve the customer experience and overall customer satisfaction, as a result.

Agent and team performance and efficiency metrics

2. Agent and team performance and efficiency metrics

Both, individual agent and team performance metrics are vital for ensuring perfect customer service experience. Solving customer issues quickly and effectively is the goal.

In this section, we look at these customer service metrics:

A. Number of tickets solved

A ‘daily ticket solving’ targets are set for agents by many customer service teams to ensure a smooth running system. Based on the target achievement ratio, the performance of agents and teams can be tracked.

Comparing the number of tickets solved is another way to improve the efficiency of an organization.

This is even helpful to mark the overall team performance.

B. Reply time metrics

A quick reply to the customers has a significant effect on customer satisfaction. Hence, it is important to focus on this particular customer service metrics – reply time metrics.

  • First-reply time (FRT) is the amount of time from the moment the ticket is created to the moment an agent makes the first reply to the customer. FRT should be as low as possible.
  • Average reply time is the average amount of time taken by all replies to the customer while solving a support request. It defines the average time taken to answer the customer’s queries – it should be as low as possible.
  • The number of replies is defined as the number of times a customer receives a reply from an organization and it helps retain customer relations. It should be as low as possible since the agent should be able to clear all of the customer’s doubts in a single reply (most of the time).

C. Ticket reopening

A ticket can be reopened by changing the status of the ticket from solved to open. How often solved tickets are reopened may indicate that agents are not able to fully solve the customer’s support issues. Hence, it is best to routinely monitor your team’s ticket reopening ratio.

Ticket reopen reports should include:

  • Total number of reopens
  • Average number of reopens
  • The percentage of tickets with reopens

Ticket reopens are more likely to occur while dealing with more complex support issues – therefore, reopens may be higher for escalated tickets.

D. Ticket backlog metrics

Ticket backlog represents the total number of unsolved tickets. This customer service metrics are important to follow because it provides insight into the incoming ticket volume and how well the team/agent keeps up with the available resources.

As we know, speed is important, but not at the expense of quality. Sometimes support issues take longer to fully solve than the time expected by the customer or the performance targets set for the agent/team.

The longer it takes to solve a customer’s issue, it becomes more likely that customer satisfaction will suffer.

In this section, let us have a look at some through which you can monitor your ticket backlog.

  • Your current backlog:

Backlog consists of both unassigned and assigned tickets that have not yet been solved. The two combined equals your total ticket backlog.

It is a good idea to cross-reference backlog volume with ticket age and first-reply time. A large backlog compilation is not a bad thing if an organization is capable of providing a high output efficiency to its clients.

  • Historical Backlog:

Looking at the historical backlog along with the current backlog helps you to spot trends in ticket volume and team performance.