Selling is only half the job done. The other half, a crucial half, is supporting.
After all, exceptional customer service goes a long way when it comes to retaining customers and maintaining a healthy customer-business relationship.
Since customer service is paramount to business success, leveraging tools to track major customer service metrics only makes sense.
In this extensive post, we will learn about different customer service metrics, understand their importance in business growth, and take a giant stride toward delivering memorable customer experiences.
Let’s get started!
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What are customer service metrics?
Before we dive deeper, let’s get an overview of customer service metrics. We know what customer support or service stands for. The idea is to provide customers with exceptional support services before, during, and after purchase.
While the idea of providing excellent customer service is commendable, a business needs to track the effort put into the quest. This is where customer support metrics matter the most.
With the customer support services discussed in the post, you will be well-equipped to track the right metrics and push your business toward limitless growth.
In other words, customer service metrics help businesses measure the effectiveness of their support staff. There are four different types of customer service metrics —
1. Quality metrics
These are metrics that focus on quality, i.e., the accuracy and overall effectiveness of the customer interaction with the customer service team.
2. Performance metrics
These are metrics that gauge the impact of customer service on the customers. In this, we track the overall success rates of the interactions
3. Efficiency metrics
Efficiency metrics, as the name suggests, measure the efficiency of the customer service agents. In this, you’ll want to assess the application of available resources for efficient customer support.
4. Employee satisfaction metrics
As mentioned earlier, customer satisfaction is of prime importance. But employee satisfaction matters too, as only a happy employee can improve customer service.
Important customer service metrics for businesses
Now that you know what customer service metrics are, you should understand their importance as well.
Indeed, customer service metrics help businesses gain insights into how well the customer support teams are performing.
However, tracking customer service metrics can also provide a window to assess the performance of other key business operations.
With well-defined customer service metrics you can track the support process’ efficiency, identify improvement opportunities, ensure cost-effective growth-centric changes and also set up time-bound measurable customer service goals.
Most importantly, they will help facilitate efficiency and adequate allocation and utilization of available resources.
Essential customer service metrics you should measure
Since you now have a foundational understanding of customer service metrics, it’s time we move ahead and learn about the different customer service metrics that you can track for business and customer success.
1. Average issue count
Companies should measure the Average Issue Count as they are bound to receive some complaints daily. Customers are going to run into issues with their products & services.
Hence, calculating the average number of issues (daily, weekly, and monthly) is highly recommended.
Moreover, ticket volumes tend to increase as a company grows. Therefore, switching to a more proactive customer support service to cater to the busiest period of every month can reveal significant flaws in the products and services.
2. First response time (FRT)
If there’s one thing customers don’t like, it’s waiting.
Hence, First Response Time turns into a significant customer service metric one should certainly track.
First Response Time is essentially the time it takes a customer to receive a reply from customer support once a message has been sent.
Ideally, companies should aim at ensuring quick first response times. After all, almost 48 percent of support teams around the world have an FRT of less than 60 minutes!
3. Average ticket resolution time
But customer service isn’t just about responding quickly. It is more about how quickly a customer support team can resolve issues. Average Ticket Resolution Time is a customer service metric that indicates the effectiveness of the customer support team.
A high average ticket resolution time means that there are issues related to team coordination or the team lacks proper training to handle complex customer queries. A drop in average ticket resolution time can boost the overall customer experience.
4. Number of interactions per case
This is another highly important customer service metric, especially for companies that target seamless issue resolutions.
The Number of Interactions per Case, as the name suggests, is the total number of interactions customers and support reps have when resolving a single issue.
This customer service metric zooms into the efficiency of the customer support team in addressing and resolving queries. The lesser the number of interactions, the higher the customer satisfaction.
5. Issue resolution rate
Another crucial customer service metric worth mentioning in the list is the Issue Resolution Rate. The metric measures the number of queries a customer support resolves successfully from the total number of queries tackled.
It is a clear indication of a company’s backend as a high issue resolution rate can only manifest if the support team reflects higher issue resolution efficiency.
Ideally, the issue resolution rate at a company should be 100 percent. This can only happen if the customer service representative team aims to address customer problems and provide them with adequate resolution.
6. Self-service usage
Customers want quick resolutions. However, there will be times when they will not connect with customer service as it might be too time-consuming or difficult for them.
Ideally, customers would want to resolve the issues themselves, and self-service tools or self-help channels can do the trick.
Self Service Usage is a customer service metric that helps companies determine if customers are dealing with less complex issues themselves, leaving the customer support team to work only with highly complex queries.
7. Preferred communication channel
This is a major customer service metric as it magnifies the gaps in your communication channels. As an operational customer service metric, the Preferred Communication Channel can reveal general customer preferences regarding their interactions with you.
So, what are the major communication channels?
Customers can seek support through phone, email, live chat, online knowledge base, and support automation. Some customers might even take to social media expecting a seamless experience.
The idea is to know the preferred communication channels for the customers and ensure an adequate number of support reps for each shortlisted channel.
8. Rate of answered calls
As the name suggests, the rate of answered calls is essentially a customer service metric that effectively measures the customer support team’s efficiency in handling queries. Ideally, the higher the rate of answered calls, the higher the team’s efficiency.
At the same time, a higher rate of missed customer calls means that support reps are not performing well, leading to negative customer experiences. The rate of answered calls is calculated by dividing the number of answered calls by the total number of calls.
9. Average handle time
Customers don’t want to keep talking to support reps all the time. Speaking on the phone is tiring in itself. This is why we recommend measuring the average handle time, a customer service metric that reveals the team’s efficiency.
Again, the average handle time can be low if the support rep simply hangs up on customers without providing any resolution.
While closing customer service requests quickly is a viable target, it shouldn’t lead the team to jeopardize the quality of resolutions.
Queries accumulation can lead to significant problems across support operations. We refer to this customer service metric as Backlog. The idea is to keep backlogs to a minimum. The higher the backlog, the lower will be the customer experience.
Now, it’s also crucial to know why queries are being left unresolved. Keep the factors in check to ensure this customer service metric doesn’t impact customer satisfaction.
Calculate backlog by defining the time frame, and then figure out how to keep the number as low as possible.
11. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
This is a customer service metric that we have discussed quite a lot in many of our previous posts.
Customer Satisfaction Score or CSAT is essentially a customer service metric that reflects the effectiveness of the resolution and whether or not the customer leaves feeling satisfied.
To track CSAT, support reps will have to trigger surveys and quick feedback ratings once the support interactions are over. To make the most of CSAT, reps should also follow up with customers who leave bad ratings.
12. Net promoter score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score is a widely accepted customer support and satisfaction metric as it helps companies predict how likely customers are to recommend them to their friends and family members.
NPS is closely related to word of mouth as it pushes customers to consider recommending products and services to their network.
NPS is measured on a scale of 0 to 10. To measure this customer service metric, you can use tools like Survey Maker, Qualaroo, and others.
13. Upsell and cross-sell frequency
Businesses are looking to boost their revenue by using every opportunity to upsell and cross-sell across customer buying journeys.
Since most businesses are into cross-selling and upselling, one should consider measuring the effectiveness of these customer service metrics.
Upselling is essentially convincing customers to purchase a higher-priced product or version, while cross-selling involves encouraging complementary purchases. Make the most of these metrics by learning what your power users want or request more often.
14. Customer experience rating
Did you know almost 90 percent of customers in the US are more likely to spend more to receive better customer support and experience? This alone says so much about the present state of customer experience in terms of support.
Customer experience rating is a significant customer service metric that also involves metrics like customer retention, satisfaction, and others.
How to measure customer experience ratings? It can be done by combining transactional surveys and in-person feedback.
15. Customer retention rate (CRR)
Customer retention is key to sustainable business growth. After all, selling to an existing customer is much easier and more effective than bringing in a new customer.
As you retain more and more customers, your market value and brand image will skyrocket as a good customer experience goes a long way.
Measuring customer retention rate is crucial as this customer service metric can lead to predictable and consistent customer experiences and business growth.
However, you will have to deal with new, occasional, and power users differently to boost retention across the board.
16. Customer effort score (CES)
We have discussed Customer Effort Score (CES) in quite detail in our previous posts. It is certainly one of the most tracked customer service metrics.
Why? It helps businesses figure out the effort-intensiveness of a customer journey.
Companies can tap into this customer service metric by asking questions at the end of the buying journey, checking if the journey was simple enough for the customers.
17. Customer churn
Here’s a customer service metric no company would ever want to see rising. Customer churn is a metric that tracks the number of customers leaving a brand for its competitor. Remember, acquisition is more expensive than retention.
Therefore, you must make sure customer churn is at its lowest across all time periods. However, churn could be due to many reasons.
Business owners should dive deeper into the cracks and figure out why customers leave. We highly recommend getting on a phone call with such customers.
18. Repurchase rate
Often regarded as one of the most overlooked customer service metrics, repurchase rate can sometimes also be one of the most revealing metrics. This is because repurchases can be triggered because of different reasons.
Regardless of the reasons, excellent customer experience remains the most influential factor that encourages repurchases across industries.
This customer service metric is usually incorporated by companies that have no subscription model to offer. To track repurchases, you will have to look for customers who have made multiple purchases from you in a defined timeframe.
19. Service level agreement (SLA)
SLA is essentially a criterion for compliance.
Service Level Agreement is regarded as a customer service metric that tracks the percentage of support-related cases that comply with the defined SLA regulations.
When tracked, SLA can help companies figure out their performance in terms of benchmarks and customer inquiry resolution times.
One can calculate SLA compliance by dividing the total number of tickets resolved within SLA criteria by the total number of tickets received and finally multiplying the result by a hundred.
20. First contact resolution rate (FCR)
Customers seek quick query resolution. And what’s better than a customer support team that resolves the queries in their first interaction itself? First contact resolution, hence, becomes one of the most sought-after customer service metrics.
First Contact Resolution or FCR, is a metric a company should target as it reveals the effectiveness and efficiency of the support team.
To calculate FCR, you should divide the total number of tickets resolved at the first interaction by the total number of tickets received. Multiply the result by a hundred to get FCR.
21. Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value or CLV is essentially the total amount of money customers are expected to spend when they are in a relationship with a company.
An increased CLV is a direct indicator of how well a company performs in terms of providing excellent customer experience.
This customer support metric can be calculated by multiplying revenue per year and number of active years, and finally subtracting total acquisition and retention cost from the result.
22. Escalation rate
Lastly, we have another crucial customer service metric that unravels the overall effectiveness of customer support and the established hierarchy.
Escalation rate is a metric that shows the percentage of queries that required escalation, i.e., queries that were moved to a higher support tier for resolution.
The escalation rate can be calculated by dividing the number of escalated tickets by the total number of tickets received. Multiply the result by a hundred to get the final result.
If you own a business and want to track customer service metrics, you should first figure out which metrics you want to keep an eye on.
Once you have a primary point of focus, you can go ahead and seek cutting-edge support systems or CCaaS solutions that offer AI-powered CSAT, real-time performance insights, efficiency escalation management, comprehensive customer service reporting, and more.
Taking this step will open you to service standards that you’d want to meet at your company. It will give you a glimpse of where your customer support service currently stands while providing you with insights to achieve the set customer support goals.
There you have it. We’ve shared everything you need to know about the different customer service metrics and how to measure them for business success.
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