“It takes years to build a reputation but just moments to ruin it.”
The above quote effectively addresses the importance of keeping clients happy. Customer service is a vital element of business processes that can impact your bottom line and affect how your company is viewed in the public eye. So, it becomes crucial to measure customer service KPIs and metrics.
Where modern business is very much aware of the fact that providing positive experience dramatically impacts business growth, excellent customer support is equivalent to being featured in Barron’s magazine.
Hence, it is essential that your major strategies should focus on how to measure customer service satisfaction and deliver a great experience.
Why is it crucial to measure customer service KPIs and metrics?
Customer support metrics and KPIs are valuable because they provide a look behind the scenes at how businesses interact with customers. You might think the service being delivered is the best of the best, but your customers might perceive things differently. 70% of consumers say that they choose companies that deliver great customer service.”
The performance metrics provide unbiased numbers for you to measure customer service success. Without measurement, it is impossible to know the areas you are doing well and what needs improvement.
When you introduce customer service metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), you have concrete data analytics to make better decisions and improve the gaps to achieve complete success in the three key areas mentioned below.
Measure team performance
Customer service metrics and KPIs measure how efficiently your team is handling the service requests. It gives you the right knowledge about the gray areas of your team and further creates enhancement plans, schedule training sessions to achieve customer service benchmarks.
Boost customer satisfaction
Being one of the critical customer support metrics, customer satisfaction determines how happy your customers are with your service. The higher the satisfaction score means longer is the customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Increase customer retention
Measuring customer service gives you insights on customer satisfaction scores. Putting efforts to align your products and services to your customers keeps them happy and they not only choose to retain with your business, but also become your brand advocates.
Key customer service metrics and KPIs to improve the bottom line
Identifying and measuring the right customer service KPIs or metrics help businesses to monitor and analyze customer relations by considering their overall journey. Below is a list of important KPIs for customer service evaluation and acquiring actionable feedback.
Let us discuss the key metrics on how to measure customer service success with higher accuracy.
1. First Response Time (FRT)
Delay in the response time might result in customers leaving your website. 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute. Getting connected to an agent immediately definitely helps to improve the customer experience.
Average first response time (FRT) refers to the time between the chat made by the customer and agent responses. Higher scores from customer service evaluation indicate that your agents are enthusiastic about attending customers.
How FRT is one of the important customer support metrics?
- It acknowledges the customers that their issues are being looked into at priority.
- The service metric indicates the promptness of your team’s issue addressing.
- With this KPI, you can learn if your team is sufficient enough or need to add more resources.
How to calculate the first response time?
You can use the below formula is used to find out the customer service matrix, which helps you to identify the quality of service your clients experience when they reach out to your support agents for assistance.
In order to reduce your response time, you must either scale your support agents or implement a chatbot. Chatbots can handle the basic queries 24×7 when your agents are busy or unavailable, which reduces the number of support tickets raised and human handover.
2. Customer Retention Rate (CRR)
The average global value of a lost customer is $243.
Acquiring new customers indeed improves your brand image, however, retaining them for longer-term shows that you have developed trust & loyalty with the customer retention strategies.
Higher CRR is the result of great customer service experience. If you deliver services that are consistent and predictable, the lifetime value to the customer increases significantly.
How to measure the customer service metric?
Jeff Haden provides the best way of evaluating customer retention rate KPI by using the below formula:
Customer Retention Rate = ((CE – CN) / CS)) x 100, where
- CE indicates the number of customers at the end of the process,
- CN means the number of new customers acquired during the process, and
- CS stands for the number of customers at the beginning of the process.
Every business focuses on improving the retention rate, and that’s why it should be amongst the main customer support metrics to measure. A general positive brand image and high satisfaction score will directly increase your customer retention graph.
3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT or customer satisfaction score otherwise known as happy customer key performance indicator (KPI) helps to evaluate the client’s service satisfaction with your business, products, or services. Measuring customer service satisfaction helps to gain insights into what they think about you.
You can directly ask your customers to rate their satisfaction across different communication channels such as live chat to collect real time customer feedback as a form of survey. Your score is the average of all customer responses.
You can ask CSAT questions like:
- How would you rate your satisfaction with our product or service? (Answers can be Very Satisfied, Unsatisfied, or Somewhat Satisfied)
- Were you satisfied with our product or service? (Yes/No)
- On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with _?
Your CSAT scale can include regular numbers, stars, smiley faces, etc. There is no unified measurement of satisfaction score but that being said one could execute this below formula to determine the proportion of satisfied customers:
The higher is the CSAT score, the better is your customer satisfaction. Implement the ways to collect qualitative and quantitative feedback, that helps you know the areas working well and the gaps that need to be improved.
4. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
The Ascent Group shows that 60% of companies that measure FCR for 1+ year report a 1 to 30% improvement in their performance.
First contact resolution (FCR) helps gauge customer satisfaction, the higher your FCR rate, the more satisfied your customers tend to be. It is a key factor that drives customer loyalty and also measures your agents’ efficiency to resolve an issue on the first interaction.
The FCR performance indicator gives you insights on how good your agents are at understanding and addressing a problem without needing multiple interactions.
Note: Multiple interactions happen when there is improper identification of the issue and the solution provided is not accurate. A lot of time is wasted and the actual issue to be fixed gets delayed.
Customer service metrics example
Speech analytics can have a great impact on FCR and Aberdeen released a speech analytics benchmark study, in which it tracked two groups of contact centers: the “leaders,” which represented 30% of the sampled group, and the “followers,” which were defined as the bottom 70%.
Surprisingly, the leaders using speech analytics averaged a 76% FCR rate comparatively, the followers had a 23% average FCR.
The first interaction is very important for every business. You can optimize the FCR metric by training your customer support team to improve their communication skills and deliver quality service. You can provide live chat scripts and customer surveys to improve resolution in the first interaction itself.
5. Average Resolution Time (ART)
Fast resolution is always a stable determinant for customer satisfaction. Every customer expects quick consistent support experience. Addressing customer’s queries in real time is imperative for you to hold them from leaving you at the risk.
Average resolution time (ART) refers to the total time taken by the team to resolve the support ticket once it is looked upon. It is measured in days or online hours. The lower the resolution time, the higher is the customer satisfaction.
How can you calculate average resolution time?
With the help of the simple formula, you can carry out customer service evaluation. You have to divide the sum of all times to resolution by the total number of cases resolved. It will give you the average resolution time of your team.
When the average resolution time is low, the customer satisfaction level is high. When the resolution time is higher it indicates FCR that reduces the number of customer interactions to get the problem resolved.
6. Cost per conversation
Finding out the percentage of customer support costs of your total revenue is one of the most important customer service key performance indicators (KPI). When you compare the support costs in terms of your revenue it helps you to evaluate how much your service efforts represent compared to your total revenue.
Every business focuses on delivering the highest quality customer service at minimal costs, so it is essential to track the below components
- Resources – in terms of salary costs
- Infrastructure costs
- Training and managing the team
You can easily calculate it by dividing the total support costs by the number of issues. You will get to know how much individual support costs to your business.
It is an inevitable fact that support costs can be managed by a well trained team and adjusting the staffing schedule according to your business needs. When you measure this customer service metric over time and analyze how your trend is – if the percentage is unusually high, it is suggested to find out the key reasons and plan strategies.
7. Average Conversion Rate
Forrester report says 44% of online customers having questions answered by a support agent during the buying journey is one of the most important features of a website.
The average conversion rate refers to the number of visitors who have completed their actions successfully on your website. The higher the conversion rate, the more successful are your campaigns for business growth.
Communicating with the customer at the moment by answering customers’ queries can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce.
How can you track the average conversion rate?
Conversion rate = (Conversions / Total visitors) * 100%
Say, if your website had 200,000 visitors and 10,000 conversions last month, your conversion rate is 10%.
Tracking your business conversion rates is essential as it provides analytics and helps to gain insights from the data collected. The insights can be used further to engage customers in a right way and improve sales conversion.
8. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The NPS customer service metric is widely used as a tool to gauge the loyalty of a company’s customer relationships. It measures your client’s experience and assumes the growth of your business.
With the help of the NPS score, you can know how likely your customers are to recommend you to their friends and relatives. NPS replies are less influenced by the customer’s mood unlike CSAT that aims at emotion, not the intention.
You can find out your NPS with the help of the key question with an index on a scale from 1 to 10. “How likely is it that you would refer to the brand?”
Customer responses can be categorized into three categories:
- Promoters (9-10) – They are your loyal customers who will continue buying from you and refer others with good word of mouth.
- Passives (7-8) – Passives are your satisfied customers but are vulnerable to competitive offers and deals.
- Detractors (0-6) – Are the unsatisfied or unhappy customers who negatively impact your brand through negative word of mouth.
How is NPS calculated?
It is calculated by taking the percentage of promoters (9-10) out of the total respondents and subtracting it from the detractors (0-6).
The NPS metric is just considered a good loyalty metric but it is also closely associated with increased business growth. So never miss out on a single opportunity to take your business to the next level.
9. Customer Effort Score (CES)
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer experience metric that measures how easy it is for a customer to do business with you via a CES survey. You can ask customers to evaluate their experience with your products and services.
The customers will rate you on a scale of 1-5 based on how much effort it takes to complete a transaction, resolve a support issue, and otherwise interact with your company/product online or in person.
Like NPS, the CES is also directly associated with satisfied customers and business growth. So put your best effort so that the score is the lowest on a scale of 1-10.
10. Analysis of channel performance
With the evolution of new customer service trends and technologies, businesses are going omnichannel to deliver better conversational experience. With these insights, businesses can communicate with customers over their preferred channels such as website, phone, email, social media, etc.
Suppose, you receive 100 support requests per month. But, if you do not know the channels from where the customers are reaching out to you, it becomes haphazard. So, measuring these channels to evaluate the performance individually is very important.
For eg, Out of 100 requests, 40 are from live chat, 20 are from the FaceBook messenger, 10 are from email, 20 are from the phone, and 10 are from Telegram. The breakdown performance of the channels helps you to know which channel is effective for your business.
Figure out the most effective communication channels of your business. Accordingly, you can improve the channels with low performance and maintain the service standard at the high performing channel.
11. Abandoned call rates
Abandoned call rates are a major part of how to measure customer service satisfaction. Long queue time is one main reason why customers abandon. When customers have to wait for a long time to get in touch with the agent, it becomes frustrating for them.
Measuring this customer service KPI helps to implement the right strategies to deliver real time proactive support to clients and improve their experience. Adding the service metric to your scorecard helps you spot if this is happening, so you can find out what’s holding your agents up.
Understanding your customer expectations and delivering support to enhance their satisfaction reduces the abandoned rates. The lower is the call abandoned rates means higher is customer satisfaction.
Measuring customer support metrics and KPIs is vital to deliver a great experience
Customer service is more about consumers than more about measuring numbers. You can transform your business into a support powerhouse with internal customer service and boost your employee engagement.
Here are the key takeaways of measuring customer service evaluation:
- Gain insights from customer analytics as it is an important aspect of delivering great customer service
- Measuring it on a regular basis helps to improve the gaps and improve customer service.
- Customer service is all about people. Hiring and training must be part of the process.