15 Essential Customer Service Metrics To Monitor

Posted by Jacob Goodwin in Insights - Last updated

How can you be sure you’re providing the best support offering to your clients if you aren’t tracking key customer service metrics?

We’ve spoken before of the importance of tracking metrics across the sales function. Using them to access live data and ensure all decisions are made from a position of clarity and visibility.

Too often however, an appreciation for equal insight and investment into post sale customer service metrics is absent.

As an organisation, you work hard to win the business initially, so why not work just as hard to retain it?

“90% of customers would make repeat purchases or positive referrals with a company that offers great customer service.”

HIVER HQ

According to a recent survey, only 10% of customer service teams respond to enquiries in less than 5 minutes.

That means that nine out of 10 competitors are leaving customers feeling frustrated and ignored.

With customer service emerging as THE competitive differentiator; investing time into excelling your offering is critical.

Monitoring the right customer service metrics will allow you to stand out from the crowd. A failure to deliver puts you at risk of getting left behind, no matter the quality of your products or services.

Operational & Organisational Metrics

Customer service is, by it’s very nature, a high-touch discipline. Your team are the “face” of the business and their success thrives on making successful, human connections.

Elevating the innate quality of those engagements only takes place when you know the cold, hard numbers.

Breaking down the data , there are two key types of customer service metrics you can track. Firstly, Operational Metrics.

Defined as…

“Measuring the performance of your customer service representatives. Including, but not limited to, how many queries they receive, how many are resolved, and how quickly.”

And secondly, Organisational Metrics… 

“Organisational Metrics probe into the customer’s mind. What do they think about your product? How happy are they using it?

These are where your entire organisation can pitch in. No matter the department, superior customer experience should be a company wide goal. “

By monitoring the right data points, across both operational and organisational sides of the customer service function, you can ensure that the service you provide is of the highest calibre.

To help you excel, we’ve complied a list of the 15 key customer service metrics you ought to be monitoring.

The 15 Essential Customer Service Metrics To Monitor

Operational Customer Service Metrics

1 – Ticket Volume

Kicking off with the simplest metric of all, the number of active service tickets there are.

Volume alone can be a quick indicator of the status of the customer service offering.

Not only for raising awareness of the amount of work being placed upon the customer service team. But also to illustrate whether or not more effort could be made earlier in the customer journey to tackle queries before they land in the lap of the support team.

High volume can often suggest a disconnect somewhere a long the line, either between expectation and reality or instruction and usability.

2 – Time To Reply

Once a query has been logged, how long is it taking your team to reply?

“90% of customers rate an “immediate” response to a customer service question as “important” or “very important”.

60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.”

Hubspot

A rapid response absolutely shouldn’t come at the expense of an accurate, informed solution. However, it’s clear to all involved that a more enjoyable experience comes when customers aren’t left waiting around to interact with a business.

Customers are coming to you for a reason. The faster you remove the pain that brought them in the first place, the happier they shall be.

3 – Abandon Rate

Intrinsically linked to your Time To Reply, Abandon Rate tracks how many support queries are withdrawn before a response is received.

In other words, are customers left high and dry by an overstretched support team?

This metric is particularly illuminating not only in terms of highlighting resource issues, but also as a key cause of customer dissatisfaction.

Breaking it down to daily/weekly/monthly figures can help highlight if certain times of year present greater logistical challenges than others. Knowing when you’re likely to experience a surge allows for forward planning to help keep the Abandon Rate as low as possible.

4 – Time To Resolution

Similar to initial response time, effective customer service functions need to know how long it takes to reach an actual solution.

If interactions become protracted, and a solution isn’t found efficiently and effectively, it can have a drastically detrimental impact on customer sentiment.

The best customer service teams will focus on this metric over Time To Reply.

You can be as fast as you like but if you can’t provide an answer, that speed is irrelevant. From a customer perspective, a company that is willing to move heaven and earth to solve your issue as quickly as possible is a company worth sticking with.

5 – First Contact Resolution Rate

“73% of customers find “first contact resolution” to be an important factor for customer satisfaction.”

Forrester

With Time To Resolution front of mind, being able to solve a query on initial contact is a sure-fire method for customer satisfaction.

Rather than being passed around a support team, or fielding too many irrelevant questions, First Contact Resolution is the ideal scenario for both operator and customer.

Knowing the percentage of service interactions that meet this criteria provides an overall indication of how well prepared your teams are to respond.

If figures are high, great. But…

6 – Number Of Responses For A Resolution

If figures are low, it’s important to be able to dive into why customers need to have multiple conversations to solve their issue.

Being able to identify the number of responses required to reach a resolution will allow a business to cast a light upon the effectiveness of their customer service.

By minimising the steps to resolution, customer satisfaction begins to trend upwards.

Collating all six of the metrics discussed so far allows you to paint a picture of the customer service experience.

From here you can look at direct, functional improvements to your offering. These data points are vital in mapping out the steps a company needs to take to provide a fast, accurate, customer service.

7 – Support Enquiry Reason

Once a business is tracking it’s ability to respond to a query, it should also be investigating the motivation behind the interaction itself.

Consider for a moment, do you know what is regularly coming up in support conversations? Does a surge in a particular enquiry reason coincide with new updates, product lines or locations?

Rather than looking at support as a whole, drilling into the specifics can showcase focus areas. This way, resources can be allocated appropriately toward alleviating the issues that are most commonplace to avoid them ever happening again.

8 – Self Service Usage

Now the common Support Enquiry Reasons are known, you can evaluate whether or not it is worthwhile for the business to create an FAQ page or focussed article to cover this particular issue.

This has a compounded positive of making finding a resolution an easier task for the customer and also saving time in response.

Instead of your customer service team fielding simple, repetitive queries, they can focus their time on handling more complex issues.

A study conducted by Helpscout found that…

“71% of customers would rather resolve issues on their own.”

Helpscout

Make sure you provide the ability for them to do so.

9 – Support Channel Of Choice

Last of our Operational Metrics, identifying which channels your customers are using to reach your service team.

As a business, you need to track how your customers contact you and optimise your offering toward those channels for an improved experience.

Whatever the channel, a number of emerging technologies are making it easier for you to be contactable beyond traditional methods.

The key to customer service success is to focus on those channels your customers use and assign the right volume of resource accordingly.

Organisational Customer Service Metrics

10 – Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction is inherently subjective. It’s insight is useful but should be used in conjunction with the other customer service metrics we’ve discussed.

At the end of the day however, if satisfaction is low, you need to know why.

Automating satisfaction surveys at key stages and touchpoints in the customer journey, for those who both do and don’t convert, helps to gauge satisfaction and raise any otherwise unknown problems.

“96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, but 91% of those will never buy from you again.”

Livework

If you don’t ask, you don’t know.

11 – Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A widespread metric used to gauge your offering is NPS; in other words, how likely are customers to recommend you to their friends, family, and colleagues.

At an organisational scale, an awareness of your NPS can help indicate general opinion toward your business.

Diving into the “why” behind the score given can then influence future activities including marketing campaigns, to contain more of what customers liked or shared as common pain points, and service offerings, with identified areas for improvement.

12 – Customer Support Rating

More granular than CSAT and NPS, collecting ratings data on your overall service function allows for quick identification of areas of strength and weakness.

Inviting feedback can sometimes be challenging for individuals and businesses alike but it facilities a discussion. Rather than guessing, you can use live experiences to investigate the impact of slow response times or elongated support interactions.

By opening the floor and allowing customers to suggest improvements, your offering will be even better moving forward.

13 – Customer Effort Score (CES)

Linked to your overall rating, a Customer Effort Score explores the relative ease of engaging with your products and business as a whole.

If scores are low, you might consider breaking down the process and gauging responses at major milestones in the customer journey to get a better idea of where customers might be facing the most difficulty. 

All of these ratings combined allow you to draw up an accurate picture of your service beyond the individual.

From here, you can make educated, informed decisions as to where and how your customer service needs to improve.

14 – Percentage Of Return Customers

A quality service encourages repeat business.

So, do you know how many of your customers have bought from you before?

The nature of your offering can affect whether repeat business is a realistic outcome, but there can be no doubt that providing a brilliant customer experience will encourage people to do so.

Repeat business is a revenue gold mine. Having the ability to see those percentages in your company wide numbers is all the motivation you need to elevate your customer experience.

15 – Referral Rate

Finally, if clients aren’t returning themselves, as is often the case with large, multi-stage purchases; at least not on a regular basis, how many others do they refer to you on the back of their experience.

The next best thing to retention is referral, so how many happy customers tell their close cirlces about you.

We tell 10x more people about a negative experience than a bad one so ensuring your customer service is stellar will make you stand out from the crowd.

Exposure to a business sharing their greatness is one thing, having customers shouting from the rooftops about just how good you are is on another level entirely.


Tracking the essential customer service metrics, at the very minimum, will allow you to make better informed business decisions.

Planning for the future becomes much easier when you know the state of play.

Anthill’s dashboards can give you all of this information and more, available at the click of a button.

Ready to find out how you can stay on top of the customer service metrics that matter most to you? Give us a call.


Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.


Jacob Goodwin -

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