From a customer’s perspective, customer service is an experiential process, and so, it’s difficult to quantify. It can be either good or bad, fast or slow, helpful or unhelpful, among other factors.
However, for organizations, it’s a different game all together. With the availability of sophisticated customer service analytics and reporting tools, Contact Centers can track and measure just about every metric that impacts the quality of their customer service. Measuring the key performance indicators (KPIs) helps Contact Centers improve the overall customer experience (CX), lower customer churn, and boost brand loyalty. However, the abundance of customer data can entice CX leaders to track everything, which leads to information overload and analysis paralysis.To ensure that your customer service efforts yield desired results, here are ten customer service KPIs you should start tracking.
The Importance of Robust Reporting in Customer Service
The purpose of customer service is to resolve any complaints, queries, or concerns the customer may have with your products or services. But the implicit value of customer service is to deliver on the trust the customer places in your brand while making the purchase. In the age of hyper-personalization, here is how the customer service analytics and reporting tools can help you enhance customer service:
1. Get an All-Encompassing View
Analytics data can be segregated into three categories:
- Descriptive Analytics: This data provides information on what happened in the past. Metrics like resolution time or reply time provide the raw information as is. This data is incredibly helpful for trendspotting.
- Predictive Analytics: This data predicts what might happen in the future. So, based on past trends, Contact Centers can predict consumer behavior or incoming ticket volume after a new feature launch.
- Prescriptive Analytics: Based on the available information, prescriptive analytics tools can inform what the organization can do to improve customer service.
In this war, getting a comprehensive view of the customer service strategy helps organizations plan for the future.
2. Boost Customer Retention
According to studies, acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Customer service directly influences whether a customer chooses to stay with you or not. Lousy customer service can cause a higher customer attrition percentage.
However, by tracking the right metrics, you can improve your customer service, which provides you ample opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to your existing customers, leading to a higher customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Simultaneously, happy customers also serve as a great referral source.
3. Identify Areas of Improvement
Along with quantitative metrics, analytics software applications can also help organizations gather qualitative information about how customers feel about their service. This can be analyzed through the words customers frequently use during feedback and surveys. By sifting through this information, marketers can identify the weaknesses in the current process and optimize accordingly.
10 Essential Customer Service KPIs You Need to Track in 2020 and Beyond
Now that we’ve looked at why customer service analytics is crucial for forward-looking organizations, here are the ten essential customer service KPIs you need to measure to improve your customer service:
#1. First Response Time (FRT)
First Response Time (FRT) indicates how long it takes for an organization to send an initial response to a customer query. Different channels will have a different first response times, and customers expect that. However, to arrive at the first-response time, organizations can either calculate the average time across channels or pick the median. Choosing the median at times can provide a more accurate picture as it takes into account instances where your response may have been faster or more delayed than usual.
Pro Tip: Avoid including autoresponders or chatbots for emails or live chat in your FRT calculation as their response times won’t provide an accurate representation of the first response time.
#2. Interactions Per Ticket
This metric explains the number of times the customer had to communicate with an agent to resolve their issue. The interaction could be the number of phone calls, mail trails, or social media replies. The higher the number of interactions, the clunkier the customer service.
Customers often get annoyed when they are routed to multiple assistants for their resolution. If you see a high number of interactions, you may need to make certain tweaks to your strategy and workflow. Some ways to do this include updating the FAQ section frequently to make customers more self-reliant, updating the internal support wiki with product updates for the customer service team, and training the team to ask better questions to understand the issue more comprehensively.
#3. Average Resolution Time (ART)
Average Resolution Time (ART) is an indicator of how long it takes to close a customer service/support ticket. This metric shows the efficiency of the processes and the customer service team. As the complexity of the issue impacts the resolution time, you could map resolution times to issue complexity to get a more in-depth insight into ART.
Keeping the team updated on the product/service, having the answers to the most common complaints, and understanding the customer’s issues early during the interaction can drastically reduce the resolution time.
#4. First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR)
A high FCR is the holy grail for most organizations. This KPI reveals the percentage of queries that were resolved in the first interaction. A high FCR is a direct indicator of high customer satisfaction.
This metric is not ideal for queries with high complexity. However, agents must strive to as much information about the concern as possible in the initial interaction to resolve the issue in the fastest possible time. Some of the most effective ways to increase FCR include providing regular training to agents, building or maintaining a current knowledge base, implementing ticketing systems, and deploying virtual assistants.
#5. Abandonment Rate
The abandonment rate explains the percentage of users who discontinued their interaction even before getting their queries resolved. A high abandonment rate can also indicate a high churn rate and low customer satisfaction.
The reasons for a high abandonment rate can include a long wait time, delayed first response time, poor customer service workflows, or simply untrained agents. Understanding the factors that cause (or can cause) a high abandonment rate will give you enough time to prepare better processes to reduce the abandonment rate.
#6. Number of Queries by Channel
In the era of omnichannel marketing, customers will rarely limit themselves to a single channel when interacting with customer support, especially, when they are strapped for time. Channels such as live chat, email, social media, and calls are some of the most common channels that customers prefer to get in touch with your organization.
Now, this metric doesn’t indicate customer satisfaction but provides essential insights into which channels customers prefer. By calculating the average queries per channel, you can allocate resources and upgrade infrastructure for channels with a high influx of queries.
#7. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Measuring customer satisfaction is tricky, as it can be subjective. CSAT helps organizations quantify customer satisfaction. The CSAT scale consists of a question, such as How satisfied are you with our customer support? followed by a rating scale. The rating options can be designed in the form of numbers (1-5), stars, emojis, or something that aligns to your offerings as a brand. By providing customers the option to comment and leave their feedback, you’ll be able to collect qualitative information that you can utilize further.
Depending on the score, you can club other metrics to understand why some users left low scores and what you can learn from five-star interactions.
#8. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is another customer satisfaction and loyalty metric that also tells you the likelihood of getting new customer referrals. An NPS survey asks a simple question like, On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend <Your offerings/company> to your friends, family, or peers?
- Based on the rating, the respondents are divided into three groups:
1. Detractors: Customers who score 1-6
2. Passives: Customers who score 7-8
3. Promoters: Customers who score 9-10
- NPS is calculated as the difference between the percentage of promoters and detractors and can be categorized as follows:
1. <0: Bad
2. 0-50: Average
3. 51-75: Good
4. 76-100: Excellent
#9. Customer Effort Score (CES)
CES shows how the efficacy of your CX. This metric reflects how much effort the customer had to put in to get their issue resolved. CES largely depends on the perception and its influencing factors include the number of channels the customer had to switch to connect with the right personnel, the number of support form fields they had to fill out, or just how easy it is to locate the support section on the website.
Like CSAT and NPS, CES is also measured on a rating scale customized for the organization. It consists of a question like, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today? The options are verbal, such as simple/moderate/difficult, agree/neutral/disagree, or its variants depending on how the question is structured.
#10. Customer Retention Rate (CRR)
Customer Retention Rate (CRR) tells the percentage of customers that chose to purchase from you again. It could be through the continuation of existing services, upselling, or cross-selling.
Your customer service influences the brand’s perception and whether customers will return or not. CRR in isolation won’t indicate much about your customer service, but it’s a goldmine of insights when analyzed in conjunction with other metrics.
You can also similarly calculate the customer churn rate to understand what support factors caused the dropout.
You may have realized that some of these metrics are interdependent. To get an accurate picture of the state of your customer service, you need to combine multiple KPIs to evaluate their overall impact on customer service. If you are looking to improve customer service at your organization, a great place to start is to de-silo the teams to boost collaboration. You can further integrate AI-powered solutions that can significantly reduce the amount of manual analysis needed and help you draw the right insights.
Here’s to a leaner, better, and more data-driven customer service function!