customer service guy dealing with a customer

KPIs that every Customer Service manager should use

visual representation of an important customer service KPI especially for call center: the average response time in seconds

Average Response Time

Measure the time your customers are on hold

The Average response time measures the time between the moment a customer calls and the moment an agent responds to it. This an important one among the various KPIs for Customer Service to consider when evaluating your performance, as it is a main factor of complaints by customers. By responding quickly enough to your customers, you can respect their time and give them a good impression of your brand – which is important as when they call, it is likely that they already have a problem. Keep in mind that in general, a third of customers hangs up after one minute on hold, and two third have quit the line after three minutes: these missed calls have a price, both financial and in terms of image and reputation.

Performance Indicators

To keep the Response Time as low as possible, you must have enough agents available for your predicted demand: tracking the number of daily, weekly or monthly calls are other Support metrics to measure.

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line charts displaying the first call resolution (fcr) over time in comparison to second call & third call resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR)

Avoid customers calling back for the same issue

The first call resolution rate is one of the most important Customer Service performance metrics to track. It measures the efficiency of your team to resolve an issue on the first call. It is an indicator used to know how good your agents are at understanding and addressing a problem without needing to transfer or return the call. There are several ways to optimize this Customer Service KPI, starting with training your agents in their communication skills. Providing them scripts and customers surveys, putting a clear process in place are also best practices you should consider if you want to increase your First Call Resolution rate. Implementing a Knowledge Base gathering all the customers’ issues and how they got addressed is also a good thing to do in the long run. Even if that requires a little bit of time to write, you will be rewarded with plenty of time saved in the future.

Performance Indicators

A good FCR rate will probably increase the Average Handle Time (AHT), but it shouldn’t be an issue – in the end, a long customer interaction that achieves FCR means lower AHT than multiple contacts with a frustrated customer.

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chart displaying top support agents

Top Support Agents

Find out who is your star agent in the team

Assessing the performance of your agents is important to know how they are working. You can review various Customer Service metrics to evaluate their productivity and success like their First Call Resolution rate, the average number of calls they handle in one hour, and a Customer Satisfaction survey on the quality of their support. That will help you know who might be the most capable to become manager and who might need a bit more training. However, when it comes to quality metrics, there is a lot of randomness and variance. Be careful not to jump to conclusion: an agent can get unlucky and will have to deal with a lot of irate customers who might be upset for unrelated reasons, but still rate the agent negatively.

Performance Indicators

Before taking any decision, track these Support metrics over several months. A few days are too short to have an accurate ranking.

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chart showing the development over time for the number of issues in the customer service

Number of Issues

Monitor the number and nature of issues over time

In order to know your staffing needs and plan ahead, it is a good thing to measure the volume of calls, requests, and issues your service team receives over time. That way you are aware of the rush periods where your support team might be overwhelmed and you can adjust the staff, avoiding at the same time to have stressed employees and unsatisfied customers that have to be on hold for too long. By breaking down this Customer Service KPI into the different communication channels, you have a better idea of how your customers like to reach you and which ones are the most popular: you know where to assign a bigger number of agents.

Performance Indicators

No matter how great your company, there are bound to be issues. If you are able to solve them quickly and in a satisfying manner, it is a sign of good service.

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donut chart displaying an important customer service KPI: the customer satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction

Get insights on what your clients' think about you

The most important of all the Customer Service performance metrics is naturally what every business aims at: a satisfied customer. It is important for your business to track this KPI as you might not be aware of certain problems your customers are facing repeatedly, and that may give them a bad impression on your services – and we well know that a happy customer recommends you on average to three friends, while unhappy customer tell Google. To avoid being on the frontpage with the lowest star-rating, conduct regularly satisfaction surveys: at the end of a call, via email, directly on your app… There are a lot of ways to ask and measure how customers feel about your brand and services.

Performance Indicators

The higher this score, the better of course. Implementing a writing-box can also be a good way to receive qualitative feedback, that helps you know what is or is not working.

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gauge chart illustrating the net promoter score (nps) to measure the customer satisfaction

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Evaluate the power of your referrals

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? This is the one question you should ask your customers in order to measure your NPS. Put the responses in three groups: 0-6 are detractors, 7-8 are passives and 9-10 are promoters. Then, calculate the following equation: NPS = % of promoters - % of detractors. Finally, compare your NPS to the one of your competitors – if they are much higher, you should figure out how you could improve your services, but if they are lower, you are doing fine. Find a comparison scale specific to your sector or industry to see how you rank. Use the data you have to understand where you are failing or succeeding and try to improve your services thanks to the feedback you earned with your Customer Satisfaction survey.

Performance Indicators

The NPS isn’t just a good loyalty metric, it is also correlated with increased business growth: don’t miss that opportunity to drive your company up. Apple is an international benchmark with a NPS of 75.

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gauge chart showing the customer effort score

Customer Effort Score

Get valuable feedback on the customer experience

Another of the important Customer Support metrics, especially for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, is the Customer Effort Score. Knowing how easy it was for your clients to get what they wanted from your company is a good indicator on their experience. You need to keep that score low, otherwise you will have frustrated customers complaining on how difficult it is to use your services, usually on social media or rating platforms; and they might well end up terminating their partnership with you to go for a competitor with a more user-friendly approach. The question to ask depends on what you are providing, but should be similar to the following: “On a scale of 1-10, how much effort did you put while using our product/finding what you were looking for?”

Performance Indicators

Just like the Net Promoter Score, the Customer Effort Score is directly linked to satisfied customers and business growth, hence the need to lower this figure as much as you can.

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area chart showing the developement of the customer retention over time

Customer Retention

Evaluate how many customers are coming back

Customer loyalty plays a fundamental role in a business’ success. It is usually measured dividing the number of customers doing repeated business/purchases by the total number of customers. It is an important metric as it is well known that retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one. By maximizing this Customer Service KPI, you can reduce costs, or assign them to other channels that will grow your business. There is no specific value as it varies according to your business model and sector – a car dealership can still grow even if customer retention is low, while an online retail store should try to have a high rate to be sustainable in the long run.

Performance Indicators

A growing retention rate is what every company should aim for, and that’s why it should be amongst the main support metrics to measure. A general positive brand image and high satisfaction score will directly increase your customer retention.

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visual representation of the service level kpi for customer services

Service Level

Deliver the services as you committed to

The Service Level calculates your capacity to complete the standards set in the Service Level Agreement provided to your customers. It is an ensemble of services agreed upon as a standard that your company is committed to maintain. For instance, you stated to answer to 70% of the Email requests you receive within 1 business day. Monitoring these Customer Service metrics is important for you to know if you are performing well in comparison to this predefined goal. It does not really matter which specific metrics you chose, but it is essential to respect these agreements. Not evaluating them might let you out of track and some problems might also go unnoticed, delaying the moment you are aware of them and start fixing what has to be.

Performance Indicators

For your Service Level, you can track as many KPIs for Customer Service as you wish – but what you should aim for is to honor the services you agreed upon and even exceed the targets.

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visual representation of the support costs in relation to the total revenue

Support Costs vs Revenue

Find out how much are the support costs in percentage of your total revenue

Last but not least is another of the Support metrics. Comparing the support costs in relation with your revenue will help you to evaluate how much your customer service represents compared to your total revenue. One goal of every business is to provide the highest quality at the lowest possible costs, so it is normal to have it tracked. To have another perspective, you can divide the total support costs by the number of issues, and you will have an idea of how much a single support costs to your company. It is inevitable to have customer support costs but managing to keep them low means that your agents are well trained, efficient and that the staffing schedule is well adjusted to the needs: overstaff might be a good thing in certain circumstances (rush hours/days), but that increases operational costs.

Performance Indicators

Measure this Customer Service KPI over time and see how your trend line is. If at some point they reach an unusually high percentage, it might be good to investigate the reasons.

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