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7 key Customer Service Metrics + How To Use Them

11 mins read

Customer service has reached new levels of engagement. Customers now need metrics to adjudicate whether the service quality received by them is good enough. In a highly competitive product and service landscape, when every other company is offering exceptional customer service, customer service metrics become an important differentiator.

To differentiate is the mantra in modern-day business – where products and services are vying for market share. Innovative customer service, which is high on customer engagement, and has a quick feedback-response mechanism, is winning customers over again and again.

3 categories of customer service metrics

Customer service metrics are divided into categories such as Rep Activity, Team Efficiency, Churn Prevention.

1. Rep activity

Measures which reps are performing well as opposed to not performing well, and even overperforming. It helps understand which rep is the weakest link in the chain. For example, if a rep has a greater number of open cases pending, then this could indicate a potential underperformance.

If a rep has not branched out into multiple service activities, then even this could be an indicator of low performance.

2. Team efficiency

More than being an activity restricted to a group of individuals, customer service is by large a team activity. It’s a sum of all parts process, and the process is successful if all members contribute consistently and evenly. Team efficiency metrics analyze team efficiency in resolving customer issues.

Metrics such as response time, first action resolution, number of cases pending, handle time, time to resolution, first contact resolution, submissions, submissions by time period, backlog inflow/outflow are all taken into account from a team perspective.

3. Churn prevention

Measures customer service engagement vis-à-vis customer churn. Prioritizes customer cases by customer account value. Computes a customer satisfaction score and net promoter score. Also calculates customer effort score which measures the amount of time, effort, and cost involved in interacting with customers for customer service.

What is a customer service metric?

Businesses want to measure all activities. This includes customer service. As an example, after a product support call, a product support representative elicits feedback from the customer. The customer is asked to rate the service on a scale of 1 to 5, for example. Every such feedback received from customers is then collated and becomes the basis for measuring customer service.

Benefits of calculating customer service metrics

There are multiple benefits to obtaining customer service metrics. The following are some of them:

  • It is easy to measure the performance of product support. Bad customer support can be turned around with actions to improve the quality of responses.
  • Customers feel more engaged and important. They gain respect for the process, given that they are being asked for feedback. This way, they gain more trust in support system offered by the product or service company they are associated with as a buyer or user.
  • Customer service metrics are data points. They can be analyzed using data science tools. Actionable insights can be derived from the data. Such insights can further drive business strategy into customer-centric business decisions.

Top 7 customer service metrics

Following are some of the customer service metrics.

1. Ticket volume

This metric measures the number of tickets that have been raised in a particular period of time. It helps track trends that relate to the number of tickets raised in a particular season, for a particular product, by a particular customer group, etc.

A spike in ticket volume may signal an increase or decrease in tickets, which inadvertently conveys the quality of the product or service. If a product or service is receiving far too many tickets or customer queries, then either product is gaining traction in the market, or it is complicated to use and is confusing the user.

2. Ticket backlog

Some tickets are not resolved due to various reasons. There could be technical or functional reasons. Some product issues need a technical intervention that could take time.

Such tickets remain in the backlog waiting for a technical solution. Over time, tickets in the pile-up create a large backlog of activity. Although a backlog cannot be done away with, too large a backlog creates technical debt.

More the technical debt more is the catch-up that needs to be done. Therefore, organizations are always looking to reduce their technical debt. Although a zero-backlog technical debt is idealistic, it is generally non-existent, and organizations are embracing this fact.

3. Average resolution time

Support teams work to resolve issues and not just reply to them. Effective support is the ability to resolve issues within an SLA (Service Level Agreement). An SLA could be 24 hours to 48 hours to a week but not more than that. Reply time should not be confused with resolution time. A reply is only an affirmation about product support receiving the issue.

A resolution is total negotiation of the problem, including solving it completely to customer’s satisfaction. Average resolution time is, therefore, a customer service metric used by customers to determine the efficacy and speed of product service.

4. Customer satisfaction score

After ticket resolution, customers are asked to give their feedback on the service received. Service includes many dynamics such as resolution quality, the demeanor of the representative, etc. Based on these parameters, a customer is asked to put down a satisfaction score.

It could be from 1 to 10 or as a percentage. More the customer satisfaction score more is the quality of service. Ultimately satisfied customers reflect the quality of a product or service. This customer service metric is then used by other prospective customers to check on a company’s offerings.

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