To provide the best possible results, you need to have the best tools available. But how do you know whether your tools and your customer service team are efficient? The answer is simple: you need to analyze their performance to determine if they are operating according to a certain winning standard.
That’s where these specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) jump in to help you! KPIs for customer service enable the comparison of data to help you make the optimal selection and in some cases even a change of direction.
You need to analyze and measure to determine whether your efforts are paying off! High-level customer experience (CX) has become imperative to business success, meaning you definitely need to make sure that your CX is at a satisfactory level!
This all may sound a bit daunting. However, you can join us and take a close look at the top KPIs for customer service to make your team top-notch!
A. What Is a Customer Service KPI?
Let’s first define customer service KPIs, so we can successfully dive into the elite 12. A customer service KPI represents a measure you use to track the performance of your team members and overall customer experience.
They can help you better understand what is working well and what needs to be eliminated, so you can create a winning customer service strategy.
Building strong customer support standards pave the way to continuous excellent work and nurturing long-term customer relationships. Furthermore, they can serve to determine the success rate of your business.
Your customer service KPIs should be related directly to your team’s performance, a number of calls a customer needs to make before reaching the resolution point, or quality of customer experiences. What you track is entirely up to you; however, there are certain KPIs that are must-haves if you want to stay competitive in this industry.
Hitting your customer service KPIs guarantee you will increase your customer retention rate and have desirable ROI!
B. The Best KPIs For Customer Service
1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT is the most straightforward and effective of all KPIs for customer service that helps you determine customer satisfaction level. You can create a simple questionnaire online and ask your customers how satisfied they are with your services. A smart way to do it is to offer answers on a scale of 1 to 5. In other words, make it as easy for them to respond as possible.
It feels nice to read good reviews, but actually the most important thing here is the negative feedback. By reading criticism and complaints, you are in a better position to make changes regarding your automated responses, update certain procedures, or train your agents better. Thus, read them carefully!
2. Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)
The latest research has found that the customer service industry has the highest attrition rate. That leads to the conclusion that calculating employee satisfaction score (ESAT) is extremely important for measuring the team’s performance and the overall quality of customer support. An unhappy customer agent most often means an unhappy customer, too.
By checking this KPI for customer service, you can create a better projection of the employee status and hiring needs as well. Thus, conduct employee surveys as frequently as the customer ones, have consultations, and promote open communication to better understand your employees’ satisfaction.
3. Customer Effort Score (CES)
Maybe one of the most overlooked, but still important, customer service KPIs is the customer effort score (CES). By evaluating CES you can have a better insight into why customers are dissatisfied. For instance, you can ask, “How easy was your customer service experience on a scale 1-5?”
Response scales simply work the best. They minimize the effort your customer needs to put in addressing an issue with your product or even answering your surveys. Facilitating the response process is at the core of succeeding in getting proper and prompt feedback. No one wants to do something difficult without a guaranteed big reward.
There may be cases where you can’t utilize scales, but don’t let that stop you from making the responding process as simple as possible. The CES KPI can depend on the time spent on answering, the number of required calls, and total back-and-forth interactions.
If you find that your CES score is low, you will know one of the reasons why your CSAT is low. The next move would be to eliminate all frictions and obstacles to achieve low-effort customer response and problem resolution.
4. Total Tickets and Tickets Per Customer
The KPIs for customer service that give you an overview of the work done and your team’s efficiency are the number of total tickets and tickets per customer, respectively.
These top-line items are important however, knowing the peak ticket time, day, or season can also greatly help you to run your customer support department like the manager winners.
However, it is not enough to just briefly look at these numbers. You will need to conduct a deep-dive analysis to see if the higher numbers are the result of your broader customer base, or the result of a larger number of complaints from existing customers dissatisfied with your product/service. When you track tickets per customer, you can develop an effective strategy regarding long-term and short-erm department needs.
5. First Response Time (FRT)
According to a massive 73% of customers, ensuring a low response time is the most valuable thing a company can do. Therefore, measuring your first response time (FRT) will certainly help you to have a consistently high customer satisfaction score.
Another study has shown that the average company response time is about 12 hours. And when you consider that the majority of customers (75%) expect you to answer within 5 minutes, you can get into trouble if your response takes so much longer than that.
This customer service KPI needs to be the key area of your focus if you don’t want to disappoint three-fourths of your customer base. Your first response is their first impression, and you already know how important first impressions are. You can solve this issue by automating your first response and giving the customer an estimated response time to help set their time frame expectations.
For instance, using Helpy autoresponder means you never have to let down your customers by making them wait a long time before acknowledging their issue. You may not be able to resolve it immediately, but the customer will know you’re working on it.
6. Channel Volume
By tracking where your customers are reaching out to you the most, you will know which channel works for you the best. Furthermore, that information will enable you to better reallocate your resources, upgrade your customer service technology or add more agents that focus on a certain channel.
7. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Peer recommendations have become one of the key determinants of business growth. Thus, knowing how likely is that your customer will recommend your product or service to their friends or family members should be highly ranked on your to-do list.
Net promoter score (NPS) allows you to get exactly that answer. And to get it you can simply ask the question, “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend/family member/colleague?” And again, you would ask them to rank their feelings on a scale. The best scale to use here would be from 1 to 10.
8. Average Handle Time (AHT)
Responding fast is one important step, but equally important is to actually resolve the issue. By measuring average handle time (AHT) you can determine how long it takes you to do that. To calculate this KPI for customer service, add up ticket closure time (starting with the time your customer initially sent a query), hold time, subsequent tasks, back-and-forth interactions, and post-interaction system updates.
According to industry leaders, one of the best ways to keep your AHT score low is to strengthen your team by adding AI chatbots that speed up ticket resolution drastically. If you can show customers how they can find solutions themselves by browsing through your knowledge base, why wouldn’t you?
9. Cost Per Resolution
Knowing your cost per resolution helps you determine the efficiency of both your staff and the tools you use, such as an AI helper. To calculate this number, first estimate the total customer support cost by adding salaries, helpdesk software cost, office costs, licenses, training, etc. Then divide it by the total number of tickets. And that’s it, now you’ve got it!
10. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
Neither you nor your customer likes it when they have to call multiple times regarding a single problem. That’s why adding a first contact resolution to your KPIs for customer service list is extremely relevant. Here, you simply estimate how many times a problem has been resolved within one email or call session. The higher the FCR, the better the performance of your team members!
11. Customer Retention
This customer service KPI is an essential factor in your high-level customer service analysis. It allows you to track the number of repeated customers, estimating the overall brand loyalty. You can go even deeper and see how many customers who had an issue have purchased a product from you again.
This multidimensional customer service KPI provides you with an analysis of service quality. It is more focused on the subjective side of your service quality, enabling you to improve your customer service personalization. It measures 5 elements of service quality known as RATER:
- Reliability - the ability to deliver the promised service consistently and accurately
- Assurance - the level of employee politeness and knowledge that creates trust and confidence
- Tangibles - the appearance of your company and employees
- Empathy - to what extent employees care about customers and address their issues
- Responsiveness - how able your employees are to provide speedy service
Now you can start implementing these KPIs for customer service to deliver an excellent customer experience standard!