In our Customer Service Retail Report, we discovered that nearly eight in 10 customers said they would be less likely to shop with a brand again after experiencing poor customer service. Unless you want to potentially lose about 80% of your business, you need to stay on top of your customer service performance.
If you’re not exactly sure how to measure customer service performance, consider the following methods and metrics. You’ll get the most valuable insights if you find ways to combine a well-rounded selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) in a way that complements your overall growth strategy.
Top Benefits of Monitoring Customer Service Satisfaction
Before diving into practical tips on how to measure customer service, let’s highlight some of the top benefits of monitoring customer service:
You Can Identify Areas for Improvement
As a smart business leader, you want to serve your customers as best as you possibly can. The right data will show you exactly what aspects of your customer service and the customer experience (CX) you’re providing could use some attention. By gathering and monitoring customer service data, you’ll have the tangible evidence needed to inform decisions and process improvements.
You’ll Discover What You’re Already Doing Well
Understanding how to measure customer service benefits is just as important as knowing how to gauge poor performance. You might have a sense that you’re doing well in certain aspects of customer service, but, with the data to prove it, you can celebrate your successes, keep useful solutions in place, and allocate more time and energy toward strengthening weak points. Without these insights, you might waste precious resources gilding the lily.
Satisfied Customers Are Critical to Business Success
Finally, knowing how to measure customer service success and where to make the necessary improvements will help you retain happy, loyal customers. If one negative customer care experience will send customers running, just imagine the disastrous bottom-line impact of repeatedly poor service quality. Building out a solid, data-driven customer service strategy helps to mitigate these types of risks.
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Ways to Measure Customer Service
When considering how to assess customer service at your company, you will quickly realize that there are quite a few different factors that you could measure. It might also become apparent that focusing on just one area at a time will leave major blind spots.
For instance, how many customer inquiries can your team accommodate each day? The number might be high, but if you’re leaving hundreds of customers unhappy at the end of each interaction, that’s not exactly a sign of success. So, it’s important to find out, within that volume, how satisfied each customer really is with the support they’re receiving.
To do this, you not only need to know how to quantify customer service success from a quantitative operational standpoint, but you must also monitor quantitative and qualitative customer experience metrics. In other words, it’s essential to track the success and efficiency of your workflows and software solutions, to assess the time savings, cost-effectiveness and other intangible benefits for your business. And it’s equally important to send out customer satisfaction surveys to collect immediate feedback on your performance.
As we highlight the main ways to measure customer service success, remember that the best way is really a holistic approach.
9 Metrics for Measuring Customer Service Performance
Below are the top customer service metrics examples businesses can monitor. When used in combination with each other, these KPIs can provide a well-rounded view of your performance and success.
1. Average Resolution Time
Consumers are usually happiest when their issue can be resolved quickly. This metric will help you see how your performance stacks up. To find your average resolution time, find the sum of all case resolution durations, then divide this by the total number of customer cases.
2. Customer Service Abandonment Rates
We’ve found that about seven in 10 consumers will hang up a call or exit a chat if they’ve had to wait a frustrating amount of time without receiving customer support. Ideally, your call or chat abandonment rate would be zero. To calculate it, divide the number of abandoned customer service inquiries by the total number of inquiries.
3. Customer Effort Score (CES)
CES is one of the newer customer service measurement metrics to monitor. It essentially tracks how much effort your customers feel they have to dedicate toward resolving an issue. The more effort required, the more frustrating the experience. Following a customer service interaction, you can capture these feelings with a Likert scale question.
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4. Customer Retention Rate
This customer satisfaction metric is the opposite of customer churn rate, but both show how likely your customers are to stick around. To calculate retention rate, first subtract the number of new customers from the total at the end of a specific period of time. Then, divide the number of customers you retained by the total number of customers you had at the start of that period. A figure close to 1 indicates high retention.
5. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT measures your customers’ feelings immediately following an interaction with a customer service agent. As with CES, you can send out a Likert scale survey question to capture your customer’s satisfaction level on a scale from one to five.
6. First Response Time
Customers expect immediate assistance, and you can find out how quickly they’re getting support by calculating the first response time. Simply calculate the average duration between the moment a customer reaches out and how long it takes a customer service agent to respond.
7. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is a popular metric for how to measure customer service effectiveness and gauge customer satisfaction. As with CSAT and CES, you can gather customer feedback with this type of survey question: “How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend?” High responses indicate higher levels of satisfaction with your company and the customer experience.
8. Resolution Rate
To calculate the overall resolution rate, subtract the number of unresolved cases from the number of customer inquiries, then divide this by the total number of inquiries. The fewer left unresolved, the more successful your customer service has been. You can adapt this metric by figuring out the first contact resolution (FCR) rate, which identifies just the cases resolved during the first interaction.
9. Sentiment Analysis
Also known as opinion mining, sentiment analysis involves scanning the language a customer uses to see if it skews positive, negative or neutral. Conducted through natural language processing technology, this is a great way for agents to get an immediate read on customers’ emotions and adjust their approach accordingly.
How Do You Measure Success in Customer Service?
Now that you’ve gained some insights on how to measure customer service effectiveness using various strategies and KPIs, take a look back at your own processes. Are you utilizing these methods and metrics? And is this all happening manually, or do you have a software solution in place to help with the data collection process?
Want to learn how your CX organization stacks up against the competition? Take our interactive CX Assessment.