Insight into Customer Service Metrics

John Krautzel
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Customer service metrics are a mystery for many professionals, particularly those that understand the qualitative nature of service. By finding ways to quantify the results of service interactions, you can use the results to make the customer service department drive sales and boost loyalty.

Customer Referrals

A customer service interaction has the potential to influence the way a customer speaks about your business, both negatively and positively. Excellent word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for business success, whether it happens in person or online. As such, one of the most important customer service metrics tracks how likely customers are to recommend your business. The shoe company Zappos refers to this metric as the "net promoter score" and uses it to determine whether or not agents are keeping customers happy. The net promoter metric is an ideal way to track your top-performing service professionals and identify the people who may benefit from additional training.

Call Time

Average call time is one of the most misunderstood and misused customer service metrics. Many companies use this metric on its own to track performance, which prompts service professionals to hurry customers off the phone. As a result, customers may feel ignored, unimportant or unsatisfied. A more effective strategy is to track the average call time in concurrence with customer satisfaction metrics. According to Gallup research, the magic formula involves speed and service. When your agents can make customers happy without taking up much of their time, everyone wins.

First Response

Time is a crucial component when it comes to the first response to a customer's complaint. This same holds true for customers who are sitting on hold, waiting for an email response or waiting for an agent to reply on a live chat system. The longer a person must wait to hear from your company, the more irritated they will become. As such, the first response time is one of the most important customer service metrics. Decreased times indicate that your agents are working quickly to respond to customers, which helps establish your reputation as a responsive company.

Contact Volume

Many companies have multiple customer service channels. Chances are, you cannot dedicate an equal amount of manpower to each channel. To make more efficient resource allocations, consider tracking contact volume as part of your customer service metrics. Track volume by channel to understand when customers turn to each channel to get answers and support. With the results, you can ensure that your staff members are monitoring the correct channels at the correct times. Be prepared to rethink your current model; you may find that modern channels such as social media are more important to customers than traditional phone support.

With the right customer service metrics, your company can better equip itself to provide fast and effective service. Tracking the data over the short and long term empowers you to spot patterns and make changes to address shifting customer demands, ensuring that your business stays relevant.


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