Key Customer Service KPIs & Metrics Overview

How to measure the success of the customer service team and improve it? Read here about top customer service KPIs, and how to track and improve the results.

Main Customer Service KPIs & Metrics

We all remember when we are delighted by excellent customer service and exasperation by poor customer service. Getting customer service (and its KPIs) right can have a massive multiplier effect across your organization, such as boosting customer retention, building brand value, and positively impacting other key metrics, such as customer lifetime value. As with anything, in order to get the best results, there need to be clear goals in place. This is where Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, become critical. In this post to the Centrical blog, we’ll discuss some of the most common customer service KPIs, the overall importance of measuring these KPIs, and how Centrical can help your team meet these metrics.

What are the main KPIs in customer service?

Certain customer service KPIs are standard for any customer service unit, while others are unique to certain business types, industries, or even particular companies. When assessing the main customer service KPIs, you first need to determine your overall business KPIs and ensure that your customer service KPIs support these. For example, if you’re selling a SaaS-based subscription product, retaining customers and reducing churn are likely to be key business requirements. In this case, customer service KPIs can be tailored to support these goals. Similarly, if your company is in the business of providing physical products, company leadership will be concerned about customer ratings and reviews, returns, and repeat business. A metric like “churn rate” will be less relevant in this case; a KPI based on customer satisfaction will be super relevant and feed into the main business metrics.

Importance of measuring customer service KPI metrics

“Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy. Fear is not an option.” So said James Cameron to NASA’s Administrator’s Symposium, regarding his search for the Titanic. While certainly dramatic, this quote applies to customer service KPIs. Hope is not a strategy; having clear, well-defined KPIs that are congruent with overall business goals is a strategy -and one that has been proven to work consistently. Setting up the right customer service KPIs and then measuring these adamantly will result in better business results and a more fulfilled and motivated customer service team, ensuring that everyone is pulling in the same direction to achieve overall success.

Overview: the most important customer service KPIs

We’ve just discussed a few basics around customer service KPIs and the importance of measuring these metrics. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most critical customer service KPIs, which are generally agreed to be the following:

Customer satisfaction score

Customer satisfaction scores, also known by the abbreviation “CSAT”, measure to what degree customers’ expectations have been fulfilled. It uses a rating system from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). To calculate the CSAT score, look only at all 4-and 5-star response ratings. Add the total number of these responses, divide by the total number of responses, and multiply by one hundred. This gives you your percentage of satisfied customers.

Net Promoter Score

Where CSAT gives an indication of customer satisfaction, the Net Promoter Score or NPS shows customers’ loyalty to the company, product, or service. NPS was created by Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix, who own the NPS trademark together with Bain & Company. The metric is derived by asking customers how likely they are, on a scale from one to ten, to recommend the company, product, or service. To calculate the Net Promoter Score, the percentage of customers who are detractors (who answered the question with a zero to six rating) is subtracted from the percentage of customers who are considered “promoters” (who answered the question with a “nine” or “ten” rating). NPS is powerful in that it is a simple measurement that captures actions and reflects likely future behavior (e.g., “how likely are you to recommend”) rather than just a feeling right now (e.g., “how satisfied are you?”).

First response time

This KPI measures the time it takes from a customer submitting a request to the time that they receive their first (non-automated) response from a customer service representative. This metric is important as it impacts many other customer service KPIs. For example, a quick first response time is likely to have a positive impact on customer satisfaction scores. It also helps customer service representatives respond quickly before an issue escalates, or a customer leaves a poor rating.

Total tickets

This customer service KPIs demonstrates to company leadership an important internal, as well as external , performance metric. For example, a high number of total tickets relative to the number of frontline team members can mean that your team is overworked, and therefore might not adequately respond to all requests. This could also be an early warning signal that other customer service KPIs won’t be met. From an external perspective, it can be an indication that there is an issue with the product or service –for example if there is a sudden spike in the total ticket number.

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Average resolution time

Average resolution time is calculated by taking the total resolution time –the time it takes from first receiving a request until the issue is solved –and dividing it by the total number of resolved tickets. This metric adds value because it is a key measure of the efficiency of your customer service team.

Escalation rate

The escalation rate shows the rate at which tickets or requests could not be solved by first-line support team members and had to be escalated to a more senior employee. Generally speaking, this customer service KPI should be kept as low as possible. Escalating issues means disruption, friction, and a drain on resources. If your escalation rate increases significantly, it’s worth analyzing what’s driving this increase and getting to the root cause quickly.

Challenges in achieving customer service KPI metrics

There are several challenges in achieving customer service KPI metrics. One of the key challenges is empowering frontline employees to achieve the metrics set. For example, an increase in ticket volume is, in most cases, unrelated to the work of the customer service representatives –it could be the result of a product flaw or a particular time of year. Each customer service KPI brings its own challenges. This is where open and clear communication, together with custom-built customer service software dedicated to keeping the team engaged and fulfilled, comes into play.

Centrical solutions for contact centers

The Centrical platform leverages advanced gamification to help boost customer service team engagement and performance, thus enabling frontline teams to drive measurable impact by delivering:

Faster onboarding-to-proficiency

•Performance-driven microlearning

•Continuous, AI-powered performance insights

Augmented coaching

•And more

From turbocharging customer satisfaction to boosting first call resolution (FCR), to slashing average handle time, the setting, measuring, analyzing, and achieving of great customer service KPIs has never been this simple.

Key Takeaways

Customer service is much more critical to business success than many people realize. Customer service KPIs both drive business performance and reflect challenges and opportunities. We’ve seen this through the importance of customer service KPIs, the challenges in achieving these KPIs, and a look at the main customer service KPIs, including:

•Customer satisfaction score

•Net Promoter Score

•First response time

•Total tickets

•Average resolution time

•Escalation rate

Centrical has partnered with enterprises across industries and the globe to transform frontline teams and drive customer service performance. Ready to change the game at your enterprise? Get started today with a quick preview of what we do, and don’t forget to schedule your personalized overview.

Centrical has partnered with enterprisesacross industries and the globe to transform frontline teams and drive customer service performance. Ready to change the game at your enterprise? Get started today with a quick previewof what we do, and don’t forget to schedule your personalized overview.

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