Customer service is the backbone of every business, as its relationship with its customers directly affects its success.
Take Trader Joe’s and Amazon, for example. Forbes lists both companies as one of the 100 most customer-centric companies. Why? They focus on the customer service experience. Trader Joe’s customers love the company so much that the chain has the second highest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score.
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, constantly implements new ideas to please its customers, like one-day and same-day shipping on select products. They have also implemented easy returns and fast refunds — a business model that addresses and fixes customer problems.
Amazon and Trader Joe’s are likely able to excel because they monitor critical metrics related to the service they provide. In this post, learn about critical customer service and service desk KPIs that will help you understand your support strategies and improve customer satisfaction.
Customer Service KPI Examples
Key performance indicators are a measurement tool used to measure employee and company performance. They are necessary for businesses to establish, measure, and evaluate goals. Customer service KPIs include:
1. First Response Time
First response time (FRT) is the time that elapses between a customer sending their first support ticket and an agent’s response.
Using this metric helps a company measure the effectiveness of its team when it comes to the promptness of support staff and whether teams have enough resources to respond to requests on time. Delays in response time can negatively affect a customer’s interaction with a business, making it one of the most monitored customer service KPIs.
2. Average Resolution Time
Average resolution time is how long it takes to solve a support ticket from start to finish, and the length of time usually varies based on the complexity of the issue. However, lower resolution times are a better marker for success as they ensure quick resolutions of customer calls.
3. Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) is similar to average resolution time, but there is a slight difference.
AHT is the average time an agent spends on a ticket. For example, suppose a support rep is resending a package to a customer. The handling time ends when the agent communicates the new shipping information to the customer and closes the ticket. The resolution time ends once a customer actually receives the product.
4.Number of Tickets
A necessary part of customer service is anticipating how many issues can arise. Problems are bound to happen. This metric indicates whether the team is equipped and available to handle the number of tickets.
5. Number of Resolved Tickets
This KPI refers to the number of tickets an individual agent or team as a whole has received and resolved within a given period.
6. Number of Tickets by Medium
The number of tickets by medium KPI refers to the number of tickets per different channels that customers use to reach out to support teams. For example, the total number of individual tickets opened over the phone, via email, live chat, or social media.
7. Escalation Rate
Escalation rate is a percentage that represents the number of support tickets that escalate to a person with more experience or specialized knowledge. The person receiving the escalated ticket is typically a supervisor or manager.
8. Customer Satisfaction Score
Typically after an experience with support staff, customers are encouraged to fill out a survey based on their experience. Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) show how happy customers are with the service provided and how well customer service team members handle customer issues and complaints.
Not all businesses can have large customer service teams, and many rely on service desks to manage their budgets, resources, and customer service all at once. Customer service KPIs and service desk KPIs are relatively similar, but it’s essential to understand their different applications.
Service Desk KPIs
A service desk, often automated, is a program that manages the communication between a company and its customers. Most platforms give businesses a collaborative system with features that include a shared inbox, canned responses and actions, app integrations, and advanced metrics reporting.
The key performance indicators of service desks are similar to that of standard customer service KPIs but focus on the timeliness and effectiveness of the automated systems through metrics like average resolution time, resolved tickets, and CSAT.
In addition to those already featured on this list, the following are additional metrics used to measure service desk performance.
1. First Contact Resolution Rate
First contact resolution rate is different from the average resolution time as it measures the percentage of tickets solved during initial content. While it is a marker for efficiency, it can skew metrics as some issues are more complex and require more time to resolve.
2. Average Reply Time
Average reply time measures how long it takes agents to respond to customer queries across all communication with a customer, not just how long it takes to respond to initial outreach. For example, the amount of time it takes the agent to respond to each chat message sent by a customer.
3. Agent Touches Per Ticket
Customers look to have their problems solved quickly, so they typically dislike the constant back and forth to solve a problem. Agent touches per ticket is the number of times an agent communicates with a customer before resolving an issue. A high number of touches per ticket can negatively affect the customer satisfaction rate.
4. Knowledge Base Views
Knowledge base views have nothing to do with customer interaction with an agent. This metric measures the number of page views on FAQ or support pages. It enables companies to identify trends in customer issues based on the volume of their searches.
5. Abandonment Rate
A metric reserved for phone calls, call abandonment rate measures how many callers hang up before speaking to a service agent. High abandonment rates hurt overall customer service and satisfaction. In 2020, Talkdesk reported that the three industries with the highest average abandonment rate were the government and public sector (7.44%), transportation and logistics (7.4%), and healthcare (6.91%).
While monitoring all these KPIs can become overwhelming, especially for small businesses, programs like Plecto are effective for keeping track of KPIs. Plecto is an engagement and motivation platform that enables companies to build custom KPIs while providing real-time reports, contests, and achievements for their staff. While they offer solutions for customer service, the all-encompassing platform has assistance for other departments like sales, marketing, and development.
The KPIs are always right.
In business, one often hears the customer is always right. Customer service KPIs are a great indicator of what is actually right in a business. They allow companies to measure the success of their support staff through the efficiency of their work and the satisfaction of their customers. Satisfied customers = successful business.