We track customer satisfaction metrics so we can track our progress towards our goals.
Have you noticed there are – by my estimate – about a million different home renovation shows on TV? They come in different flavors – a mother-daughter duo, a husband-wife duo, a cat-dog duo (ok, I made the last one up, but I’d watch) – but they’re effectively all the same show. So, why do we seem to have an insatiable desire for more?
It’s because these shows are instant gratification on steroids. Rarely in real-life do we get to see changes on that scale happen in such a short span of time. Most change is incremental and the only way to see something dramatic is to compare two distant points in time.
We all want to see progress and we all want to be successful. However, without a concrete measure that’s very difficult to do. Home renovation shows usually end showing the profit they made–or lost. That’s their concrete measure to know if they were successful.
Measuring success in your work-life isn’t any different. You need some key indicators of success. You need your metaphorical “profit margin.” But with a long list of potential metrics you could track, how do you know which ones are most useful for you?
In this article, we cover what we think are the best customer service metrics you can track to show your team’s success.
- Average Resolution Time
- Customer Effort Score
- Churn Rate
- Renewal Rate
- Customer Satisfaction
1. Average Resolution Time
Have you ever gone to dinner and had an incredible time but then had to wait forever to get your check? It’s a weird spot to find yourself. On one hand, the meal was great. You’re satisfied and the service was good but after it’s over you’re kinda stuck. It can leave a strange blemish on an otherwise great experience.
The same can be true with support interactions. A friendly agent can keep someone’s anger at bay for some amount of time, but eventually they need closure. Average resolution time is a metric tracking how long it takes an issue to be completely resolved. It’s a good overview of how efficient your team is overall, which is why it’s a great metric to track for team success.
There’s research showing that customers appreciate a quick response–even in some cases over a complete response. That said, one survey by Forrester found 66% of respondents said valuing their time was the most important thing a company could do to provide them with good online customer service.
It makes sense. No one likes a long back-and-forth, just like no one likes having to wait forever for the check.
2. Customer Effort Score
We all know the phrase, “is the juice worth the squeeze?” It’s a clever way of asking if the effort you gave was worth what you got in return. For your team, customer effort score (CES) is the measure of the squeeze to juice ratio.
Since it’s a measure of sentiment, CES is more a team metric than an individual one. No one person is responsible for all aspects of the customer experience when contacting support. That’s the responsibility of everyone on your team (and even across the company!).
This metric can alert you to inefficiencies in the overall process, which is very powerful. Perhaps your contact form isn’t in an obvious enough spot. Or maybe the customer had to explain their issue multiple times and be transferred around to different agents.
No matter the case, it’s a score that’s representative of the customer’s entire experience. Forbes has even published an article saying reducing customer effort is the best investment you can make. Measuring CES will show whether your team is succeeding in their efforts to provide customers with an easy experience.
3. Churn Rate
A study by American Express found that one-third of customers would consider switching services after just one poor experience. That’s a pretty stark reality. Since customer support is the most common touch-point for a customer, it means that service representatives have the opportunity to positively impact customer churn.
Customer churn is the measure of how many customers left your company in a given span of time (for example, you may look at the churn rate for a previous quarter). Churn is a strong measure of the health of your business, because if you can’t keep customers, you can’t stay in business. It would simply get too expensive to always have to acquire new customers. Plus, along with costing less, long-term customers spend more on average than new customers and are more receptive to new products.
As with CES, churn is a broad indicator of how your team is doing as a whole. If customers are generally happy, they’ll probably continue doing business with you. If they’re not, they won’t.
4. Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score®️, or NPS®️ for short, is another measure of customer sentiment. It’s a great tool–in our opinion– for two reasons: it’s easy for customers to respond to and it provides the company with both quantitative and qualitative data.
An NPS survey only has two questions. The first asks the respondent to rate on a scale of 1-10 how likely they are to recommend your company to others (that’s where the quantitative data comes from). The second question asks why they gave the number rating they did (this is the qualitative data).
The quantitative measure gives you a metric that you can track over time. The quantitative data is a great way to get further context about any low scores given. That information can end up being incredibly valuable to create action items for team improvement.
5. Customer Satisfaction
We’ve talked about a number of metrics that are customer-service-adjacent but nothing that’s a direct measure of satisfaction. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a great way to know exactly how well your team is doing as it’s a direct measure of how satisfied a customer is.
It can be viewed as a metric for individual agents or for your team as a whole. These surveys are meant to measure the satisfaction of a specific interaction, so make sure you’re asking the right questions in your CSAT survey.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to take a high-level view of CSAT. For example, you could run month-over-month reports to see how the scores compare. Analyzing at the macro-level helps give you a better team-view and also means any one-off situations (large bug or outage) aren’t skewing results.
Measure Customer Satisfaction to Build Loyal Customers
There’s no way to improve for the future without taking the time to understand current performance. Knowing you want to understand how you’re doing is the first step, the next is deciding on what metrics you’ll track to better understand your performance.
The only way to keep improving is to keep measuring performance and being mindful of different ways that performance could be measured. So, stay curious, stay informed, and you’ll be on your way to success.