customer service stats

Customer Service Stats: The Ones to Measure in 2023

Customer service stats are the driving force in most contact centers. Previously, we’ve discussed the key call center metrics, but which ones are the most relevant in 2023?

MyCustomer’s recent survey of customer experience leaders asked about the most common customer service stats being used to measure customer experience performance and what metrics customer experience leaders are themselves being measured against.

Some of the responses won’t be a big surprise. Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score are still top priorities.

However, there are a few downtrends. CX leaders are increasingly less interested in average ticket issue time, likelihood to buy again, and number of interactions per ticket.

On the flip side, financial customer service stats are growing increasingly relevant to CX leaders.

Let’s take a look at the top stats being measured.

Customer Satisfaction: King of customer service stats

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is still king, with 76% of respondents saying they measure it and 39% saying they are measured by it.

With CSAT, customers are presented with a quick survey after a customer service event, where they’re asked to rate their service—usually from 1 to 5, with a higher number indicating higher satisfaction.

To calculate CSAT, you take the number of satisfied customers and divide by the number of total responses, and then multiply by 100 to find the percentage of satisfied customers. When using a 1—5 scale, ratings of 4 or 5 are usually used in the calculation of satisfied customers.

As a formula, it looks like this:

(Satisfied Customers / Total Survey Responses) x 100

So if you have 90 satisfied customers and 100 total responses, you’d have a CSAT of 90%.

However, CSAT has drawbacks, the biggest of which is that most customers won’t bother with the survey, so a CS rep getting a CSAT rating at all is noteworthy. And usually, customers only respond if the survey was exceptional or poor.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is still near the top, with 71% of respondents saying they measure it and 49% saying they are measured by it. It’s still the most common metric by which CX leadership is judged.

“Meanwhile, there is very little change elsewhere, with NPS—right or wrongly—remaining the most common metric used to measure the performance of CX leadership,” the MyCustomer report says.

NPS is similar to CSAT, but is calculated a bit differently. Customers are asked about their likelihood of recommending a product or service from 0 to 10. Scores of 9 or 10 are considered “promoters” while scores of 0 to 6 are considered “detractors.” The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

While CSAT is used to measure short-term interactions, NPS is aimed at long-term customer loyalty.

Retention Rate

47% of respondents say they measure retention rates and 33% say they are measured by retention. Retention is simply a measurement of customer loyalty, or even more simply: how many of your customers keep coming back?

What’s interesting is that retention isn’t more popular, especially given the increased interest in retention with an anticipated economic recession. CustomerGauge surveyed B2B executives in 2018 and found that 32% of them were unaware of their retention rate.

Measuring retention is simple enough:

[(Total Customers at the End of the Period – New Customers at the End of the Period) / Customers at the Start of the Period] x 100

A “good” retention rate depends on your industry, but CustomerGauge specifies 77% for B2B companies.

Customer Effort Score

The Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how easily the customer uses your product, resolves complaints, or finds information. Phrased another way: how much work must a customer do to be your customer? It’s often a leading indicator of customer loyalty.

42% of CX leaders surveyed said they measure CES, but only 21% said they were measured on CES.

Gathering CES consists of a single-question survey that usually asks the customer something like “COMPANY made it easy to solve my problem,” with a scale from 1 to 7, with 1 being a strong disagree and 7 being strong agreement.

Since CES only highlights one aspect of the customer experience, it should be paired with other metrics like CSAT and NPS to get a full picture. Like the CSAT, CES offers a reflection of one point in time, as opposed to NPS, which seeks more long-term sentiment.

Implement CES gathering after major touchpoints to highlight friction points the CSAT and NPS might miss. For instance, customers might be pleased overall with their service interaction, but find that they had to jump through too many hoops to arrive at it.

Customer Churn

No, we’re not making butter for our customers. Essentially, churn is the opposite of retention.

Here’s a formula for calculating churn:

(Customers at the Start of the Period – Total Customers at the End of the Period) / Customers at the Start of the Period X 100

The ideal churn rate is 0%, but that’s not realistic. It’s good to monitor both retention and churn to get a full picture of customer loyalty.

According to respondents, 39% are measuring churn while only 23% are being rated on churn.

ROI and Financial Customer Service Stats

Now we get into a growing trend: customer experience leaders being asked to justify returns. 37% of respondents said they measure revenue and financial metrics while 27% measure ROI. 40% are measured on financial metrics and 28% are measured on ROI.

As economic conditions worsen, more pressure is being placed on leaders, but the hurdle is that there isn’t yet a standard way to measure these customer service stats. 79% say that proving the financial contribution of their customer experience program is growing more important.

“There are almost no organisations measuring ROI in one standardised way, or similar to others, since what matters most for company X may make no sense to company Y. ROI could mean revenue generation, growth, or even satisfying leaders’/partners’/customers’ expectations. In my experience, in each division, group or new acquisition, the expectations about CX programmes and large initiatives related to ROI are very different,” Ricardo Saltz Gulko, founder of the European Customer Experience Organization, says in the report.

So how do you measure the ROI of your customer experience?

“Our view is that you have to do research to find out what is most important to your most valuable customers and the impact of improving that on their profitability and ultimately the ROI of CX. That is what you should be measuring,” Shaun Smith, founder of Smith+Co Consultancy, says in the report.

In other words, identify your most profitable customers and find out what makes them happy. Smith mentioned that for Premier Inn, the quality of the “sleep experience” has a direct impact on customer loyalty and retention, so they offer a “Good Night Guarantee” that provides a refund if a guest didn’t sleep well.

Smith gives another example of an American client he worked with. “…we identified that their loyal clients were worth three times more than the average client and what this represented in profitability. We also knew the three main drivers of loyalty and their impact on client revenues, so these became the key metrics that were used to track the impact of their CX initiative.”

Smith emphasizes the importance of that fine-tuned data in your ROI efforts.

“The problem is that rather than find out what is important and then how best to measure it, many organisations buy ‘off-the-shelf’ VoC platforms that measure many different attributes often centred around NPS. They then examine all of these measures, but with little understanding of their financial impact,” Smith says.

Measuring ROI is simple but maybe not easy or transferable between organizations: give your profitable customers what they want.

Which customer service stats matter most to you?

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