Unlocking the Key to Exceptional Customer Service: 10 Must-Know Metrics for Success

Last Updated: April 26, 2023

What are customer service metrics?

Customer service is crucial for any business to succeed, but delivering top-notch service isn’t always easy. It requires a deep understanding of what customers want, as well as constant monitoring and improvement of customer service performance. That’s where customer service metrics come in!Customer service KPI metrics are measurements used to evaluate how well a company’s customer service is performing. By tracking customer interactions and analyzing the data, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that improve customer satisfaction. Some examples of customer service metrics include response time, resolution time, customer satisfaction, and call tracking metrics.

Why is tracking metrics important?

Tracking customer service metrics is important because it provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, helps identify areas for improvement, and benchmarks a company’s performance against industry standards and competitors. If a company doesn’t use customer service metrics, they might miss important trends in customer behavior, fail to address customer issues promptly, and ultimately lose customers to competitors.

Using customer service metrics offers several benefits. By measuring customer service performance metrics, companies can gain actionable insights that can be used to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, identify areas for cost savings, and increase efficiency. This can lead to increased revenue through repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

10 Top Customer Service Metrics

Here are essential customer service metrics and different types of KPIs to measure customer service performance.

1. Average Number of Tickets Handled

The average number of tickets handled is the total number of tickets your support agents handle in a day.

The average number of tickets handled per day is a simple but effective indicator of your support team capacity. Measuring individual team member performance gives you insight into how many queries your agents can handle while maintaining quality and customer satisfaction. Too many backlogs could mean you need to hire more people or provide additional training to your customer service team for better resolution times.

How to measure the average number of tickets handled:

Best Practices for Handling Tickets

Handling too few queries leads to inefficiency whereas handling too many affects customer satisfaction. Find the sweet spot of the highest number of queries your agents can handle without affecting customer satisfaction. Tools like HappyFox Business Intelligence can help you report on the queries backlogged each day. You can use this data to hire more people, distribute the workload, or assign fewer tickets to agents.

2. Customer Satisfaction Score or CSAT Score

CSAT score is short for customer satisfaction score, which measures how satisfied your customers are with your business. 

CSAT is one of the most popular and important customer service KPIs used today. The CSAT survey is simple, and it evaluates each customer touchpoint rather than the whole support experience. This way you can address the root cause of any bottlenecks and control the customer churn rate. You can also identify the key moments that earned you a satisfied customer and do it more. Measure CSAT scores by agents using Satisfaction Survey Report. Other common KPIs you can use to track customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). CSAT is calculated with respect to the number of happy customers and the total number of customers who responded to your survey.

How to measure customer satisfaction score:

Best Practices for Customer Satisfaction Score

Create satisfaction surveys that work. Use A/B testing to find which platform gives you the best response rates. The timing of the survey is equally important. Don’t ask about product experience to a new customer who hasn’t used your product enough. Triggering the right surveys at the right time is the best way to gauge honest customer opinions and filter out the noise. And how to provide a satisfying customer experience so that your customers rate you a 10 every single time? There is only one way. Put customers first and improve their experience at all turns, from selling to supporting.

3. Average First Response Time

The first response time is the timeframe between when customers log a query and when they receive the first response. 

Surveys show that customers who give the highest satisfaction ratings are the ones who get their first response in under 60 minutes. Average first response or first reply time is both a performance and success metric, as it reflects both efficiency and subject matter expertise of your support team. 

How to measure average first response time:

Best Practices for Average First Response Time

Customers don’t like waiting. Start from there. Your customer support team should be equipped with the tools and resources to respond to incoming tickets as quickly as realistically possible. Setting realistic goals is important. Your customer service agents can respond to a live chat ticket within one minute, but not an email ticket. Secondly, prioritize and assign tickets intelligently. An urgent ticket shouldn’t sit around for hours nor should an easy ticket be assigned to an expert where a simple knowledge base article could’ve done the trick.

4. Average Response Time

Average response time is the typical time taken by a support agent to respond when a customer contacts. 

Unlike first response times, average response time is more of a performance metric than a success metric. Success metrics are great, but day-to-day targets are just as important, and you need to set certain benchmarks in place for team accountability. Businesses mention average response time in service level agreements (SLAs) to let customers know what to expect when reaching the support team. It makes business hours and availability clear so that customers don’t feel like they are left hanging. Setting the expectations right improves customer satisfaction and hence customer retention rate.

Now, how do you evaluate your team’s SLA compliance? One of the best ways is to maintain SLA reports comparing your team performance against your SLA targets. This will help you spot any discrepancies and adjust your sails at the start, instead of rectifying them after multiple customer complaints or escalations. 

How to measure average response time:

Best Practices for Average Response Time

If your support staff are knowledgeable about the product, they can reply quickly to customers without having to ask an expert or refer to a source. Ensure their product knowledge with regular training and brainstorming sessions. Sometimes, agents respond late simply because they never knew the customer has made a response to the previous question. Use HappyFox’s Notifications feature to get notified about customer responses in real-time so that you never miss a response.  

5.Average Time to Closure

Time to closure or resolution time is the time elapsed between the logging of a customer request and its resolution. 

The average time to closure is affected by a number of factors including the complexity of the customer issue, the time of logging, and your support team’s resourcefulness. Ticket resolution time should be continuously optimized so that occasional issues don’t interrupt the experience customers have with your business.

How to measure average time to closure:

Best Practices for Average Time to Closure

Simply put, reduce the time between each stage of the ticket. An incoming ticket should be assigned to the right agent right away or else a random agent has to spend time grasping the subject matter and coming up with a solution. Also when adding a solution to the ticket, have a mechanism that automatically pushes the ticket status from ‘open’ to ‘in progress’ or ‘open’ to ‘closed’. Manually performing these recurring actions would stretch your overall time to closure or ticket resolution time.

6. Average Responses

Average responses are the number of responses or interactions involved in a ticket from open to closure. 

This KPI counts the back and forth replies in every individual interaction between the customer and the support agent. Whether you measure it to optimize the support interactions or to remove any inefficiencies, the ultimate purpose of this metric is to speed up the resolution. You need to have a smart tracking system in place so that your team does not have to spend time reporting on these metrics, which is a separate and tedious task in itself. Set up reports like Agent Activity Report and Smart Rules Report which utilize automation and pre-set rules to track your team performance.

How to measure average responses:

Best Practices for Average Responses

The best way to arrive at a resolution with minimal interaction is by asking crisp and clear questions that would fetch you only the important information and filter out the rest. This does not mean you should rush the customer. Take time to listen to the customer and understand their point of view, but if the interaction takes a diversion, politely circle back to the important part to ensure maximum efficiency.

7. Average Responses to Closure

Average responses to closure are the total number of responses the agent made from the first response until the closure. 

Average responses to closure have a direct correlation with many other important customer support metrics. Keeping responses per query minimal will drastically improve your first response time, the average time to closure, and the average response or reply time. However, simply trying to decrease responses per resolution might make your customers feel rushed towards closure. Equip your support team with resources and clarity so the customers get the solution they want with minimal interactions. 

How to measure average responses to closure:

Best Practices for Average Response to Closure

Keep a set of crisp questions ready that will help you understand customer information that’s crucial to resolving the query. Avoid prolonged back and forth with the help of knowledgeable support staff and features that allow your staff to collaborate within the tickets. 

8. First Contact Resolution

The first contact resolution is moving the support request to closure in the very first interaction. 

Multiple interactions are a recipe for frustration for both your customers and your support team. Some queries do require more time and attention than usual, but not all. It is both an efficiency and a success metric because it requires the support agent to have information at their fingertips. Tracking this metric will also help you understand your team member’s strengths and weaknesses, which you can balance out with additional training. Use Help Desk Performance Reports to track and drill down the first contact resolution rate by teams, agents, departments, and industries. 

How to measure first contact resolution rate:

Best Practices for First Contact Resolution

The best way to resolve a ticket at first contact is to have a support team that knows that product like the back of their hand. They know what the right solution is, with extensive product knowledge and continuous experience dealing with issues your customers commonly face.

9. Ticket Backlog

Ticket backlog refers to the number of unresolved support tickets at a given amount of time. 

These tickets exceed the typical resolution time due to any or all of the following reasons — complexity, unexpected spike in ticket volume, or any dip in team performance. These backlogs also indicate the gap between targets vs reality. If your customer service team faces a constant ticket backlog, it is either time to address your staffing needs or assess your team’s performance. Or simply, you need a reality check on your targets. Start assessing your ticket nature by Ticket Inflow and Ticket Distribution Reports or even make your own Custom Fields to include metrics exclusive to your business.

How to measure ticket backlog:

Best Practices for Ticket Backlog

Understand the nature of your customer tickets and allot resources appropriately. Don’t take on more than your support agents can handle and leave tickets hanging. But sometimes, you can’t help ticket backlogs. You may have launched a new product that’s generating a huge influx of incoming tickets, or you have a website situation that crashed your chatbot and your email or social media ticket volume has spiked since. Have SLA targets and notifications that keep you on top of backlogs and prevent escalations or late resolutions.  

10. Average Handling Time

AHT is the average time a support member spends on a customer query, from open to closure. 

Average handling time or average handle time (AHT) includes the entire time spent on a ticket – total conversation time, hold time, and the time taken to complete any post-closure tasks. Operating on customers’ issues quickly will ensure they get an uninterrupted experience using your products and services. 

How to measure average handle time:

Best Practices to Average Handling Time

Optimize your support workflows. If the steps you take to resolve a query is as concise as it can be, you won’t waste time doing unimportant tasks. You will know how to arrive at the solution and how to arrive fast. Try HappyFox Workflows, a no-code process automation tool that will help you break down chaotic ticket processes into manageable and automated workflows.

Why Measuring Response Time is Important

Response time is a crucial metric for customer service that measures how quickly customers receive a response to their inquiries or requests. It is essential for businesses to provide a quick response time to create a positive customer experience. To improve response time, companies can invest in chatbots or self-service options, train customer service agents on effective communication skills, and implement automated response systems. Happyfox BI offers average first response time and average response time fields out of the box, saving the trouble of creating those fields manually. The Business Hours feature allows clients to enter their work schedule and calculate the response time based on their work schedule. Additionally, the Benchmarks feature helps users identify outliers in case of response time.

How to Effectively Measure Resolution Time

Another important metric is resolution time, which measures how long it takes for a customer’s issue to be fully resolved. Businesses can reduce resolution time by optimizing internal processes, enhancing agent training and resources, and implementing technology to automate tasks. It is essential to track and analyze customer service metrics to gain valuable insights, identify areas for improvement, and benchmark performance against competitors. Prioritizing customer service metrics can improve customer satisfaction, increase efficiency, and ultimately drive more revenue. By utilizing the SLA data points available in Happyfox BI, one can compare resolution time against the set SLA to gain insights into team performance. As the saying goes, “what gets measured gets managed,” and companies that prioritize customer service metrics will undoubtedly reap the benefits in the long run.

What Gets Measured! Gets Managed!

It’s essential to track customer service metrics to measure performance and understand the impact on customer relationships. By using scalable metrics, businesses can optimize their customer support function to provide better service and enhance customer satisfaction. The benefits of tracking and improving customer service metrics include identifying areas for improvement, enhancing the customer experience, reducing customer churn, and increasing revenue. HappyFox BI provides a variety of reports to help businesses maximize their support team productivity. To learn more about how HappyFox BI can help your business, sign up for a demo with their product experts.