11 Customer Service Metrics Behind Every Successful Organization

The old adage “the customer is always right” may not always be true, but it bears repeating in today’s customer-centric marketplace.  Consider the following customer service statistics:

• 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them
• 60% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did just one year ago
• 45% of customers can’t remember having recent successful customer service

The fact of the matter is that today’s customers have higher expectations than ever before – and it’s up to companies to provide them with the types of experiences they’re looking to have.  Not doing so risks losing customers to the competition, not to mention damaging an organization’s brand and reputation.

To shed light on the customer service metrics that can help companies to provide exceptional customer experiences, we’ve compiled the following curated list from sources across the Internet.  Enjoy!

1) Customer Satisfaction

“There’s almost always a very strong correlation between the health and growth of an organization and the satisfaction of its customers, and that makes customer satisfaction a metric that every business should track and commit to improving.

The question is, what are the most effective ways to track this metric?  In the case of online customer service, for example, emails from customer service staff can include a link that allows the customer to rate each interaction.  For tracking long term trends, a short survey sent out to the email subscriber list provides insight into how happy customers are with the organization as a whole.”

(Source: Salesforce)

2) Satisfaction Improvement

“One way to measure customer service is to track changes in customer satisfaction over time. If, for example, satisfaction has gone down over the last couple of years, [that would be an indication] change is likely in order. But if it’s improving, or if a company has already achieved high levels of customer satisfaction and they’re staying constant, then it’s on the right track.”

(Source: Small Biz Trends)

3) Post-Incident Surveys by Channel

“Following an interaction, asking customers about the agent’s customer service skills, technical knowledge, completeness of solution provided, time to respond, and resolve and satisfaction can measure both effectiveness and consistency across channels.”

(Source: Parature)

4) Problem Resolution Time

“Companies that provide rapid and accurate fixes to issues have far higher customer satisfaction ratings than companies that do not pose any issues for their customers, at all.  Speed is a single variable that needs to be factored in, but [companies should not pat themselves] on the back for answering questions within one minute if they’re not doing it efficiently.”

(Source: Buffer)

5) Channel Attribution

“[Companies should] take a page from marketing and use channel attribution (i.e tying user actions or sources to outcomes) to get more clarity on customer complaints.

It’s a good idea to find patterns throughout channel sources. Maybe inquiries from the knowledge base are more technical while live chat requests are simple onboarding questions. Organizations can use this info to deliver the right solutions at the right time.”

(Source: Salesforce Desk)

6) Average Handle Time

“This is not an ultimate success metric — using Average Handle Time to drive a business could lead to agents focusing on closing tickets rather than making customers happy — but it can help managers benchmark efficiency across their team, and it can help organizations make sure that their customers aren’t being left waiting too long.”

(Source: Groove)

7) Customize Metrics That Are Right for the Business

“Predefined activity metrics provided by customer service software tools are vendors’ best guesses at the measures that will be needed.  [Companies should] use these metrics as starting points to help guide the definition of metrics that are valuable for them to track. For example, don’t only track handle time, but also track hold time to understand the customer’s experience when waiting in a queue.”

(Source: Forrester)

8) Repeat Purchase Intention

“Customer satisfaction can influence customers on whether they will renew their contracts or purchase more products from an organization.  By asking customers directly, companies can gauge a good indication on how satisfied they are with the company and see whether they will continue doing business with the organization in the future.”

(Source: Client Heartbeat)

9) Sentiment Analysis & Social Listening

“Sentiment analysis measures the acoustic characteristics of a telephone caller (i.e., physical stress in the voice, changes in the stress, and the rate of speech) and meshes these acoustic measures with the overall context of the conversation to determine the true meaning behind spoken words.

This same concept can be applied across social media channels as well.  By “listening” to positive and negative company mentions across social networks, companies can use these insights to take actionable steps to improve the customer experience and overall impression of the company.”

(Source: CallMiner)

10) Frequency of Up-Sells & Cross-Sells

“The boundaries between sales and services departments have blurred for modern day businesses. That is why up-selling and cross-selling have become important customer service metrics for many organizations.

Higher up-selling and cross-selling rates mean service departments are doing an exceptional job and successfully convincing customers to spend more on a company’s products. This eventually improves the per customer dollar value, another key organizational KPI.”

(Source: Hiver)

11) Incident Volume

“It’s important [for companies] to monitor the volume of calls and inquiries they get daily. It helps to find out if there is any rush of support traffic at certain times of the day. [It also provides insight into when to] allocate most employees and resources to customer service.

Although businesses have working hours, customers may run on a different schedule. They’ll try to reach the organization as soon as they face an issue.  Companies can note the most frequently called times and prepare for them, even if they’re outside business hours.”

(Source: Business2Community)

Final Thoughts

The above list captures a handful of essential customer service metrics to survive – and thrive – in today’s competitive customer-centric business landscape.  What suggestions would you add?

Image Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Rasulovs