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Measuring the Right Customer Service Metrics


Now that we understand the importance of measuring the right customer service metrics, it’s time to drill down and look at the specific metrics that matter the most for customer service evaluation. Monitoring these 11 metrics will show you how well your contact center is performing and give you a platform to make positive changes.


#1. Customer Satisfaction: CSAT Scores

A customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is used to determine a customer’s level of satisfaction with a product or overall experience. In a contact center scenario, the CSAT score would determine a customer’s level of satisfaction with the service provided. The first step towards determining a CSAT score is a customer satisfaction survey. Once you have collected the data from this survey, there are two ways to calculate the CSAT score. The first is to simply take the average of the 1 to 5 score. The second option is to use the 4 to 5 scoring system, where you divide the number of customers who selected either 4 or 5 by the total number of responses and multiply the result by 100. This will show you the percentage of customers who consider themselves happy according to the survey.


#2. Abandon Rates

The abandon rate refers to the total number of customers who hang up on a call before they are connected to an agent. To calculate the call abandon rate, first count the total number of calls received, then subtract the number of calls that were answered, divide the result by the number of received calls and multiply the answer by 100 for a percentage. The figures can be taken from whatever timeframe (weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.) is appropriate. Do remember that an abandoned call isn’t necessarily a lost cause—a poor customer experience can be salvaged. Give customers the option to request a callback or even create tickets for abandoned calls so agents can follow up. By keeping the possibility of further communication alive, you put yourself in a position to rescue the situation.


#3. First-Call Resolution

This metric measures the frequency with which a customer’s issue is resolved during their first call with an agent. This is an important metric as high rates of first-call resolution indicate that agents have a strong knowledge of the product and are efficient in their approach to dealing with customer issues. It’s also connected to customer satisfaction, as customers are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction when their issues are resolved promptly. Spending too long on calls, or requiring multiple calls, could indicate that agents lack sufficient knowledge of the product or service.


#4. Average Handling Time (AHT)

Average handling time (AHT) refers to the time an agent spends resolving a customer call. It’s not limited to phone interactions, however, and takes into account time across other contact channels like email and live chat. The AHT metric serves two purposes; raising customer service standards and monitoring agent performance. The first step to reducing AHT is using quality assurance tools to identify the root causes of poor AHT scores. Once you have identified these causes you can take steps to improve agent performance and carry out regular AHT reviews to ensure that your average handling time is trending in the right direction.


#5. Tone and Language

Using the right tone and language when speaking to customers is vital for positive interaction. Voice recognition software can be implemented to scan for keywords used by agents, while a script can provide the basis for successful agent-customer interactions.


#6. Cross-selling

Measuring agent performance in terms of cross-sales can offer a greater insight into how thoroughly your agents understand the needs and want of customers. If an agent is attentive to the needs of a customer, then cross-selling becomes an organic process where the agent is offering additional benefits relevant to that customer. As with every metric on this list, monitoring over time is essential to improving performance in the long run and boosting numbers. Make sure your agents have a method of tracking cross-selling opportunities and whether or not they were successful in closing those opportunities.


#7. Customer Retention

Customer retention rate is another strong indicator of customer service performance in a contact center. Identifying how many of your customers repeatedly purchase your products and services will reveal a lot about how well your agents are meeting their needs in agent-customer interactions. By monitoring the rate and nature of repeat purchases over time, you will start to see trends appearing and can then act accordingly to boost customer retention even further.


#8. Length of Call Time

Generally speaking, the shorter the call, the better the quality of service the customer receives. Call time tells you how quickly agents are getting to the root of the customer’s problem and resolving the issue. If the data reveals a longer-than-desired average call time, you could set up average call time goals for agents to make them more efficient in their interactions with customers.


#9. Handover Rates

Evaluating handover rates can be a useful way to find potential inefficiencies in how agents are handling customer calls. Of course, sometimes it is necessary to transfer a customer to another individual or department to resolve their issue, but if this happens too often the customer may grow frustrated with the perceived inefficiency of the process. A tracking system for how often agents are handing over calls could help decide whether call handovers are occurring too often.


#10. Resolved Tickets

Comparing the number of service tickets with the number of resolved tickets within a defined timeframe will give you a sense of how effective your agents are at resolving customer issues. By digging deeper, you can also pinpoint which types of tickets are going unresolved, highlighting areas that may require improvement. Once you have identified these areas, you can supply targeted training to agents to boost the number of resolved tickets.


#11. Queue Time

We all know how frustrating it is to be stuck on hold, that’s why queue time is an important metric when it comes to evaluating customer service. Being made to wait for an agent is a frustrating experience when the customer just wants to receive the information they need.


This is why queue time is closely linked to abandon rate, another metric we explored earlier. A long queue time can increase the likelihood of the customer hanging up before connecting with an agent, leaving them with a negative perception of the company’s customer service practices. The more productive and efficient agents are, the more calls they will be able to handle in a given time period, thus reducing the likelihood of lengthy queue times.