How To Measure Customer Service

Philip Cleave
October 28, 2022
Customer service team working to deliver a great customer experience

Nearly every business wants to be known for providing a great customer service. Not only does this make you feel good, but it can be a great differentiator for your business.

When it’s performed really well customer service can have nearly as much impact as a strong sales funnel or engaging marketing campaigns. This is because it’s easier to make a sale when your customers feel supported, and word-of-mouth marketing following an extraordinary experience is one of the best pitches on the market.

In fact, when it comes to sales, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with a company, if they’ve delivered a great customer service for them.

However, you will only be able to achieve this if you can measure and then improve how well your customer service teams are performing. And to do this you need to have some effective metrics in place.

But before we go on to explore some common measurements, it’s worth reiterating why ongoing monitoring of your customer service teams – and reviewing how satisfied customers are with them – is so important.

The benefits of measuring and monitoring customer service

There are many benefits to be gained from monitoring the quality of your customer service, but here’s some key ones.

It can help you identify areas for improvement

Whatever business you run; you’ll want to serve your customers as best as you possibly can.  With the right data you’ll know exactly which aspects of your customer service and the customer experience (CX) you’re delivering that needs extra attention.

If you’re gathering and monitoring customer service data, you’ll also have the tangible evidence you need to help inform decisions and make process improvements.

You’ll know what you’re doing well

Besides knowing what you need to improve it’s also valuable to know which areas you’re performing well.

While you might have a hunch about where you’re performing well, with measurable data from surveys and metrics you’ll have the proof. You’ll then be able to celebrate these successes with your teams and help keep them motivated to improve in areas where they may be underperforming.

You’ll drive more customer satisfaction

When you know how to measure customer service success and where to make any necessary improvements it should help you to retain more happy and loyal customers.

On the flip side, without any measurements in place, imagine the disastrous bottom-line impact of repeatedly poor service quality that goes unnoticed.

This makes it even more crucial to build out a solid, data-driven customer service strategy that helps to mitigate these types of risks.

Metrics for measuring customer service performance

When it comes to measuring customer service performance, there are lots of metrics you can deploy, with some likely to be more familiar with you than others.

However, when used in combination with each other, these KPIs can help provide a well-rounded view of your performance and what more you need to do moving forward.

Average resolution time

Generally, the quicker you can resolve their problems, the happier your customers will be.

By using the average resolution time metric you’ll quickly be able to see how your performance stacks up. To work out your average resolution time, simply calculate the sum of all case resolution durations, then divide this by your total number of customer cases.

Customer service abandonment rates

Another useful metric is the customer service abandonment rate.

It is generally accepted that the industry standard for abandon rate is somewhere around the 12% mark. However, this can vary slightly depending on the sector you operate in.

To calculate it, divide the number of abandoned customer service enquiries by your total number of enquiries.

First response time

Most customers expect immediate assistance. You can find out how well your support teams are meeting this by calculating your first response time.

Simply calculate the average duration between the moment a customer reaches out and the length of time it takes a customer service agent to respond.

Resolution rate

Having worked out your first response times, it’s beneficial to know what your resolution rate is.

To calculate your overall resolution rate, subtract the number of unresolved cases from your volume of customer enquiries, then divide this by the total number of enquiries. The fewer you have left unresolved, the more successful your customer service has been.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

If you’re looking to get a top-level measure of your customers’ happiness with your customer service performance, the CSAT metric is a really effective option.

The CSAT metric question is typically executed within a customer satisfaction survey and in the context of customer service could be introduced using the following wording:

How satisfied were you with your latest service experience?

Respondents would then be asked to rank their satisfaction with something on a scale of 1 – 5, where 1 represented being “very dissatisfied” and 5 represented “very satisfied”.

You then need to take add up all the responses where you’ve been given a 4 or 5 rating and divide these by your total number of responses to get your overall CSAT score, which should sit something between zero and 100.

A quicker and more convenient way of measuring your customer satisfaction levels is also available with our CSAT calculator.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

One of the newer customer service measurement metrics, CES helps you to track how much effort your customers feel they’ve had to dedicate towards resolving an issue with you.

The customer effort score can be measured by asking your customers the following question:

How easy was it to do X, Y, or Z?

Respondents are asked to rate the effort involved in their interaction using a 5-point scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

You then calculate CES by finding the average of all responses. This involves taking the total sum of responses and dividing them by the total number of survey respondents to reveal your overall CES score, which should lie somewhere between 1 and 5.

A quicker way to generate your score is available using our CES calculator.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

One of the most popular metrics for measuring customer service performance and customer satisfaction with it is the NPS® metric. And because it’s used by a lot of companies, it can provide a useful barometer of how well you’re performing against others in your industry over time.

In this context, customer service performance could be measured by asking your customers the following question:

Based on your latest service experience, how likely is it that you would recommend our service and our company to a friend or colleague?

Respondents would be asked to rate their likelihood to recommend based on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 would be extremely unlikely to 10, which would be extremely likely.

These answers would then be sorted into three groups including:

  • Detractors – this would include anyone rating you between 0 – 6
  • Neutral – this would include anyone rating you with a score of 7 or 8
  • Promoters – this would include anyone rating you with a score of 9 or 10

The Net Promoter Score question is then calculated by working out the difference between your proportion of promoters and detractors, to generate a score of anywhere between -100 and 100. A simpler way of calculating this figure is available using our NPS calculator.

The higher your score the more satisfied your customers are likely to be with your service and the customer experience you’re delivering.

Customer retention rate

The final metric you could look to use is the customer retention rate. While it’s the opposite of the customer churn rate, both these metrics can offer an indication of satisfaction levels by assessing how likely it is for your customers to stick with you.

To calculate your retention rate, you need to initially subtract your number of new customers from the total at the end of a specified time period. You then need to divide the number of customers you retained by the total number of customers you had at the start of that period. Any figure close to 1 indicates high retention.

How to measure your customer service success

Having gained an insight into the wide range of metrics available for measuring customer service performance, you’ll want to know how you can apply some of these within your own organization.

While every business is different it’s customers will still broadly follow a similar journey with them, interacting with touchpoints at the awareness and consideration stages, right through to purchase, retention and advocacy. And while it’s essential to maintain high levels of customer service quality throughout these stages, you need to be delivering great customer experiences to.

Fortunately, if you’re using these key metrics at the right stages and they’re integrated effectively with your critical systems, the data you receive should ensure you always know what’s going on with your customers and be able to take the necessary actions to keep them happy.  Having a complete picture of the journey that each customer takes with you should also help you to deliver the best possible experiences for them.

Measure and deliver better experiences for your customers

Being able to measure your customers’ satisfaction level is essential if you’re to deliver a better service and experiences for them. But you still need the right metrics and survey tools to achieve the best results.

Find out more

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If you would like more information then please get in touch.