What is a KPI in customer service?
A Customer Service KPI is a measurable value used by Customer Service Teams to track and determine their progress on specific business objectives. These KPIs help determine how well Customer Service Teams are performing.
Measuring your customer service performance gives you access to some of the most important leading KPI indicators for your business. These, in turn, will go on to influence things like your sales and your customer retention.
Additionally, it will help you to manage your customer service team more efficiently, potentially reducing costs and driving increased job satisfaction.
See how Cascade can display customer service dashboard metrics! Now let's get into what metrics used to track customer service.
We've created a whole bunch of KPIs as part of our KPI examples mini-series. This post is a small supplement to that series, which provides 12 of the most common customer service KPIs, we also include a brief description of why you may want to use each.
We suggest you pick at least 2 KPIs for each of your key business objectives.
If you need to create your own KPIs check out our easy 4 step formula for creating your own great KPIs.
Customer Service KPI Examples
We've identified 3 key areas where we think KPIs will have the biggest impact on the success of your customer service team.
These are Customer Satisfaction, Operational Efficiency, and Business Value KPIs. Hence, we've created 12 examples of KPIs for Customer Service in these areas.
Customer Service Metrics - Customer Support KPIs
These examples of KPIs for customer service will help you understand how happy your customer is overall.
Customer satisfaction can, of course, have a huge influence on the entire organization, including the bottom line. An unhappy customer is less likely to come back...
Number of Support Tickets & Complaints
It’s important for customer service teams to measure the number of new issues/support tickets/complaints being generated every day, week, and month.
This allows you to understand if these new issues correlate to any new business developments such as new product launches. If the number of new issues spikes up, you might need to investigate and resolve the root cause.
Customer Satisfaction KPI
A customer service department needs to keep track of your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. This customer service KPI measures the performance of your customer service department.
You can achieve this by issuing a mini-survey to your customers after they have completed an experience with your service. You need to take it seriously and don’t rely on email feedback alone as your survey mechanism
First Contact Resolution (FCR)
FCR measures the percentage of support issues resolved by the customer service department upon first contact with a customer. For web chats or live calls, this means your agent resolved the issue before the customer ended the chat session or hung up the phone.
FCR is calculated by dividing the number of issues resolved by the customer service department on the first contact by the total number of customer contacts with the department. Issues are deemed “resolved” if the customer says they are resolved.
As a result of this information, you can narrow down to issues that aren’t being resolved on the first contact and address the root cause.
Net Promoter Score
Customers who are very satisfied or even delighted with your customer service will often go a step further and recommend your business to their friends and contacts. Their likelihood to do this can be measured using Net Promoter Score.
This can be a great way to measure the performance of your customer service. We wrote extensively about NPS in one of our previous KPI guides, so check that out for more information.
Abandon Rate of Calls & Chats
Analyzing the abandon rate can help customer service departments decide what measures need to be taken to address the issue. Consequently, the CS department may agree ring-backs should be implemented where a customer has an option to request a call back after holding on to a queue.
Additionally, abandon rates can help you optimize resources such as utilizing staff from other departments during peak hours.
Customer Service KPIs - Performance Metrics for Customer Service
How efficiently your team operates will have a direct effect on customer satisfaction and likewise, on the overall business value, the customer service team brings to the table.
These examples of KPIs for Customer Service are all about helping you to understand how the team's speed influences the performance overall.
Average Resolution Time
Great customer service is synonymous with timely resolution of issues. Therefore, if your department responds to customer queries faster, they will be happier with your services and will be more likely to stick around for long.
If the department is unable to keep the resolution time low, it might be an indication that your team is understaffed.
Companies that make their customers wait on hold for long periods of time, will struggle to please their customers. This is actually a major cause of client resentment and dissatisfaction across the globe.
Cost per Call (Contact)
The cost per call is essentially the cost associated with a customer call (or live chat) arriving and being picked by a contact center agent. The basic cost per call can be calculated by dividing the number of calls per hour by an agent’s hourly wage.
This helps you determine the additional costs associated with handling extra calls. If the number of support calls reaches a certain level, companies can hire additional agents to alleviate the pressure.
Average After Call Work Time
In most customer service departments, the work doesn’t end when a customer disengages the call. In many cases, agents will spend some more time informing colleagues about the call, sending emails, and updating the database.
Therefore, “after call work time” is the time a customer agent spends wrapping up a transaction at the end of a customer call. Most managers will want to reduce this time so as to minimize the cost of interaction with a customer.
Training Investment per Employee
Whilst this is very much a lead indicator, you should closely monitor how much you're investing in training and development. If you invest too little, it's likely that you'll either (a) struggle to develop top talent internally or (b) have top talent leave to pursue training and development opportunities elsewhere.
Again, it's hard to say what a good number is here, but at Cascade, we're aiming for a spend of around $2,000 per employee per year on direct training and development.
Wait Time for Callers
Having to wait in queues for endless minutes can be quite frustrating. Therefore, organizations should ensure the average call wait time for support is within an acceptable range.
Calculate this customer service KPI by dividing the total time customers wait in call queues by the total number of customer calls answered.
This is the measure of the number of repeated calls or support tickets from a customer within seven days from their first contact. The customer callback KPI encourages agents to resolve current as well as future (anticipated) issues.
Therefore, any potential future issue anticipated by the agent will be addressed comprehensively and proactively. In essence, don’t just react to the complaints and issues that clients are raising now.
Customer Service KPIs for understanding the Business Value
Ultimately the goal of the organization is that every team brings significant business value and there are many KPIs that can help you measure that within Customer Service, but the below examples of KPIs for customer service provide a solid benchmark to work from.
Conversion is one of the most important aspects of any business, both online and offline. This helps you to find out how likely a customer is to take a specific ‘favorable’ action after interacting with your customer service agents.
The action could be to make a purchase, subscribe to a service, fill out a form, make a donation, etc. This number will likely be higher if your customer service department is performing well.
Many times customer retention depends on the quality of service and products offered. Even more, what can ultimately count the most is the experience the customer gets while dealing with your business on a human level.
Customer service agents are your front-line ambassadors. For that reason, their interactions with customers while offering requested information or resolving arising issues will determine whether customers will stick around or look elsewhere.
There are many more parameters and examples of KPIs for Customer Service that might be useful to your business, but the above 12 examples are a great place to start. Put your own KPIs into our free customer service template!