Customer service can be one of the most stressful parts of a business.
It’s also easily one of the most important in how your brand is perceived.
By the time customer service is involved, people may already be annoyed or even angry. The customer service representative (CSR) has the opportunity to intervene, get things back on track, and protect the relationship.
A good customer service agent demonstrates tact, empathy, and ability to get things done. The best interactions leave a lasting good impression that may make it easier to tackle future issues.
And the worst interactions can inspire negative reviews or even make your customers jump ship.
Like sales or marketing, a good customer service operation is data driven. Determining the best performance metrics for customer service is one vital step in ensuring you’re always improving.
Of course, there are many different performance metrics for customer service to be aware of.
Try to juggle too many metrics and you’ll end up with a muddled view of what really matters. Pick the wrong ones and you could find yourself chasing changes that don’t lead to real results.
So, which performance metrics for customer service really move the needle?
Let’s take a closer look!
7 Performance Metrics For Customer Service You Can’t Miss Out On
1. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
FCR is the most direct measure of the problem-solving abilities of your representatives.
As the name implies, first contact resolution is the number of calls that end in a satisfactory answer to the problem – in other words, one that allows the customer to return to his or her day.
It’s also one of the most essential performance metrics for customer service around. About 60% of contact centers surveyed indicated that they track FCR.
2. Cost Per Contact (CPC)
CPC allows you to understand the cost-effectiveness of your customer service operation or call center. You get it by dividing the total cost of your contact center – including wages, benefits, and operational costs – with the number of contacts handled in a given period.
By breaking this down according to channel, you can determine which customer service medium is best at controlling costs. Phone, email, chat, SMS text, and social media are the typical options.
3. Service Level
Service level is used as a core performance metric for third-party contact centers that provide support to other enterprises. However, in large companies, the customer service division may have its own formal service level agreement (SLA) with internal stakeholders.
All SLAs are different, so measuring service level depends on understanding the accountabilities that have been agreed on. Some factors that typically impact service level are outages, high call volume, and absences among the customer service team.
4. Abandoned Call Rate
The abandoned call rate is the percentage of calls where the customer gives up in frustration. You can get this figure by dividing the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls.
In general, the longer someone is left waiting for help, the more likely they are to hang up. Hang-ups can also happen after an agent responds but has to put the caller on hold – or when the agent transfers the caller to somebody else, if it feels like the conversation “isn’t going anywhere.”
5. Average Speed of Answer
Want to curb your abandoned call rate? Look at your average speed of answer.
It refers to the average amount of waiting time customers are subjected to when they call in. All you have to do is divide the total amount of waiting time across all calls by the number of calls.
Higher waiting times can indicate your team isn’t prepared to shoulder the volume of calls they’re getting. There may also be back-end issues, such as problems routing incoming calls effectively.
6. Average Handle Time (AHT)
Average handle time is a combination of several factors:
- The CSR’s “talk time” in a call.
- The total hold time for the call.
- Time spent on after-call tasks.
Lower AHT doesn’t always indicate better customer service quality on its own – it’s useful to look at how issues were resolved and the individual attention each caller received. However, it can point to technology issues, such as a slow CRM or over-complicated post-call reports.
7. Average Call Transfer Rate
How often do reps find themselves having to transfer a call?
A high level of transfers usually indicates one of these issues:
- Reps don’t have the knowledge, tools, or authority to address the issues they receive.
- Callers don’t know where to direct their query and end up making the wrong choice.
A modern interactive voice response (IVR) system can help customers route their calls better. Just as crucial, though, reps must have the resources to handle what customers throw at them!
Which performance metrics for customer service matter most to you? Let us know below!
I am the Director of Marketing here at Bluleadz. I'm a huge baseball fan (Go Yankees!). I love spending time with friends and getting some exercise on the Racquetball court.