A successful strategy plan for any business should include at least one Strategic Objective focused on customers. After all, without customers you’re not going to grow your company.
There are a lot of different goals you could develop against this type of objective. Satisfaction, loyalty, churn, growth, and for each of these there are many possible metrics you could measure performance against.
In this article we take a look at some of the most common Customer Service KPIs to help you develop a KPI Dashboard for Customer Service or Customer Support. Such a dashboard of your essential KPIs will enable you to consistently track your performance and progress against your customer-focused Strategic Objectives.
We’ll use a few categories of Customer KPI:
Focusing on these KPIs will help you improve the performance of your customer facing teams, drive up customer satisfaction and boost customer retention, as, of course, happy customers are less likely to leave you.
But, it's also important to remember that a high performance against your customer KPIs will also impact your Sales & Marketing results. If we consider that the sales process is less funnel-shaped these days and more circular, then high customer satisfaction feeds into lead generation and customer acquisition. Happy customers talk! So focusing on these KPIs will also drive word-of-mouth marketing, which will drive new customer acquisition, which will ensure your business grows. 👍
So, we've probably stressed the importance of these customer KPIs enough now! Let's take a look at the full range...
There are a lot of different ways to measure customer happiness. The following KPIs all quantify it in different ways, with the theory being that happiness results in an increase in loyalty.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Customer Satisfaction is a measured way to score how satisfied a customer is with the product or service. It usually involves a score range of 0 – 100 and one key question which is: How satisfied are you with the product/service that you have received?
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is a way to measure how many customers are willing to recommend your product or service to others. It works by asking a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The user responds by answering between 0 – 10.
The NPS Score is measured by taking the Number of Promoters – Number of Detractors.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
An alternative to NPS, Customer Effort measures the amount of effort the customer has to put into interacting with your company. The theory is that loyal customers are generated when you ensure everything is quick and easy. Unlike NPS, there isn’t a standard way to measure CES, but it is commonly done in a numeric scale of 0 – 10.
Customer Churn measures the number of customers or percentage of customers who leave your product/service. It’s often recorded on a monthly or annual basis. Clearly churn is important as if too high, your business will be in decline regardless of sales strength. High churn can also indicate a poor product or customer experience.
Customer Retention Rate
The opposite of churn is the Retention Rate, which is represented as a percentage of your customers that have continued to use your product or service over the last time period. It’s commonly viewed monthly or annually, and when combined with the churn rate should equal 100%.
Customer Response Rate
It’s often the case that you’ll be asking customers questions, perhaps to measure KPIs like NPS or CES. In sending out any sort of poll or survey you will know your Customer Response Rate. This KPI measures engagement with your brand, the higher the CRR, the better.
If you’re running a help-desk or support process, these KPIs will help you construct the perfect dashboard.
Average First Response Time
The time it takes to respond to an inbound request can be an important KPI to cover when looking at your customer support function. It’s often the case that businesses will drive to respond rapidly to ensure a customer doesn’t feel they are waiting on hold or waiting for an email to be returned.
Average Resolution Time
First Response Time is a KPI that looks at how quickly you respond to a ticket, but what can often matter more is how quickly it takes to resolve an issue. This KPI is all about measuring the average amount of time a ticket or case is sat within a system before the item is closed.
Average First Contact Resolution
This KPI is similar to the above two and looks at how many cases are, on average, solved within the first contact point. A good set of help guides or documentation, along with highly trained staff, can improve this percentage KPI for your business.
Average Cases per Agent
Establishing the efficiency of your support team helps provide an understanding of scabaility and margin, which is where this KPI comes into play. It records the number of cases or tickets resolved by an agent in a time period, or the number of open issues with them at any one point. This can also be valuable in understanding workload and pressures on the team.
Number of Cases
This one might be called Active Issues, or Number of Tickets, or Number of Cases, but essentially it’s about recording how many live issues have been raised by your customers at any one point in time. If this KPI is increasing overtime then it requires investigation, particularly if your customer base is not growing at the same rate.
Type: Percentage or Number
Resolved Cases looks at the number of issues you have resolved in a time period, and is used to see how effective your operations are in clearing the backlog of requests. It’s commonly used in conjunction with Number of Cases and can be shown as a percentage of cases closed.
Escalation Rate highlights the percentage of cases that have been escalated up to a new level of support. It might be to a second tier of support or perhaps to a manager. It can be the case that this KPI is broken down into several levels, to see how many cases are escalated up through the different tiers in your company.
The Abandon Rate is the number of issues that were raised by a customer and subsequently ignored. It could be that customers get tired or frustrated and just give up. Going back to some of the other KPIs around Loyalty, such as CES, you can see why this metric is important to monitor.
Average Wait Time
Everyone who is reading this will have been on hold at some time in their life. Listening to questionable music, interrupted every few seconds with a reassuring robot informing you that your call is important and will be answered shortly. This KPI measures the average amount of time someone waits on hold, which is certainly a metric that contributes to satisfaction and possibly sanity…
Support Channel Performance
If you have a range of different ways that your customers can contact your support or service teams then it is worth tracking the performance of those channels individually. So, as well as having overall KPIs for your support performance, you can also drill down and apply these to the different channels - live chat, email, phone, social media etc. This will help you understand how your customers prefer to communicate with you (which is also useful insight for your marketing outreach), and help identify specific areas that need focus.
The value of customers to a business is key, so there are a number of KPIs that specifically look at this area. It's worth considering the following added to your Customer KPI Dashboard.
Customer Lifetime Value
This KPI is the total amount of revenue the business expects to get from one customer, on average. It might be that you have reoccurring revenue through many years, or maybe a series of one-off amounts, or it may just be a single payment. When combined with KPIs such as Customer Acquisition Cost or Cost Per Lead you can start to get valuable insight into how you’re performing.
Customer Lifetime Cost
Over the course of any relationship with a customer you will incur costs. It might be cost of providing your service or support. This KPI measures the average lifetime cost per customer, often used in conjunction with the Lifetime Customer Value KPI above.
Customer Lifetime Profit
This KPI is a formula of the above Lifetime values. The Lifetime Profit is equal to the Customer Lifetime Value - Customer Lifetime Cost.
Cost Per Issue
Every interaction with your customers will be costing the business money. The Cost Per Issue KPI measures cost of each interaction and is used to determine profitability per customer. When tracking this KPI don’t forget to include infrastructure and software, in addition to the salaries.
If you're focused on developing a dashboard to track the performance of your Customer Service efforts, then you might not regard Customer Acquisition metrics as relevant. However, looking at the Customer Value KPIs alongside these acquisition KPIs will give a fuller view of the overall performance of the business.
For customer focused teams, an awareness of the fuller picture can be motivating. People knowing how they contribute to the overall strategic plan and vision for the business is important for employee engagement and satisfaction. So consider how you communicate the relationship between Customer KPIs like Customer Lifetime Value with Acquisition KPIs like Customer Acquisition Cost. In this instance, the bigger the gap between how much it costs to acquire a customer and how much they are worth to the business, the greater the impact on profit and the success of the business.
So, to find out more about Customer Acquisition KPIs, have a look at our Complete List of Marketing KPIs.
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