In a noisy and competitive market, organizations must make their customer service a top priority. Because your contact center is so crucial to a great customer experience, smart businesses keep their eye on contact center metrics that matter. As the saying goes, “what gets measured, gets managed.”
But what are contact center metrics? And which contact center metrics should you focus on? The average CRM software will provide you with a selection of reports, all updated in real time. How do you determine which contact center KPIs matter most?
What are contact center metrics?
Customer service metrics measure the happiness of your customers. They provide information on the CX team’s speed, efficiency and overall performance. And since your contact center directly impacts the customer experience, many of these service metrics are based on the number of interactions handled in a day, how many calls are answered and the rate of response.
Call center metrics can help you measure a wide variety of goals and progress towards benchmarks, including the following:
- Agent productivity
- Quality assurance
- Live chat success
- Action and next steps
- Customer satisfaction metrics
How do you choose which measurements have meaning? Which contact center metrics will tell you what you need to know?
Defining contact center metrics that matter: Who, What, and Why
In order to choose metrics that are truly important to your organization, ask yourself the following questions.
WHO wants to know?
When tracking contact center metrics, audience matters. An individual call center agent’s daily report, used to track their performance, would contain entirely different information from a presentation to Board members or investors. Answering these questions can help take first steps towards defining your KPIs:
- Who will be paying attention to this report?
- Will the organization leadership use these metrics to determine long-term policy?
- How will these metrics be shared with your customer service team (for example, discussed at a weekly progress meeting)?
Once you’ve defined WHO wants to know, you’ve set the stage to decide what metrics are relevant to the people receiving the report.
WHAT are your goals?
Customer service metrics don’t exist in isolation. They’re meant to lead to some kind of action. Metrics that don’t connect to a holistic strategy just add unnecessary noise.
The contact center metrics that matter to your organization should tie back to higher-level objectives. Once you’ve determined your organization’s goals — increasing customer satisfaction, decreasing customer churn, lowering staff turnover, or improving contact center efficiency, for example — you’ll know which metrics are worth paying attention to.
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WHY are you tracking this?
Metrics are just numbers on a screen until you place them in context. For example, if your organization wants to be known for your top-notch, personalized, luxurious customer service, resolution time might not matter as much to you. Your staff works on the case until the customer is absolutely 100% thrilled, no matter how long it takes.
When tracking contact center metrics, all of those you track should be:
- Measurable (Performance is backed up by hard data / evidence)
- Actionable (Allowing improvement plans to be formulated)
- Trackable over time (Monitor changes as they occur)
- Maintained and updated regularly (Adjust metrics in response to evaluations and to ebbs and flows in business)
- Tied to organizational goals (Ensure alignment with your company values, mission, and strategic objectives)
It’s also important to remember that too much information can be worse than too little. Maybe all you need to do is discuss the top trends. Too many data points can sometimes lead to overwhelm and distract from making real progress towards goals.
How to tell a good contact center metric from a bad one
When you’re selecting the metrics your organization needs to pay attention to, think about whether they meet the following criteria:
- Is it real?
- There might be a time and a place for padded reports, but tracking contact center metrics won’t help unless they reflect the true picture of your situation.
- Can you take action based on it?
- A good metric points you in the right direction and helps you figure out what to do to meet your customer service goals.
- Have you measured it consistently over time?
- Trends give single metrics meaning. A 75% customer satisfaction rating isn’t great, but if it represents a significant improvement from the past, then that’s excellent news. (And if you haven’t been measuring consistently in the past, there’s no better time than the present to start!)
Metrics to measure your customer service support
Now that you know how to separate the good service metrics from the bad, let’s explore the most common customer service metrics.
Every measurement should be taken on the level of the individual agent and the team as a whole. You should also look at the metrics on a case-level basis: are issues clustering around certain customers, products, or timeframes?
Number of tickets
This should be measured on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. It should also be segmented by channel (phone calls, chat requests, emails, etc). You’ll be able to see your customer’s preferred channels and contact time. Plus, this data point will help with forecasting and staffing for the future.
First Response Time
Many customers expect a reply within hours, no matter the day or time. The good news is that 33% of them will be happy even if the response isn’t particularly helpful. Just knowing that you care about them and you’re working on their issue is enough. Communication is everything.
Average Ticket Resolution Time
This is a good way to measure the efficiency of your customer service staff. You need a good quality assurance system to make sure the issues are truly resolved. If there is too much pressure to handle issues quickly, agents might mark items as resolved just to meet a quota.
Take note of what issues or products cause the most complex problems. This is a time when customer service can give good feedback to other departments in the company.
Number of Interactions per Ticket
Too many interactions per ticket might mean that the customer is getting transferred too many times, or that your staff is not asking the right questions. Or, your agents may need more resources to empower them to help customers right away.
Issue Resolution Rate
Make sure the issue resolution rate metric is gathered from the customer’s point of view (as determined by surveys), not the agent’s. A backlog might signal the need for more training, more staff, or more efficient procedures.
Metrics to measure customer happiness
Contact center metrics that measure customer service happiness showcase how your customer sees your company. These service metrics can be seen as the true assessment of your customer service success. Even if your contact center is efficient, it is important to consistently make your customers happy.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your NPS illustrates your reputation among your customers. It asks them to rate, from 1 to 10, the likelihood of them referring you to a friend. A 9–10 is considered a “promoter,” a 0–6 is considered a “detractor,” and 6–8 are “passive.” Your NPS is your number of promoters minus your number of detractors.
The net promoter score is very helpful but doesn’t tell the whole story. A detractor is likely to be much more vocal than most promoters, especially on social media.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is defined as the customer’s feeling after a particular interaction and an extremely important contact center metric to track. It should mirror your NPS. If it doesn’t, you will want to consider conducting more research as to why the two are different.
Your organization should make every effort to correlate the customer churn metric with the others. If other contact center metrics that matter are strong, but you’re experiencing high customer churn, there’s a deep-level issue somewhere. Many industries were satisfied with providing decent-enough service, making them ripe for disruption by a startup that offered something better.
As you define the contact center metrics that matter, and make a tracking plan, you unleash the power of these data points to transform your contact center and your organization. Contact center metrics truly are essential for success.