The most important part of every customer service manager's work revolves around tracking and reporting their support team’s performance. This helps them gain insight into the quality of their support interactions, which can have a huge impact on customer retention and loyalty.
Working with the right customer service reports helps managers be successful in two of their main responsibilities:
- Analyzing their team’s performance (and improving the quality as necessary);
- Reporting the results to advocate for their team, and help execs create meaningful strategies.
But how many metrics should you monitor - and which ones? If you look at only a few numbers you will probably not get a complete picture of how your team is doing. However, reporting on too many KPIs will take up too much of your time and might not bring significantly better results. If you don’t have time to act on the results of your measurements, too many reports won’t help at all.
We wanted to make it easier for you to pick the right KPIs for your company. So, we created a list of five customer service reports that are relevant to all quality-oriented support teams. These will help you keep track of the most critical parts of your customer service.
Customer satisfaction: CSAT, NPS, or CES
These days, most companies have become quite good at asking their customers how satisfied they are with what their business does. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES) are the most popular ways to analyze that.
- CSAT is the metric most tied to the quality of customer service, asking how satisfied customers are with the support they received, immediately after a service interaction.
- NPS is a more holistic measure that investigates users’ attitudes towards the entire company, including customer-facing interactions but also product and other aspects.
- CES focuses on the ease of communication and is based on the presumption that the easier customers find it to solve their issues, the more loyal they are.
These are the metrics that help you understand your customers’ feelings towards your company and support. Track at least one of these to know how well you are meeting your users’ expectations.
Why managers monitor CSAT/NPS/CES: Changes in customer satisfaction are important indicators of how users react to what is happening in your company. Look out for the first signs of:
- Dropping customer service quality;
- Bad product/marketing decisions.
62% of B2B customers purchase more thanks to excellent support, which is why most managers work hard on keeping their customers happy.
Internal Quality Score
Customer-based feedback should always come hand-in-hand with internal evaluations. Internal Quality Score (IQS) measures how well your agents are meeting the standards you’ve defined for your support.
IQS counterbalances customer satisfaction reports in many ways:
- Determine whether customers’ feedback was really given for your support, instead of for the product or other experiences they had with your company. It’s a much more targeted metric, making it more relevant to the individuals on the customer support team.
- Look deeper into why agents handled the cases the way they did. Some customers have unrealistic expectations and leave bad ratings just because agents weren’t able to fix their problems on the spot, even if it was out of their hands.
- Customers don’t know your quality standards. Sometimes users are happy with the service they received that didn’t actually come close to the quality bar you’ve set for your team. Other times, customers can be disappointed with the interactions that agents actually handled correctly from your point of view.
Defining your customer service vision and goals helps you understand which kind of support should you offer to your users. Regular conversation reviews (also known as customer service quality assurance) are the easiest way to track how your team is progressing towards your targets.
Why you should track customer service Internal Quality Score: IQS gives managers unique insight into the quality of your customer service based on the rating categories important for your particular company. All teams can set up their own scorecards and rate their support interactions according to that.
62% of Klaus users rate conversations based on the completeness and correctness of the solutions, empathy expressed in the interactions, and accuracy in product knowledge.
Conversation volume reflects the number of tickets your customer service team receives in a specific period. You can break your conversation volume down by support channel; that’s a great indicator of the channels your users prefer to use when they need to contact support.
If you’d like to dive deeper into what makes up this volume, take a look at the following metrics:
- Open rate tells you the proportion of tickets that were waiting for a solution in a specific period of time;
- Replies per Ticket and First Contact Resolution Rate help you understand how many of those tickets were part of a longer conversation vs resolved in the first response.
- Escalation Rate indicates the proportion of cases that were handled by seniors and managers, not by first-line agents.
Why look at customer service conversation volume: Knowing how many tickets you receive on a regular basis helps to evaluate your hiring needs and plan ahead:
- General trends help to predict how to grow your team;
- Seasonal peaks and weekly patterns help you prepare your teams’ work schedules.
First Response Time
First Response Time (FRT) tells you how long your customers have to wait to get a reply to their inquiry.
FRT doesn’t necessarily correlate with the time that it takes to solve a problem. Many companies aim to give a quick response reassuring that they’ve received the message and are working on the solution before they actually start working on the fix.
Why managers maintain a good First Response Time: Track your FRT and analyze how it relates to your customer satisfaction metrics. This will help you set benchmarks for your first response times. Take a look at the following averages to understand the importance of FRT:
- 42% of people complaining on social media expect to get a response in less than 60 minutes.
- 53% of customers expect a support agent to answer the phone in less than 3 minutes.
Average Handle Time
Tracking how long it takes to handle your customers’ issues is essential to understanding how your customer service team is functioning. Much like First Response Time, your Average Handle Time plays a huge role in customer satisfaction.
Track AHT over time to notice any changes in your team’s performance. If you see the number go up, investigate what’s causing it to tackle the problem early on.
Why customer service managers track Average Handle Time:
- Discover the main questions that are eating away your agents’ time when solving tickets. Cover these topics in your knowledge base articles and product videos, so that your team wouldn’t have to waste hours on writing the same instructions over and over again.
- Analyze which agents need coaching to be able to provide solutions more quickly. Their problems may, for example, lie in the lack of product knowledge or know-how on how to use macros or response templates.
If you’re running a quality-oriented customer service team, you’re probably familiar with the myriad of customer service reports out there. However, tracking all of them takes a lot of time (that most managers don’t have) and it’s often not necessary to overwhelm your team with too many KPIs.
Focus on the customer service metrics that matter most to you. Chances are that the five KPIs we listed here are exactly what you need.