8 customer service indicators to improve customer relations

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Can good customer service metrics improve customer relationships? Learn how to measure performance and track data that affects customer experiences.

What customer service metrics do you track? And are you able to act on your metrics to improve results? Although service reports provide tons of data on your strengths and weaknesses, it’s essential to generate insights from raw numbers.

Learn how to evaluate customer service effectiveness using critical metrics that give you the big picture while highlighting individual performance.

8 customer service indicators to follow to improve the customer relationship:

  • Operational time metrics
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Operational rates
  • Up-sell and cross-sell ratios
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Voice of the consumer
  • Retention and redemption rate
  • Case level statistics

1. Measure uptime metrics

In a world of instant everything, the speed of customer communication is crucial, with a Statistical survey revealing that 20% of consumers expect an immediate response from businesses on social media. In comparison, 24% want an answer within the hour.

The time it takes to respond to messages and resolve issues affects the customer experience. See industry benchmarks for different service channels and ensure your teams meet their customer service goals.

Measure your customer service performance by looking at metrics such as:

  • Average resolution time: Find out how long it takes from first communication to resolution, across all channels. This metric gives you a general overview of your customer service performance.
  • Average processing time: Find out how much time your teams are spending on calls. This metric looks at average call duration, including time spent on hold, searching for information, or talking with the customer.
  • First response time: Also called first response time, this metric tells you how long customers wait for service after asking for help. Since customers use different touchpoints, look at your overall pricing and then break it down by platform.

Help Scout report showing customer service response times of 12 to 24 hours.

Explore conversation response time data using customer service software. Image source: author

2. Evaluate customer reviews and ratings

Providing exceptional customer service results in happy customers and positive reviews. While you should look at the response times of review platforms, it’s also important to analyze reviews to find a pattern of issues or gaps in your training.

Dive into your customer service reports to discover:

  • Which products get the highest and lowest ratings on your website.
  • How many customers leave reviews.
  • Average customer sentiment from reviews or comments.
  • How many site visits come from review platforms.

Assess customer service strengths and determine brand health by digging into customer reviews, ratings, and comments on social media. Invest in tools that provide customer sentiment insights such as Hootsuite or Mention.

3. Review operational tariffs

Understand your call volume and the effectiveness of customer service interactions by measuring call, retention, and resolution rates. This gives you data on how well your teams understand the issues and come up with the right solutions.

Use these metrics to evaluate the service:

  • Answered call rate: Compare the number of calls answered to the number of calls received to see if you are missing any customer connections.
  • Number of interactions per case: See the number of conversations and touchpoints needed to resolve an issue, such as callbacks, call transfers, or multi-channel usage.
  • First contact resolution rate (FCR): How many problems do you solve on the first call? Assess your FCR on live chat, phone, email and messaging platforms.
  • Volume of tickets: Ensure your customers receive adequate attention by recognizing call volume patterns and how volume during specific times affects other scores and customer satisfaction ratings.

Helpdesk report statistics on the Groove Dashboard.

Get insight into your ticket volume using customer service software. Image source: author

4. Interpret upsell and cross-sell ratios

Increasingly, customer service involves all teams, giving you more opportunities to add value to your customer experiences. Although customer support is not intended as a hard sell, it is a great place to suggest a product that may better meet their needs or complement an existing product.

Upselling occurs when a customer selects a more expensive product after speaking to customer service, as opposed to your agents cross-selling an item supporting or complementing the product they are calling about. Higher ratios mean you provide more value to your customers.

For example, when a customer calls because they don’t understand how to use a feature, give them the answer and recommend a matching item that automates or simplifies the action. Get both ratios, then break the data down by department, team, or product.

5. Review key customer satisfaction scores

Satisfied customers interact with your brand and spread the good word to their friends. Use Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) to gauge their experiences. According to Lumoa, 64.5% of companies use NPS, while 43.6% use CSAT. However, you can create your own key performance indicators (KPIs).

Your customer service software offers reporting options such as:

  • Promoter Net Score: Determine the likelihood of noting word-of-mouth referrals using NPS. A Net Promoter Report categorizes respondents by Detractors, Passives, and Promoters.
  • Customer satisfaction rating: The CSAT measures customer satisfaction. It combines survey data and ratings provided to users visiting your website after making a purchase or following a customer service call.

6. Investigate the voice of the customer

Constantly anticipating your customers’ needs translates to better experiences, higher sales, and brand loyalty. Voice of the Customer (VOC) understands customer satisfaction scores from above while taking a close look at your customer’s actions and habits.

Improve customer service goals by reviewing:

  • Preferred communication channels: Determine your customers’ preferred platforms by looking at inbound communication rates by channel.
  • Self-service use: Determine if your self-help tools, like a knowledge base or video tutorials, support the goals by reducing incoming calls.

7. Examine customer retention and repurchase rates

Customer retention and repurchase rates provide key insights into the return on investment (ROI) and satisfaction rates of your customer service. Your customers have access to service or product solutions with a simple touch on the screen. But businesses that generate repeat sales save money while increasing revenue.

Assess your overall customer retention rate, then divide customers into categories. For example, identify new, casual, and experienced users. Each type of customer requires a different approach, and your customer support teams can help increase your retention rates by addressing individual needs.

Use repurchase rate along with other KPIs to determine how many customers buy your product or services within a defined time frame. After a great customer service experience, many customers come back for seconds.

8. Assess folder-level metrics

Look at individual cases to give context to your customer service metrics. For example, if your first contact’s resolution rate is increasing, fetch issues by topic. You may find that your customer service agents don’t have enough information about a new product or service to effectively answer questions on the first call.

Case-level customer success metrics include:

  • Case by topic: If you use call center or customer service software, you can tag your conversation topics. Use this information to identify pain points with specific product elements or where your self-service options are lacking.
  • Cases by location: Adjust your customer service hours based on the frequency of calls from various regional or global areas.
  • Cases per hour of creation: Use the data in this report to determine when your customers are actively seeking help. Share this information with your marketing teams to improve the customer experience across departments.

Take steps to improve customer service metrics

Measure your communications to get more quality customers. Service response and satisfaction rates provide information across all departments.

Now that you know what to track, it’s time to take action. Use your customer service metrics to identify new ways to build relationships with your customers while exceeding your customer service goals.

Joseph P. Harris