5 Top Customer Service KPIs for Telecom Companies


Telecom companies operate in one of the most competitive sectors of the marketplace. The industry has the fourth-highest churn rate, after cable, financial, and general retail, meaning that 21% of new Telecom customers will stay less than a year with the same Telecom provider.

These scenarios represent both a big challenge and an opportunity. The cost of acquiring new customers is up to 25 times higher than retaining them. So companies that can reduce customer attrition can see a significant impact on the bottom line. How do Telecom companies keep satisfied customers and encourage customer loyalty?

It turns out that telecom customer service is a critical variable. Almost 40% of those who left a telecom company did so because of poor customer service. In today’s world, customers expect more personalization and almost instant solutions. 70% of consumers choose companies that deliver excellent customer service.

It is not hard to see how customer service is a business process directly impacting the bottom line, especially in highly competitive industries like telecom, where retaining customers is as important as attracting them.

So, where do you start? How do you rate good customer service and improve customer satisfaction scores? How do you track customer satisfaction to see where to take action and measure improvement?

Are you ready to get started or improve your telecom customer service KPI performance? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Metrics Cheat Sheet for how to measure customer support performance metrics today. 

Why Is It Important to Measure Customer Service KPIs and Metrics for Telecom Companies?

Consumers have wide-open social media platforms to share their experiences in today’s marketplace. A negative experience damages Word of Mouth referrals, but negative social media posts amplify the issue.

One survey showed that after a negative customer service experience, a whopping 73% of Telecom customers shared negative opinions about the company with friends, family, or colleagues, and 22% of them shared their experience on their social media channels.

The good thing about data is it tells us what customers don’t like. We know that customers hate to wait. We know that they want a fast resolution to their problem. We understand that a backlog of tickets in our channels will increase wait times. We know that the more answers we can provide to customer problems, the more customers we will retain and that the referral rate for our products and services will improve.

The key is to track the related KPIs. So what are the top KPIs that help Telecom companies retain customers? Below are five key performance indicators. It’s important to remember that these are interrelated; they measure single points in a unified customer experience. One KPI affects the others to a certain degree.

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5 Top Telecom Customer Service KPIs

While many businesses can track many metrics and collect lots of data, key performance indicators (KPIs) are the metrics that move the needle in the industry. These numbers are most important to business goals. It is “a quantifiable performance measure for a specific objective over time.” The key in that is the “specific objective” part. KPIs aren’t metrics collected just for the sake of data. KPIs are tied to milestones and targets and provide a common ground of comparison for different stakeholders to track performance metrics.

Customer Churn

We define customer churn as the number of customers that leave a company / total number of customers. It’s arguably an essential service KPI because the company loses out on the lifetime value of that customer. It is much more expensive to acquire customers, and existing customers represent a significant source of future revenue. A report from the Harvard Business School claims that a 5% increase in customer retention rates, on average, results in a 25% – 95% increase in profits. What are the top reasons customers leave?

  1. 37% said that the company wasted their time; it took too long to resolve their issue.
  2. 51% reported that they had to call more than once.
  3. 37% thought that the agents were unprofessional or negative. Relating to agent hiring and training practices.
  4. Customers like to help themselves. When forced to be on hold or wait for a simple request they could do themselves, 14% will consider leaving.

Other ways to improve customer churn KPI are investing in network optimization and managing the customer’s lifetime value. Lastly, no one likes to dwell on negative feedback, but customer complaint analytics are important. They can alert youtube exactly where the problem areas are—allowing companies to make improvements before issues snowball.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score measures how likely a customer recommend your company to family, friends, or colleagues. Two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 companies use this metric.

We calculate the Net Promoter Score by aggregating individual results and measuring the percentage of customers in each group.

Because its a predictor for referrals and renewals (or likelihood of customer attrition), it is a valuable KPI that is very simple to collect. The question looks similar to this one:

On a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend [company name] to your friends, family, or business associates?

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The NPS groups customers into different groups based on their scores:

Score value 9 – 10: Promoters are valuable for word-of-mouth referrals.
Score value 7 – 8: Passives who are unlikely to say much either way.
Score value 6 or below – Detractors who are actively upset and share negative opinions about their real and virtual networks.

Best practices to improve NPS center around building trust with empathy in communications and personalization at scale.

  • Personalize emails. Reach out and survey customers at strategic points in the customer journey.
  • Include questions that go beyond the standard format, without benign invasive. Think of it like a second or third date conversation.
  • AI tools are helpful yet still in their infancy, and customers are already suffering from bot fatigue. Make sure they can quickly exit the bot conversation and get access to a human customer service agent.
  • Train some service agents to follow up with detractors. Sometimes satisfying an unhappy customer can turn them into a Promoter!

We let customers decide how they want to talk to you with integrated live chat, social, email, and helpdesk ticketing. Discover why Customer Support Teams love working with us

Average Resolution Time

Average Resolution Time is the average time it takes support agents to solve all opened tickets in a defined time frame. The formula is:

Average Resolution Time = total resolution time for all tickets solved / # of tickets solved. 

Measuring on a per-agent basis allows you to see who takes longer to solve tickets, but that doesn’t always mean that agent is less competent. Factors such as the complexity of the issue and the number of agents available in the time frame can influence ART.

Like with NPS, it’s helpful to look at the human context behind the data. Looking at Average Resolution Time in isolation may lead to incorrect assumptions. A faster resolution does not always mean a happier customer. How can this be?

One source stresses the importance of follow-up. Two customers can have the same outcome, yet one will be much happier because the agent kept them informed about the progress of their case. Even if a customer’s issue took longer to resolve, they have a better opinion of the company simply because there was follow-up all during the process.

Anyone who has ever waited at the airport for a delayed flight knows that it feels better to be kept updated than to be left wondering. It doesn’t change when the flight arrives, but it does change the mindset of the passengers. Updates reassure customers and help them feel like they have some control.

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Speaking of mindset, a related metric to ART is Average call hold time. Putting customers on hold is risky business.

Nearly two-thirds of today’s customers will not wait on hold longer than two minutes, down from 13 minutes in 2014. On top of that, 13% of customers have zero tolerance for being on hold and will not wait at all.

Email response time is important too. Research has found that 75% of customers expect an answer to an email inquiry within 5 minutes. Instead, what is the average first response time for the telecom industry? Twelve hours and ten minutes!

Number of Tickets Per Channel

The number of tickets per channel is a straightforward metric that measures support ticket volume over time. Tracking this KPI over time helps staffing planning and pinpoints trends in when and where backlogs may arise.

Number of Resolved Tickets

This KPI refers to how many tickets an agent or customer service team has resolved within a set time frame. Much like the KPI for the number of tickets per channel, tracking this KPI over time can help you see trends. For example, comparing the number of resolved tickets to the total number of new tickets allows you to compare team performance week over week. Or, if there is a consistent uptick of unresolved tickets, it may mean your customer support team is understaffed or needs more training.

How Can Telecom Customer Service KPIs Be Improved?

While each KPI will respond to tailored strategies, the general advice is to be proactive. It is harder to lure a customer back after cancellation than to convince them to stay or keep them happy in the first place. 61% of telecom companies reach out to customers that have canceled, often offering a discount or an apology, but they have limited success in recapturing that customer.

Among customers who left a company following a negative service experience, 40% say they would have stayed if they had been offered a better service plan, and 33% even would have stayed if they thought that the service experience would improve in the future.

While looking at numbers, it’s important to remember the human context behind the data. For example, if the customer believes that they won’t’ be able to “talk to a real human” anyway, they are less likely to even engage in the first place before switching companies.

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