Customer Support Metrics – The Ultimate Guide

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When it comes to customer support, the ability to experiment, tweak and improve your service is a huge part of meeting your customers’ expectations.

To see what impact any changes you make to your support processes have, you need to be able to observe trends, set goals and measure the results.

We put together a list of key customer service metrics, so you can be sure that your support team is doing the best it can to help your customers.

On this page, you can see a complete list of all the customer support metrics that matter, and why.

You can also download our free cheat sheet with details on how to calculate each of these metrics.

Navigate our Support Metrics Guide:

the ultimate guide to customer support metrics cheat sheet


Customer Support Productivity Metrics

Use these metrics to see if any further training is needed to keep your customer support team from repeating the same problems over and over.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Metrics Cheat Sheet for how to measure customer support performance metrics.

In This Section:

Average Reply Time

What is average reply time?
This metric lets you see how long it takes your support team to get back to a customer.

Why should you measure average reply time?
Knowing how long it’s taking to reply to customers and resolve their cases can be an indicator of whether you have enough staff to manage demand.

Recommended read: 14 Steps to Create the Perfect Live Chat Customer Experience

Average first reply time

What is average first reply time?
This metric shows how long it it takes for your support team to get back to a customer’s first request.

Why should you measure average first reply time?
First reply time is more important than overall reply times because it’s an acknowledgment to the customer that their issue is being looked into.

It also indicates how quickly your team is addressing new tickets and helps you see if you have enough team members to deal with the volume.

Different channels have different expectations for first reply time, but in general, a high first reply time causes customers to switch channels because they aren’t sure if you’ve received their message or if you are working on their case.

Average Resolution Time

What is average resolution time?
This metric looks at how long it takes to resolve a case, from open to close.

Why should you measure average resolution time?
Average resolution time shows managers whether or not their team is working quickly and efficiently.

Average Number of Replies per Case

What is average number of replies per case?
This metric shows how many replies it takes for the customer to have their issue resolved.

Why should you measure average number of replies per case?
This metric can show how effective your team is, and indicates how much effort your customers have to put into resolving their issue.

A high average number indicates the queries are not going to the right person straight away, and indicates a high effort customer experience.

Customers usually don’t want to waste time going back and forth—they expect the agent to solve their issue quickly.

A high number of replies could also mean the agents are giving incorrect responses, which makes it necessary for customers to get in contact again.

Recommended read: Use Your Average Number of Replies to Improve Your Support

Average Handle Time (AHT)

What is average handle time?
This is the total average duration of a single interaction, including hold time, talk time and follow-up or related admin tasks. Also relates to chats and tickets.

Why should you measure average handle time?
Pay close attention to areas with a long average handle time. This highlights which queries are costing your team the most time.

It also helps forecast hiring needs. If you know your AHT and the number of tickets you receive, you can work out how many hours it will take to answer them.

Recommended read: Reducing Live Chat Handle Time Doesn’t Mean More Support Agents

Customer Support Performance Metrics

These metrics let you see how well your support team is performing by helping you understand the quantity of cases, replies and escalations they manage.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Metrics Cheat Sheet for how to measure customer support performance metrics.

In this section:

Number of Conversations

What is number of conversations?
This metric looks at the total number of conversations your support team has across all channels.

Why should you measure number of conversations?
Total conversations extend further than just your support tickets.

For example, if you have an email thread with one customer, a live chat with a second and a Twitter conversation with a third, that’s three separate conversations.

Tracking the total number of conversations allows you to understand whether or not your company has enough agents to cover the amount of demand in each channel.

Number of Customer Replies

What is number of customer replies?
This is the total number of replies customers send in their entire case, from start to resolution.

Why should you measure number of customer replies?
This metric is similar to number of replies per case. It helps you see how much effort your customers need to put in to resolve their problems.

Next Issue Avoidance

What is next issue avoidance?
This metric looks at how many customers have more than one issue in a given time frame.

Why should you measure next issue avoidance?
This shows you whether or not your agents are thinking proactively and anticipating future questions that the customer might have.

You may think agents are handling issues effectively, but the customer won’t feel that way if they need to contact you again.

Customer Churn

What is customer churn?
This is the number of customers who stop using your service or product in a certain time frame.

Why should you measure customer churn?
This metric tells you how many customers no longer use your product or service. It helps determine whether or not you’re retaining enough customers to sustain growth.

You can look at the details and see what is causing churn. For example, are customers churning at a specific time? What size accounts are most likely to churn? Are there patterns that lead to churn?

Recommended read: Reduce Churn and Win New Customers with Powerful or Flawless Onboarding

Percentage of Escalations

What is percentage of escalations?
This metric looks at the number of cases that need to be taken to senior levels of management to be resolved.

Why should you measure percentage of escalations?
This helps you measure how often your customers are experiencing pain. If you’re not seeing many cases escalating, it means your agents provide an
effortless experience to customers.

It also helps you to see how frequently you are missing your SLAs.

Recommended read: SLAs – More Than a Service Level Agreement?

Number of Replies per Day

What is number of replies per day?
This metric looks at the total number of replies your team sends each day.

Why should you measure number of replies per day?
This metric is useful to show how quickly your team is working and if demand is growing over time.

Number of Positive Social Mentions

What is number of positive social mentions?
This metric looks at how many positive mentions or reviews your company receives on social media.

Why should you measure number of positive social mentions?
Word of mouth is an effective lead generation source.

If a customer publicly praises your company, it might encourage their followers to check out your service or product.

You can use this metric to track increases in positive mentions and see if any new initiatives have led to more positive feedback.

Number of Swag Packages Sent

What is number of swag packages sent?
This is the number of welcome packs, free gifts or vouchers your team has sent out in a given time frame, and for what reason.

Why should you measure number of swag packages sent?
This metric helps you keep track of how many gifts you’re sending out and what you’re sending them for.

There are several reasons you may send free swag out to people, such as thanking them for:

  • Participation in debugging/beta testing
  • Positive feedback
  • Reporting bugs
  • Reporting security issues

If you find you’re sending lots of free gifts to make up for security issues or bugs, that warrants further investigation.

On the other hand, you might want to set a goal for the number of handwritten letters or swag you send out to customers because they result in positive interactions.

Call Abandonment Rate

What is call abandonment rate?
The number of callers who hang up the phone before being connected.

Why should you measure call abandonment rate?
Understanding when customers abandon support requests helps identify how long you’re forcing them to wait, and how this affects their experience.

If your call abandonment rate is high, take a closer look at what customers are experiencing. Is the hold message setting good expectations? How long are people waiting on average before they hang up? These things impact your call abandonment rate.

It’s worth noting that disconnections can also occur due to technical or network problems.

Call Wait Time

What is call wait time?
The average length of time customers who call wait before being connected with an agent.

Why should you measure call wait time?
The longer customers have to wait, the more time it takes for their issue to be resolved, which means more effort.

If your call wait time is high, it indicates that you need more support agents to answer calls. Alternatively, you can provide customers with different support channels, such as self-service, to reduce the volume of calls.

Multi-Channel Attribution

What is multi-channel attribution?
This metric lets you see where your customers are connecting with you and how often.

Why should you measure multi-channel attribution?
Knowing which channels are used more frequently and the kinds of questions that come through them is critical. This allows you to effectively focus your support and understand where you need to work on building your brand’s presence.

Customer Support Quality Metrics

These metrics help you see if the service you’re providing meets the expectations of your customers. They’ll also give you benchmarks that you can use to improve customer loyalty.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Metrics Cheat Sheet to see how to measure customer support quality metrics.

In this section:

Customer Effort Score (CES)

What is customer effort score?

This metric shows how much effort the customer thinks they had to put in to resolve their problem.

Why should you measure customer effort scores?
Knowing your CES allows you to see what you need to do to improve the way your support team interacts with your customers.

It is a strong predictor of future customer loyalty—those with high effort scores are less likely to become return customers.

Top tags

What are top Tags?
This refers to topics or themes that crop up most often for your support team. These are issues customers get in contact about, typically measured by “tags” or categories in your help desk.

Why should you measure top tags?
If certain topics arise repeatedly, it could mean you need to address the issue in a different way, such as improving your self-service support content or making updates to the product.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

What is a customer satisfaction score?
A customer satisfaction score indicates how satisfied your current customers are with your product or service.

Why should you measure your customer satisfaction score?
This metric shows how happy your customers were with the whole process, from finding out how to contact you to the actual conversations and any follow-up correspondence you might have.

It also helps you see the quality of replies, identify pain points and understand which aspects of support your team can improve.

Recommended read: You’re Probably Measuring Customer Satisfaction Incorrectly

Rating Response Rate

What is rating response rate?
This metric looks at the number of satisfaction surveys that customers fill out, compared to the number sent out.

Why should you measure rating response rate?
If most customers aren’t returning surveys, it usually means they have mixed feelings about your customer service.

Only really angry or really happy customers take the time to give feedback.

You can provide more personalized, friction-free service to push “meh” customers into enthusiastically satisfied customers willing to return a quick survey.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

What is first contact resolution?
This metric tracks how many times your team is able to fully resolve customers’ issues the first time they contact you.

You can measure it by tracking the number of interactions in a case and calculating the number of one-touch responses.

You can also measure it by asking your customer if their issue has been solved and tracking the “yes” responses against the number of interactions in the case.

Why should you measure first contact resolution?
Tracking your FCR rates helps you see what you can do to keep the average number of interactions low. This helps reduce customer effort and improves the customer experience.

You can also use this opportunity to get customer feedback by asking how the user felt their interaction went. Use this feedback to make improvements to your support processes.

Recommended read: FCR: Reduce Your Volume, Not Your Focus

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

What is net promoter score?
The net promoter score to measures customer loyalty. It indicates the likelihood that your current customers would recommend your product or service to people in their network.

Why should you measure your net promoter score
Your net promoter score helps you identify which customers are at risk of churning. It also helps identify your promoters who are helpful for case studies and referrals.

This survey you send to customers to get your NPS usually includes a follow-up question that helps identify why customers are demoters or why they are promoters.

Recommended read: What Your Net Promoter Score Isn’t Telling You

 

Self-Service Support Metrics

Knowing how effective your self-service is will allow you to improve it and reduce the number of customers who have to contact you.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Metrics Cheat Sheet to see how to measure customer support quality metrics.

In This Section:

Knowledge Base Views

What are knowledge base views?
This refers to how many times customers have viewed any pages of your knowledge base.

Why should you measure knowledge base views?
Monitoring knowledge base views allows you to see how often your customers attempt to self-serve using your knowledge base.

You can compare this metric to how often customers contact you via other channels, to see how effective updates to your knowledge base articles are.

Recommended read: Customer Support: 6 Metrics and KPIs to Improve Self-Service

Pages Viewed Per Session

What is pages viewed per session?
This metric looks at which articles someone views each time they visit your knowledge base.

Why should you measure pages viewed per session?
You can use this data to track visitor behavior. It allows you to see whether certain articles are viewed more frequently than others, which ones are viewed in succession and which ones aren’t viewed at all.

This data gives you clues about what information customers need and which articles you can improve.

For instance, if you find that customers are viewing certain knowledge base articles frequently but you’re still receiving lots of calls or emails about those topics, you should update those articles.

Ratio of views to submitted cases

What is ratio of views to submitted cases?
This looks at the ratio of people who are able to self-serve to instead of talking to an agent. You want to increase this over time.

Why should you measure ratio of views to submitted case?
Looking at ratio of knowledge base views to submitted cases helps you to see how well your customers are able to self-serve.

You want to have more people self serving than talking to your agents.

Number of Positive Votes

What is the number of positive votes?
This metric refers to the number of upvotes (or likes) articles in your knowledge base receive.

Why should you measure the number of positive votes?
This helps you to see which knowledge base articles are the most helpful to your customers.

These articles are the articles that you should prioritize keeping up to date.

Bounce Rates

What are bounce rates?
This metric measures how often visitors leave your knowledge base after clicking on just one page.

Why should you measure bounce rates?
Measuring your bounce rate helps you to see whether or not visitors are using the content in your knowledge base effectively.

If you have a very high bounce rate, it’s likely that customers aren’t able to easily find what they need, and are choosing a different support channel instead.

New vs Returning Users

What is new vs returning users?
Looking at new vs. returning users allows you to see the volume of customers that are turning to your knowledge base for self-service support.

Why should you measure new vs returning users?
Looking at new vs returning users allows you to see what proportion of customers are turning to your knowledge base for self-service support.

If you find that you have a higher volume of returning users, it may mean customers are unaware that your knowledge base exists.

If you have a higher volume of new users, it could mean that your knowledge base isn’t helpful, so your existing customers are turning to alternative support channels instead.


the ultimate guide to customer support metrics cheat sheet

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