Customer satisfaction remains a top priority for businesses these days, as statistics continue to show how critical it is to deliver great customer experiences. A Right Now study found that 55% of those surveyed claim easy access to information and customer support can make them love a brand, while 86% are willing to pay up to 25% more for a superior customer experience. Brands are clearly taking notice: Deloitte reports that 62% of customer service organizations consider customer experience as a competitive differentiator. Customer service metrics therefore play a significant role in taking the pulse of a company’s customer service efficiency, as measurable data can provide detailed insights into weaknesses and best practices within an organization. Here are five key customer service metrics to measure to keep customers satisfied.
First contact resolution. Resolving a customer issue after one contact often equates as delivering excellent service that wins customer loyalty. Customers save time and gain confidence in a brand with first contact resolution, or FCR, and are often keen to share their satisfaction through brand advocacy (word of mouth or social media). In addition, the savings to a company are significant: FCR decreases call volume, which is an expensive contact channel, while driving agent productivity and freeing agents to respond more swiftly to other customers.
Hold time and abandonment. Time is of the essence in customer service as well as sales, so putting customers on hold can put them at risk of abandoning a purchase and eventually a brand if their needs are not met in a prompt manner. Companies should measure the average time customers are put on hold for service and consider implementing a virtual hold and callback system that satisfies customers by eliminating hold times and thereby reducing abandonment rates.
Social media response time. Social media moves fast, and expectations for timeliness are even more critical when it’s used for customer service. According to data obtained by the consulting firm Northridge Group, nearly 42% of consumers expect a service resolution within an hour of posting a question or issue on social media. This means that companies need to ensure that all cases, regardless of channel, are acknowledged and thoroughly addressed. If an agent feels a need to switch to another channel for more in-depth service, it’s fine to do so. It is simply important to never ignore a customer inquiry, as social media response time has quickly become one of the most critical customer service metrics to measure in today’s contact centers.
Average handling time. An important metric companies often measure is average handling time, or AHT, with the intention of decreasing numbers as much as possible. While it is costly to spend long periods of time with a single customer, companies should be careful not to sacrifice the quality of a customer service interaction for the sake of reducing AHT. Using a system which integrates self-service options with IVR menu options, for example, can streamline the service process and reduce AHT while saving customers time and delivering quality service.
Number of re-routed contacts. Depending on the contact center and the software used for customer service, some agents may be trained to deliver omnichannel service while others may be assigned to specialized roles on specific channels (as well as specific departments or products/services). In any case, companies should measure the number of re-routes which take place when customers make contact for service or sales. Through such analysis, contact centers could be reorganized and updated with optimum omnichannel software solutions to ensure better routing to the most qualified agent so that customers do not have to waste time repeating the same information to multiple agents.
Customer service metrics are critical to understanding the strengths and weaknesses in contact center practices. Careful analysis and subsequent adaptations based on the numbers can therefore empower companies to cut costs, drive sales, increase agent efficiency, and deliver the best service possible. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for excellent customer service.