Discover the customer service metrics and KPIs you and your team should be tracking to optimize how you care for and delight your customers.

If you want to deliver an exceptional customer service experience, you need to measure your performance. Once you’re measuring your performance, you can quantify what success looks like and find ways to improve upon it.


But, what metrics should you be tracking to ensure you’re measuring what matters, and tracking the performance of your customer service team in the right way?


In this guide, we’re going to show you the key customer service metrics that matter for businesses that want to excel at customer service.


Let’s dive in.



1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)


What is CSAT?

Customer Satisfaction — CSAT for short — is one of the foundational customer service metrics. It measures how satisfied your customers are with your business.


To measure your CSAT, you’ll need to ask your customers a question like: “How satisfied are you with your experience with [company name]”. Then, ask customers to rate their experience on a numerical scale, such as 1 – 5, with 1 being bad, and 5 being good.


Once you’ve collected your responses, use the following formula to calculate your CSAT: 


CSAT = Sum of Positive Responses / Total Responses * 100


How to use CSAT


Your CSAT can be applied to different areas of your business.


For example, you could ask customers to rate their customer service experience once their support ticket has been closed. Or, you could ask your long term customers how satisfied they are with your product or service.


If your CSAT reveals that your customers aren’t as satisfied as you expected, you can address the problem areas to improve it, and re-run your CSAT survey.

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)


What is Net Promoter Score?


Net Promoter Score tells you if your customers are likely to recommend your company to a friend.


The question you’ll ask your customers is: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”


Anyone who answers 8 or above is classed as a promoter. Anyone that answers 0 to 6 is classed as a detractor. 


To calculate your Net Promoter Score, use the formula:


NPS = % of answers that were Promoters – % of answers that were Detractors = NPS


How to use NPS


If your NPS is low, you could have a problem. It’s a sign that your customers aren’t completely happy with your product or service, which opens the door to risks like churn.


Typically,  NPS is used for product or service-based feedback. For example, to find out if someone is happy using your product after they’ve been using it for 30 days. 


However, you can also run NPS surveys shortly after customer service interactions as your customers’ answers will reflect how they felt about the experience.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)


What is Customer Effort Score?


Customer Effort Score (CES) tells you how much effort your customers need to exert in order to have their support ticket or query resolved.


It’s important because if customers feel that they can’t easily solve their problems, they’re more likely to leave you.


To learn your CES, ask customers that have had their ticket closed: “How easy was it to resolve your issue?” Answers should be recorded on a scale of: very difficult, difficult, neither, easy, and very easy.


Then, to calculate your CES, use the formula:


CES = % of positive replies’ – % of negative replies

How to use CES

Your Customer Effort Score is a useful metric to understand whether your customer service system is working.


If your team is replying to customers quickly and resolving their issues, expect to see a high CES score. On the other hand, if you leave customers waiting for hours before replying and take days to solve simple issues, expect to see a lower CES.


It’s a good benchmark for how effective your customer support agents are at solving real customer problems.


4. Average Ticket Resolution Time


What is Average Ticket Resolution Time?


Average ticket resolution time is a  relatively self-explanatory customer service metric. It measures how long it takes your team to close the average support ticket.


You’ll need to track your ticket resolution time using a tool like timetoreply or with another customer support system like Freshdesk or Zendesk.


The formula for this metric is:


Average Ticket Resolution Time = Total time to resolve all tickets / Total number of tickets resolved

How to use Average Ticket Resolution Time

You can measure it on a per-agent or whole team basis. It’s generally best to do both of these side-by-side, so you can spot if any of your agents are overwhelmed and have too many tickets being directed their way, or whether there are bottlenecks holding up your entire support team’s workflow.


If you want to lower your average ticket resolution time you can implement new standard email reply time policies, such as a target reply time, or, add new standard operating procedures and help docs to support your customer service team. 

5. Average Time To First Reply


What is Average Time To First Reply?


Your average time to first reply is how long it takes your team to reply to the initial email or message a customer sends you.


For example, when a support ticket comes in, do you always reply to it within 60 minutes, or do you sometimes leave customers waiting for up to 24 hours?


It’s a key metric for customer service teams, because your customers will notice if you leave them hanging. As well as that, keeping your average time to first reply low can be a competitive advantage — only 36% of firms reply to incoming queries within an hour of receiving them.


To calculate your average time to first reply, use the formula:


Average Time To First Reply = Total time of first replies / Number of tickets replied to


How to Use Average Time To First Reply


Focusing on improving your time to first reply needs to be a key KPI for customer service teams.


Even if you don’t solve a customer issue in your first reply, simply sending your customer an email telling them that you’re looking into their problem will help put them at ease and be confident that you’re there to help. Even if it takes another 24 hours to solve the issue, you won’t leave your loyal customers worried that they’re being ignored.


6. Average Time to Reply


What is Average Time to Reply?


Your average time to reply (TTR) is the average time it takes your team to reply to all incoming emails and queries, even if they’re already part of a conversation.


For example, your first time to reply will have a lower positive impact if you then leave your customers waiting hours for future replies.


To calculate your time to reply, use the formula:


Average Time To Reply = Total Sum of Time to Reply to All Emails / Total Emails Replied To 


How to Use Average Time To Reply


Your average TTR has a variety of benefits. Firstly, you’ll understand if your customer service team consistently hits the KPIs and targets you’ve set for them, such as maintaining an average TTR of under 30 minutes during work hours.


You can also monitor your TTR on an individual or group mailbox basis to help you spot problem areas that are bringing down your reply times.


Rather than having to measure this key customer service metric manually, use timetoreply.


Once you install timetoreply and link it with the email accounts you need to start measuring your activity on, you’ll see your dashboard populated with all of your key customer support and email metrics.


Customer Service Metrics


You can start tracking your average Time to Reply, First Time to Reply, and every other key email metric you need to ensure your customer service team is hitting their targets and keeping your customers happy.


Looking at your customer service metrics in context


Having access to all of your key customer service metrics when and where you need them is critical if you want to improve your customer service performance.


However, it’s key to remember that metrics don’t always tell the whole story.


For example, your average ticket resolution time could be slow due to only a few complicated tickets taking a long time to resolve, or your average time to reply may be lowered due to reasons outside individual support agent control, such as a large backlog of tickets.


Regularly review your key metrics with your customer service to learn where you can make improvements to your processes and systems. Combining the real data you have from tools like timetoreply with the qualitative insights that your customer service team have from engaging with customers every day is the perfect way to ensure your customer service operations are operating to their full potential.

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