Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are critical for customer service departments because they’re often the first contact point for potential customers. Measuring your customer service performance gives you access to some of the most important leading KPI indicators, which in turn will go on to influence things like your sales and your customer retention. Additionally, it will help you to manage your customer service team more efficiently, potentially reducing cost and driving increased job satisfaction.
For each KPI, we’ve provided you with a brief description of why you may want to use it. We suggest you pick at least 2 or 3 KPIs for each of you strategic focus areas Below you will find a list of teams for which we’ll be providing examples of KPIs, followed by the 12 customer service KPI examples.
- KPIs for Finance Teams
- KPIs for Sales Teams
- KPIs for Marketing Teams
- KPIs for HR Teams
- KPIs For Customer Service Teams (this guide)
- KPIs for Health & Safety Teams
- KPIs for Engineering Teams
Check back regularly, or subscribe to our e-mail list to be the first to hear when your team goes live in the mini-series.
BONUS: We’ve prepared a free downloadable KPI cheat sheet for you to take away and keep forever.
We’ve identified 3 key areas where we think KPIs will have the biggest impact on the success of your organization. These are, Customer Satisfaction, Operational Efficiency and Business Value KPIs.
Examples of KPIs for Customer Service Teams
Understanding Customer Satisfaction
These examples of KPIs help you understand how happy your customer is overall. Customer satisfaction can, of course, have a huge influence on the entire organization, including the bottom line. An unhappy customer is less likely to come back…
Number of Support Tickets & Complaints
Every day, week and month, it’s important to measure the number of new issues/support tickets/complaints being generated. This allows you to understand if these new issues correlate to any new business developments such as new product launch. If the number of new issues spikes up, you might need to investigate and resolve the root cause.
Customer Satisfaction Score
A customer service department needs to keep track of your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. This customer service KPI measures the performance of your customer service department. You can achieve this by issuing a mini-survey to your customers after they have completed an experience with your service. You need to take it seriously and don’t rely on email feedback alone as your survey mechanism.
First Contact Resolution (FCR)
This is the percentage of support issues resolved by the customer service department upon the first contact with the customer. For web chats or live calls, this means your agent resolved the issue before the customer ended the chat session or hung up the phone. It can be calculated by dividing the number of issues resolved on the first contact by the total number of customer contacts. Issues are deemed “resolved” if the customer says they are resolved. With this information, you can narrow down to issues that aren’t being resolved on the first contact and address the root cause.
Net Promoter Score
Customers who are very satisfied or even delighted with your customer service will often go a step further and recommend your business to their friends and contacts. Their likelihood to do this can be measured using Net Promoter Score. This can be a great way to measure the performance of your customer service. We wrote extensively about NPS in one of our previous KPI guides, so check that out for more information.
Abandon Rate of Calls & Chats
Analyzing the abandon rate can help a customer service department decide whether measures like ring-backs should be implemented where a customer has an option to request a call back after holding on to a queue. Additionally, abandon rates can help you optimize resources such as utilizing staff from other departments during peak hours.
Understanding Operational Efficiency
How efficient your team operates will have a direct effect on the customer satisfaction and overall business value the customer service team bring to the table. These Customer Service KPIs are all about helping you to understand how the team’s speed influences the performance overall.
Average Resolution Time
Great customer service is synonymous with timely resolution of issues. If your department responds to customer queries faster, they will be happier with your services and will be more likely to stick around for long. If the department is unable to keep the resolution time low, it might be an indication that your team is understaffed.
It’s quite a turn off for a customer to hold on for long minutes only to be transferred to a different department where they have to repeat the nature of their issues and personal details all over again. This is actually a major cause of client resentment and dissatisfaction across the globe.
Cost per Call (Contact)
Cost per call is essentially the cost of a customer call (or live chat) arriving and being picked by a contact center agent. Basic cost per call can be calculated by dividing the number of calls per hour by an agent’s hourly wage. This helps you determine the additional costs associated with handling extra calls. If a certain number of calls is reached, you may want to add more agents and supervisors.
Average After Call Work Time
In most customer service departments, the work doesn’t end when a customer disengages the call. In many cases, agents will spend some more time informing colleagues about the call, sending emails and updating the database. This time a customer agent spends wrapping up a transaction at the end of customer call is referred to as the “after call work time”. Most managers will want to reduce this time so as to minimize the cost of interaction with a customer.
Training Investment per Employee
Whilst this is very much a lead indicator, you should closely monitor how much you’re investing in training and development. If you invest too little, it’s likely that you’ll either (a) struggle to develop top talent internally or (b) have top talent leave to pursue training and development opportunities elsewhere. It’s again hard to say what a good number is here, but at Cascade we’re aiming for a spend of around $2,000 per employee per year on direct training and development.
Wait Time for Callers
Having to wait in queues for endless minutes can be quite frustrating. So ensure that your average call wait time is within an acceptable range and your customers are satisfied. This customer service KPI can be calculated by dividing the total time customers wait in call queues by the total number of customer calls answered.
This is the measure of the number of repeated calls or support tickets from a customer within seven days from their first contact. This customer service KPI encourages agents to not just resolve the current issue but to comprehensively and proactively address any potential future issues that can be anticipated out of the customer’s current issue. In essence, don’t just react to the complaints and issues that clients are raising now.
Understanding the Business Value
Ultimately the goal of the organization is that every team brings significant business value and there are many KPIs that can help you measure that within Customer Service, but the below KPIs provide a solid benchmark to work from.
Conversion is one of the most important aspects of any business, both online and offline. This helps you to find out how likely a customer is to take a specific ‘favourable’ action after interacting with your customer service agents. The action could be to make a purchase, subscribe to a service, fill a form, make a donation, etc. This number will likely be higher if your customer service department is performing well.
Many times customer retention depends on the quality of service and products offered, but what can ultimately count the most is the experience the customer gets while dealing with your business on a human level. Customer service agents are your frontline ambassadors and their interaction with customers while offering requested information or resolving arising issues will determine whether customers will stick around or look elsewhere.
There are many more parameters and customer service KPI elements that might be useful to your business, but the above 12 examples are a great place to start. I hope that these examples offered some useful insights for your business. Of course, you can add any of these and just about any other KPI you can think of in our platform, Cascade Strategy. So this is a perfect way to try it out!
(there’s no credit card required (if you already have an account, log in here))