The Most Meaningful Customer Service Metrics

Christian Eberle

Read Time

3 minute read

Customer support is becoming a much bigger consideration as companies explore opportunities to increase revenue streams. But in order to clearly see how to improve support centers and boost their operations, businesses have to put customer service metrics in place that paint the clearest picture of performance.

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Your support reps, or heroes as they’re more aptly called, can showcase performance through a number of different lenses. Traditional metrics for customer support still give some solid insight into what is and isn’t working, but as support has evolved, so have the ways in which it’s measured. Here’s a closer look at the most meaningful metrics to use for your support center.

Traditional Customer Service Metrics

For as long as companies have had the ability, support teams have tracked baseline metrics of performance for their support heroes. Even though both the measurement methods and the data points of interest have changed over time, a few key stats are still elemental to interpreting performance.

When it comes to understanding both the speed and efficiency of your response time, many centers track average wait time (AWT) and average handle time (AHT). The former helps indicate how long a customer tends to hold on the phone, over chat, or whichever communication channel before they start receiving help. The latter, AHT, points to the overall time it takes for the customer’s inquiry to reach a resolution.

While AWT should always be as low as possible (since waiting will frustrate customers and lead to negative interactions with reps), AHT can indicate different results that reveal consumer satisfaction (CSat). Largely, customers prefer to resolve their issues as quickly as possible, but having a slightly longer AHT might signify quality conversations that lead to upselling. The key here is to acknowledge how these customer service performance metrics are taken into account and the best ways to turn those results into successful strategies.

Rising Customer Service Metric: Concurrency

Another important customer service metric is concurrency, which with modern technology has become a major indicator of capability and performance. Through this gauge, companies can figure out how many conversations any given hero can handle at once, which is a direct indicator of efficiency.

Sometimes, the ability for a hero to have a high concurrency rate is based on their skills and ability to multitask. The ideal situation would be if every agent on your staff was lightning-fast in their response times, but the more realistic approach is to employ a system that embraces concurrency and multitasking without jeopardizing quality. Programs that succeed at this consolidate conversations, allowing easy access to different customers within one interface that keeps a record of each interaction, ultimately leading to other important customer experience discoveries in the future. By using Gladly’s platform, luxury retail brand Tory Burch was able to consistently double the concurrency rates of their customer service team.

New Ways to Measure

As the technology that customer support teams use evolves, so do the measurements they use to analyze best practices. Interfaces like Gladly’s have taken previously used metrics and adapted them to be more effective.

For instance, Gladly gives insight into concurrency and AHT by measuring the result and turnover of “work sessions.” Gladly’s radically personal support system lets heroes handle conversations on the whole rather than as individual tickets that tend to overlap, provide mixed information, or create collisions between agents. In the same way that support has gotten more efficient, the measurement of success within that system has followed, and continues to help guide users toward more effective uses of the Gladly program.

In addition to more accurate customer service performance metrics, it’s also paramount for companies to have consistency in measurement between historical and real-time data. Applying this knowledge is only helpful if the data collection is consistent through time, requiring a platform that can marry legacy information with what reps are collecting on a daily basis.

Understanding the metrics behind your support center’s success is the first step toward making improvements. Using these measurements, team leaders can build specific strategies for bolstering the workforce as necessary, acquiring more helpful software, or training existing staff to better react to certain customer support situations for higher efficiency. With this insight, your team of heroes can become an integral part of your business that not only keeps customers happy but also generates revenue.

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