New Insight on Customer Service Metrics

Metrics, metrics everywhere—but what do they really mean? There can be overwhelming amounts of data to sift through when you’re trying to find the nugget that will make a difference in the operation and performance of your brand’s contact center. The question then becomes: where to start?

There are so many metrics brands use to evaluate their customer service. Those metrics are important, because they show what’s going right (and what’s going wrong) in terms of customer satisfaction. But those customer service metrics, while helpful, don’t tell the whole story. Sure, a brand can track and monitor how many calls were answered on a given day, service levels, average handle time, first call resolution and many other data points. But what do those metrics really say? They are part of the story, of course, but there are so many ways to evaluate these metrics that something may be lost in translation.

What if you took a different view of metrics? What if you added some new metrics and “sliced and diced” current numbers a little differently? Who knows what you might find…

What about measuring customer experience and efforts? Try putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and take a critical look at KPIs related to customer experience and customer efforts. For example, create a CX dashboard consisting of KPIs related to customer experience and effort required to achieve a positive outcome. Looking at KPIs like Response Time, Churn Rate and Average Revenue per User should make it possible to measure the true impact of the customer experience on customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.

You can also evaluate regular call volume versus spikes during a holiday or promotion. What are the similarities and differences in average call handle time, service levels and customer satisfaction scores? It’s important to maintain call quality at all times, so this could direct you to make some changes.

Customer channel preferences are changing—from solely telephone to Twitter, Facebook, SMS and other social, mobile tools. Try to determine which channels are most popular with your customers and which kind of inquiries come in on those channels. For example, do return requests come via phone or email? Are service complaints coming through Twitter more than phone?

And finally, pivoting customers. How are you doing tracking customer interactions across multiple channels? Can you tell if customers are first emailing, then calling if they don’t receive a response within 24 hours? Can you monitor an interaction that pivots from a social channel to phone to email and determine how it was resolved? This evaluation can help determine your strategy for each channel and (again) see what adjustments need to be made.

Your brand is likely capturing real-time data that is relevant to each of the metric twists I mentioned—but it’s all in how you look at it. Who knows? You could make a tweak, learn something new and ultimately improve your customer satisfaction scores and user experiences. Check out my recent article for ICMI for more details on a different perspective on metrics. And let us know what you learned when you looked at your metrics with a fresh set of eyes!

This article first appeared on the ICMI website.

Image courtesy of Carlos Porto at