Guide

Top 18 customer service metrics to measure

From customer satisfaction to resolution time, these are the key customer service metrics that measure performance and drive revenue.

By Stella Inabo, Contributing Writer

Published November 14, 2018
Last updated February 10, 2022

Tracking customer service metrics in 2022 is like monitoring your business’ vital signs—its importance cannot be understated. Insights from customer service metrics are invaluable when it comes to improving customer loyalty and your bottom line.

But with so many customer service metrics out there, it’s hard to know which ones to prioritize to ensure the best customer experience. Our free downloadable guide will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the most critical metrics and data points. But first, read on for a preview of why these common KPI metrics for customer service matter and what tools you can use to measure them.

What are metrics in customer service?

Customer service metrics help support teams track if their customers are happy and if their agents are equipped to do their jobs well. And 73 percent of business leaders report a direct link between their customer service and business performance, according to our 2022 CX Trends Report.

Top customer service metrics

Here are essential customer service metrics and different types of KPIs to measure customer service performance.

1. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score

Collect this metric by sending out customer satisfaction surveys that ask customers to rank their recent support experience on a scale of 1 to 5 or to rate it as “good” or “bad.”

To gain more context about CSAT scores, also include open-ended survey questions that prompt customers to give more details about their interaction. For example, you can ask, “In ways did this experience meet your expectations?” to find out what your support team is doing right. You can also state, “Tell us what we can do better” to identify areas of improvement.

2. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score evaluates how easy it is for customers to resolve their issue, complete a task, or speak to an agent.

The score is collected via surveys that ask customers to rate the ease of their interaction on a scale of “very easy” to “very difficult.” Send CES surveys shortly after a customer makes a purchase or engages with a support agent so the experience is still fresh in their mind.

3. Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS)

Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS) measures customer loyalty and satisfaction. Track this metric by asking buyers how likely they are to recommend your business to someone else on a scale of 1 to 10.

  • Promoters (respondents who answer 9–10) are very satisfied, happy customers and will most likely recommend you to others.
  • Passives (respondents who answer 7–8) are satisfied but not likely to recommend your products or services.
  • Detractors (respondents who answer 6 and below) are dissatisfied and will not encourage others to patronize your business.

4. Social media metrics

Other metrics to watch that reflect on your customers’ experience include social media mentions. Track both positive and negative social media mentions to help you understand what’s been said about you publicly. This includes Twitter, Facebook, your Instagram account, and product review sites. Using social media-monitoring tools, you can easily collect and analyze customer feedback. Use this feedback to determine the following:

  • How many comments appear to be written in moments of
    frustration, perhaps after a poor customer experience in
    person or online?
  • How many are technical or account-specific questions?
  • How many comments provide feedback, positive or negative?
  • How many questions can be answered using links to existing
  • help content?

  • How many brand mentions require, or would benefit from, a response?
  • What time of day are your customers most active on social media?

5. Churn metrics

Another excellent way to collect customer feedback (especially if you’re a subscription-based business) is to prompt your customers to tell you why they’re canceling their account. From this data, you can create a report of your churn activity. This can be done within the user interface during the cancellation process or as a follow-up email request after they’ve canceled. Your response rate will be much higher if you embed this survey into the user interface.

Customer Success teams want customers to be successful, to stay and renew their subscriptions. So, they really want to understand the reasons that lead a customer to click on the
dreaded “cancel subscription” button. By surveying customers as they are in the process of canceling their accounts (or right after they’ve canceled it), you can collect that vital feedback.

6. First reply time (FRT)

First reply time, or first response time, captures how long it takes an agent to initially respond to a support request or ticket. Long wait times might indicate that agents are struggling to keep up with a high volume of tickets or that there are slow, inefficient support processes in place.

If you provide a customer service-level agreement (SLA), check whether the agreement has a specific first-response time frame. If so, consistently track FRT to ensure you’re meeting your SLA requirements.

7. Ticket reopens

This customer service metric shows how many attempts it takes to solve a customer’s problem.

A large number of reopens might mean customers have complex support requests, which could point to an issue with your product or service. A high reopen rate could also suggest that agents close tickets before customers’ issues are fully resolved. In this situation, customers will likely be unsatisfied with the support they receive and have more questions about their problems.

8. Resolution time

Resolution time refers to the amount of time it takes for a support agent to solve a problem. Your resolution time really matters—73 percent of customers say fast resolutions are the most important aspect of a good customer service experience.

When monitoring this important metric, look for trends across different customer issue types and individual agents. You may find that certain problems are more complicated and require additional time to resolve. Or, you might see that certain support agents are slower than others and need further training.

9. Agent touches

This metric measures the number of updates an agent makes to a ticket.

A high number of touches indicates that support agents are faced with complex issues that take a lot of time and effort to resolve. It might also point to a problem in your product or gaps in your knowledge base.

10. Tickets solved

Many customer service teams set a daily ticket solved target for their agents (15, for example). Based on this number, they track how well their agents and teams are performing using the percentage of the target achieved. Here’s an example of how two different teams are doing hitting their daily ticket solved target. It’s useful to look at this by team and by individual agent. Of course, some days, an agent will be under (or over) the target of 15 tickets solved per day. Tracking the daily average over time is most important (in this example, 30 days) for spotting trends in agent performance and resourcing needs. This metric is calculated by dividing the total number
of tickets solved in the last 30 days by an average of 18 working days a month.

Tools for tracking customer service metrics

Manually keeping tabs on every essential customer service metric at once is near impossible. Luckily, there are tools that automate the tracking process for you, so you can easily capture, process, and iterate on customer service performance metrics.

Customer relationship management (CRM) tool

A CRM houses all customer information in one unified place, allowing support agents to quickly access important details and personalize customer interactions. The tool automatically collects and analyzes customer data, too, which saves support teams time and provides them with key insights to deliver better support.

Managers can also set goals for agents and track team progress within CRMs like Zendesk. Our software enables you to gather, analyze, and leverage customer support metrics. You can even create custom views using advanced reporting and dashboards to spot trends and improve customer support.

Survey tools

Use survey tools to create, distribute, and analyze customer surveys. These tools reduce errors that often occur during manual survey creation and allow respondents to access surveys from a number of devices—making for a better, easier experience.

With an online tool like SurveyMonkey, support teams can gather customer feedback through various channels such as email, social media, and text. SurveyMonkey also provides templates, integrates data with apps in your tech stack, and automates the analysis of survey results.

Social media monitoring tools

These tools track brand mentions, mentions of competitors, and keywords related to your brand on social media.

Manually monitoring mentions across numerous social channels is time-consuming, so use social media tools to automate the process. These platforms can also create reports to highlight trends and capture social sentiment, helping you gauge the mood of online conversations.

Hootsuite helps brands stay on top of social media conversations by tracking their mentions on all social channels. The software integrates with a review tracking tool, too, so you can monitor opinions from review sites and find positive reviews to share.

Download the full guide to learn more about how to measure customer service performance

Regularly measuring customer service metrics allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your customer experience—and stops it from flatlining. Tracking key metrics also provides the right benchmarks your support team can work toward and helps ensure you deliver great customer service.

Download our “Customer service metrics that matter” guide for step-by-step instructions on how to measure the metrics covered in this post, plus several more. You’ll explore various metrics—including first contact resolution rate, average response time, next issue avoidance, and average handle time—to gauge your customer service team’s strengths and development areas.