Using CommBox Makes Customer Support KPI Measurement Simple So You Can Achieve Your Business Objectives.
Customer service satisfaction is the single most significant predictor of customer conversion, retention, and promotion. This is because it is the number one contributing factor to building trust with customers. As many as 96% of private consumers and B2B buyers, alike, say that customer service is an essential factor in the decision making process. Moreover, B2B buyers tend to value customer service experience even more than private consumers, with B2B buyers making purchasing decisions as a direct result of positive customer service experiences 1.5 times more than individual consumers.
As a result, almost nine out of ten businesses now compete based on customer service experience. Consequently, tracking, measuring, and continuously improving the customer service experience is essential to your business’s success. It ultimately determines your number of sales and how you can price a product or service, your marketing and customer acquisition spend, and your overall competitive standing. Failure to appropriately monitor your firm’s customer service experience performance would be a critical oversight and an active barrier to your success.
Customer service experience is inherently difficult to measure; service quality and satisfaction are intangible and subjective. That said, it is relatively easy to control — many businesses take it for granted that they control the service environment and define the attributes of their customer service quality standards. A firm must first identify its most critical success factors. Then, measuring and improving customer service satisfaction becomes a matter of identifying the closest proximal measures of how customer service experience impacts those factors.
The most reliable measures of customer service experience and customer service agent (CSA) performance involve both tracking the measurable indicators of high-quality service (like first service time, time-to-completion, and related costs) as well as quantifying direct subjective feedback from customers. These metrics, called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), represent an easily accessible tool for businesses of any size to understand and improve their progress towards performance objectives. The most significant attributes of the most essential customer service KPIs are their proximity to critical success factors and the objectivity of their quantifiable measurement.
Tracking customer service KPIs is essential to your business’s financial success. Without it, your customer service funnel is likely to support your competitors’ market growth. That said, implementing new tracking methods for customer support KPIs is rarely prohibitively challenging. Many firms collect customer service KPI data without understanding its potential to inform service experience improvement and, consequently, revenue growth. Because of this failure to recognize measures like customer churn/retention as a customer service KPI, many firms fail to address the ways that customer service is actually (often very negatively) impacting customer perceptions of service quality. Consequently, the vast majority of businesses — as much as 80% — believe they are providing superior customer service quality, while customers report that less than 10% of firms actually do.
These businesses tend to neglect customer service as a channel for revenue growth, instead choosing to focus on other areas of their sales funnel like customer acquisition and re-engagement. Most notably, these firms fail to recognize that poor performance across customer support KPIs are indicative of broader trends in the firm’s competitive ability. Customers lost as the result of poor quality customer service represent more than just a lost sale. They take their business and their negative word-of-mouth with them to other service providers, ultimately actively increasing competitors’ standing and decreasing that of the firm in the market as a whole. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way’s reviews influence purchasers. Specifically, 93% of B2B buyers are admittedly influenced by reviews at some point during the purchasing process. More than three-quarters of B2B purchasers use reviews for discovering potential service providers, almost half base their list of products/providers to consider on the available reviews, and 43% make final purchasing decision selections as a result of reviews.
Customer service KPIs are most reliably tracked through a combination of objective and subjective data collection. Some specific customer support KPIs, like first response time, are easy to measure via call/chat monitoring and other automated software systems. Others, like customers’ net reporter score, are only accessible via the collection of feedback surveys that explicitly ask about buyers’ likelihood of recommending the product/service or brand, or through extrapolation from complaint and public review content and frequency. Mystery shoppers also present unique, and often invaluable, opportunities for collecting data about customers’ subjective perceptions of the service experience.
First Response Time is the amount of time it takes a business to respond to a customer service inquiry. Of all available customer service KPIs, First Response Time has the most definite causal link to customer service quality, as both B2B and B2C buyers have rigid expectations concerning wait times. For example, more than half of consumers expect customer service telephone holds to last less than three minutes, while email response is expected within a few hours. When using live chat functions, customers have come to expect average First Response Times of less than 45 seconds.
This is significant because, among B2B buyers, slow customer service response is the number one barrier to purchasing and is mentioned twice as often as price. Additionally, 77% of customers say that it still takes too long to reach a live CSA. Alarmingly, customers are almost three times more likely to recommend a business that provides a fast but ineffective solution to their inquiry over one that offers a slow but effective solution. Moreover, 66% of customers believe a prompt First Response Time that values their time is the most critical aspect of a customer service interaction.
Abandonment Rate is the number of customers who discontinue a call or chat conversation before resolving their customer service inquiry. As a customer support KPI, the Abandonment Rate is strongly indicative of inappropriate wait times, too many CSA interactions, or inefficient CSAs. It is often helpful to segment measurements of Abandonment Rate to aid in identifying which step(s) in the service process cause the highest rates of abandonment.
Abandonment Rate shares a strong relationship with customer satisfaction. Fewer than one in five customers who abandon their post-purchase service inquiries repurchase. What’s more, among potential buyers who initiate and then abandon a chat or call before purchasing, 45% abandon the purchase if their questions and concerns are not promptly resolved.
That said, of B2B buyers complaining about errors in their order costing them $100+, 82% make repeat purchases if their complaint resolves quickly. Even more striking, these customers (who have a significant loss, complaint, and rapid resolution) are 8% more loyal than customers who have no complaint about the services received. Managing this customer service KPI ensures that businesses will see higher rates of customer retention and, consequently, greater revenues than otherwise earned.
The number of Interactions Per Ticket refers to the number of times the CSA changes or the customer’s call or chat transfers to a new CSA during the service conversation. Data suggests that 5-6 CSA transfers during a single customer service inquiry is standard. However, 79% of customers consider it poor customer service if they have to explain their complaint or question to multiple CSAs. Moreover, more than one-third of customers consider working with a CSA who does not have the skills or knowledge to resolve their inquiry to be the least favorable aspect of their recent customer service experiences.
As a customer service KPI, this measure can predict customer perceptions of poor service quality. The best practices for managing Interactions Per Ticket include improved CSA education, better CSA access to robust knowledge banks, and routing customer service inquiries to specific CSAs based on their unique strengths and skillsets. More than just escalating an inquiry to a manager, these processes diminish the number of un-knowledgeable (and perceived unhelpful) CSAs a customer interacts with while resolving their inquiry. Moreover, creating detailed and exhaustive information-gathering resources for each ticket can greatly diminish Interactions Per Ticket.
Customer Retention Rate reflects the number of customers who make a second (or additional) purchase. As a customer service KPI, Customer Retention Rate is an incredibly important indicator. Customer service experience quality has a more significant impact on customer loyalty than product or service quality or price. Low Customer Retention Rates don’t just mean that your customers aren’t repurchasing with you; they say your customers are making purchases from your competitors. Almost nine out of ten customers who experience poor quality customer service choose to purchase from a competing firm or brand in the following year.
In today’s consumer and B2B markets, Customer Retention Rate functions more as a customer service KPI than it does as a KPI for any other facet of a firm’s operations, including product price or quality. Even small changes in the Customer Retention Rate have enormous implications for a firm’s revenues, as increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can boost profits by 25%-95%. What’s more, it costs as much as 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to re-engage a returning customer. Increasing Customer Retention Rate via improvements to customer service increases revenues.
The Net Reporter Score is a customer loyalty score based on customers statements about their likelihood to recommend the product or service to a friend/colleague. As a customer service KPI, Net Reporter Score is illustrative of customer satisfaction, with 77% of satisfied customers tending to actively recommend a product, service, or brand. What’s more, it also illustrates the most significant benefit of improved Customer Retention Rate, as the most significant predictors of recommendations and reviews are the same trust and loyalty necessary for retention.
Notably, the lifetime value of a customer who goes on to be a “customer experience promoter” is 600% to 1,400% higher than the value of a customer service detractor (poor reviewer). This is especially impressive considering that customer service detractors are likely to tell more than 1.3 times more people about their experience than customer service promoters. Given that recommendations play a crucial role in the purchasing decisions of B2B buyers (with 65% of B2B purchasers basing their final decisions on peer recommendations), the Net Reporter Score as a customer support KPI projects trends in customer acquisition and reduced customer acquisition costs.
Employee Productivity tracks the progress of customer service inquiries through CSAs’ individual systems. This includes the unique back-and-forth interactions between the customer and the CSA and the number of tickets a CSA can complete during the workday. This is valuable information because it can help identify gaps in CSA education and resources as well as individual CSAs’ strengths in the service process. As a customer support KPI, Employee Productivity acts as a real-time indicator of growing problems in customer experience, as decreases in productivity suggests an increase in errors and lower service quality.
Consequently, based on Employee Productivity as a customer service KPI, managers can create knowledge banks and delegate workflow so that CSAs remain motivated and productive and customers work with the best-fit CSA for their inquiry. What’s more, Employee Productivity as a customer service KPI is a good indicator of the level of happiness, engagement, and belief in the company’s mission among the workforce. Low Employee Productivity negatively impacts customer service experience quality by increasing First Response Time and the number of Interactions Per Ticket. Yet it also can highlight more significant cultural or corporate problems that decrease the perceived quality of customer service interactions.
Using CommBox’s Real-Time Dashboard will improve any firm’s customer support KPIs to increase business success. Specifically, CommBox’s unique features will:
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