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10 key customer service metrics to measure

From customer satisfaction to resolution time, customer service metrics help teams measure performance. Download our free guide below.

Por Stella Inabo, Contributing Writer

Última actualización en April 4, 2024

What are customer service metrics?

Customer service metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) businesses use to track and optimize their customer support team. These metrics can provide insight into agent performance, support processes, and the overall quality of customer interactions.

Tracking customer service metrics is like monitoring your business’s vital signs, helping to evaluate the health of your customer service strategy. Insights from this data are invaluable for improving customer loyalty and your bottom line.

But with so many customer service metrics, it’s hard to know which ones to prioritize to ensure the best customer experience. In this article, we preview some of the top metrics you should focus on to improve your customer experience (CX) and the effectiveness of your support team.

Why are customer service metrics important?

Customer service metrics are important because they give organizations valuable insight into the impact, effectiveness, and overall quality of their customer experience.

With these metrics, businesses can determine what’s working and what’s not. If organizations consistently receive positive customer feedback, for example, this indicates they’re on the right track with their support operations and may want to double down on what’s working.

On the other hand, if a business sees negative comments on social media or is experiencing an alarming number of ticket reopens, this could indicate that there may be issues with the business’s product, processes, or customer self-service offerings.

Types of customer service metrics to measure

When evaluating customer service metrics, there are typically two types you should be aware of: quantitative and qualitative metrics.

Quantitative metrics—otherwise known as operational metrics—focus on the hard data. In this category, you’ll uncover information like the average time it takes for a support agent to respond to a customer, how long it takes to solve a customer issue, and how many new customers the business gained over a period of time.

Qualitative metrics—also known as experience data or customer satisfaction metrics—highlight the context behind the data. These figures include things like how happy your customers are, how satisfied they are with your product, and other opinion-based insights.

Get the ultimate customer service metrics guide

To gain even more insight, download our free customer service metrics guide. It expands on the concepts in this article and details 14 additional customer service metrics so you can evaluate your operations with confidence.

Top 10 customer service metrics to measure

Now, let’s dive into some of the most common customer service KPIs you can use to improve your processes, measure the customer experience, and improve customer retention.

1. Customer satisfaction score

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is a customer service KPI that measures how well a company’s CX meets consumer expectations. One of the most common ways to collect this metric is by sending out customer surveys that rank their support experience on a scale of 1 to 5.

For more context, include open-ended survey questions that prompt customers to give more details about their interaction. For example, you can ask questions like:

  • In what ways did this experience meet your expectations?

  • Is there anything we could have done differently?

  • How satisfied are you with our service today?

How to measure:

You can measure customer satisfaction through surveys, focus groups, email questionnaires, and more.

2. Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) evaluates how easy it is for customers to resolve their issues, complete a task, speak to an agent, or navigate their customer portal. The score is typically collected via surveys that ask customers to rate the ease of their interaction on a scale of “very easy” to “very difficult.”

It’s wise to send CES surveys shortly after a customer purchases or engages with a customer service agent. From there, use the results to evaluate the state of your customer support and make improvements where necessary. You can reduce customer effort with great service, so if your CES results are below expectations, prioritize changes to your CX.

How to measure:

Measure Customer Effort Score with surveys sent directly to your customers.

3. Net Promoter Score®

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a survey businesses use to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. An NPS survey collects feedback on a scale of 0 to 10. Track this metric by asking buyers how likely they are to recommend your business to someone else. NPS rankings are as follows:

  • 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.

How to measure:

Gather your Net Promoter Score directly from your customer base through NPS surveys.

4. Social media metrics

Use social media mentions and other interactions to track your customer experience. Keep tabs on both positive and negative mentions on channels like X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, product review sites, and anywhere else you have a presence. Doing so will help you understand what the public says about you.

How to measure:

Evaluate your customer sentiment on social media by monitoring and tracking comments and activity on your business’s social pages.

5. Churn metrics

Churn metrics—like customer churn rate—help identify the percentage of customers who stop doing business with your company over time. You can use the standard customer churn rate formula below to establish a benchmark for identifying how many customers are leaving your business.

It’s equally important to find out why your customers are leaving your business. The first step is to ask your customers directly—a method that is most useful with subscription-based businesses. Do this by prompting customers to tell you why they’re canceling during the cancellation process or in a follow-up email. This information will provide context to your churn metrics so you make improvements.

How to measure:

Customer churn rate = (Total number of customers lost during a period / Total number of customers at the start of a period) x 100

6. First reply time

First reply time (FRT), often called first response time, is a metric often seen on a customer service report that measures how long a support agent takes to respond to a customer request or ticket. This data can indicate how efficient your agents and processes are. Long wait times might indicate that agents need help keeping up with a high ticket volume or that your processes need to be updated.

How to measure:

Total first reply time / Total number of resolved tickets in a given period = First reply time

7. Ticket reopens

Ticket reopens show how many times a ticket is reopened by a support agent. This metric tracks 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, service, or customer self-service portal. A high reopen rate could also suggest that agents close tickets before they fully resolve the customer’s issue. Either way, a high ticket reopen rate can signal problems with your processes or customer experience.

How to measure:

Monitor ticket reopens by tracking how many times your support agents have to contact the customer on the same ticket.

8. Resolution time

Average resolution time refers to the time it takes for a support agent to solve a problem. When monitoring this 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 may find that certain support agents are slower than others and need further training. If your resolution time is unfavorable, prioritize optimizing your web self-service so customers can search for answers independently.

How to measure:

Evaluate resolution time by calculating the average time a support agent takes to close a ticket.

9. Agent touches

Agent touches refer to any time a member of your support team updates or changes a ticket. A high number of touches indicates that support agents face 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.

How to measure:

Calculate agent touches by averaging the number of times an agent interacts with a ticket.

10. Tickets solved

Tickets solved is how many tickets were resolved and closed within a designated time. 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.

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How to measure:

Evaluate tickets solved by dividing the total number of tickets solved in the last 30 days by an average of 18 working days a month.

Frequently asked questions

Measure customer service performance like a pro

Customer service metrics are vital in evaluating the status of your customer service operations. With this data, you can make measurable improvements to your support processes and CX. That said, this guide just scratches the surface of what’s possible.

A customer service solution like Zendesk can help automate, customize, and track your business’ most important customer service metrics. Start a free trial today—and don’t forget to download our ultimate customer service metrics guide below to learn about the most important KPIs to monitor.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of NICE Satmetrix, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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