When evaluating performance, businesses use KPIs (key performance indicators) to analyze various aspects of their work processes.
In sales and marketing, this can be pretty straightforward because many of the performance metrics of these positions are tied to hard numbers such as revenue generation or customer acquisition.
In customer support, however, this can be more challenging because the customer experience isn’t easily measured in dollars and cents.
In support, you need to look at a web of KPIs that, when taken together, provide a more complete picture.
Why do customer support KPIs matter?
Customer support is one of the most important areas for determining business success. While sales and marketing bring people to the table, the customer support team keeps them there.
It’s important to understand how successful your customer support efforts are if you want your company to grow in long term.
Customer support KPIs can help you quantify various aspects of your customer support processes and help you:
- Track what’s working: The proof is in the pudding. Customer support KPIs can tell you what you are doing well and what areas you need to work on.
- Allocate resources more effectively: Customer support KPIs can help you get the most bang for your buck.
- Improve business efficiency: Streamline your customer support processes using data-driven insights.
- Respond to increasing customer and employee expectations: Customer support KPIs can help you shrink the gap between what our customers/employees expect and what we deliver.
The 2 categories of customer support KPIs
Customer support KPIs can be separated into two categories:
- KPIs that measure the experience: These KPIs look at various aspects of the customer or employee journey to evaluate the quality of the experience.
By looking at a customer support KPI such as FRT (first response time) or ART (average resolution time) and comparing them to industry benchmarks and internal expectations, you can get a good idea of how you measure up.
You can also use surveys such as NPS (net promoter score) or CSAT (customer satisfaction score) to evaluate the experience directly.
- KPIs that measure efficiency: These KPIs look at various aspects of your support processes to evaluate efficiency.
By looking at a customer support KPI such as cost per resolution or interactions per ticket, you can gauge how effective your support processes are and identify areas for improvement.
10 Customer Support KPIs you need to Track
Your customer support team’s unique structure and requirements will determine the most important KPIs for you to track.
That said, the following ten KPIs will be useful for support teams of all stripes and can serve as a foundation for you to build off.
1. FRT (first response time): This measures how long it takes your support team or rep to respond to a support ticket once it is issued. This is a valuable KPI metric for evaluating the customer experience.
Research by SuperOffice revealed that nearly half of all customers expect an FRT of less than 4 hours, while the average FRT of companies surveyed was actually more than 12 hours.
There is a clear disparity between the customer expectation and what businesses are delivering, providing an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself.
2. ART (Average resolution time): This measures how long your support team or rep takes to resolve a customer issue. This is the most important customer experience KPI metric for your support team to track.
A recent trends report by Zendesk showed that fast resolution to a customer issue is the most important aspect of a good customer service experience.
3. FCR (first contact resolution): This measures how often your support team or rep resolves an issue during the first interaction.
This is a good indicator of the quality of your training and resources. It is also a great customer service metric for assessing the customer and employee experience.
4. CES (customer effort score): This measures the amount of effort a customer must put in to resolve an issue.
This is most often measured on a scale of “very easy” to “very difficult” and is open to interpretation.
Generally speaking, the more time a customer spends answering questions or troubleshooting the issue with a support rep, the lower this score is going to be.
These scores are usually attained through a CSAT/NPS survey or similar (more on that in a bit).
5. Interactions per ticket: This measures how many interactions your reps have with a customer to resolve an issue from start to finish.
This can help you identify gaps in employee training and knowledge and help evaluate the employee experience (no customer wants to have to call you repeatedly).
6. Tickets per customer: This measures how many support tickets you receive per customer, on average.
This can help you identify gaps in customer training and knowledge for your products and services or help inform the development of your offerings going forward.
7. CSAT/NPS (customer satisfaction score/net promoter score): These scores are based on the evaluation of responses to questions on a survey you provide.
The questions you ask on these surveys will depend largely on your support processes.
8. CRR (customer retention rate): Sometimes referred to as your customer churn rate, this measures the total number of customers you retain over a given period.
Not all customer churn is the result of bad customer service performance, but this KPI is tied closely to your customer service performance as a whole.
9. ETR (employee turnover rate): This measures the total number of employees you lost in a given period.
Tracking employee churn by department can be helpful for identifying areas of focus when trying to improve the employee experience.
10. Cost per resolution/ticket: This measures how much it costs your company to resolve a ticket from start to finish.
This calculation takes into account employee hours and the cost of tools and resources.
Your cost per resolution can be helpful in calculating the ROI of new software tools you implement, such as CRM.
A CRM can improve your KPI tracking and analysis
Knowing what KPIs you want to track is just the beginning. Capturing and analyzing the data comes next.
There is no greater tool on the market for this than a CRM (customer relationship management software).
A CRM not only captures all of your customer interactions, it tracks every employee activity performed within the system. This provides the information you need to start measuring your customer support KPIs.
What’s more, a CRM can transform this data into visually stunning reports and dashboards that make the information digestible at a glance.
The team can share these visualizations to provide real-time performance results that foster ownership, accountability, and friendly competition.
Your leadership team and the board will appreciate these reporting capabilities as well.
FreeAgent is the best CRM + work management platform for tracking and analyzing your customer support KPIs
FreeAgent CRM is a work management platform designed for today’s world of work.
Our modern and intuitive interface, combined with our robust, easy-to-use toolset, provides everything your support team needs to make every customer a happy customer.
Teams love working in FreeAgent because it centralizes all of their work processes into a single system that can be customized and personalized to work the way they do.
Within FreeAgent, complex work processes are simplified, disparate teams are connected, and every activity and interaction is captured in real-time.
Having all of your teams and tools working together within a single system is the first step in tracking your customer support KPIs.
The next step is turning those data points into insights, and with FreeAgent’s comprehensive reporting capabilities, this is a breeze.
All of your data can be quickly and easily configured into visually stunning reports and dashboards.
The variety of chart types and configurations that FreeAgent provides allows you to see your data in fun and easy ways.
Finally, with FreeAgent’s advanced automation and workflow technology, you can turn your insights into actionable processes that are followed every single time.
Discover FreeAgent for yourself with our free trial, and start leading the way to a better work day for your customer support team.