Customer service is important to your company’s success. That’s why you need to implement customer service metrics. After all, how do you know if you are providing good customer service if you have nothing to measure against?
There are plenty of customer service metrics you can choose from. But not all metrics are created equal; some do a better job than others of providing insightful data about your customer service. And, of course, there are the metrics that you will want to avoid—like the four on this list.
4. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction sounds like a great metric. It suggests you go straight to the source and ask your customers how satisfied they are with the customer service you have provided. And plenty of businesses do this: You can send outreach surveys through an outbound call center, for example, to ask customers who contacted your company how they would rate the service.
The problem is the word “satisfaction.” Customers can be satisfied without necessarily being happy. Were their concerns resolved? Sure, but maybe not the way they wanted or expected. How satisfied are they with the product? It might work, but it could likely still be better.
Herein lies the problem: Customer satisfaction provides limited insight into what you did right, what you did wrong, or where you could improve. If you must use this metric, be sure you use it in conjunction with others!
3. Conversion Rates
Social media drives the conversion rate metric, but outbound selling and other forms of promotion and advertising also use conversion statistics to measure success. Basically, you ask how many people saw or interacted with a tweet or a TV ad or an in-store representative, then ask how many of those people actually purchased the product.
The problem? Sales are not always automatic. Customers might inquire about something in your store, then go home to think about the purchase. They may see an ad on TV or Twitter, but it might take them a week to actually act on the desire to purchase.
Conversion rates miss those sales—and they miss the point of inspiring conversation and valuable interactions with your (potential) customers.
2. Net Promoter Scores
This is a somewhat better customer service metric, because it asks customers about a behavior, not an emotion. That makes it more accurate than customer satisfaction, but it is less accurate than customer effort scores. Net promoter scores ask your customers how likely they are to recommend you to a friend or family member.
The problem with this metric? It does not offer you any insight into why a customer would or would not recommend you. That does not help you in your efforts to improve your customer service.
1. Average Handle Time
Average handle time has been called the absolute worst of customer service metrics, and businesses would be well-advised to steer clear of AHT. Also known as “time on call,” AHT is a measure of how long a customer service representative spends interacting with the customer.
Often, this is simply a record of how long a phone call is, but methods like chat and text messaging can also use variants of AHT. Essentially, this metric measures how long the representative spends trying to resolve a customer issue.
The problem? Short calls do not always mean the issue was resolved quickly and easily, in a manner that satisfied the customer. It could mean the customer got upset and hung up. It could mean the rep couldn’t do anything, and the customer left the conversation feeling very disappointed.
Similarly, long calls do not necessarily equate with dissatisfied customers. While long wait times are problematic, sometimes, a long call simply means a representative took the time to ensure the customer’s issue was resolved fully and completely, in a way that satisfied the customer. AHT tells you virtually nothing about the quality of your customer service!