The concept of a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is common in the business world, yet for some customer support teams it may be new terminology. A KPI is a measurement of your operations that you can compare over time to see how your business has changed. With more companies realizing that customer support is a profit center and not a cost center, measuring KPIs in the industry has been a hot topic. Some of the more traditional customer support KPIs – like abandonment rate and first response time – are classic KPIs borrowed from departments like sales that aren’t always a natural fit.
Let’s refresh the customer support KPI concept and look at what indicators are emerging in the industry…
1) Customer Distress (CD) or Customer Happiness - Customers are the lifeblood of a business and keeping them happy is a top priority. Leverage software that can easily tell if you if a customer is distressed or getting there based on factors such as their ticket volume and the tone of their messages. Some solutions have a Customer Distress Index (CDI) built in for quick information, and sentiment analysis to identify potential dissatisfaction. You can even factor in customer value and longevity as well to understand exactly how much attention a support team should pay to a specific customer.
2) Cost Per Ticket (CPT) – This is the total cost of running a customer support team divided by the number of tickets received. Arguably the largest impact on this KPI is an efficient team that is well-structured and has employees with a variety of complementary skills. You don’t want a team with glaring weaknesses, such as a lack of agents that are good on the phone. In addition, collaboration with team members on difficult customer tickets helps to resolve issues faster and keep customers happy.
3) Monthly Ticket Volume (MTV) – Sure, MTV might have been a television station you watched decades ago, but ticket volume is serious business. Track the total number of tickets received monthly and compare them not only to the previous month but also on a YoY (year over year) basis. Spot trends via customer support reporting and understand how the volume directly correlates to business decisions being made in other departments. This metric is also very valuable for staffing and recruiting as some companies do have seasonal volume fluctuations.
4) Average Response Time (ART) – This KPI is represented by a single question… How long does it take to respond to customers? Evaluating this indicator closely is a good indicator of customer happiness because nobody likes to wait for a reply. It can also show you the complexity of the requests you are receiving from customers, with highly complicated issues taking longer to solve. It’s essentially an evolved and more exhaustive version of the “first response time” KPI.
5) Average Ticket Severity (ATS) – Lastly, the ATS indicator lets you understand how different issues within your business are directly affecting support. You can calculate this by assigning a number to each ticket severity level (i.e. 3 = critical, 2 = high, 1 = normal), adding them up, and dividing by the total number of tickets. If there is an influx of critical or high severity issues, it likely means that other departments aren’t doing their job well enough and support is needing to pick up the slack. Too many months with a high ATS may indicate support needs to speak up to business leadership because some major problems are present in the company.
We hope these KPIs help in monitoring the success of your customer support operation. The more actionable metrics customer support leadership can bring to the table, the more likely they are to prove their worth and value to the company. By keeping your KPIs focused on your customers, it can only help to create an environment that adds value to the bottom line.