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How is customer service measured and monitored?

Customer service is one of the most important tools in a brand’s arsenal because it directly influences a customer’s likelihood of being satisfied with their experience. When customer satisfaction is high, retention rates are also high, so it’s critical to optimise customer service processes accordingly.

However, as businesses are increasingly dependent on ROIs and KPIs, it’s critical to have a way of measuring customer service that determines how successful these processes are. Fortunately, several effective metrics help to achieve exactly that. 

Why is customer service important? 

Customer service is all about supporting customers' needs and in most cases, this includes problems or questions regarding your products and services. Good customer service consists of resolving customers’ problems quickly, providing helpful information about products and services, and responding to customers in a prompt, patient and helpful manner. 

Customer service is vital because it has the power to improve customer retention and satisfaction. However, since it is generally a qualitative and subjective concept, customer service can be challenging to measure. To overcome this, numerous customer service metrics have been developed to provide quantifiable and trackable data that helps to indicate how a business is performing. 

Top customer service metrics

It’s important to have an effective way to measure customer service because it allows businesses to track how satisfied customers are with the support they receive. Some metrics include operational data, or O-data, which measure quantifiable elements of customer service like the average response time or resolution rate for a customer request. The problem with these metrics is that they don’t indicate how the customer actually feels about the service which makes it difficult to assess their satisfaction. That’s where Experience data, or X-data, comes in. X-data is focused on human information, such as emotions and sentiments, and is far more subjective than O-data. When these metrics are used strategically, businesses can successfully monitor how well they’re performing and where their customer service processes need improvement.  

Some of the top customer service metrics include:

  1. CSAT scores
  2. CES rating
  3. NPS score
  4. Social media monitoring
  5. Abandonment rates
  6. Response time

Let's explore each of those in more detail.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is an increasingly popular metric for tracking Customer Experience (CX) because it focuses on how the customer feels after interacting with a brand. Customer satisfaction surveys ask a customer to rate how satisfied they are with any aspect of their customer journey, whether it be a product, service, interaction or otherwise. The answers given are usually on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, with higher scores representing high levels of satisfaction.  

To measure customer satisfaction, all you need to do is divide the number of satisfied customers by the total number of customers. For best results, it’s worth only including customers who have ranked 80% satisfied or more.  

Over time, each rating a brand receives will determine its overall customer satisfaction. This helps businesses to find common trends in the customer experience so that they can improve processes where needed and maintain whatever is working well. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Since customers are more likely to leave a brand when it becomes too difficult for them to get what they need, a Customer Effort Score is a crucial metric to use. Put simply, Customer Effort Scores (CES) show how easy it is for a customer to interact with a brand including anything from navigating a website to getting customer support or using a product. If the customer found the interaction took minimal effort, they will give an appropriate score on a scale of either 1-5 or 1-10. 

To calculate Customer Effort Scores, just divide the total sum of all responses by the total number of responses, then multiply by 100 for the percentage. The higher percentage the better. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Scores, or NPS, is a popular but somewhat outdated metric which asks customers how likely they are to recommend a brand to others. A Net Promoter Score survey asks customers for a rating on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, with the higher ratings suggesting they are more likely to refer someone they know to use the brand too.  

The theory of NPS is to give a general idea of how happy customers are after they’ve engaged with a brand, with high scorers being called Promoters, and low scorers called Detractors. To calculate an NPS score, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. For example, if your business has 15% detractors and 60% promoters, your NPS would be 60 – 15 = 45. 

Social Media Monitoring

In the age of social media, brands need to tune into what their customers are saying on various social platforms. Social media is a place where customers can give honest, immediate and unfiltered feedback, whether the brand chooses to pay attention or not. To ensure your customers feel heard and valued, social media monitoring is crucial and should involve tracking the following: 

  • Frequency of brand mentions and tags.
  • The number of negative comments over time.
  • Common questions and complaints. Particularly those that can be answered proactively through brand content or other channels. 

Abandonment Rates

Loyal customers are worth far more than new ones, so it’s important to track when and why customers abandon your brand. That’s what an Abandonment Rate measures, and it essentially shows where most customers are deciding to give up on a brand and look elsewhere. To track the abandonment rate for your brand, all you need to do is record how many customers leave your brand and when. Over time this data will highlight which parts of your customer’s journey are missing the mark and causing them to get frustrated or impatient. If your customer service is one of the factors causing problems, this can be hugely helpful to know. 

By keeping track of your abandonment rate, you can see which processes are working well and which need immediate attention. 

Response Time

Customers expect brands to respond to their requests and complaints as soon as possible which is why it’s so important to track your brand’s response time. The faster responses the better because if customers feel it’s taking too long to get a response, they’re likely to leave the brand altogether. 

While automated responses are fast, customers often prefer to have direct contact with customer service representatives because the communication is personal. That’s why, for the sake of measuring response time, automated messages aren’t counted. 

The industry benchmarks will vary depending on the channel with emails generally requiring a response within 24 hours, social media within an hour and phone calls within 3 minutes.  

Monitoring customer service is important

Customer service is a significant component of Customer Experience and has a direct influence on customer retention. By tracking customer service through a combination of the above metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, ensure effective processes continue to perform and make informed decisions about your customer service practices.  

Nowadays, customer experience is essential, so businesses are increasingly paying attention to their customer service processes. When you fail to listen to the concerns of your valued customers, you're likely to lose them to your more accommodating competitors. Fortunately, with the help of customer feedback tools, it's easy to get started.

To learn more, sign up for updates and helpful tips or use our guide to implement an effective customer feedback strategy. 

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