How To Improve Your Most Important eCommerce Customer Service Metrics
Most business owners know that providing good customer service is essential, but how can you be sure that your “good” is good enough? The answer is simple: quantifiable analytics. Today, we’re going to discuss how you can improve your 19 most important eCommerce customer service metrics (often called KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators). By doing so, you’ll streamline internal productivity and — most importantly — gain loyal, life-long customers.
19 Most Important eCommerce Customer Service Metrics (KPIs)
- Ticket Volume
- Backlog (Unresolved) Tickets
- Ticket First Response Time
- Ticket Average Response Time
- Automated Support Resolution Rate
- Single-Reply Resolution Rate or First Call Resolution Rate (FCR)
- Average Resolution Time Per Ticket
- Converted Tickets
- Number of Upsells and Cross-sells
- Tickets Closed Per Agent
- Average Handle Time
- Replies Per Resolution
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Social Media Brand Mentions
- Social Media Support Tickets
- Website Product Reviews
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Template Utilization
- Preferred Communication Channel
1. Ticket Volume
By tracking the number of tickets you receive on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, you can discern some valuable insights about your business. Then, once you recognize patterns and/or abnormalities, you can implement the proper precautions to see your ticket volume decrease in the future.
For example, finding patterns in high volume allows you to properly allocate your staff — like if you notice above-average ticket volume each year for two weeks after the holidays. On the other hand, frequent issues may arise after a new feature or product launch. In such cases, you may benefit from proactively implementing new templates, pop-ups, or automations the next time you schedule a release. Plus, sudden spikes in ticket volume can alert you to errors on your site or within your check-out flow. Without carefully watching this metric, you may have just attributed the issues to customer errors.
2. Ticket Backlog/Unresolved Ticket Time
Quickly resolving customer concerns is a major attribute of highly successful online stores. For that reason, it is essential to keep a careful watch on your unresolved ticket backlog.
To ensure your ticket log doesn’t get too backed up, start by setting a company-wide maximum limit. For example, no more than 20 backlogged tickets at any time. Then, try implementing some helpful support automations (like this) to facilitate more effective ticket resolution. If customer service reps can decrease their handling time, you’ll see your backlog begin to dwindle.
3. Ticket First Response Time
When a customer has a problem, they want to feel understood — and they don’t like to wait. Some experts have likened this metric to the response of First Aid; even if it doesn’t fully solve the issue, it provides immediate relief and calms the situation.
To begin, you should always set the proper expectations. If your first response can take up to 48 hours, then mention that on your customer inquiry page. Then, set internal goals for your support staff to meet and exceed.
If your first response time is longer than you’d like, find out why. Then, solve that issue. For example, perhaps your support staff is inundated with tickets. You may need to automate some or hire additional help. Maybe your workflows are malfunctioning or delayed. By clearing these bottleneck issues, you can free up your staff and decrease your initial response times.
4. Ticket Average Response Time
Similar to the ticket first response time, your goal should be to provide fast, effective responses to messages later on in the ticket, too. After all, you don’t want to “ghost” your customer once you respond to their initial inquiry.
To decrease your ticket average response time, make effective use of autoresponders and other intelligent automations. You can also implement templates and use autofill features to send messages with just a few clicks, rather than manually typing away at the keyboard for an hour.
5. Automated Support Resolution Rate
To find your automated support resolution rate, divide the number of requests solely resolved via automation by the total number of support requests received in the same tracking period. Then, multiply that figure by 100 to display it as a percentage.
By tracking this metric, you can ensure that your automations are performing properly. Any sudden dips may indicate an issue in the workflow. To increase your automated support resolution rate and alleviate some stress from your support teams, implement more intelligent automations. You can also discover the main issues that are funneled to human customer service representatives and partially automate some of those areas.
6. Single-Reply Resolution Rate or First Call Resolution Rate (FCR)
A company’s FCR measures how often support representatives can resolve a customer’s issue on the first response. Essentially, a high FCR means that shoppers don’t need a repeat call or multiple messages to fix a problem, so this is extremely valuable for elevating customer satisfaction and employee productivity.
To increase your FCR, first identify the reasons for multiple inquiries. Next, use those findings to set practices that better address the needs of the common second inquiries during future initial conversations. Then, study the results and repeat. By leveraging the data collected, you can improve the quality of your customer support and reduce the amount of time spent resolving issues.
7. Average Resolution Time Per Ticket
Your average ticket resolution time refers to the time it takes your support team to solve a customer issue and close a ticket. Less time spent solving problems equals much happier customers. On average, top-performing companies reflect a 1.67 hour average resolution time. Where does yours stand?
To improve ticket resolution time, make sure your support staff is focused on resolving an issue, not simply replying quickly. Sometimes, teams overlook easy details at the expense of responding as soon as possible. However, by focusing on the true and full purpose of the inquiry, representatives can resolve tickets more effectively.
Another great way to reduce your average resolution time is to ensure your workflow system is very organized and detailed. Many successful companies have implemented intuitive automations to access full customer histories more quickly. By carefully coordinating your service team and providing them with all the information they may need, your staff can more effectively resolve tickets.
8. Converted Tickets
Converted tickets are exceptionally important because they show which support instances resulted in a purchase. So, how do you increase the number of converted tickets?
Consistently train your support team to work as effective, persuasive sellers. When customers reach out with questions on products, be sure to offer clear responses that encourage a purchase. Familiarize your support staff with your products, as well as their varieties, uses, and all of the unique aspects that will entice potential shoppers to buy.
9. Number of Upsells/Cross-sells
These days, customer service teams can also function as powerful sales agents, should you provide them the tools to do so. Essentially, as shoppers reach out for assistance, the customer service representatives can use the information they gain through the conversation to encourage the shopper to buy a more expensive version of an item or add on additional complementary products. Though similar in concept, this metric does differ from (and actually builds on) converted tickets.
First, be sure to offer your customer service agents the proper training and brand education they need to become familiar with your products. When they know your items well, then they are in a better position to cleverly up- and/or cross-sell them.
Then, watch the metrics. By tracking this frequency over time, you can measure the effectiveness of your customer service team members. Then, have those who perform better in this regard help train others to become more convincing upsellers.
10. Tickets Closed Per Agent
By keeping an eye on how effectively your customer service representatives are handling their tickets, you can improve productivity within your organization. Consider pairing together outstanding agents with those who need some help. By offering hands-on training to your less-than-exemplary representatives, you can strengthen the core of your operations.
11. Average Handle Time
Average handle time measures how long it takes an agent to reply to one inquiry. However, it doesn’t just pertain to call time. Depending on the form of communication, it can include the time spent reading, writing, and sending one email response or the duration of a live chat conversation.
To business owners, every single second is valuable — and they add up quickly. Plus, customers prefer efficient service, too. So look for patterns, and find out which method of service or support team has the largest average handle time. Then, try to streamline the process for staff members to decrease this rate. Sometimes, resolving the underlying issues behind inquiries that take the longest time to handle can free up your service team and save a lot of time — and funds.
12. Replies Per Resolution
The principle here reflects that of the average handle time: less time spent on customer support saves you money and makes your customers happier. Thus, in addition to tracking handling time, keep an eye on the number of replies it takes to resolve an issue.
Spikes in this metric can indicate poor response handling from your associates (lack of communication, confusing note-taking, etc.) but can also reflect a new issue with your site, products, or shipping. Discerning why increased replies were necessary helps highlight internal or external problems, which you can then address as needed.
13. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
By using surveys or website feedback, you can derive a CSAT and find out directly from shoppers their level of satisfaction. However, due to its simplistic nature, you’ll need to balance it with indicators from other metrics.
So, how can you improve your CSAT? Many companies have found success asking just that of their customers. Try implementing a feedback survey that offers shoppers a section where they can indicate the reason for their score. Not all will participate, but you can surely gain some valuable insights on areas to improve.
14. Social Media Brand Mentions
Social media is a powerful tool, and customers know it! For that reason, pay careful attention to brand mentions and tags on social media sites. Inconsistencies may alert you to products going viral — or an impending PR disaster.
If you’re interested in gaining more positive social media traction, consider offering loyalty perks for brand engagement! Some companies like to offer a small discount code as thanks in return for mentions or posts.
Plus, keep in mind that customer service standards still apply in the more casual, social setting. When presented with negative comments, stay professional, address the issue, and offer an immediate fix (even if it’s just an apology). Sometimes a sincere comment can turn a negative situation into a positive experience — and help you reach unexpected new shoppers!
15. Social Media Support Tickets
If you set up your marketing platform to receive support tickets from social media, be sure to follow through. Don’t neglect this area of support just because it’s not so conventional. Rather than trying to convince your customers to contact you in another way, politely respond and address their issues.
Monitor this metric to identify any spikes that may indicate an issue with your site, products, or traditional customer support lines. By ensuring your business is running smoothly in all aspects, you can expect your social media support tickets to remain low.
However, an increase in social media support tickets isn’t necessarily a negative sign. Compare this metric with your other support ticket levels. If you’re receiving fewer support inquiries via other channels, and more on social media, that simply means customers are choosing (or prefer) to engage with you in this way.
16. Website Product Reviews
While you already know that product reviews increase social proof, many business owners aren’t actively tracking these reviews as an analytical metric. However, reviews are a great indicator of the satisfaction level of your customers.
Sometimes, less-than-pleased shoppers will take their woes, not to support, but to the review section of your site. By tracking the number of poor reviews over periods, you can discover common issues and, ideally, implement appropriate solutions.
Keep a log of the different topics (and their frequencies) in negative comments. Try to fix each instance on an individual basis, of course, but afterward, decide if there is a larger issue behind the complaint. Then, brainstorm ways to prevent the situation from happening again. If addressed properly, you may begin to notice the poor reviews decrease in frequency.
Another way to reduce negative product reviews is to make sure your support channels are clearly displayed for customer use. Whether it’s an easy-to-locate link on your website or a postcard with contact information in the package, make sure shoppers know they don’t have to take their grievances straight to the review section.
17. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A net promoter score indicates how likely shoppers are to recommend your store to a friend. This score usually involves a 1-10 rating scale. Like the CSAT, an NPS doesn’t give the whole picture, but can still provide valuable insights. To improve upon your NPS, study your other customer service metrics, as well as your products. Look for correlations between drops in NPS and changes to your site or policies. Making improvements in these areas will no doubt increase your net promoter score.
18. Template Utilization
As we’ve mentioned already, templates are a fabulous way to save time when dealing with customer service issues. However, they only work if your agents know how to implement them properly.
Track the statistical usage on your templates and automations to ensure that customer representatives are applying them. If you notice that usage seems low, or dips unexpectedly, ask around for some feedback. Perhaps your agents need more training or have discovered issues with the templates.
19. Preferred Communication Channel
With so many available channels of customer service, many business owners take the “jack of all trades” role and implement them all. However, narrowing down the method of communication that your customers prefer the most can help you allocate the proper amount of resources and representatives to it. By doing that, you prevent wasting valuable efforts and resources.
Spend some time studying your customers’ behavior in regards to support. Once you narrow down their preferred communication channels, be sure to optimize those processes for speed and organization. However, this metric may change over time. Don’t be hesitant to make changes based on trends or new technologies. If you’re curious about all of the different channel options out there, check out our post.
How To Improve The 19 Most Important Customer Service Metrics
If you’re ready to step up your customer support game, you’ll need one of our favorite apps, Gorgias, to do so. The intuitive integration is built to facilitate customer support for modern entrepreneurs. It can help you with all of the KPI metrics in this post and more. After all, without customers, there are no sales. And, without good customer service, there are no customers.
Pay careful attention to the figures, percentages, and rates we’ve discussed today. Though this isn’t a complete list, these metrics are the most important indicators of the effectiveness of your customer service. By carefully tracking these analytics, you’ll become aware of any inconsistencies that could negatively impact your business.
However, you’ll also gain something much more valuable: the ability to serve your customers efficiently and provide them with everything they need. You’ll turn uncertain buyers into loyal, life-long connections.