Customer service software typically provides a whole range of analytics you can use to measure how things are going.
While these are sometimes fun to explore, it can be overwhelming to figure out which of these metrics truly matter and should be used to manage the customer service department. Even if you do know what numbers to use to measure customer service, it could be overwhelming to figure out how often to review the numbers and what the right timing is to act on them to improve certain issues you see.
For brands that get to the point of having a stable and effective customer service department, there are really only a few metrics that matter. More importantly, a simple weekly and quarterly process to monitor and execute against these metrics is typically the best way to stay on top of the department and improve – without going crazy looking at reports all the time.
At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams to over 100 stores. Through this experience, we have built an extremely robust management process that we use for clients as well as internal department management. In this post, we will cover the KPI metrics routine we built that you can apply in your own customer service department.
Which KPIs Matter Most for CS
It can be a little overwhelming to figure out which metrics matter most when it comes to managing your customer service department. We’ve covered this in other posts, but the main metrics that matter are below:
- To measure how happy customers are, report on (a) first response time on tickets (b) resolution time on tickets, and (c) customer satisfaction ratings. This encompasses the speed of communication, the speed of resolution, and how happy the customer was with the experience.
- To measure how effective agents are, report on (a) first response time for the agent’s tickets, (b) average handle time for their tickets, and (c) customer satisfaction ratings for their tickets. This covers the speed and efficiency of the agent along with how happy the customers are with the agent’s work.
If you have any questions on which metrics to monitor for customer service, feel free to ask. For now, we will assume you have this part handled since we’ve covered it in other posts and summarized it above.
Weekly CS KPI Review Routine
It’s great to have your numbers tracked, but it could be overwhelming not knowing how often you should act on them. At best, your team will feel like the numbers produce the fire drill regularly. At worst, you’ll stop with you and them all together because you’re busy with other parts of the business.
You can solve this by having a single, quick, and effective weekly meeting as part of running the customer service department.
- Have a weekly meeting scheduled for 1 hour, typically on a Tuesday or Wednesday so it’s the middle of the week but still time to take action on last week’s #s to improve this week’s performance.
- Review the KPIs from the prior week, compare them to the target, and if they are off-target flag them for discussion. Depending on the size of your team, you would review the department metrics and also agent by agent metrics on this meeting. For bigger teams, agent by agent metrics can be reviewed on agent team meetings with their team leader.
- For metrics that are off, discuss why the metric is off and what needs to be done to resolve this. If it’s something short-term, set an action to be done by the next meeting and review it at that meeting. If it’s something longer term, flag it as a project to consider for the quarterly planning session.
- This meeting is also a place to work through other department issues and projects, but the KPI review routine typically drives most of the discussion points.
By having a set time each week where you review the numbers and act on them, you have a great handle on the performance of the department and make a lot of progress improving based on the numbers you see.
Quarterly KPI Review / Strategy Planning
As you review your numbers weekly, certain numbers indicate a big change is needed in the department. These are typically things that can’t be done over a week or two and are best tackled as part of a quarterly initiative. But they can be flagged for the quarterly planning routine so that you can work it into the plan next quarter.
Here’s a simple routine that works for quarterly planning for the CS department:
- Review the metrics for the entire quarter, how they compare with the target, and which projects were flagged throughout the quarter to improve metrics.
- Have a broader discussion prepared by team members about what worked in the department for the quarter, what didn’t work, and what changes are possibly needed. These will also feed the potential project list for the new quarter.
- At that point, talk as a team to figure out which projects will have the most impact and narrow down on which to pursue for the quarterly. Typically, 1-3 major projects can be pursued in a quarter.
Once you have these projects determined, progress and next steps will come up as part of the weekly department meetings.
It’s important to know your numbers and have a weekly review and a quarterly retrospective routine. In the early days of a business, you can wing it with these things but once you hit a certain scale they become a make or break factor for you to get to the next level.
As I mentioned, we run 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for over 100 brands and have been doing this for 5+ years. We can do a CS audit to help you determine how your current CS operation is performing and to identify low-hanging fruit to improve. Whether you work with us or not, you’ll get a ton of value from the process since we’ve worked with so many stores.
Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.
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