Most Important Customer Service KPI

I was asked in a forum about something not long ago that got me thinking, I talk a lot about customer service metrics, and how to measure them, and I talk about long term repeating goals that should be pursued. But, have I really talked about customer service KPI at any length?

Well, I might have once, but I can’t even be sure anymore, and it’s come up a lot again lately, so if I did, here’s having at it again. Customer service KPI is important, it is the key metric that shows performance as positive, neutral or negative. It is your root measurement.

Just as you judge the time first by the look of the sky, so do you look at this measurement to get a quick glance at how customer service is performing. This is important. It needs to have an easy to visualize unit, and it needs to encompass everything in some relational way.

Well, when it comes to customer service, there are a few important metrics that might qualify, but which one is the best one for this general use?

Could it be the rate of first call resolutions, which is so important a goal to keep as high as possible? That ever so sought after scenario of a quick call which is resolved timely and positively, with a satisfied customer and a happy business? This is an important one, but … it doesn’t account for all scenarios, does it? First call resolutions are impossible in a few special cases – cases that really matter.

Well, then surely, it must be the quality-check recordings that all companies capture, right? Hearing the customer for yourselves, and gaging how well things are going? Well, this can tell you a lot, and it keeps agents on their toes, but it’s not substantial for a broad KPI measurement, because that data is too abstract and subjective to exposure conditions.

So, that leaves us with one alternative that springs to mind, that being customer approval rates. And bingo, we have a winner, folks. This is the one to look at for quick status checks. As politicians listen to the polls, so must you listen to your customers.

But, go beyond this, to ensure optimal KPI. Engage them. If they publically bemoan something, show repentance. If they laud your quality, thank them. Establish this public, approachable rapport with them, so that you hear all they have to say, and you go by this metric.

What your customers think of you, and are thereby saying about you tells you how you’re doing, in all fields including customer service. Your customers are everything, so how you and they react in a functional environment is the crux of it all.

So, there are a lot of points of interest and concern in customer service, the least of which are some of the above. But, this last one is your definite customer service KPI.

Since your customers define you, you become how they paint you for all intents and purposes. Watch closely the road this is taking you down, because you never know when a pitfall awaits you.

is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe