As a growing e-commerce store, it’s tough to know if your customer service process is working well. Maybe your agents are complaining that they’re too busy and can’t handle more workload. Or perhaps you wonder if you’re overstaffed and can run a bit leaner to boost profits.
By tracking just a few metrics consistently over time, you can turn your customer service team into a dialed customer satisfaction machine. You can ensure you have just the right agent workload and that agents are providing a great visitor experience. Once you have this process dialed in, you can use these metrics to forecast future changes for customer service.
At HelpFlow, we run 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for over 100 stores. We’ve learned what metrics matter most for running effective customer service operations. In this post, you will get tactical insights you can use to level up your customer service operation.
Let’s get into it….
Measuring Customer Experience
The most important part of customer service is making sure to provide a good experience for customers. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will grow the value of your customer base over time.
You can quantify a great customer experience using just a few metrics:
- First Response Time- When a customer sends in a support question, the first response time is the time it takes for one of your agents to reply. It may take time to resolve the question, but a fast first response time lets the visitor know you are handling it.
- Resolution Time- Resolution time is how long it takes from the time a visitor sends in a ticket to the time the ticket is fully resolved. Balancing a fast response time with a reasonable resolution time leaves visitors feeling taken care of the entire time.
- Customer Satisfaction- Once a ticket is resolved, you can gather a rating from customers on their satisfaction with the outcome. By tracking this over time, you can gauge how happy visitors are with the result, including if they feel it was handled in a timely manner.
These are the metrics to track the customers’ experience working with your agents. Next, we will look at measuring agent workload and performance.
Measuring Agent Performance
The customer experience metrics above directly impact customer experience. But to provide a great customer experience, you need to ensure your agents are working effectively and performing well.
- Agent Capacity- Agent capacity is measured by the amount of tickets per day each agent handles. Over time, you can benchmark the appropriate ticket capacity that agents should be able to hit. If agents are at the appropriate ticket capacity, but you still have more tickets coming in, that is a sign that you need more agents. They are, in fact, “too busy” to handle more.
- Handle Time- Handle time is the amount of time it takes an agent to process a ticket. Different types of tickets will have different handle times, but again comparing this on an agent by agent basis to the benchmark will help you identify agents that are not working efficiently enough.
- Customer Satisfaction- Again, the most important metric in customer service is customer satisfaction. By measuring customer satisfaction on an agent by agent basis, you can identify agents that are not up to par with other agents--which is usually an indication of working too quickly or possibly a bad culture fit for helping customers.
By tracking efficiency metrics along with the customers’ view of how a ticket was handled, you can find the right balance between efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Once you are tracking the customer and agent metrics above, it’s important to monitor these over time. This will help you identify trends of when metrics are going in the wrong direction so you can take action.
We’ve run a lot of different customer service teams, and the below cadence seems to work best:
- On a weekly basis, have your team compile the metrics and make it part of your weekly team meeting.
- Track team level metrics in a simple spreadsheet so you can see trends for each metric over time. Having your team leader compile these metrics on a weekly basis also builds accountability.
- Watch for trends of metrics that fall out of benchmark thresholds, along with trends over time for specific metrics and how metrics are related to each other.
By having a simple but on-going reporting cadence, you can ensure you have a firm understanding of how customers are being taken care of and improve that over time.
Want to Streamline Customer Service?
At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams to over 100 e-commerce stores. Below are additional resources you can use to improve your customer service operation.
If you want to dig in to your own CS operation, book a Strategy Call with our team. Even if we don’t work together, you’ll get a lot of insights you can apply from the audit since we’ve worked with so many stores.
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