Customer experience metrics

11 Customer Experience Metrics You Should Be Tracking in 2021

If you’re a customer support professional, your number one priority is providing an excellent customer experience. But even if you think you’re winning at customer experience, it’s essential to put some formalised key performance indicators in place (KPIs) so that your evidence isn’t just anecdotal.

Using the right customer experience metrics will provide the insight you need to make sure that you and your team deliver the best customer experience possible, quarter after quarter. After all, goals are meant to be measured…. and exceeded.

Here are 11 key ecommerce customer experience metrics you should be tracking. But first:

What are Customer Experience Metrics?

Customer experience metrics are the statistics, data and metrics that give you a quantitative view of how your business performs in terms of customer experience.

It’s great to have customers that leave your business glowing reviews, but it’s the data, the hard numbers, that really tell the full story of whether your customer service strategy is working or not.

How Do You Measure Customer Experience?

Most customer experience platforms offer metrics these days, which is very helpful, but you still need to know how to read the metrics. You must also understand which metrics are important to your business.

To identify the customer experience metrics most important to your business, you’ll want to map back to your business USP (unique selling proposition). What is it that your business is known for doing best? And does your customer experience reflect that?

When measuring how well your company is performing in terms of customer experience, you’ll need to set some lofty standards (sometimes known as ‘stretch goals’) for your customer experience programme, and then measure your performance against the set benchmarks.

What are KPIs for Customer Experience?

Customer service metrics

The first thing to understand about customer experience KPIs (key performance indicators) is that there is no set of one-size-fits-all KPIs because they will vary depending on your type of business and what your business is looking to achieve.

Customer experience metrics that are nearly universal include:

  • First response time
  • Average time to resolution
  • Customer satisfaction

These are all very important for all businesses, and all industries. However, to go deeper than that, you’ll need to look more broadly at the goals your business is trying to achieve and whether your customer experience metrics support that goal.

The more in-depth KPIs a company might measure, depending on its broader goal, could be:

  • Customer request volume
  • Average number of replies per request
  • Resolution rate
  • Average first response time
  • Average ticket resolution time
  • Average handle time

All of these will be specific to the company, but the thread tying them all together is the measurement of customer satisfaction. This is the one KPI that is a kind of baseline, and is therefore critical to any company, regardless of any other factors.

Which Customer Experience Metrics Matter?

Let’s look at the most crucial customer experience metrics most commonly measured by companies. There are many which are important, of course, but here we’ve detailed the most important 11 metrics that businesses are putting the most time and effort into measuring.

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The customer satisfaction score, also known in the industry as the ‘CSAT’ score, is perhaps one of the most central metrics related to customer experience. CSAT scores are determined after a ticket is resolved via a survey asking the customer to rate their support experience. An overall CSAT score of 80% is considered good by industry standards.

However, as with any survey, you’ll want to make sure you’re basing your score on a healthy sample size. In other words, you want to ensure that as many customers as possible fill out the survey!

It’s a fact that unhappy customers tend to leave more reviews than happy customers. Therefore, it’s essential to ask those with a good experience to participate in customer experience surveys to ensure your score is representative of your overall customer experience.

Another critical factor here is to compare your CSAT score month to month to see how it tracks across the year. Ideally, you’ll want to see a steady, or increasing, monthly score. If the score trends downward at any time, you should examine why, and whether it’s time to invest in additional team training.

2. Ticket Volume

Ticket volume measures the total number of conversations in your support inbox so you can see how many customers you’ve helped in a given period. You can drill down further to see resolution times for these conversations, although resolution is a separate metric, but in general, this KPI will give you a bird’s-eye view of how much support your customers require in a given period.

Ticket volume also allows you to see any spikes in volume activity. For example, around busy holiday shopping periods, you may see a higher ticket volume. Having this information at hand will help you plan for future shopping spikes, possibly hiring additional seasonal help to manage busier periods.

Finally, insight into ticket volume can also be a sign that it’s time to invest in a self-service knowledge base that your customers can use to help solve their own problems independently, especially if you see the same ticket queries coming up again and again.

3. Ticket Backlog

Ticket backlog is the amount of customer support requests that are left unresolved over a particular period. Unresolved tickets remain this way due to different reasons:

  • Poor team performance
  • A high volume that your team struggles to manage
  • A high volume of complex issues which take longer to resolve

It’s worth noting that replying to a customer isn’t the same as resolving their issue. You want to make sure that the number of resolutions is at or above the number of conversations an agent has had with the customer.

You can stay on top of unresolved issues by setting up reminders to follow up with enquiries and putting policies into place that each open enquiry must be checked within certain time frames. Such actions can help streamline the process and result in a reduced ticket backlog, which is always the aim.

4. Average Resolution Time

The average resolution time is just that — the amount of time it takes to resolve a customer’s issue completely. Again, a reply is not the same as a resolution, so just because your team is making contact with the customer doesn’t mean they’re resolving the issue.

Your average resolution time will reflect whether your team is doing more replying than resolving! A shorter resolution time means that more efficient responses are being given by customer service agents. If your resolution time is longer than the average (or longer than where you want it to be), you may realise that you need to train your teams to better respond to issues in a way that leads to greater resolution.

This is where the knowledge base can be useful again. In addition to solving the customer’s issue, referring them to your knowledge base can empower them to answer additional questions for themselves, thus reducing queries and helping lower the average resolution time.

5. Average Reply Time

Customer service response time

Just like it says on the tin, average reply time is the amount of time it takes for a customer service representative to reply to a customer enquiry. Response time is a key factor for customers, who expect swift responses to their issues.

Implementing live chat and immediate auto-replies can undoubtedly help with response time, but it’s also important that, in addition to this, the customer gets an immediate response from an agent as soon as the ticket is received.

If your metrics show you that the average reply time is unusually high, you may wish to compare this to ticket volume and identify patterns of busy times, which you can then hire additional staff to cover. Adding more support for those times you know will be busier means your average reply times go down, and your customers will be happier getting a quicker response!

Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Customer Response Times

6. First Contact Resolution Rate

First contact resolution rate is the percentage of total tickets where you fully resolve an enquiry within a single response. You obviously want this number to be as high as possible because it means your team is well-trained and your processes are running smoothly.

In theory, however, maintaining a high first contact resolution rate can be a little tricky. It could be that additional information is required or that customers have follow-up questions. All of this leads to additional back-and-forth messages, which moves the interaction away from the resolution being achieved at first contact.

You can, however, work with your teams to improve the first contact resolution rate. A database of proven replies can be helpful for your team to use, as these have been tested to be effective in resolving customer issues quickly. Additionally, the knowledge base can be beneficial to customers in preventing long back-and-forth messages containing multiple small queries.

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7. Replies Per Resolution

Replies per resolution show you how often an agent and customer go back and forth before coming to a solution. Again, you want to empower your teams to ensure that this number stays low. The lower it is, the more efficient your team is at resolving customer issues.

This metric can also be useful in flagging issues related to new products or company changes. There may be a reason why replies per resolution have suddenly spiked for your teams. Understanding this will help you plan future product roll-outs or identify product issues that can also be helpful to other teams within the organisation.

8. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score

Customer recommendations are one of the most important ways to increase your business. Net promoter score (NPS) measures how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service. You can identify your NPS score by sending each customer a short survey asking each customer to rank from zero to 10 how satisfied they are with your company and whether they would recommend doing business with your company to a friend or colleague.

Your NPS may vary, so it’s good to set a baseline from which to measure. Then, you can correlate everything your customer service team does to NPS. The score will be able to tell you, broadly, whether the customer experience programme you’ve developed, and how you’ve implemented it, are working to reach the goal of achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

9. Customer Experience Rating

Customer experience rating can give you an insight into how your customer found their overall experience with your company – from purchase, to help, to follow-up. This feedback can sometimes go a little deeper, with customers providing comment on an agent’s tone, manner and willingness to help. Although such factors are subjective, eliciting this feedback from your customers can inform you about how customers generally feel about their interactions and overall experience with your company.

This metric is useful because it can help you determine whether you may need to increase your customer service efforts, make tweaks to improve customer retention rates or even see whether there’s an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell to your customers.

So, even if customer experience seems very subjective, it’s an important metric and absolutely should not be discounted.

10. Churn Rate

Churn rate – ouch, it hurts to even write those words! Obviously, no one wants to see churn. However, as painful as it may be, it’s an important metric to pay attention to because it can give you some clear direction into how and where you need to level up your customer experience.

Simply put, the churn rate shows you what percentage of customers are leaving your company or brand after a few successful interactions. It hurts to lose customers, but it’s important to know why.

Some level of churn is always expected, but if your churn rate seems to be high or spikes during certain times of the year, then it is likely that improvements can be made to avoid and lessen the churn rate.

11. Customer Retention Rate

Research shows that retaining existing customers is 5x more cost-effective than finding new customers. This is a key reason why keeping a close eye on the information relating to customer retention rates is important to the health of your overall business.

In terms of customer experience, a higher customer retention rate means that your teams are doing well, with their efforts resulting in more satisfied customers willing to buy from your company again. It also means you’re on the right track with your customer service team training and programme implementation. All companies should aim for a high retention rate, and customer experience is a key way of getting there.

Final Thoughts

While customer experience metrics by themselves won’t improve your customer experience, the insights they provide allow you to make better decisions towards improving your customer experience programme.

By staying on top of your customer experience KPIs and acting on the learnings they provide, you’ll soon find that you’re smashing through the goals you’ve set for your business. Improving customer experience offers a tangible business benefit to each and every part of your entire business.

eDesk’s eCommerce helpdesk software can help your online business improve customer experience metrics by resolving customer issues faster. Book a demo to learn more or start a free 14-day trial today (no credit card needed).

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