/ Best Practices

How to Measure Your Customer Support?

You got to this rare moment when queue of help desk tickets is empty and you have 30 minutes free to relax. I love this feeling. This is the time when you have an opportunity to look back and think about improving things.
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Today, I suggest you spend these free minutes and think about measuring your customer support activities. We all know measurement is important, but what are the right things to measure? How to automate the measurement? How to make it simple for anybody willing to consume metrics and reports?

Why Measure?

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  • It all starts with the objectives of your customer support. Monitoring key performance indicators will helps self-validate if you are on-track with achieving the goals.
  • It can help communicate value of high quality customer support to the whole company. Often people working in other departments don’t have a good idea of what customer support people are doing. Having proper metrics can help customer support department show others in the company what they do and how that influences achieving results by the company
  • But my favorite reason to measure, is it to become better at what you do. It makes you try harder.

Don’t get discouraged

If you ask around about customer support metrics, especially if you are part of brilliant community of support people — SupportDriven, you will hear people talking about custom reports and metrics, real-time dashboards, advanced queries in GoodData, SQL data warehouses, “simple” python scripts. And you get the feeling that your team is so behind. And the moment of relaxation and great feeling is getting ruined very fast.

But please, don’t get discouraged. It’s not that complicated if you take right approach. And hope this post will help you out a bit.

Start small

Easy way to fail is to start by measuring everything: First Reply Time, Average Age of Open Tickets, Resolution Time, Number of Agent Replies, New Tickets, Customers Helped, “One Touch” Resolutions”, ….

Instead, chose 3–4 critical metrics and make sure get good at tracking those first.

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There is no single truth here. But I recommend you start with the following 3 metrics:

  • Number of Customers helped. Simple number telling you how many customers your team helped out on given day, week or month.
  • First reply time. How long does customer waits for first reply to their request.
  • Customer satisfaction. Most of the help-desk tools have built in satisfaction survey to ask customer if they are satisfied with the support or not. And you can use data in those surveys to calculate percentage of responses with positive feedback from customers

Together those would help you understand volume of your support work, timeliness of your responses to customers and if customers are happy with your work.

Push don’t Pull

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You will find lots of dashboard advocates. Dashboard is typically implemented as online page where on-demand you can see all needed daa (pull). And dashboards will work fine in many situations. But before your team has a habit of looking into the numbers, dashboards can create illusion that you are becoming data driven company. But in reality, nobody is logging in.

Instead I would recommend to push the metrics either by email or share in public slack channel. This saves everybody’s time, helps building up a habit of paying attention to data, but more important it guarantees that everybody looked at the metrics, at least once per day. No excuses.

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OK, so you spent 5 minutes reading this article. Now spend the rest of your free time on setting up your first metrics. And please don’t forget to recommend the article or write a response.

How to Measure Your Customer Support?
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