HomeNews5 Important Customer Care KPIs (and How to Improve Them)

5 Important Customer Care KPIs (and How to Improve Them)

In today’s world, a brand is only as strong as the experience it provides to its customers.  Consumers have shown that they will no longer stick with a brand solely based on price or product quality. Customer experience ultimately plays the biggest role in their loyalty, and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. That’s why providing exceptional customer care is vital for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition. But to know if your customer care strategy is working and identify areas of for improvement, you’ll need to know which important customer care KPIs to measure.

As the vice president of sales for a company that provides customer experience solutions, I have worked with numerous clients to overhaul their customer care teams. Along the way, we’ve identified five important customer care KPIs that businesses can use to turn their customer care strategy up a notch (or ten). Here are the customer care KPIs you should be measuring and how to improve them.

1. CSAT

Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is arguably one of the most important customer care KPIs. It provides the most direct insight about your customers and their experiences with your brand. Maintaining a reputation for providing outstanding customer care is key to keep your customers coming back. By measuring CSAT, you gain valuable insights about the strengths and weaknesses of your customer care representatives through customer feedback. With that information, you can adjust your strategy and training to better meet customers’ needs.

Customer feedback is typically gathered through surveys, which are one of the most direct and effective ways to understand your customers’ wants and needs. When asking for feedback, don’t be afraid to ask about your shortcomings. As you create surveys, include specific questions such as “what is something we can do better that would improve your experience with us?”

Another important consideration within your CSAT surveys is to delineate between the customer’s satisfaction with your product or service and the experience they had with the team handling their interaction. Many times, if the questions are ambiguous, it can cause the customers to respond inconsistently and not shed the true light into what gaps or challenges exist.

If you truly listen to your customer feedback and act on what they tell you, you’ll find that your CSAT scores will raise over time. Make sure coaches inside your organization monitor CSAT and work with customer care representatives to improve the areas of weakness while building on their individual strengths.

2. Net Promoter Score

Net promoter score (NPS) is another way for businesses to measure customer satisfaction. While NPS and CSAT measure similar things, they aren’t interchangeable. NPS measures how likely customers are to promote a specific brand. The question “how likely would you be to recommend our brand to friends, family or colleagues” is often included in surveys for this reason. NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors, those who would not promote the brand, from the percentage of promoters.

The simplest way to raise your NPS is to pay attention to your CSAT. If you’re listening to your customers and taking actions on their concerns, they will be more likely to trust you and be satisfied. They will keep coming back for more because they know that you will continue to go to bat for them.

3. First Response Time/Average Speed of Answer

First response time is the time it takes for a representative to provide an initial response to the customer. Now more than ever, our world focuses on speed. In a March 2020 survey, it was found that 31.2 percent of customers want a response in one hour or less.

Customers don’t want to wait for a response when they have a problem that needs solved. For B2B customers, an issue with a product or service could lead to downtime for their business, costing them money and productivity. If your customer waits days or weeks or even months to hear back about an order they placed or ticket they submitted, they will lose patience and you will likely lose their loyalty.

You should always aim to be at least one step ahead of your customers. Being able to anticipate your customers’ needs pays dividends in loyalty, as 77% of customers say they are more loyal to brands that offer a good customer experience if they have an issue.

Monitor all emails, social media messages, calls, etc. that come in and make sure those teams are responding quickly, efficiently, and accurately. If you see that one area is falling behind on response times, devote additional resources to handle those responses until those teams catch up.

4. Customer Retention Rate

You might think this one is a given. It’s much easier to retain previous customers than it is to acquire new ones. However, not many companies truly focus on customer retention. Semrush reports that while nearly half of businesses (44%) prioritize customer acquisition, only a meager 18% focus on retention. What’s more, the average U.S. company loses up to 30% of its customers every year.

Back in 2001, Frederick Reichheld, who invented the net promoter score, and Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School, published a now-classic study. In it, they showed that a mere 5% increase in customer retention rates could boost profits anywhere from 25% to an astounding 95%.

Since then, multiple empirical studies and models have confirmed these findings. According to the 80-20 Rule or the Pareto Principle, 80% of your revenue will come from just 20% of your customers. It is therefore more cost effective to focus primarily on your relationship with that 20%, as many will be repeat customers.

While there are many things that can improve your customer retention rate, the key to repeat business – other than offering high-quality products or services, of course – is relationships. You want to get to know your customers and show them you care. To do that, collect insight from customer surveys and marketing research to develop personalized services, offers, and experiences. You should also focus on infusing all customer interactions with a sense of genuine empathy, from your website copy to one-on-one meetings. Make sure you are talking with your customers, not talking at them. And when you are deciding on how to improve your business, your customers need to be a part of the conversation.

5. Employee Engagement

Have you ever called customer service and felt boredom or lack of interest emanating from the representative on the other side of the call? Perhaps they sounded distracted or like they wanted to be anywhere but on the phone with you. It’s incredibly important to eliminate that culture within your own customer care teams.

Employees who believe in and enjoy what they do at work will typically go above and beyond the call of duty. This is employee engagement. Those that truly love what they do will go the extra mile to solve a customer concern. You’ll see them using their positivity to create a working environment that in turn motivates and uplifts the other customer care reps around them. This is something that customers pick up on.

The most important part of employee engagement is that your customer care team feels like the work they are doing matters. If they frequently feel like they do not have the tools to solve customer issues, they are more likely to disengage. This is also true when they are constantly fielding complaints about the same issue, but nothing seems to be happening on your end to resolve it completely. To combat this, check in with your customer care reps and be prepared to act on their feedback. When your customer care reps feel like they are making a difference for your customers and the business, they are much more likely to remain connected and engaged.

Employee engagement could be the way to improve all the other KPIs too. When your employee is engaged and goes above and beyond for the customer, they will make sure the customer receives prompt responses and that the customer is satisfied.

It’s next to impossible to keep every customer happy all the time, but businesses must always try to provide the best experience possible. Constantly improving the customer experience should be a goal for every brand that wants to remain competitive. But to make improvements, you must first determine what you could be doing better, and what better looks like. The five important customer care KPIs outlined above won’t tell you exactly how to improve your customer experience, but they will help you decide where to start. From there, it’s up to you to do what’s best for your customers, your employees and your business.

Author

  • Alicia Rasta is the vice president of strategic accounts for Televerde (www.televerde.com), the preferred global revenue creation partner supporting marketing, sales, and customer success for B2B businesses around the world.

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Alicia Rasta
Alicia Rastahttps://televerde.com/
Alicia Rasta is the vice president of strategic accounts for Televerde (www.televerde.com), the preferred global revenue creation partner supporting marketing, sales, and customer success for B2B businesses around the world.

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