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8 Customer Service Metrics You Should Be Measuring

(And How to Track and Improve Your Customer Service KPIs)

· WhatsApp For Teams,Getting Started,Guides,WhatsApp Marketing

Discover eight customer service KPI metrics, complete with definitions, examples, and solutions to help you improve them.

Elevating good customer service to exceptional only takes place when you know the cold, hard numbers.

We created this guide to help you break down the KPI (key performance indicator) metrics to improve your team's customer service, as well as to help you understand exactly what it’s measuring and why it matters.

Below, you’ll get a glimpse of each one in the wild through our reporting dashboard. And then, practical ways to improve them.

Note: 100+ companies use YesHello to delight customers with fast, personal support at scale. All without breaking the bank. Start your free trial today!

Here are the 10 customer service KPI metrics that matter.

1. Message volume

Definition: Message volume measures the total number of conversations in your support inbox.

To do: Get a general understanding of how many of your customers need help. Track trends over time to see how product or support changes increase or decrease this number.


How to improve: Offer self-service as your frontlines

  • Knowledge base
  • Promote knowledge base
  • Measure ticket volume before/after product or support changes
2. Message backlog

Definition: Message backlog refers to customer support requests left unresolved over a particular time frame.

Note: Resolution and reply mean very different things in customer service.

  • Replying to a customer simply implies you’ve responded to their inquiry.
  • Resolving an issue indicates their problem is solved and they (or you) need no further correspondence.


To do: Look at your 'Pending' messages, and track them for a certain period of time (daily, weekly, last 14 days, last 30 days, etc). The goal is to get the average number of conversations that are 'Pending' for a certain time period, and try to decrease it over time.

How to improve: Set up reminders for lingering tickets.

  • Snooze lingering messages for the time you need.
  • When it's time, check on the customer
  • Customer support cannot resolve everyone’s problems all the time (shocking, I know)
  • We can keep open lines of communication, though, and facilitate resolutions as seamlessly as possible.
3. Average resolution time

Definition: Average resolution time shows the average amount of time it takes to completely resolve a customer’s issue.

  • Efficient support teams work to impact resolution time, rather than reply time.
  • A short resolution time typically indicates effective support responses. 
  • Customers get everything they need to know, and then some.


To do: Look at your 'Resolution Time' metric, and track them for a certain period of time (daily, weekly, last 14 days, last 30 days, etc).

How to improve: Prevent follow-ups with related articles

  • Link to knowledge base articles within replies to give customers even more information and prevent further questions.
  • Think of it like offering “related articles” at the end of a blog post. 
  • Predict what else may be confusing your customers and address it before shooting out your reply to achieve a resolution.
4. Average response time

Definition: Average response time displays the median amount of time it takes to reply to a customer.

Customers have very high expectations for response time. With live chat and auto-replies producing an immediate reply, customer anticipate a follow up as soon as they send an inquiry.


To do: Look at your 'Response Time' metric, and track them for a certain period of time (daily, weekly, last 14 days, last 30 days, etc).

  • We always want to be shortening the time every period. 
  • Set baselines and benchmarks for your customer service team to interpret this number.

How to improve: Track messages volume for proper staffing.

  • View the busiest times for incoming messages across the week.
  • Staff up for the busy times to reduce reply time. 
  • With more hands on deck, customers will get the attention they need as soon as possible.
5. Average first response time

Definition: Average first response time tells you how long it takes for a customer to receive an initial reply to their support request.

  • First impressions mean everything. 
  • Good customer service teams excel at responding to customers as quickly as possible. 
  • Even if you can’t resolve an issue, send a quick note that you received their message to alleviate the anxiety of an unknown wait time.


To do: Look at your 'Average First' metric, and track them for a certain period of time (daily, weekly, last 14 days, last 30 days, etc).

    • We always want to be shortening the time every period. 
    • Set baselines and benchmarks for your customer service team to interpret this number.

    How to improve: Automate and templatize your first response

    • Automate an initial response to reduce this data point to nearly non existent.
    • Let customers know you received their inquiry and will be in touch shortly. 
    • Include some common questions or a link to your knowledge base to try to solve the problem immediately. 
    • When there’s a known issue, update this reply with as many details as possible to get ahead of customer inquiries.

    6. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)

    Definition: CSAT (customer satisfaction score) reveals whether a customer experience was good or bad


    To do: A customer satisfaction survey is typically presented after ticket resolution to gather customer sentiment.

    • It asks the customer to rate their support experience on a scale ranging from good to bad.
    • An 80% CSAT is considered excellent in the customer service world. 

    How to improve: Get more survey participants

    • The second piece of data in the CSAT score report gives us a great starting point for improvement. 
    • If you can get more people to complete the survey, you might be able to raise CSAT without putting in too much more effort. 
    • More often than not, angry customers are the most vocal. 
    • Encourage happy customers to complete the survey to get a more balanced metric.
    7. Longest 'Resolution Time'

    Definition: The longest length of time a conversation took to be marked 'Done'.


    To do: Look at your 'Longest' metric, and track them for a certain period of time (daily, weekly, last 14 days, last 30 days, etc).

    • Customer service lives in the details.

    • Shaving a few minutes off 'Longest' time adds up to big savings.

    • Managers should constantly be looking to improve the longest time by optimizing and streamlining processes for their team members.

    • The goal is to reduce this number overtime, but the actual number to reach for will vary depending on your organization.

    • Managers should be watching this number more than agents.

    • If the number rises, try out a new process or shadow your team member to see what’s slowing them down.

    How to improve: Create a database of proven replies

    • Build a database of replies in 'Snippets' for common questions and shoot them out as needed.
    • Test what customers respond best to. 
    • Ideally, the majority of your snippets will end in a ticket resolution. 
    • These should be tried and tested, and nearly guaranteed to work.
    8. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

    Definition: NPS (Net Promoter Score) measures how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service.


    To do: Send an NPS survey to solicit responses and generate the number associated with their recommendation.

    • After gathering all the data points, break it out into promoters, passives, and detractors.
    • Promoters: Customers who selected 9 or 10 on their NPS survey.
    • Passives: Customers who selected 7 or 8 on their NPS survey.
    • Detractors: Customers who selected 0-6 on their NPS survey.

    Subtract the percent of detractors from the percent of promoters for a given time period to reveal NPS.

    Let’s say surveys went out to 3,000 customers, and 300 responded. Filter the responses by promoters, passives, and detractors to get the percent for each. Then plug it into the NPS formula.

    Your NPS score may vary wildly. Again, set a baseline and work from there. Interpret the results using benchmarks.

    How to improve: Correlate all other metrics with NPS

    • Essentially, everything your customer support team and your organization-at-large does can affect NPS. 
    • There’s no direct line to shave time or boost numbers on this metric. 
    • But, if you put the work into creating a streamlined and personal support system using the metrics above, it will lead to increased NPS and heightened customer loyalty.

    PRO TIP: Use comments to add notes and communicate with your team before responding

    • Comments ensure that agents get the full picture before replying to a customer. 
    • They can collaborate internally with another team member or manager if they need help, rather than reaching out to a customer unprepared.
    • Team members can also use comments as reminders or info cards. 
    • Include certain data or reference materials to a complex conversation so everyone has context when replying. 
    • Comments prevent agents from forgetting important details, asking the same question twice and from replying without all the needed information.


    Take action on your customer service metrics

    Metrics alone won’t produce satisfied customers. It’s on you to take these data points and build a customer service experience that works for your organization.

    Set KPIs (key performance indicators) based on each customer support metric to guide your support staff in the right direction.

    Lean on your dashboard to track progress. And use all the tools on hand to fulfill customer requests with minimal effort.

    Ready to get started? Your free trial of YesHello includes everything you need to track metrics, set goals, and satisfy customers. Start your free trial today!

    Want the secret to improving these metrics?

    It starts with the right support platform.

    At YesHello, we make it easy to track customer data and share trends with the rest of your team.

    You’ll be able to focus on customer-driven solutions that drive your business forward. Start your free trial today!

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