It finally happened: you’ve brought in enough customers to necessitate hiring a customer support (CS) team.

Congratulations!

Whether your team provides in-person support at your store or virtual support from your office, turning your sights on customer happiness is a crucial — and exciting — milestone in growing your business.

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Unfortunately, there’s often a discrepancy between how happy companies believe their customers are, and how happy customers feel. Eighty percent of companies believe they deliver superior customer service, while only 8% of customers think those same companies deliver superior customer service.

To avoid finding this discrepancy in your own business, consider Peter Drucker’s advice. America’s father of management philosophy famously said: “What gets managed gets measured.” Measuring your success from the get-go will ensure that your CS team can successfully keep customers happy down the road.

We’ve outlined four key ways to measure customer happiness and know what works and what doesn’t as you scale up your customer support.

1. First Response Time

First response time corresponds to the amount of time your team takes to answer an incoming customer query—essentially, it measures your team’s speed. And while speed doesn’t necessarily correlate to efficacy, a quick first response shows your customers your business cares.

In fact, customers these days expect a fast response. And they often leave when their questions aren’t answered promptly: this Oracle study found that 50% of consumers give a brand one week to respond to their emailed question before they stop doing business with them.

Answer an incoming query quickly, and you’ll kick the relationship off on the right foot. According to Desk.com, many customers would actually prefer a quick first response over an effective one.

Remember: different communication channels will have different first response benchmarks. Your first response time may need to be shorter, for instance, for live chat support than it will for phone support. Studies show that a satisfactory first response time for the phone is three minutes, while email is 24 to 48 hours. And Buffer cited one hour as an optimal response time on social media.

2. Problem Resolution Time

This metric highlights your team’s total time invested in resolving a customer issue. It points to your team’s speed and efficiency — not surprisingly, the shorter your problem resolution time the better. A short resolution time is so important, in fact, that customers who get their issues resolved quickly still tell up to six others about their positive experience.

Problem resolution time and first response time may feel like one and the same. But they’re not, and it’s worth measuring both. Both metrics show to your team’s speed. But problem resolution time also draws attention to efficiency in a way that first response time can’t. Quick resolution times generally show that your team is prepared to best resolve issues and adept at problem solving. Longer resolution times can also point to complex problems or high-maintenance customers that require more attention.

3. First Contact Resolution Rate

First contact resolution is the rate in which your team resolves issues during their first conversation with a customer. If done right, this metric can become a key indicator of your team’s efficiency.

Establishing best practices around first contact resolution is key. You don’t want your team sacrificing quality or accuracy just to ‘resolve’ an issue on first contact. Start by identifying the common questions and issues that arise. From there, empower your team with helpful materials and scripts. With these resources, your team can most effectively resolve common problems and bump your first contact resolution rate.

Once your team is able to recognize and speak to easily resolved issues, they’ll be able to better address complex issues that require multiple touch points.

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If you’re looking for one way to measure overall customer happiness in a straightforward way, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a reliable choice. Your NPS score provides a simple rating on a 1-10 scale by consistently asking customers the same question: How likely are you to recommend [service] to a friend or colleague? The customer then picks their response, with 0 as the least likely and 10 as the most.

NPS is a simple but powerful tool to measure your customers’ experience and a strong indicator of customer loyalty.

In fact, customers with regular scores of nine or 10 tend to have an average lifetime value three to eight times higher than those with a score of six or below. And you can rely on those scores to monitor a customer’s satisfaction or better understand seasonal peaks or dips in customer happiness.

And an added bonus: high NPS can correlate to your company’s growth—companies with industry-high NPS scores tend to outgrow their competitors by more than twice as much.

These four metrics are just a few ways to measure customer happiness. But as your team gets started, they’ll provide simple and effective benchmarks to point you in the right direction.

Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith is a content marketing consultant, editor, and writer committed to helping brands tell their stories. A digital nomad, she’s exploring the world’s cultures and cuisines as she works.

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