Text-based support is vital for delivering exceptional customer service. Messaging apps, social media, live chat, and other similar channels allow people to communicate with your agents at the time and place of their choosing. And creating a multilayered, text-based service funnel comprising human, self-serve, and proactive support enables you to serve more customers in less time and with less effort.
But some businesses are reluctant to invest in developing these assets. Support teams are seen as a ‘cost center’ that doesn’t contribute to customer loyalty and retention. Proving otherwise will require quantifying the value customer service delivers to bottom-line results.
Fortunately, there are many metrics that give you a clear picture of the business value your conversational channels deliver and their impact on other customer-facing departments, such as sales, product, and marketing. These data points can also help you secure the funding needed to further optimize your team. And in the following part, we’ll explore some of the most important metrics that you should be tracking.
Customer satisfaction is a metric that reveals the extent to which your product, service, and overall experience meets people’s expectations. Data shows that growing companies prioritize customer satisfaction. Beyond boosting revenue, happy consumers are also less likely to leave a brand for a competitor, as feeling unappreciated is the key reason they would consider doing that.
Customer satisfaction can be measured through the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). This metric is usually based on a short survey customers are asked to fill out after a conversation with your agent. It usually involves rating their experience on a scale from great to good to bad with each company adjusting the survey’s structure to its internal standards and processes.
First contact resolution
First contact resolution (FCR) reveals the percentage of customer inquiries, questions, and needs your agents can resolve momentarily with no follow-up required. This metric affects customer satisfaction significantly and has other benefits too. For instance, a low FCR rate reduces the cost burden of repeat contact volumes. Also, Accenture’s research shows that around 80% of customers who shift loyalties might have stayed if their issues were resolved on the first contact.
Customer retention and the churn rate
Customer retention is a percentage of customers you retained over a given time period, while the churn rate shows the percentage of customers you have lost. These metrics are closely related. Text-based support teams play an important role in helping you keep customers. You could, for instance, set up a special team that handles complicated issues that often lead to customers churning. And by increasing customer retention rates by just 5%, your profit could increase by over 25%.
Not all customers can be retained, though. Some percentage of them will leave for reasons outside of your control, but providing excellent support will keep the churn rate low.
Cost per contact
Cost per contact is another important metric to track. Knowing the total cost associated with running a text-based support channel helps you determine the most effective customer service strategies. For instance, if messaging apps and social media are channels where your agents solve customer inquiries with the least time and effort, then it’s worth further investing in these support avenues. This is why omnichannel customer service is the best solution. It enables you to test different channels and focus on those that perform better than the rest.
One of the simplest but most powerful metrics is ticket volume. Tracking every interaction your agents have with customers gives a 360-degree view of support trends. It shows when customers are willing to reach out to have their concerns addressed by your agents instead of switching to a competitor.
But the growing ticket volume can also point out to deficiencies of your product, in which case your support team should raise this issue with other colleagues. A product team can then solve the problem and prevent customers from churning. A variation of the ticket volume metric is ‘total conversations’, which counts also engagements on social media besides official support tickets.
Support teams are not a ‘cost center’
Many different metrics show direct and indirect ways in which customer service adds business value. Deciding on which data points to track is up to the individual companies. Besides data collection, support departments should also consider teaming up with other customer-facing units in your company, such as marketing, product, and sales. By coordinating their activities, they’ll be able to delight customers and improve the bottom line significantly.
And one of the best ways to support agents is giving them the tools they need to do their job, such as RingCentral’s suite of products. Our platform allows your team to interact with customers on different channels, ranging from messaging apps and social media to live chat and emails. And it collects multiple data points that you can analyze to prove that your team delivers massive business value.
If you want to explore how RingCentral’s solutions can help you track metrics and build stronger relationships with customers, then click here to learn more about our offering and sign up for a free personal demo.
Originally published Sep 23, 2020, updated Jan 30, 2023