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Guest Blog: How to Benchmark Your Customer Support Metrics — A Quick Guide

This week we feature an article by Kaavya Karthikeyan who writes about customer support metrics that you should be tracking. – Shep Hyken

In the world we live in today, we are constantly faced with challenges and competition, and the only way you’re going to win in such a cut-throat environment is to stand out. The best way to outperform your peers is through constant evolution and refining, and nowhere does this apply more than in the customer support arena. One of the best ways by which you can ensure your organization is consistently performing is by benchmarking customer support metrics. This involves the comparison of certain metrics to that the industry benchmarks and to your competitors. If you’re below the industry average, you need to rethink your current support strategy and maybe see what your competition is doing differently. If you’re at or above the average, you know you’re doing something right and thus, use that as a foundation to build further innovations on.

Here are the top five customer support metrics that you should be tracking.

First Call Resolution: A Testament to Your Support Team’s Product Knowledge

First call resolution (FCR) is the number of tickets that have been resolved with the first response. It directly translates into the level of product knowledge your support team has. A positive FCR has a directly proportional impact on customer satisfaction (CSAT) as well.

Accordingly, to the Freshdesk’s Customer Happiness Benchmark Report 2018, the average FCR is 71%.

Anything below this means that your support team is not well versed with the product/service you offer.

Pro tip 1: Get your team involved in a knowledge base project or set up micro-learning.

Pro tip 2: Make a note of commonly raised issues and create a strong knowledge base which can be shared with the customer and improve FCR.

First Response Rate: The Measure of How Soon a Customer Ticket is Resolved

First response rate (FRR) is the time taken for a response to be provided to a ticket. The quicker the resolution, the more satisfied your customers will be with your service.

The industry benchmark for FRR is 7 hours.

If your FRR is below par, it’s due to being understaffed or the support channels are too narrow.

One of the best ways to tackle the problem and help agents optimize their work is to consider using helpdesk software. Additionally, creating an FAQ page and community forums for customers can help deflect tickets and reduce the volume of tickets for your agents.

Pro tip 1: Make sure that chasing speed doesn’t compromise on the quality of support.

Pro tip 2: Hire temporary support agents during seasons that see high ticket volume.

Meeting SLAs: Setting the Right Expectations for Customers

Service Lease Agreements (SLAs) are time-based parameters that agents are expected to work within. This also sets the right expectations for the customer and how quickly they can get a response from support.

The industry average for resolution time is 86 percent.

If you’re below this benchmark, your support channels may not be optimized and thus, your support is to reply to your customers. You may not have an optimized knowledge base set up.

You can look at metrics such as the number of clients per support person, as well as time taken to resolve each ticket to look at your agents’ performances and offer them the aid they need.

Pro tip 1: Base your SLAs on a ticket to agent ratio.

Number of Responses to Resolution: The Sooner, the Better

This tells you how many responses your agents take to resolve a customer.  It is also a measure of how efficient your agents are at what they do.

The industry benchmark is one response to resolution.

If it is taking longer than a single response it’s due to the absence of essential information from the customer, a loosely built knowledge base, lack of omnichannel approach, or merely inadequate product knowledge.

Pro tip 1: Make sure that your staff is well versed about your product so that they will be able to resolve tickets faster.

Pro tip 2: Make sure that the various teams who are in charge of the different communication channels work in tandem.

Customer Satisfaction Score: The Ultimate Goal of Your Support Team

However, at the end of the day, make sure that the stats you choose are both measurable across the industry and that the parameters you use are as similar to others as possible. Your customer’s feedback matters the most so make sure you collect it and keep updating your support based on it. Lastly, focus on the future as well. Ensure that all your support methods are scalable and that you constantly analyze and keep up with the trends of the industry. After all, you exist to keep your customers satisfied and content.

Kaavya Karthikeyan is a content creator at Freshworks. Binge reader. Gaming addict. Coffee connoisseur. Feminist.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Articles: Five Ways To Create Rockstar Employee Engagement

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