Top 3 Metrics to Measure Customer Service Quality

Micky Deming
Top 3 Metrics to Measure Customer Service Quality


As time goes on, it seems as though there are more and more numbers to track for businesses. Customer acquisition cost, churn, and lifetime value are examples of the most used data today. 

Key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics are helpful too. That said, tracking too much is a waste of time. Either you won’t have the ability to make meaningful improvements, or your team won’t know which metric is the most important.

It’s never a waste of time to understand how happy your customers are, and this article covers how to measure customer satisfaction. 

We’ll cover:

  • Benefits of measuring customer service
  • 3 metrics to measure customer satisfaction
  • Taking action on the data

Benefits of Measuring Customer Service

Identify Issues in Both Process and Products

One of the biggest benefits of tracking certain customer service metrics is that they highlight areas in need of improvement. Even if customers are generally satisfied, issues arise from time to time. And if your customers aren’t satisfied — all the more reason to listen to them!

The data speaks loudly, if you’re listening

One simple way to identify issues is reading the survey questions you implement. Look for things like:

  • Consistent issues with individual staff members
  • Long wait times to talk with a rep (either on a call or chat)
  • Complaints about the product or deliverables

Another use for customer service tools is to find out why certain numbers aren’t where they should be. 

Let’s say the close rate is too low: Not as many people are buying as you think should. For this situation, employ a customer service survey asking about the buying process. Ask how easy or difficult it was for new customers to buy (rating it from 0-10).

Next Step Tip: For customers who have the same common issues, reach out to them personally. Send them an email or even get on the phone. The ability to ask follow up questions will give you so much more information to use and show the affected customers you care, improving your retention.

Improve Referral and Customer Promotion

Referrals are crucial for so many businesses. The Net Promoter Score is a metric tracked to show how likely a customer is to promote your brand or company. If this score is too low, it shows you need a revamp or tweak to your referral programs. Or perhaps there isn’t enough post-sale communication with buyers.

If your current clients aren’t likely to recommend you, they won’t keep buying from you, either.

Reduce Churn or Increase Repeat Customers

Churn is a figure, used by businesses with a recurring “month-to-month” revenue model. High churn means that a lot of buyers are leaving each month. Low repeat customer numbers show the same issue customers aren’t sticking with you for the long haul.

Maybe the product or deliverables aren’t living up to expectations. This is either an issue with the product or how you communicate expectations when customers buy.

Finding out where these weaknesses are comes down to measuring customer service quality.

3 Metrics for Measuring Customer Service/Satisfaction

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The CSAT score is one of the oldest and most trusted metrics to gauge customer sentiment. Essentially, it’s a question asked alone or as part of a larger customer survey, and the CSAT is modular, depending on your needs.

Here are a few examples of what the question may look like:

How satisfied are you with your recent purchase?

  • Very Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Very Unsatisfied

How was your consultation experience?

  • Very good
  • Good
  • Adequate
  • Not Good
  • Bad

How would you rate the quality of [Insert things like your blog, products or services]?

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Okay
  • Not Great
  • Terrible

CSAT questions are typically asked at the same time. For instance, whenever someone has a chat on your site, a survey is triggered; when there is a purchase made, the CSAT question about the purchase is asked.

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Where CSAT measures how satisfied customers are with individual elements of your business, the Net Promoter Score allows you to see the level of customer loyalty. NPS is very similar to CSAT in that it’s typically a single question. However, there aren’t a number of queries to ask here. 

The question is typically something like, “How likely are you to recommend [product/company] to your [friends/colleagues]?”

Instead of predetermined answers (very satisfied, satisfied, etc.), there is a scale of numbers for survey takers. The most common is to use a 1-10 scale. 

  • Entries of a 9 or 10 are called “Promoters”
  • 7 and 8 entries are “Passives”
  • 6 and lower are “Detractors”

Calculating NPS is a bit technical. First, you’ll have to calculate the percentage for each category (promoters, passives and detractors). 

Example: There are 100 people which take an NPS survey

  • 30 of them are “promoters” (30%)
  • 50 of them are “passives” (50%)
  • 20 of them are “detractors” (20%)

In order to find the NPS, take the percentage of promoters and subtract the percentage of detractors. For our example, the NPS is 10 (30-20=10). Once you understand how, the calculation is fairly simple. 

Here is a quick look at using an online NPS calculator:

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Clients and potential buyers want things to be as easy as possible. This means the buying process, getting a hold of customer service or making adjustments to orders must be as seamless as possible. It’s here where the customer effort score (CES) comes into play. 

Like our other metrics, CES is typically gathered with a single question. And like CSAT, there are a range of questions. CES is perfect for anything which takes the effort of your customers or potential customers to complete. 

A couple of these would be customer service interactions (things like live chat or calls with a receptionist) or the buying process (checkout pages, booking a consultation, etc.).

In order to find a CES, ask questions such as:

  • How easy was it to solve your issue?
  • Did our representative handle your issue quickly?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how quickly do you feel the sales process went?

Taking Action on the Data

All the data in the world is useless until it’s put into use. All of these metrics and formulas are how to measure customer satisfaction. Once that info begins rolling in, here are a few ways to use it wisely to improve your business.

  • Understand what it means: Compile all of the data, looking for all areas that stand out. (Things like consistently high or low scores, scores that diverge sharply from other questions.)
  • Prioritize fixes: A low NPS isn’t as critical as a poor satisfaction rating. Listing all scores you’d like to improve and prioritizing what and how is important.
  • Come up with an action plan: Change the processes to decrease customer effort and add more options to communicate to improve service (like live chat on your website).

Once you’ve got the action plan together, the only thing left to do is execute it!


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