Customers want and expect great support. And they’re prepared to reward the companies who deliver.

Unfortunately, not very many companies meet (let alone exceed) their expectations. That’s good news for all of us, because it means there’s a huge opportunity to stand out and really wow our customers 😊.

One of the best ways to provide an exceptional support experience is to understand what’s working in our current process and where we have room to improve! How do we measure the performance of our support team? Tracking a few key metrics will give us an honest representation of how well we’re doing (and how happy our customers are):

Contact volume by channel

The first place we start is here – how many customer requests, issues and problems are we replying to on each channel in a given reporting period?

Total volume by channel tells us a couple of things:

  • How big the workload is
  • How many people we need on our team to keep customer happiness high, and
  • Whether we’re answering more questions (or fewer) over time

Check for any spikes in activity. Do we consistently receive a high volume of support requests at certain times of the day/week? This can help us plan out the shifts for our team to make sure we have the right number of folks online at the right time.

Resolution rate

Inbox zero is a great feeling for anyone! And it’s the lifeblood of customer service. Resolution rate is simple and super important. Out of all the support requests we received in a given period, how many did our team resolve? Measuring resolution rate lets us know how many of the total issues our customers have that we’ve resolved per reporting period.

Time to first reply

Customers expect us to reply to their issues in a timely manner. And if we fail to meet their expectations, customer satisfaction is likely to suffer. On average, how long does it take our team to reply to a support request?

Time to resolution

Another critical metric is how long it takes for our team to answer a question or resolve an issue — from start to finish. The faster we’re able to handle their problems, the happier our customers are.

As resolution time increases, customer satisfaction goes down

Customer happiness

Last, but (definitely) not least, it’s important to get an overall sense of how our customers are feeling about their experience with our company. After every support email we send, we give the person on the other end the option to leave a rating — letting us know how they felt about the interaction.

The signature for Buffer's Happiness Heroes

Not only can we see if customers are happy, satisfied, or unhappy, we can also analyze the sentiment of the written feedback our customers provide.

Final thoughts

Customer support gives us the very rare opportunity to connect with our customers on an emotional level. One of the best ways to accelerate our support (and provide an exceptional customer experience) is to understand what our customers expect from our company. And tracking the metrics above gives us an unbiased and honest representation of their overall experience and satisfaction.