The Customer Service KPIs You Should be Measuring

Illustration of a customer service agent, wearing a headset, sat in a call centre, in front of a laptop

With so many KPIs dedicated to measuring it, however, how do you know which ones are worth monitoring? To make your decision easier, we’ll go through the customer service KPIs you and your team should be focusing on going forward.

If you aren’t measuring your customer service performance, you stand very little chance of managing it. But since it plays such an important role in supporting the business – and can change brand perception at the drop of a hat – it’s critical that you know what to measure when it comes to customer service.

With so many KPIs dedicated to measuring it, however, how do you know which ones are worth monitoring? To make your decision easier, we’ll go through the customer service KPIs you and your team should be focusing on going forward.

Why are customer service KPIs important?

The way you and your customers perceive your customer service can differ drastically. What you think is top-notch, unrivalled customer service might be viewed in a less-than-positive light by those who experience it.

Customer service KPIs offer no such room for opinions and subjectivity. Objective and unbiased, they provide you with quantitative insights into what’s working and what isn’t. Through these figures and data, you can begin improving your processes and start making better decisions that can boost customer satisfaction and increase customer retention.

Wait time

What is wait time?

Wait time is the average time it takes a customer to be assisted by a representative, agent, or customer service personnel.

This can be while a customer is being held in a call management system queue, on hold awaiting a response from another team member, or while waiting for a representative to complete a complex task.

Why does wait time matter?

No one likes to be kept waiting on hold. If the average duration of your wait time is high, then your customers are unlikely to be in the best of moods when an agent does eventually answer. At this point, the interaction isn’t off to a strong start.

A low wait time is a sign that your team is handling issues in a timely, satisfactory manner, and your customers are happy with the service they’ve provided.

How to calculate wait time

To calculate the average wait time in a call centre, simply add the total wait times for all answered calls, and then divide it by the number of answered calls.

Average handling time

What is average handling time?

Not to be confused with wait time, Average Handling Time (AHT) measures the average time agents spend on a call chat, including both hold time and the time spent talking with the customer themselves.

Why does average handling time matter?

A high AHT can be a cause for concern. However, AHT provides little in the way of insights when used on its own.

Let’s say that your AHT is low, but the quality of the call itself was low and the issue at hand went unresolved. It doesn’t matter that your AHT is low if customers weren’t helped in a satisfactory manner at the end of the call. Conversely, a call with a high AHT but one that is chockful of guidance and reaches a satisfactory conclusion might not necessarily be an issue.

How to calculate average handling time

To calculate AHT of individuals, entire departments, or entire call centres, use the following formula:

AHT = (total talk time + total hold time + after-call time*) / total number of calls

*the time spent on tasks such as sending emails or categorising the conversation that an agent does after the call to fully resolve a query. It’s also known as wrap time, which we’ll talk about below.

Wrap time

What is wrap time?

The time agents spend on call-related tasks after a call ends, including documenting the reason for the call in a data system, noting the outcome of the call, making notes on the interaction, and notifying other departments or individuals of the caller’s concerns.

Why does wrap time matter?

The wrap-up process not only helps solve customer problems, but also lets the company track important data. If wrap-up tasks aren’t carried out, then a customer’s issue may go unresolved or lead to them calling another agent and having to re-explain themselves – a headache that’s among customers’ biggest grievances.

How to calculate wrap time

To work out wrap time, simply subtract hold and talk time from the time it took to handle the call.

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First response time

What is first response time?

First response time (FRT) is the time between a customer sending their first support ticket and the agent’s response.

Why does first response time matter?

Essentially, FRT is a measure of your team’s promptness, but it can also provide insights into whether they have the resources to respond to requests in a timely manner. If your FRTs are high, then it could indicate that the team doesn’t have sufficient resources to deal with the calls that are incoming.

How to calculate first response time

Simply add up all your first responses over a set period and divide it by the total number of resolved tickets in that time.

Drop rate

What is drop rate?

Drop rate is the rate at which live answer calls are dropped due to no agent being available.

Why does drop rate matter?

Being put on hold is bad enough, but if a customer can’t get through to an agent after the maximum wait time limit has been reached, then the reputational damage is sure to make the rounds through word of mouth alone. Equally, if a call centre can’t match the demands of their customers, then it’s going to have a negative effect on the business’ sales, too.

How to calculate drop rate

Calculating drop rate is a simple case of subtracting the number of calls you’ve handled from the total number of calls you’ve received and then dividing this number by the total number of calls.

Abandonment rate

What is abandonment rate?

Abandonment rate is the rate at which a caller hangs up before an agent can answer their questions or as an agent is trying to help them.

Why does abandonment rate matter?

A high abandonment rate can clue you into all sorts of complex operational issues, so it’s a metric that’s well worth exploring. High rates of abandonment can hint at everything from a lack of effective call routing and long queue times to unsatisfactory answers and complicated entry procedures. Looking at the areas of your operation that create consistently high abandonment rates can help you overcome some serious customer service issues.

How to calculate abandonment rate

After selecting the time frame you want to measure, divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls within this time frame.


What is CSAT?

Because customer satisfaction is a measure of emotion, it can be a challenge to quantify. The customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is one way of getting around this issue.

After an experience with customer service staff, customers will fill out a survey asking them about their experiences with the service provided and how well your team handled their problems. The score at the end of this is your CSAT.

Why does CSAT matter?

CSATs are great because they can give you feedback across several different things, highlighting the areas that you’ll need to improve before they get worse and your customers start to opt for your competitor instead. A good CSAT score can also be used as an opportunity to market yourself. As a means of showing your knack for delighting customers, it can be a powerful attribute, one that can easily set you apart from your competition.

Looking for customer service that really speaks to your contacts? Gnatta makes interactions matter, delivering quality exchanges and quicker responses that meet your customers’ expectations. Find out how we can help here or head here to try out your free trial.

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