What are support benchmarks?
Customer support benchmarks (or customer service benchmarks) are your critical customer support metrics, tied to specific, well-defined standards of performance. These benchmarks can be set by looking at industry standards or even by comparing against your own company’s past performance.
These benchmarks can help you understand how your company’s performance fares against your competitors and even against your own past performance. They even help you set targets for your performance in the future.
While your actual benchmarks will differ depending on the industry that you are in, here are some metrics that you should consider setting benchmarks for:
Average First Contact Resolution Rate
Your average first contact resolution rate helps you understand the extent to which you are able to solve the issues faced by your customers in the very first interaction in which they bring those issues to your attention, without needing to keep them waiting for you to get back to them at a later time when you manage to resolve the issue.
Average Resolution SLA%
Your resolution SLA% is the percentage of the number of support tickets that your customer service team manages to resolve within the SLA out of the total number of support tickets that came in
Your average CSAT is the average of the customer satisfaction scores that your customers have received from all your customers
Ticket density is a rough indicator of the number of tickets that every customer is raising over a period of time.
Average Response Time
The average response time is the average amount of time that it takes your support team to respond to requests from your customers.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Your customer effort score (CES) helps you understand how much effort your customers have to make in order to do business with your company. It is found by sending your customers a survey with a single question asking them to rate how easy it is for them to interact with your company or do business with you.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your Net Promoter Score helps you understand how much your customers are satisfied with your business and whether they would recommend your company to their friends and family.
Why are support benchmarks important?
If you value your customers, you need to set support benchmarks. Their level of satisfaction plays a critical role in the decisions that your customers make. If they are only somewhat satisfied with your service, they won’t be too loyal.
Now imagine that you don’t set benchmarks and your competitors provide customer support that is far superior to what you provide. If your customers hear their peers talking about this, they might be keen on making a switch. In fact, it would be very likely that their peers would actively advise them to switch over to your competitors in this situation.
Setting benchmarks and chasing after them helps you understand how you stand in comparison with other players in the industry and gives you direction regarding the factors that you need to improve.
It also helps you gauge how your current performance fares in comparison with your past performance, and helps you set targets to be achieved in the future.
How do you determine support benchmarks?
You’d want to start by identifying companies (preferably in the same industry as you) that have the highest standard of customer service.
Do your research and compile information on their internal performance and the metrics that they prioritize.
Compare their performance with your company’s performance regarding those benchmark metrics.
See where you are falling short and try to emulate the processes that the company you are benchmarking against follows.
How do you improve on support benchmarks?
Different metrics can be improved in various ways, bringing you closer to the benchmarks and even helping you surpass them. In this section, we will look at ways to improve your performance on three important benchmark metrics.
1. First Response Time
You can’t afford to leave your customers waiting for you to respond to them. Even if your agents are unavailable, or you cannot resolve the query immediately, you should still respond immediately so that your customers know that you are not leaving them hanging.
You can achieve this with automation, deploying intelligent chatbots that can respond instantly and even answer most of the questions that arise.
2.First Contact Resolution Rate
The quicker you resolve your customers’ issues, the more satisfied they will be. The answer to this is three-fold: training, routing, and empowerment.
Train your chatbots and your agents extensively and continuously, so that they can resolve a large number of queries without escalating the conversation or asking customers to wait.
Route queries to the right agent the very first time, so that they do not need to transfer the conversation to another agent or department. Engati Live Chat achieves this by routing based on context from the query.
Empower your agents to take decisions that are in the interest of the company and the customer without needing to ask management for permission. You could set a limit regarding how much money these actions could cost before they need to request authorization.
3. Ticket Density
This is the ratio of the volume of tickets to the total number of customers that you have for a specific period of time.
You can improve this metric by focusing on customer training, creating knowledge bases, and self-service tools, helping your customers find solutions on their own instead of needing to raise support tickets.