How to Get The Right KPIs for Customer Service

Andy Lees

by Andy Lees

July 30, 2014

You’ve figured out that in order to improve your team’s performance you need to get the right KPIs. Or maybe your boss just told you to go get some. But how do you know what the right KPIs are? And what are the best KPIs for customer service?

If you manage a customer facing team, I’ll show you how to easily find the right KPIs for you business or service, and how to start tracking and improving them.

The Power of KPIs

Two of the things that make KPIs so powerful are:

  • Team focus: They get the whole team focussed on the same things and everyone’s clear about what those things are.
  • Performance can be tracked: both individual and team performance can be tracked and assessed.

These may KPIs very effective tools for improving performance but they can also be dangerous. If you haven’t got the right KPIs you could be driving your team in the wrong direction. Luckily, there are some simple techniques for finding the right KPIs for customer service focussed teams.

When Management Consultants work with companies to help them improve their customer service, they usually conduct some type of customer satisfaction research. And if they’re really thorough, they then employ a statistician to analyse that research and determine some KPIs. The reason they use a statistician is because with the right dataset it’s possible to figure out statistically which metrics are the most important.

This is a great way to figure out your KPIs, and if you’ve got the budget to commission a management consultant or professional market researcher, then I’d highly recommend it. Otherwise, keep on reading and I’ll tell you how to achieve the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

Get The Right KPIs for Customer Service

If you’re in the service business – if you run a hotel, a restaurant, a professional services company, an IT department, an events company or any business where customer service matters – you can’t escape the importance of having customer satisfaction as a KPI. Satisfied customers spend more, recommend your business more, return more often and stay customers for longer. In short, satisfied customers make you more money.

So, sure, you want customer satisfaction as a KPI, but how do you measure that and what use should you be measuring?

Let’s start with how to measure it. First you need a customer satisfaction survey. There are a number of tools available for achieving that, including SurveyGizmo and SurveyMonkey. But the next question you’ll find yourself asking is; what questions should I ask?

A better approach is to use Satsum. It costs about the same as those other survey tools, but it’s focussed purely on customer satisfaction research. Simply sign up with Satsum and they’ll build a best practice customer satisfaction survey for you. You can use it to very quickly start tracking your customer satisfaction. If you’re serious about KPIs for customer service, this is an absolute no-brainer.

But what about those other KPIs?

Remember that statistician we talked about earlier? The ones who had a scientific way of figuring out the most important KPIs. Well, the clever thing about Satsum is that it has that scientific process built in. Satsum doesn’t just give you a customer satisfaction score, it tells you which aspects of your customer service are most important, whether it’s the friendliness of your staff, the accuracy of your orders or the speed you answer the phones. It does it scientifically, based on real feedback from your customers.

You can use this information to be confident that the KPIs you set for yourself and your team represent what’s most important for your customers and your customer service. Then you can continue to use Satsum to track your report your performance against them.

If you’re quick you can sign-up at Sastum whilst it’s still free.

Andy Lees


Andy has 18 years experience managing technology and data for the consumer insight industry. He is passionate about innovation, fascinated by data and inspired by smart digital products.