Evaluating Customer Service: Importance and 18 Ways To Evaluate

Updated February 27, 2023

Evaluating customer service is an important part of ensuring customers receive the information and support they need. Many industries use methods to evaluate customer service, but most notably, these processes exist in call center environments or businesses that emphasize customer service when providing a product or service. Understanding the different ways to assess customer service can help managers and decision-makers improve their business processes. In this article, we discuss the importance of evaluating customer service and provide a list of 18 ways you can do so in your organization.

Related: The Difference Between Customer Success vs. Customer Service

Why is evaluating customer service important?

Evaluating customer service is important for several reasons, including:

Improving processes

Evaluating your customer service can help you improve your processes. By identifying trends in your customer service, you may be able to make more informed decisions about your policies and procedures. These trends can help you more successfully meet customer needs and improve your customer satisfaction rates. Higher rates of customer satisfaction can lead to increased revenue, improved brand reputation and higher rates of customer retention.

Communicating appreciation

By emphasizing excellent customer service, you may be able to communicate your appreciation for your customers. Customers who feel valued and acknowledged may feel more satisfied with your organization and could recommend your offerings to people they know. This can help you expand your customer base and maintain positive relationships with your current customers.

Tracking business decisions

Evaluating customer service while you make changes to your processes can help you measure the success of these changes. Tracking your business decisions and how they influence customer service can help you make informed decisions about your operations. This can help you make business decisions that contribute to the quality of your customer service and more effectively meet customer needs.

Related: 4 Levels of Customer Service: Definition and Tips

18 ways to evaluate customer service

Below are 18 useful metrics to help you evaluate customer service:

1. First call resolution

First call resolution is a metric you can use to measure how frequently your customer service representatives resolve issues within one phone call. If agents resolve problems within a single call, customers may feel more satisfied with customer service. High rates of first call resolution often indicate efficiency and knowledge of your products and services within your customer care team.

2. Customer waiting time

Customer waiting time refers to how long customers need to wait on hold before receiving attention from a customer service representative. Reviewing your average hold time can help you understand how quickly your customer receive the information and attention they need. If customers remain on hold too long, it may impact the quality of your customer service. The amount of customer service representatives, call volume and the knowledge of your staff may influence your customer waiting time.

3. Customer greeting

How customer service representatives greet employees is an important aspect to consider when evaluating the quality of your customer service. Successful customer greetings often include clear, easily understood tone of voice, an introduction of the speaker and the company and a phrase that makes the customer feel valued and acknowledged. To implement successful customer greetings, consider writing a script or template that your customer service agents can refer to.

4. Problem-solving skills

The ability to quickly solve problems is a trait many customer service professionals may benefit from developing. Be sure to include problem-solving skills in your performance reviews to understand and foster the skills of your employees. It may also be beneficial to provide training and exercises that help your team members prepare to take initiative and resolve issues independently and to the point of customer satisfaction.

5. Product knowledge

Customer service professionals may be more successful when they have an in-depth knowledge of their products and services. Knowledgeable customer service employees not only benefit the customer but also the organization by maintaining a standard of excellence and improving their company's reputation. To evaluate the level of your team members' product and service knowledge, you may administer regular assessments and incorporate intermittent training to continue the education of your staff.

6. Customer handover rates

Sometimes, a customer service representative may need to escalate a service call or ticket to another individual or department. When this happens, it's considered a customer handover. Customer handovers are often necessary and can help to resolve a situation, but too many handovers may make the customer feel impatient or frustrated. To evaluate handover rates, consider implementing a tracking system by requiring team members to document each instance of customer handover.

Related: 9 Customer Service Tips To Improve Your Skills

7. Length of call time

Length of call time is a valuable metric because it can help you understand how quickly your customers receive the information or solutions they need. Consider collecting data about the length of each call and finding the average length for all calls. Typically, shorter call time indicates high-quality customer service. Consider making average call time goals for each month to motivate your employees to complete calls as efficiently as possible.

8. Customer complaints

The amount of customer complaints you receive can be a direct correlation to your customer service. Consider tracking the amount of complaints you receive each day or during calls with your customer service representatives. You can do this using a voice analytics software that can alert you to certain keywords associated with dissatisfied customers. Then, consider finding trends or common sources for complaints to determine how to improve your processes.

9. Abandoned calls

Abandoned calls are calls that customers leave before completion. This could happen because of long waiting times or frustration with automated phone menus. Measuring if and how frequently this occurs can help you determine barriers and challenges your representatives may face and find solutions.

Related: 10 Outstanding Customer Service Examples

10. Resolved tickets

Comparing the number of service tickets with the number of resolved tickets can help you determine the success of your representatives in finding solutions for your customers. To find this data, compare the number of service tickets you receive during a certain amount of time with the number of resolved tickets. You can also view the types of service tickets that consistently remain unresolved to determine areas of improvement. Boosting product/service knowledge may be an effective way to increase your number of resolved tickets.

11. Success rate of calls

Successful calls are calls in which all customer complaints, concerns and questions reach resolution. Measuring the success rate of your calls can give you valuable insight into aspects of your customer service. These aspects could include product and service knowledge, communication skills and the efficiency of your customer service team. Consider having your team members record the outcomes of each of their calls to collect data on this metric.

12. Tone and language

The tone and language your customer service representatives use with your customers is an important part of providing excellent service. You can use voice recognition software to scan for keywords that align with the language you'd like your representatives to use. You may also use a script or template to help your representatives interact with customers in a way that ensures they feel welcomed, acknowledged and valued.

13. Cross-selling opportunities

Cross-selling refers to offering an additional product or service that may meet your customers' needs. Measuring how frequently your representatives use cross-selling techniques could provide insight into how thoroughly they meet customer needs and preferences. To track this information, you may implement a policy that requires employees to record and document instances of cross-selling.

14. Immediate response rate

Immediate response rate refers to the ratio of customers that connect with a representative without waiting versus the amount of customers that wait on hold before speaking with a representative. This information is important to evaluating customer service because it helps you understand how effectively your response team completes their duties. If your ratio indicates high numbers of waiting customers, it may indicate barriers or challenges your representatives face. Understanding the cause of delays can help you eliminate or lower waiting time for your customers.

15. Response to training

Response to training refers to how well representatives and team members apply the lessons learned from training to their daily customer interactions. This is another instance where voice analytic software may be a beneficial tool to scan for keywords and communication techniques included in your organization's training. You may also listen to conversations between newer representatives and customers to evaluate their success applying their training to real-life scenarios.

16. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is often a direct indicator of the quality of your customer service. You can gather information about customer satisfaction by asking your customers to complete surveys or reading reviews online. Both of these methods can help you identify trends in customer satisfaction, which may help you adjust your policies and practices to better meet the needs of your customers.

17. Referrals

Referral rates are how frequently your customers find your products and services thanks to a referral from someone they know. This can give you insight into the overall satisfaction of your customers by providing metrics about their willingness to recommend your offerings. To gather this information, consider including questions about referrals in your customer surveys or market research.

18. Customer retention rate

Customer retention rate refers to how many of your customers repeat purchases of your products and services. Customer retention rate can provide information about customer satisfaction and how well your products, services and team members meet the needs of your customers. To measure customer retention, consider reviewing the number of repeat purchases you receive within a certain amount of time and monitoring these numbers to identify trends.

Tips for evaluating customer service

Below are some additional tips to help you evaluate customer service:

Ask for customer feedback

Asking for customer feedback about how you could improve your customer service can provide you with direct insight into your customers' perspectives. To do this, consider including a section of your customer surveys that asks customers how you could improve your products and services. Then, try to take this information into account when strategizing ways to improve your customer service.

Use mystery shoppers

Mystery shoppers are individuals of your organization that enter your stores or establishments to monitor customer and employee interaction. You can use mystery shoppers to gain first-hand observations of your customer service in real-life scenarios. This information can help you identify barriers, challenges and trends within your customer service techniques and help you make improvements where needed.

Review written correspondence

Reviewing the written correspondence between your employees and customers can help you monitor customer service. Consider reviewing emails, instant messages and other forms of written communication to ensure your employees use the language, tone and techniques needed to provide excellent customer service. This can help you identify trends and employees who may need additional guidance and training.

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