In one of our recent posts, we’ve talked about measuring the ROI of customer service. You’ve learned how to set up goals, measure them, and check the reports in the LiveChat app.
You also know that the better the customer service, the easier it is to charm customers to buy your product. They’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends. Customer service is one of the factors that can give you leverage over other businesses. But to have that leverage, you first need to find out how good it is compared to similar businesses.
Local Customer Service Benchmark
If you’re LiveChat customer and have at least Team plan, you can see benchmark data for main customer service metrics. Benchmark is available in the Reports section for the following reports: total chats, chat satisfaction, chat duration, and response times.
Note: Benchmark in the app is available for free until the end of October. After that, it will only be available in Business and Enterprise plans.
Why is it helpful?
With Benchmark, you can see your company’s results compared to similar businesses in your area. By similar businesses we mean the same industry, business size and audience. You can compare how your company stacks up against the competition and spot areas to improve in.
How to use it?
Unlock Benchmark by switching the button in the reports, like in the screen below:
You may wonder if you can change the filters of comparison, e.g. industry or area. You can’t do that in the app, but there’s another place (outside the app) where you can see the data for different locations and industries. It’s called Local Customer Service Benchmark. The results for the chosen segment are compared to the global averages.
Now, let’s break down the main metrics you should check when it comes to the state of your customer service.
Customer satisfaction – how happy are customers with your service?
(Customer satisfaction metric reminder: the ratio of good customer rates to all customer rates).
People mostly look at customer service metric as a determinant of a job well done by an agent. That’s mostly true, because even if a customer’s needs can’t be fulfilled, it’s about the way the agent communicates it.
But there are many factors out of agents’ reach that influence customers’ rate. And it wouldn’t be fair to burden agents with responsibility for that.
Some of the main factors are:
- The speed of the service - if agents need to handle many chats at once, the speed of the service will be slower - that influences customers’ rates. But sometimes an agent alone can’t change it.
- The language an agent uses - if a company uses official tone, an agent can’t be too friendly or make jokes on chat, and that creates a distance which might influence the final rating from a customer.
- Companies policies and the overall outcome of a case - if a company’s return policy is friendly, if there’s a possibility to exchange a product when it’s not working correctly, there’s a higher chance for good ratings. If this policy is strict and not customer-friendly, and an agent can’t even offer a discount for the inconvenience, there’s not much they can win here.
As a manager, you need to remember that customer satisfaction is not just a metric of a job well done by an agent. There’s much more to it. In summary, customer satisfaction is a sum of many smaller elements which, when combined, show a company’s overall approach to customers.
Customer satisfaction is a crucial metric for every business and you should monitor it constantly. A good practice is to read all the bad rated chats and draw conclusions - why did a customer rate an agent badly? Is it the policies, is it the speed of the service, agents’ attitude, or the final outcome of a chat? Based on that, you can make actual changes in customer service strategy.
Take a look at your customer satisfaction level compared to your local competitors in the app.
First response time - how to compare it
(First response time metric reminder: the time of a customer service agent’s reply to a first customer’s message.)
Here’s a thing with first response time. It’s important to answer quickly to customers - real-time conversations are the real power of live chat. So, help should be provided the moment customers need it the most.
If for some reason agents are not able to respond ad hoc, there’s a chance customers will forgive it, but only if the case is solved. In the end, it all comes down to customer satisfaction again.
If we dig deeper into first response time metric – different industries have different standards.
It’s best to compare your results within your industry. Obviously, you can look for global results or other industries for the context, but you shouldn’t sweat too much about it.
First response time is mostly determined by the environment of the business and customers. If something is broken on the customers’ website and your company is responsible for keeping it working, then first response time is much more crucial. Let’s compare it to the situation when a customer asks about a book on a library’s website - the speed of the service doesn’t seem crucial here.
Take a look at the averages for your industry, then check the global results and treat it as your base point. If you’re much below averages, it may indicate that your agents try to handle too many chats at once, or they’re busy with other tasks at the same time. It means you need to adjust your customer service strategy.
Total chats - this metric is not so obvious
Total chats isn’t the most direct metric that shows the state of your customer service, but it can tell you something about your business compared to your competition.
In the app, you compare your metrics to businesses in the same industry, location, business size and audience. Where you are - below or above the average - can provoke many thoughts and hopefully some actions. Here are some scenarios.
Let’s say you have much more chats than others - great! That may be a good thing, and you might be a leader in your industry. However, it can also mean that your knowledge base website is not as clear for your customers as you think. Check the main topics of customers inquiries' and you will find out if customers come to chat with basic questions that should easily be found in the knowledge base. Analyze the queries from customers in the Archives, see if something is repetitive and make suitable adjustment on your website.
There are a lot of possible scenarios to find out what’s behind total chats metric. I encourage you to write down the possible scripts, implement some adjustments, and check if something changes. Make sure your agents tag each chat, so it’s easier to filter the topics later on.
On the other hand, if the number of total chats is much lower than the industry average, it may indicate that your chat is not as visible as it could be (consider adding greetings or eye-catchers), or your website doesn’t perform as good as it could. It’s worth to check the number of unique visits on your website and see how many chats you have. It tells you how many customers use this channel to contact you.
Every business is different and it’s impossible to give all the examples and treat them as a rule. There’s a lot of strategy that is required here to find out what is behind those numbers but treat it as a challenge to provide the best customer service possible. Don’t be too harsh on yourself when comparing to others. Just see where you are, above or below the average, and adjust further actions.
There’s always room for improvement
You need to be aware that at some level, when you’re already very good at something (that can be customer service), the progress is not that noticeable as it was at the beginning. It doesn’t mean that your job is done. There’s always room for improvement.
The question is, is it worth it to improve for, let’s say, less than 1 percent? Always! That is… if you aim much higher than just above average. If you want to be one of the top companies providing the best customer service in the world. Good luck!
P.S. If you’re not our customer yet, see the scores for the main customer service metrics in different areas and industries, when compared to global averages. Check out the Local Customer Service Benchmark.