While social media is still a relatively small channel for customer care (versus telephone or online self-service), it’s growing by double digits in many organisations. Its importance as a service channel is further amplified because (a) it’s public rather than private, which means a post can instantly reach a massive audience as opposed to a single customer interaction; and (b) customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more with those companies than other customers (Bain). Yet many executives responsible for social media customer service are struggling with the best way to measure the success of this channel.  Here are 10 KPIs and metrics we think should be considered:

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS). Most people are familiar with the golden nugget question to customers, “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?”  The score which is calculated from customers’ answers to this question is considered  a key KPI and predictor of customer loyalty and profitability, widely used by companies around the world. It can be applied on social media channels just as well as phone, email and web chat. (More info on NPS here.)
  2. Customer Effort Score (CES)  Others argue that measuring how easy it is for a customer to do business with you, rather than delighting a customer, is the key to loyalty.  Just as with NPS, CES can easily be included as a quick survey question to customers following their social media experience.
  3. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).  Was your customer “satisfied” with the way you managed their inquiry on social media? CSAT is the most traditional metric for customer experience and still used by many organisations today.
  4. Average speed to respond (ASR). We live in the age of the Digital Autobahn, and speed is everything when responding to a customer complaint on social media. Waiting until the next day to respond may be too late to repair brand damage. It is therefore critical to measure how long it is taking your agents to respond to posts. The good news is that Australian businesses are taking on average less than half an hour to respond to social media posts from customers, with the telecommunications industry leading the way on just three minutes.
  5. Response rate. Another indicator of the success of your social media operation is the percentage of social media posts that you respond to. In the Australian airline and tourism industry, for example, 20% of customer complaints and enquiries simply never get a response (source: Social Pulse), causing immense frustration and ballooning of negative brand sentiment.
  6. Quality. A high quality of written skill is incredibly important in social service. This includes spelling, grammar and tone (however formal business tone is often not the tone that is appropriate). It is a mistake to think that a contact centre agent used to dealing with customers only on the phone can just be switched over to social media. Extra training is required and not all agents are suitable. Poor or unsuitable English directly impacts on customer’s perception of the brand, so measuring quality is an absolute must in your social media operations.
  7. First post resolution (FPR). Not only do you need to respond quickly on social media, but you need toresolve customer problems quickly, and ideally in a single hit. Some organisations fool themselves into thinking they have a great first contact resolution rate because of the way they define it – the best perspective on this is always looking at it from the customer’s point of view.
  8. Linked to FPR is the Transfer rate metric.  This measures the percentage of customers who are transferred to someone else to have their query answered, with obviously a high transfer rate being undesirable.
  9. Likes, shares and retweets.  If your social customer service team are doing a good job, they should be generating lots of “likes” and engagement.  The more likes, the more positive reach into new audiences, so “engagement” metrics are essential to measure.
  10. Average handle time (AHT). While customer service has moved away from “efficiency” metrics such as average call time, and more towards “engagement” metrics, social media is a nascent channel for customer service, and we need to understand the numbers better.  It’s useful to at least monitor AHT so companies can interpret the cost as well as the benefits of effectively handling customer service interactions via this channel, and gain insights into which agents are struggling with it. 

Social media service is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate a differentiated level of service for your brand, and literally stand out in the crowd.  To optimise your success, you may need to draw on third party expertise at some point.  Matchboard can connect you with leading organisations who can assist with:

Just click on the area that you are exploring, and answer a few quick questions.  Alternatively, please contact us for assistance on sales@matchboard.com.au, and we will be happy to discuss your needs and/or challenges!