Imagine for a moment that you’re having an issue with a product or service and need to contact the company’s support team. You visit their website, navigate to their contact page, and find a list of social messaging apps (including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat) alongside their phone number.
Do you face the phone tree and hold music—or do you fire up your messaging app of choice?
If you choose the second option, you’re the face of a trend that’s growing rapidly. With 45% of customers now predicting that digital channels will be their primary way of contacting brands in the future, it’s clear that social messaging is the future of customer care.
That makes it a critical part of your social media strategy moving forward.
This massive migration to digital channels also means your customers’ expectations have changed dramatically. Are you ready to meet them? And more importantly, do you know how to measure what “good” looks like in the age of the digital customer?
Today, consumers expect speed, convenience, and personalization from your brand, especially when it comes to customer service and engagement. To keep them happy, it’s vital that you align your goals—and the way that you track your performance against them—with these new benchmarks.
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There are countless key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your social media programs.
Social messaging KPIs are different. Conversations on messaging channels are often service-related, so these KPIs are generally aligned with the metrics used by customer service teams in a contact center.
When setting social messaging KPIs, our advice is to keep it simple. Focus on the four universal social messaging goals, identify the most relevant KPIs to track those goals, then adapt, experiment, and repeat as you refine and optimize your strategy.
1. Fast response time and always-on service
Fast response times and always-on service are now table stakes when it comes to customer care. Unfortunately, the default method of providing customer service by phone often means long waits and limited hours.
That’s where call deflection comes in.
Call deflection is a technique used to transfer an incoming call to an alternate channel, such as messaging. It offers your customers a way out of the traditional hold queue, giving them the option to switch from phone service to messaging service. It’s a quick way to help more customers connect with your team via the channels they prefer.
Out-of-hours requests and repetitive support requests can be a huge drain on your teams’ time and resources. Automation is a highly effective way to deflect many of these requests, freeing up your employees’ time to handle more complex and high-value requests.
Using digital channels, customer care teams can integrate chatbots, automation, and self-service capabilities to help customers around the clock.
The best way to track your progress toward your goal of delivering fast response time and always-on service is through a popular customer care KPI: first contact resolution.
The KPI to watch: First contact resolution
First contact resolution (FCR), sometimes called first touch resolution (FTR), is the rate at which customer service requests are resolved without needing to defer to a future date or escalating the request to another department or a manager.
You calculate FCR by dividing the number of people whose cases were resolved at the first touchpoint by the total number of cases handled by your team.
First Contact Resolution = total resolved cases / total number of cases
2. Efficient problem solving
Four out of five customer service leaders say significant percentages of their team’s overall ticket volume are tickets that are highly repetitive, yet easy to resolve. Automating responses to these repetitive questions is a highly effective way to solve this inefficiency.
For more complex questions, you can use automatic routing to send customers to the correct department or person based on the topic of their request.
Pro tip: If you use Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, you can keep on top of your most important topics with automatic routing and prioritization. Tackling new or difficult topics can be done easily with predefined “fast replies”.Customer care teams often need more data, such as a document, a photo, or information about a location. If customers can get you the information you need quickly, you can troubleshoot faster and respond with useful information to help them solve their problems. Rich media can also create new efficiencies in your customer care process.
The best metric to track efficient problem solving is average handle time.
The KPI to watch: Average handle time
Average handle time (AHT) is the average duration of the entire customer call transaction, from the time the customer initiates the call to when they end the call, including hold times and transfers, as well as after-call work.
Average Handle Time = (total talk time + total hold time + total after-call tasks) / number of total calls
3. Coverage across all channels
There are so many digital channels to keep up with that even the most well-resourced brands struggle to cover all the digital bases. It can be easy for a message to fall through the cracks and create a bad customer experience.
Unfortunately, it only takes one bad experience to lose a customer; 47% of customers have stopped doing business with a company due to a bad customer service or support experience.
Make sure you’re available on all the different channels where your customers want to reach you. Monitor overall message volumes by channel, and prioritize coverage on the ones your customers use most.
On less popular channels, set the expectations up front. For instance, if your brand has an account on Twitter, but isn’t active there, leave instructions in your bio or a pinned tweet about where to contact you, so customers know how to get the fastest response.
The KPI to watch: Average First Response Time (by channel)
First Response Time (FRT) is how long it takes a customer service agent to respond to a customer support inquiry. It’s calculated by measuring the duration of time between when a customer submits a request and the time when a customer service agent responds to the ticket.
Calculate average FRT by adding together all of your FRTs and dividing by the number of inquiries.
The simplest way to monitor response time for social messaging is to use a platform like Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, which automatically records FRT for your different messaging channels. It makes it easy to manage and report on all your digital messages from one platform.
First Response Time = (time a customer service agent responds to a query – time when the customer submitted the query) / total number of queries
4. Happy customers
Social messaging has a few advantages that can help you win customers’ hearts. For one thing, it puts customers in control. They can connect with you on their terms as they multitask. They can have a quick back-and-forth conversation with you in a moment of downtime at work, or send their request and pick up the conversation later when they have the time.
Another simple way to create a positive experience? Spare them the hassle of having to repeat themselves. One-third of respondents in a HubSpot study said the thing they find most irritating in a customer service engagement is the need to repeat their personal information and problem to multiple support representatives.
To create a seamless experience for your customers and your customer-facing employees, integrate your social media and messaging data with your customer service and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, then measure customer happiness with customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys.
The KPI to watch: Customer satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT, is a metric that measures how happy people are with your product or service.
Include customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys on your social messaging channels to track the general happiness of customers and set targets to improve.
You can track CSAT results across different channels to see if customers are happier interacting via message or by phone. Sparkcentral users can even analyze specific topics that make them score low and high, so they can adjust workflows and update agent training accordingly.
Managing social messaging and tracking KPIs is easy when you have a centralized tool to keep your team organized. With Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, brands can easily manage and report on incoming social media customer support queries through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp. You can even use Sparkcentral to manage messages received via your own digital channels like your website or app. Social messaging is rich in data, and there are lots of metrics that you can track based on your specific priorities. Start with the basics we’ve listed in this article, and then branch out as you identify further KPIs that can help you track progress against your organization’s customer care goals.
Tracking KPIs can be done easily through an SLA Management System: created to help you define demand, monitor performance and review opportunities in your business. By helping you to identify and resolve any issues and weaknesses, an SLA system will ensure that your customers get superior service and support. And with Sparkcentral’s SLA feature, you’re able to use one single platform to manage all your service level goals for all messaging channels with ease.
Discover how Sparkcentral by Hootsuite can help you improve your customer care KPIs with social messaging.