In a recent study, we found that 23% of top brands now have a dedicated Twitter account for customer service. While Twitter programs are typically owned by the marketing/PR department, customer service is a key secondary activity. Many brands are investing to solve customer problems via Twitter. The challenge is that when efforts are shifted from marketing to customer satisfaction, measurement strategies must also change to effectively evaluate performance.
It is important that brands establish a customer service specific approach to measurement. We’ve outlined 4 strategies to help your brand do just that, using Delta Airlines as an example. To get these metrics for your brand’s profile, try our Free Twitter Customer Service Report.
Brands need to ensure that they are measuring success throughout the entire process.
Work flow and process should be analyzed end-to-end; from customer demand, down to how efficiently issues were resolved.
The visual above is a high-level summary that steps through the customer support process. This summary view provides a period snapshot that can be used for benchmarking customer service KPIs and optimizing overall performance.
Quick response times and a high response rate are key to optimizing performance, but there is room for improvement if brands are experiencing a high volume of complex cases, or unexpected changes in the percentage of support responses being sent.
Often a brand’s Twitter presence consists of more than one branded Twitter handle. For example, a brand might have a primary marketing handle and a dedicated customer service handle. For big brands, multiple marketing handles might rely on one dedicated customer service account.
Regardless of how a brand is managing customer service, it is important to measure all of its efforts. The chart above displays Total Mentions for Delta’s primary marketing handle, @Delta, and its customer support handle, @DeltaAssist.
By measuring customer service activity across multiple accounts, brands can determine how support resources are being allocated, and measure customer response times specific to each account.
The 14.5K mentions of @DeltaAssist indicate that Delta customers are directing replies to it, and shows that many customer support issues are making it to their intended destination.
Measuring customer service performance on Twitter requires a different set of KPIs than those associated with marketing performance. Follower and engagement growth are standard marketing KPIs. However, support handles should view these metrics as potential red flags, rather than account management success.
When it comes to customer support, the goal is to respond to resolve as many customer issues as possible, as quickly as possible. The KPIs that matter most are Response Rate and Response Time.
The chart above shows the percentage of Total Mentions that @DeltaAssist responded to in November. Keep in mind that not all brand mentions are customers service related, and of those that are, not all warrant a response. The nature of customer engagement on Twitter varies for each brand.
Brands should identify a target response rate and set goals for improvement, by conducting ongoing monitoring and competitor benchmarking.
Once a consistent response rate has been established, it can act as a good indicator of whether a brand has the resource to scale customer service to meet increases in customer demand.
Goals for response time must also be established through monitoring and benchmarking. Above, @DeltaAssist’s daily average response time is displayed for November.
Response time measures a brand’s ability to respond quickly, and is also an indicator as to whether it can quickly meet increases in demand.
However, response time isn’t a standalone metric. Response time can falsely signal success, if brands are simply responding quickly to recent issues, and ignoring aging issues.
Response time and response rate must be measured in tandem when analyzing overall customer service performance.
Aggregated data can be very useful for identifying ongoing customer service trends.
The chart above displays @DeltaAssist’s account activity by hour in November. This trended view makes it possible to quickly identify whether customer service response scaled with brand mentions. It is also clearly shows patterns in response time.
The 6:00PM spike in user mentions deserves attention. Replies did not scale with the increased mentions, although response time was improved.
Mentions peaked at 6:00PM after an angry customer tweet was heavily retweeted. Improved response time indicates that @DeltaAssist was quickly engaging where it could, but likely avoided mentions it did not think were worth responding to.
Identifying trends that capture complete coverage, and focus on core customer service KPIs can be very useful for spotting issues and making decisions regarding resource allocation.