Reporting

Customer Service Reports: 7 Things You Can Learn from Customer Service Data Analysis

From understanding support costs to getting product feedback, 40 support pros share their top takeaways from analyzing customer service reports.

Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik on October 12, 2021 (last modified on October 11, 2021) • 12 minute read

Many people view customer support as a cost center. However, providing exceptional customer service can be a profit generator for an organization.

This starts by regularly sharing customer service reports that convey the benefits and document key support metrics, like average customer satisfaction scores, response times, and more. 

In this post, we’re sharing what a great customer service report includes along with 7 things you can learn from them to improve customer experience.  

customer_success_dashboard_databox

What is a Customer Service Report?

In the most basic form, a customer service report shares how many support tickets entered the queue, how many tickets were responded to by a support rep, and the number of tickets that were closed in a given time period. 

Customer service reports are, therefore, essential for monitoring and improving customer experience.  

“A customer service report assists us in identifying metrics that help us improve our consumer experience,” says Alan Duncan, Solar Panels Network. “This report has given us more profound knowledge of how your customers see your business. By examining how our clients perceive us regularly, we can respond to any potential business difficulties via the customer service report. 

Furthermore, it has aided us in keeping track of consumer complaints to categorize them and make strategic decisions in the future. This report has also taught us the value of improving our best response time. Lastly, this report has assisted us in understanding how to keep our clients by offering excellent customer service.”

We asked 38 respondents, including Duncan, across a wide variety of industries from SaaS and professional services to ecommerce and agencies, how they create their customer service reports. 

what best describes your business

They shared that the top 3 benefits of customer service reports are: 

  • Improving response time
  • Gaining a deeper insight into how the business is perceived by the customers
  • Tracking the level and nature of customer issues over time to make informed strategic decisions
Most important benefits of customer service reports

How Do You Report on Customer Service?

Not surprisingly, the most common customer service report structure was a Google or Excel spreadsheet, with almost 60% of respondents using spreadsheets. 

how do you report on customer service

What Should You Include in a Customer Service Report?

With most businesses sticking to spreadsheets, it makes sense that these customer service reports tend to be on the simpler side. Things that a team member can update in under 15 minutes once a week. 

In fact, 50% of respondents use a single type of customer service report, with a customer support KPI report or CSAT report being the most common type. 

most commonly used types of customer service reports

Regardless of the format and type of report(s) you use, you should include the following customer service metrics and KPIs: 

  • Number of inbound customer support requests by channel
  • Number of support requests responded to by all support reps
  • Number of support requests closed 
  • Number of responses from each support rep 
  • Average CSAT, CES, or NPS ratings on closed requests 
  • Average handle time 
  • Average time for first response 
  • Average number of responses until a successful support request resolution 
  • Most common issues and questions 

7 Things You Can Learn from Analyzing Customer Service Reports 

The real benefit of producing customer service reports on a regular basis—ideally weekly—is that you can see trends and spot patterns easier. You can use this to further improve customer experience. 

  1. Learn about your overall customer experience
  2. Understand support costs
  3. Motivate your team to improve customer experience
  4. Improve customer loyalty
  5. Get a better idea of what’s not working
  6. Get product feedback
  7. See the channels where your customers prefer to reach out for help

1. Learn about your overall customer experience

It doesn’t matter what survey method you use, like CSAT, NPS, or CES. This can tell you a lot about how happy your customers are, how likely they are to continue being customers, and/or refer their friends. 

“CSATs are a key element of CX optimization,” says Stephan Baldwin of Assisted Living Center. “No matter how extensive or accurate your research and data are, you should always use customer satisfaction reports to gauge the success of your customer experience strategy. 

However, you can find many pitfalls along the way when you try to interpret CSAT scores. The key is to implement them over every touchpoint you have with customers, so you have an accurate understanding of what’s working and ensure the score is accurate across channels, making sure you don’t miss any immediate issues. 

Implementing and tracking these reports will also allow you to fill customer experience gaps and find solutions for other areas of your marketing strategy, such as content opportunities.”

Alex Uriarte of 1-800-Injured adds, “Analyzing our customer reports has constantly made us realize that we should always focus on creating an amazing customer experience every time. Many businesses are so concerned with their bottom line that they fail to consider how their policies affect the consumer experience. Take, for example, free shipping. When a higher-than-expected shipping price appears unexpectedly, some people abandon their buying cart. Despite this, many online shops still charge for shipping.”

2. Understand support costs

Another valuable insight from these reports is you can understand how much it costs your company to provide quality support to your customers. 

For example, if you have both a freemium and paid plans for your SaaS product, you might find that freemium users are contacting support 10x more than paid customers, and most of these freemium users are never upgrading to a paid plan. So, you might want to consider putting limits on your support for freemium users. 

Or, James Leversha of Top Notch I.T. says, “For me, the most important thing is to cut support expenditures. This isn’t about slashing staffing or putting the smallest amount of money into your support team. It’s all about streamlining your procedures and achieving the best level of service quality at the lowest possible cost. 

That means your agents are efficient, well-trained, and their schedules are aligned with the department’s needs. 

Creating a customer support report will guarantee that you keep track of your spending regularly and efficiently, giving you an overview at a glance. 

By analyzing customer service reports, I was able to understand my company better and make informed decisions based on correct information rather than making guesses and taking measures that were of little use to the organization or its customers.”

Related: 11 Tactics for Effectively Measuring Your Customer Service ROI

3. Motivate your team to improve customer experience

The old adage, “What gets measured gets managed” is true. You can use the support metrics that you are tracking to motivate your support team. 

“The most important lesson we learned was to monitor the reports and use them as a way to help motivate the team to improve,” says Kyle Arnold of HyperWeb. “By having great data, we were able to ‘gamify’ the process and help encourage members to work on providing better customer service. We had a leaderboard for whichever metrics we were trying to work on for the month, and the team member that hit the best scores would get a bonus. This greatly improved customer satisfaction, while also helping the team with friendly competition.”

4. Improve customer loyalty

An added benefit of improving customer experience is that happy customers tend to stick around longer. 

“I realized that getting a loyal base of customers is easier when your customers are satisfied with your customer service,” says Richard Lubicky of RealPeopleSearch. “Six months ago, we were receiving at least 2 support tickets from each user regarding different situations. We were losing customers for the same reason. However, we analyzed our customer service reports and improved our products. After that, we have seen a heavy fall in support queries from our customers. As a result, our customers are more loyal to our products, and we are actively getting some referrals from them.”

Related: 26 Effective Ways for Improving Your Customer Retention Rate

5. Get a better idea of what’s not working

Most customers are reaching out to support because something is broken. These reports allow you to understand what isn’t working well so that you can fix it. 

“Customer service is mostly concerned with failures, such as defective items, equipment flaws, delivery inefficiencies, miscommunication, human mistakes, faulty procedures, and unfulfilled promises,” says Brian Dean of Exploding Topics. “I understand that it may appear to be really difficult, but the more issues you face, the more answers you will discover. You learn to deal with difficulties and recover more quickly. You develop the practice of retrospectively assessing circumstances you’ve handled poorly to devise a better strategy for the future.”

Marilyn Gaskell of TruePeopleSearch adds, “The best thing about customer service reports is that they keep track of everything that our customers request, which means that we can analyze which problem areas we should focus on and where we can best improve. Every one of our customer service reports is filed under a certain topic and the more reports that topic has, the more work needs to be done on it. They provide a very simple mechanism for keeping track of what works and what doesn’t work in our customer service strategy and help us to optimize the experience we provide to our customers.”

6. Get product feedback

However, you shouldn’t just wait until a problem happens to get feedback. Proactive customer support is all about asking for feedback and learning how customers are using your product so you can identify and fix issues before they have to contact support about it. 

“A lot of times, people think of customer feedback as either positive or negative,” says Maegan Griffin of Skin Pharm. “However, sometimes customers can simply give you some good ideas for the future based upon insights that may have come to them from using your products. This is why inquiring for feedback and listening to your customers can be really beneficial. For example, our customers have helped us come up with new skincare product ideas. It’s not always about whether you’re pleasing your customers with what you’re offering; it’s also about listening to what they have to say and keeping their opinions and suggestions in mind for the future.”

7. See the channels where your customers prefer to reach out for help

While it is a best practice to make it as easy as possible for customers to reach out to you via phone, email, live chat, and social media, it is not always possible to staff each channel appropriately. Keeping track of what channels get the most inbound requests can help with resource planning and prioritization. 

Alina Clark of Cocodoc explains, “Our customer management took a while to get sharp. This learning period was full of lessons, some of them painful in retrospect. Our customer service reports taught us lessons in optimization and how to handle customer queries. 

For instance, we knew nothing about optimizing our customer service channels that give us more feedback. We were all about covering all the bases, but this means that while some of our customer service team members had a lot to handle, others were simply riding along because their channels had relatively low feedback. 

The customer service helped us with figuring out the fact that most of our customers preferred reaching out to us through social media. We, therefore, redistributed our customer service workforce to reflect the growing needs in social media. That change has been working great for us so far.”

customer_success_dashboard_databox

In sum, creating regular customer service reports helps you improve customer experience. You can see the volume of requests, how many requests are handled by each support rep, average response times, most common issues, and more. You can use this information to streamline your support workflows and improve your product.  

About the author
Jessica Malnik
Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik is a content strategist and copywriter for SaaS and productized service businesses. Her writing has appeared on The Next Web, Social Media Examiner, SEMRush, CMX, Help Scout, Convince & Convert, and many other sites.

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