6 Customer Support Metrics & Benchmarks for SaaS Companies (2022)

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Do you want to read another blog post telling you how important customer support is for businesses like yours? Probably not.

Do you want a list of the most essential customer support metrics you need to be measuring? You might already have that.

But what you might want to look at is a practical benchmarking of the most important customer support metrics in order to assess where your organization’s support quality stands, as well as to determine what corrective action you need to take.

Here is a list of customer support metrics that actually matter and the benchmarks for each metric.

What are the most important customer support metrics for SaaS companies in 2022?

  1. Time to First Response
  2. Net First Contact Resolution
  3. Interactions Per Resolution
  4. Time to Resolution
  5. Ticket Density
  6. Churned Customer Support Satisfaction

1. Time to First Response

Time to first response is the time elapsed between a customer raising a support ticket and the first response from a support agent. If you are analyzing time to first response, it’s best to discount automated acknowledgments from your support automation systems because your customers know auto-replies don’t mean somebody has had a real look at their issue.

Why is time to first response imporant?

Quick first response times show that you have started the process of resolution. Customers can tolerate imperfect products or services but they won’t tolerate a long wait time before getting the first response.

Though the time to resolution might vary, the time to the first response must be the least possible ranging from a few minutes to an hour at the most. A study by SiteBuilder conducted last year showed that about 21% SaaS companies replied to support queries in less than an hour. That’s a good benchmark.

What is the average first response time for customer support teams?

  • Good first response time: Less than an hour
  • Average first response time: Less than 24 hours
  • Bad first response time: Anything more than 24 hours.

Getting into “the good” zone is not really difficult since time to a first response doesn’t actually entail a resolution of the query. And yes, this is generally applicable across all response channels. Chat, on the other hand, should be much faster. Think seconds.

How can you improve your team's first response time

Customer support query resolution should ideally be carried out at three levels. The first level involves scouring existing documentation and other resources. So your support agent should do perform this step and then reply to the query within the first hour.

If the query is resolved with this, your resolution time also drops to less than an hour, which is awesome. But either way, customer support teams should prioritize first responses.

2. Net First Contact Resolution

Net first contact resolution is the proportion of support tickets resolved in the first reply or contact discounting requests which can’t be solved in one interaction.

Why is net first contact resolution important?

A high rate of first contact resolution shows your customer support team is highly efficient. High efficiency is an attractive proposition not just in the SaaS industry but across all verticals. 

High levels of First Contact Resolutions have also been correlated with high levels of customer satisfaction. However, be sure to be calculating the Net FCR rather than the gross FCR because there will be a lot of support requests which can’t be resolved in one interaction.

What is the average net first contact resolution score for customer support teams?

  • Good NFC score: More than 85%
  • Average NFC score: Between 60% – 85%
  • Bad NFC score: Less than 60%

But then again, Net FCR is a tricky metric you should measure but do so with caution. FCR can be interpreted in multiple ways. A low FCR could also mean the product or service is top-notch but then that would be true only if the number of support tickets is low. Net FCR negates some of these issues but even then it should be viewed alongside other Customer Support metrics rather than a standalone KPI.

How can you improve your team's net contact resolution percent?

It’s good to get a large number of support tickets that can actually be solved in the first interaction. Just makes the job easy. But significant improvement can be gained by ensuring that replies to single contact resolution queries are automated.

3. Interactions Per Resolution

Interactions per resolution is the total number of interactions a customer requires to close a support ticket.

Why is interactions per resolution important?

A high interactions per resolution score means the customer, and obviously the support agent, had to spend a lot of energy (and time) to get the support query resolved. This obviously is not healthy for any SaaS company.

What is the average interactions per resolution score for customer support teams?

  • Good interactions per resolution score: 4 or less
  • Average interactions per resolution score: Between 4 – 7
  • Bad interactions per resolution score: 7 or more
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4. Time to Resolution

Time to resolution is the total time it takes a resolve a customer support ticket. Both time to resolution and interactions per resolution are related.

If interactions per Resolution for any particular support ticket is just one, the time to resolution for that query will be equal to the Time to first response, which would be the ideal scenario.

Why is time to resolution important?

We have already said customers hate waiting. B2B customers have a slightly higher patience level with respect to support tickets than B2C customers because they mostly ask questions like that.

Yet, slow resolution of tickets is a huge turn off.

Support is one of the most important reasons companies reject deals in the SaaS environment which means your Time to Resolution is critical. A high number of interactions is a direct loss of productivity for the client and for you as well. So, if these two metrics are in the red zone for you, it’s likely clients won’t renew.

What is the average time to resolution for customer support teams?

  • Good time to resolution: 12 hours or less
  • Average time to resolution: Between 12 – 48 hours
  • Bad time to resolution: 48+ hours

How can you improve your time to resolution?

Time to first response, as already pointed out, is improved by prioritizing new tickets and responding to them. Time to Resolution can be reduced by using resources from teams other than those dedicated to supporting as Buffer did.

The company decided to target a first response time of less than 1 hour. Buffer also mandated that every employee spend at least 30 minutes answering support queries dailyy. 

Pushing engineers to the frontline of support can result in a drastic cutback in time to resolution. Even StatusPage does that. But that doesn’t mean every technical support query is routed to available engineers.

Customer support should be segregated into multiple levels.

  • Level 1: The first level should always be self-support. Of course, not just a verbose digital manual or troubleshooting help but self-support that can actually solve customer queries.
  • Level 2: Level 2 should be a direct interaction with a customer support agent but without involving the engineering team.
  • Level 3: The third and final level could involve the engineering team and attempt to close queries with their help.

5. Ticket Density

Ticket density is a metric derived from ticket volume. ticket volume is a customer support metric that depends a lot on the absolute number of customers that a company has.

A higher customer count could mean a higher number of tickets which prevents a proper benchmark from being ascertained for it. A ratio of the volume of tickets to the total number of customers is a better KPI for SaaS companies of all sizes.

Why is ticket density an important customer support metric?

Ticket density presents a more clear picture of the amount of work that your customer support team is completing – and if that number is acceptable. It’s a rough indicator of the number of tickets each customer is raising over a period of time.

Support tickets sometimes also indicate the increasing engagement that customers are having with your product, which is a good thing in the end. However, each customer is encountering a problem every week with your product, it’s not delivering a good customer experience despite the high level of engagement.

What is the average ticket density score for customer support teams?

  • Good ticket density score: .5 or less per week
  • Average ticket density score: Between .5 – 1 per week
  • Bad ticket density score: 1 or more per week

How can customer support teams improve their ticket metric?

A lot of B2B tickets tend to revolve around how-to-dos, like, setting up an integration with a third-party application or features not working as expected by the customer. These issues are easily be resolved with the help of self-support tools prior to being directed to real customer support agents. 

Self-Support tools are widgets that provide customers with answers to common support issues and questions, providing a path to resolution that doesn’t require a customer to contact a support team.

You can see an example of how SaaS brands can embed a self-help wiki directly into their application with Whatfix – providing on-demand support for customers and users.

Self-help_wiki

The most common customer support issues can be listed in the widget with the solution to it. The upside is quick resolution without a contact obviously leading to higher customer satisfaction lower overhead for customer support teams.

6. Churned Customer Support Satisfaction

A useful custom support metric to broadly understand if your churned customers left because of bad customer support is churned customer support satisfaction.

Churn customer support satisfaction is the difference between the average time to resolution for churned customers over their last year and the average time to resolution for customers who renewed over their last year.

A negative score would mean that your customer support did well but a positive score would mean you need to look at your support strategy. Keep in mind that the standard deviation of the time to resolution for churned customers should be pretty low for this to work.

Why is churned customer support satisfaction important?

A very dominant number of SaaS customers switch vendors because of patchy customer support. The fact that customer retention is highly critical across most business verticals has been drilled into our brains pretty well so we know why don’t want to lose customers.

The important thing is how not to lose them. Churned customer support satisfaction tells you if your churned group left because of patchy customer support. The first thing to check is the standard deviation for time to resolution for your churned customer group.

If it’s high, customer support is not likely to be the common cause. But if it is low, churn customer support satisfaction can confirm that you need to have a good, solid relook at your support strategy.

What is the average churned customer support satisfaction score for customer support teams?

  • Good churned customer support satisfaction score: A very high standard deviation for the churned customer group coupled with a low churn customer support satisfaction.
  • Average churned customer support satisfaction score: Low standard deviation for the churned customer group coupled with a not-so-high churn customer support satisfaction.
  • Bad churned customer support satisfaction score: high standard deviation for the churned customer group coupled with a low churn customer support satisfaction.

In the SaaS business environment, you would definitely do well if you have a great product and stunning customer support. But which of these do you think would do better?

  1. Great Product with Average Customer Support
  2. Average Product with Great Customer Support
Improve your customer support metrics with Whatfix

These are only a few metrics that customer support teams should be benchmarking and improving – and strong customer support remains a critical component of successful businesses.

With Whatfix, create in-app content such as product tours, guided walkthroughs, self-help wikis, and more – providing better, more personalized customer onboarding, training, and on-demand support.

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