8 Customer Service KPIs to Measure Support Success

A woman next to a bar graph showing rising numbers.

Looking for ways to level up your CX but not sure which KPIs to focus on? Here are the key customer service metrics to track to deliver better support.

This guest post was written by our friends over at ROCA, one of Ultimate’s valued partners.


Knowledge is power, as the old saying goes. And while this phrase might be clichéd — it's not wrong. Something you don't measure won't improve on its own. This is why it's so important to keep track of customer service metrics if you want to improve the success of your support operations.

If you don't know what you're doing well (or badly) you won't know where to focus your attention. Having a good overview of which areas your support team is performing well in, and where there's still room for improvement, allows you to make data-driven decisions to level up your CX.

Here are 8 of the most important customer service KPIs to keep an eye on — to help you provide seamless customer service and raise customer satisfaction.

1. First reply time

First reply time refers to the period between when a customer raises an issue and when an agent responds to this ticket for the first time — not including automated responses or triggers. Speed is a major factor when it comes to how satisfied customers are with the service your company provides. That’s why this customer service metric is crucial to track.

It’s natural that customers want assistance right away when they have an issue. According to Zendesk’s 2023 CX trends report, 72.5% of customers want fast responses from businesses. To give you an idea of what “fast” looks like, here are some expectations for first reply times across channels:

  • Email: 1 hour or less
  • Social media: 15 minutes or less
  • Live chat: 1 minute or less

In order to get back to customers right away, it's crucial to have enough agents on hand. To meet customers’ expectations of speedy responses, it’s also important to make sure your support reps are confident in talking about your product or services. Customers will have a positive opinion of your brand if you respect their time and answer queries quickly.

2. Ticket resolution time

The most crucial aspect of any support interaction is solving the customer’s issue. But the length of time required to resolve a support ticket could vary, depending on its complexity: Refund requests and password changes are likely to be sorted much more quickly than software bug reports.

Setting expectations with your consumers is the best way to handle the time it takes to resolve tickets. To avoid frustrated customers, try to limit passing tickets between agents or departments (nobody wants to feel like a hot potato) — and remember: It’s far better to set realistic expectations and then go above and beyond.

3. Most common type of request

Brands might think they know what their customers are asking most frequently, but often they’re mistaken. Instead of building out a knowledge base or FAQ page based on your gut feelings, take a data-driven approach and categorize incoming queries by request type — so you know exactly what your customers are asking.

See how you can use LLMs to answer FAQs from your knowledge base.

Or save yourself some work by using an AI-powered tool to analyze your historical support data and do this for you in seconds. Once you know what your customers are really asking, you might decide to automate some of these FAQs in order to free up your agents’ for more difficult problems.

4. One-touch resolutions

Your one-touch resolution rate — or first contact resolution (FCR) rate as it's also called — is the number of tickets fully resolved the first time a customer contacts your support team. While this is a high bar (especially when some tickets are far more difficult to handle than others), aiming for one-touch resolutions will provide customers with an experience that keeps them coming back to your brand again and again.

Discover how leading cosmetics brand Lush reached a 60% FCR rate with ticket automation.

An easy way to improve your one-touch ticket resolution score is to provide regular training for your support team. When agents are well informed about your product, policies, and services, they can provide faster support. Another option is classifying tickets and assigning them to the agents who are most knowledgeable about each issue — and therefore most likely to provide the correct response first time around. And avoid situations where customers have to contact your brand repeatedly about the same issue, as this causes frustration.

Better still, find out how to deliver no-touch resolutions with customer support automation.

If you’re struggling to optimize your processes to achieve a higher one-touch resolution rate, then get in touch with our partners (and CX experts) at ROCA.

5. Customer satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT is one of the most useful metrics to measure support success. Happy customers are more likely to recommend your company to friends and family. Whereas unhappy customers are quick to share their complaints online, either on social media or through reviews.

That’s why it’s so important to check in with customers regularly, to find out how satisfied they are with your brand and the service you provide. Sending customers a questionnaire after their issue has been handled, or automatically requesting a CSAT score at the end of a chat conversation is a good way of doing this.

6. Most popular support channel

Tracking support requests by channel is an important KPI because it allows you to work out how your customers prefer to communicate with your brand. This allows you to decide which channels to prioritize — if most of your customers reach out via social media, there’s no point in optimizing your email support first. Instead, meet your customers in the channels they use.

Another benefit is seeing where implementing a customer service automation solution would deliver the most value.

7. Number of SLA breaches

Service Level Agreement (SLA) breaches refer to a violation of your guarantee to your consumers. SLA is an agreed-upon time period within which a response or resolution should be provided. When agents aren’t able to resolve customers’ cases quickly, the SLA is broken. And nobody likes broken promises.

Keeping an eye on this metric enables you to order and prioritize tickets so that agents can solve them within the agreed upon time frame. Knowing your staffing requirements can also help determine whether you need to increase the number of agents available — or introduce automated services to satisfy your SLA goals.

8. Search queries in your knowledge base

A well-designed knowledge base allows customers to resolve problems on their own. When 69% of people prefer to self-serve over speaking with a company rep, it’s important to provide these self-service support options. But a knowledge base is useless if customers can’t find the right article to solve their issue.

You can make your knowledge base more valuable and accessible by regularly monitoring the search terms that customers are using. Users will find it easier to search through this mass of information if you use keywords and key phrases in your posts. Another way to see more value from your knowledge base is by harnessing the power of LLMs and generative AI to provide conversational answers to customer questions, trained on your business’ articles.


Customer service KPIs are vital to identify what’s working well in your business and where there’s still room for improvement. A thriving business depends on happy customers, so it’s worth tracking all these KPIs. And if you’re struggling to know which metrics to focus on, you can always get in touch with industry experts like our partners at ROCA, who will help you get on the right track towards success.


Deep dive into measuring your support success