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Successfully Measuring Social Customer Service Performance

By Alex Harvey on Aug 27, 2014 8:34:42 AM

Successfully Measuring Social Customer Service Performance

If social customer service operations are to improve, managers must be able to resource social media as efficiently as possible and demonstrate value alongside other service channels such as phone and email–all while delivering a great customer experience.

Despite this, research from Forrester Consulting commissioned by Conversocial shows that 20% of companies do not measure the success of their social customer service operation at all.

During the 2014 study, Forrester Consulting asked 159 companies for their main measurements of success for social customer service operations. The top five choices of the brands were:


Using experience gained from working with some of the biggest brands in the worldand helping them to scale their social customer service operations efficientlywe recommend use of the following measurements as a framework for performance management in social customer service:

  • Volume

  • Response Time (Average and First)

  • Handling Time (Average and Total)

  • Sentiment

  • Deflection Rate



  • Inbound volume — Count of incoming messages on all social channels. Allows businesses to understand the bigger picture, and allows them to calculate the percentage of customer service issues compared to the total number of social inbound messages.

  • Volume by category — Count of messages by interaction type. This includes broad categories such as marketing messages, PR messages and customer service messages. It also includes subcategories within these; such as the number of issues related to deliveries, product and website.

  • Conversation volume — Count of groupings of messages pertaining to individual customer issues. By grouping messages into meaningful customer conversations, it is possible to count how many interactions the agents are performing.

Measuring volumes makes the other KPIs meaningful. Still, it’s important to note that they do not constitute KPIs on their own, as they don’t measure performance. Rather, these metrics are important for providing a baseline from which to understand other metrics. It’s hard to understand what a change in handling time or response time means unless its possible to match them up with changes in volume over social channels.

Organizations struggling to measure social customer service performance, or to demonstrate the value of the operation to the rest of the business, tend to be in the early stages of social media maturity. This means social is either owned by Marketing and purely used as a listening and publishing tool or owned by Marketing with some early form of social customer service engagement but without a team dedicated to that purpose.

Click here to download Conversocial's best practice guide to successfully measuring social customer service performance, which provides full definitions for the above performance metrics and a breakdown of why they are important.

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