How to Pull Insights from Your CRM – Part I: Operational Insights

coworkers looking at operational insights from their crm

According to our recent Market Trends Report, one of companies’ top customer care priorities for 2020 is capturing and analyzing data to find insights. No wonder, since companies with outstanding customer experience generate more promoters, who in turn drive better financial performance. But finding the right metrics that align with your company’s business goals can be tricky.

In Part I of this series, we focus on contact center operational efficiency metrics that can help provide insight on customer satisfaction. While the metrics you use will be specific to your company, here are some ways that you can leverage your CRM software to find the data you need.

Call Center Efficiency Metrics

Sometimes knowing how to pull metrics can help you figure out which metrics are most relevant to your company’s KPIs. Here are a few ideas on how to better understand your call center efficiency, as it relates to customer satisfaction:

  • Case Origin – You can track Case Origin metrics by channel, by brand, or by a combination of multiple fields in your CRM. This will let you know, for instance, if you’re heavy on emails about Brand A and phone calls about Brand B, so you can reallocate staff accordingly. This can be useful minute-by-minute or for tracking long-term trends.
  • First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR) – How quickly you can answer a customer inquiry correctly is an important measure of customer satisfaction. Not everyone does this, but the easiest way to track this is to add a “First-Contact Resolution” status in your CRM, in addition to the common case statuses such as Open and Closed. Be sure to train your agents to use the appropriate close status.
  • Speed of Answer by Channel – Your CRM should be able to give you speed of answer metrics for all digital channels, including chat, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The best way to calculate Speed of Answer is to run a report comparing the difference between the time an inquiry entered the queue, and the time it was accepted by an agent. (Note: Accessing hold time metrics for your phone through your CRM will depend on the level of integration between your CRM and your telephony system).

Agent Productivity Metrics

Productivity metrics relate directly to the operations cost of your contact center, and finding ways to shave seconds off of interactions can mean the difference in thousands of dollars. But productivity data also provides insights into agent job satisfaction and retention, too – and engaged staff provide demonstrably better customer experience:

  • Number of Cases Handled by Agent – While the number of cases will vary day by day depending on the issues being handled, viewing this data over time will give you insights about the new agent learning curve. The best way to measure this metric is to run a report in your CRM including the Case Change Date and each agent’s name.
  • Number of Cases Handled by Agent Per Channel – You might look to this metric to understand where your team is spending the most time so you can train and allocate staff appropriately.
  • Number of Cases Handled by Product or Issue – This metric is a way to understand how operational issues are impacting your team. Are there communication improvements that would eliminate calls about a particular issue altogether?
  • Average Handle Time (AHT) – There are different ways to track this metric. One of the simplest is to measure the time between when the case was accepted from the queue and opened by an agent to the time when the case was closed.
  • Average Handle Time Per Channel – You might look at this metric to understand which channels require more effort and explore opportunities for automation.
  • Number of Escalations by Agent or by Issue – Look to this metric to understand gaps in agent training, as well as to better understand the types of issues that cause complaints and dissatisfaction.

Contact Center Quality Metrics

Quality and customer satisfaction (CSAT) go hand-in-hand. Although not all quality metrics are a direct measure of CSAT, they can help you dig into the root drivers of satisfaction and perceived value:

  • Contact Quality – Your CRM should support post-contact surveys, and this is a great way to measure customer satisfaction about the service received, the accuracy of your answers, the satisfaction with an element of a product, and nearly any metric that rolls into to your company’s KPIs.
  • Escalation Report – You can track the number of escalations by agent to understand who might benefit from more training, or track the number of escalations by brand, location or issue to understand trends on what’s driving escalations.
  • Reopen Rate – This metric can provide insight on many issues, and knowing what you want to examine will influence how you set up this report.
    • Visibility into customer satisfaction – Having to call back multiple times about the same issues is frustrating. Track this metric for CSAT.
    • Insight into answer accuracy – Could your agents answer questions differently to prevent call-backs? Track the Reopen Rate alongside Actions Taken to analyze how you’re responding to issues and to inform training.
    • Early alert about issues with products – Are there issues brewing about a particular product or location? Are there recurring questions about a product? Track the Reopen Rate alongside Reason Codes or Issues to understand trends on persistent issues.
  • Accuracy – Sophisticated CRM systems will enable you to check whether agents are picking the right product codes or reason codes, by comparing the code selected to the text in the case notes. This metric is important for many reasons:
    • Accuracy of answers given are an important measure of customer satisfaction.
    • In order for reporting to be useful, data must be accurate.
    • While it’s important to know how many cases agents are handling, it’s also helpful to understand how accurate their responses are so that you can provide training to improve service – and lead to improvements in the “next best actions” flows of your CRM.
  • Threshold Alerts – Detect issues early and reduce the impact of adverse events with threshold reporting and real-time alerts.
  • Repeater Identification – Minimize losses due to fraudulent claims by identifying consumers trying to abuse your goodwill policies.

Digital Self-Service Metrics

Don’t forget about tracking metrics for your digital self-service tools. Chatbots are an extension of your customer service team and as such, should be optimized to support your team. Also, when you make tweaks to your messaging and customer service processes, they need to be reflected in both the human and digital initiatives.

  • Usage – See at a glance how often customers are engaging with your chatbot, when, and which areas of content are most requested. If you don’t have much interaction, consider whether you’ve selected the right use cases, or whether the bot is easy to find on your website or mobile app.
    • Number of New Conversations – this can be segmented by new users vs. repeat users
    • Number of Messages Received – a high number could represent a good conversation flow, or it could indicate that people are getting stuck and having to type more messages for clarification
    • Number of Messages by brand, by website, by product, etc. – this will tell you where most of your questions are coming from
    • Time of day – Compare usage during business hours vs. off-hours
  • Gap analysis – When customers ask a question the chatbot hasn’t learned to answer, an AI-powered bot will identify and group similar questions to surface opportunities for creating new content.
    • Number of Abandonments – check at what point (aka node) people are abandoning the conversation or are requesting to escalate to an agent
  • Escalation / De-Escalation – How often and why are self-service questions being escalated to agents? Likewise, are agents funneling questions back into self-service when appropriate?
    • Number of Escalations – how frequently are people escalating?
    • Where is Escalation Most Frequent – during which topic “flow” are people not finding the answer they are seeking?


While the reports described above can be scheduled and tracked over time, supervisors may want to track metrics not by the day or month, but by the hour or minute. Most CRMs enable supervisors to customize their dashboard views to display metrics live, so they can respond immediately to spikes or shifts in volume.

Your CRM system is a great operational tool, and also a powerful tool for collecting insights that can lead to better understanding your customers, providing greater value and better experiences, and enhancing your company’s performance.

Astute Agent is the only consumer engagement specialist built to support agents during every type of consumer interaction. Rooted in decades of customer care experience, we offer insights from first-party data you can’t get anywhere else in your organization. Request a live demo to understand how Astute Agent can boost your operational efficiency, contact center quality, and provide invaluable insights on customer satisfaction.