How to create and measure customer service goals

Goals can improve your overall customer service, customer retention, employee experience, and more.



March 25, 2021

Back to Resources

Most companies want to improve their customer service. And that’s no surprise - great customer service gives your business more loyal customers, higher profits, and happier employees. 

But simply saying that you want to make your customer service better isn’t enough to spark real improvements by itself. Your customer service goals should be strategic, specific, and measurable to give you the best chance of achieving them. 

What’s the best way to tackle creating and measuring customer service goals to improve your odds of success? Your complete guide is right here. 

Read our 2022 ultimate guide to customer service
Download now

Most companies want to improve their customer service. And that’s no surprise - great customer service gives your business more loyal customers, higher profits, and happier employees. 

But simply saying that you want to make your customer service better isn’t enough to spark real improvements by itself. Your customer service goals should be strategic, specific, and measurable to give you the best chance of achieving them. 

What’s the best way to tackle creating and measuring customer service goals to improve your odds of success? Your complete guide is right here. 

What is great customer service? 

Great customer service looks a little different for every organization. After all, customers don’t expect luxury hotel service when staying in a roadside motel. That’s why there’s no single definition of great customer service. 

But there are common points across companies and industries that add up to great customer service. They are: 

  • A commitment to the overall customer experience and journey 

  • Consistently delivering helpful, knowledgeable, friendly service 

  • Going above and for customers by exceeding their expectations and proactively meeting their needs

Why is great customer service important? 

Great customer service offers multiple benefits for your business.  

Improved customer retention 

Your business will retain more customers if you offer them great service when they have a question or a problem. Hubspot has found that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.

Improved customer loyalty 

Customers will also be more loyal if your service is great instead of merely adequate. Almost 60% of consumers say that good customer service is key for them to feel loyalty to a brand.

Word of mouth marketing 

94% of US consumers will recommend a company whose service they say is very good. That word-of-mouth promotion is powerful - customers trust the people they know more than shiny ad campaigns. 

Create a competitive advantage 

Providing great customer service also gives your business an advantage over others in your industry. In fact, 89% of companies with customer experiences that are significantly above average perform better financially than their competitors. 

Creating customer service goals 

But simply setting a goal of providing great customer service isn’t going to get you there. It’s too vague and doesn’t offer the concrete guides and goalposts you need. 

Creating the right customer service goals, on the other hand, will help you make effective improvements in your customer service experience. 

Why you need customer service goals 

Why do you need to set clear customer service goals? They help to guide the efforts of your customer service agents so they know exactly what they’re working to achieve, instead of simply responding and reacting to tasks as they arise. 

Give direction and focus 

When everyone on your customer service team knows the plan and can see the future you want to create, they can act with more direction and focus. And that also allows you to give them more independence, because they know where they’re headed. 

Manage performance 

Stating your goals clearly makes finding opportunities for feedback easier for your managers. And it helps enable agents to benchmark their own progress as well. 

Team alignment 

Good goals motivate employees by showing how individual actions generate success for the whole organization. They help everyone, from your frontline agents to your managers and executives, to work together for the good of the company and your customers. 

How to set effective goals 

There’s a world of difference between setting a goal and setting smart goals. That difference is the SMART framework. 

Your customer service goals should be: 


This is the “what” portion of your goal - what do you want to improve? Getting very specific is helpful here. For example, saying you want your team to educate customers more isn’t clear enough. Instead, you could say you want them to create how-to videos for your website.


Your goals must also be measurable so you can track your progress over time and know when you’ve succeeded. 

You could say you’d like your team to create three of those how-to videos per month - that’s an outcome you can measure.


Goals can be ambitious, but they must also be achievable or you’ll simply end up frustrating yourself and your team. 

If your goal is creating those how-to videos, but no one on your team has ever tackled this before, and you don’t have the resources in place to film and edit them, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s best to begin with what you know you can achieve. 


Aligning your goals with your overall customer service objectives keeps them relevant and fresh. You don’t want to waste time working toward goals that aren’t going to move your organization forward. 


Finally, your goals should have a reasonable time cap on them. It helps to create urgency while also ensuring your team has enough time to meet them. 

For the how-to video example, you could set a time limit of 6 months and evaluate how everything is going after that - did the team hit the target, were the videos high-quality, and do customers use them? 

What is a “good” customer service goal? 

What makes a customer service goal a good one? Here are a few things to consider. 

Underrated motivators 

Often when setting goals, leaders will focus on the customer who will be receiving the improvements when the goal is met. And that’s not a bad instinct - customer-centricity is important. 

But for your goals to be truly effective, you also must focus on the experience of the employees who will be tasked with carrying out these goals. 

Goals can be an underrated source of motivation for your frontline employees, so be sure to make them inspiring for your customer service agents as well as beneficial for your customers.   

You can do this by gamifying goals, creating mini-goals to keep momentum going, and setting goals that give employees accountability and ownership over the process and outcome. 


As discussed above, the SMART framework for setting goals is a classic for a reason. Your customer service goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 


If you’re looking for an alternative to the SMART framework because it doesn’t quite fit your organization, the FAST framework could be an answer. These goals must be: 

  • Frequently discussed

  • Ambitious in scope

  • Measured by specific metrics and milestones

  • Transparent

The SMART and FAST frameworks are fairly similar - they both say that goals should be aspirational, measurable, and timely. 

FAST adds in the ambitious and transparent aspects as well, so choose the method that works best for your team and company. 

Align with business growth trajectory 

Setting goals for their own sake isn’t a good idea. The work required to achieve them can begin to seem like busywork to employees. 

Instead, ensure all of your goals align with where and how your company wants to grow in the future. This makes your goals more effective for your organization, as well as more motivating for employees. 

Examples of customer service goals 

If you’re stuck deciding what kind of good customer service goals to set, here are a few examples for inspiration. 

Improve response time 

Customers are happier when their customer service requests are handled, or at least acknowledged, rapidly. If they’re waiting hours or even days to get a response from your service team, that’s not a great customer service experience. 

You could set a goal to improve your team’s response time on a specific channel, like social media, or across all the channels you use. Customers tend to expect a faster response time on social media, so that’s a good area to prioritize if you’re not sure where to start. 

Offer omnichannel support 

Customers these days expect to be able to get in touch with your customer service team on a variety of channels. If you’re currently limiting their access to only one or a few channels, that goes against current best practice customer service standards. 

Your goal could be to deliver service through new channels, or to increase availability and consistency on the channels you want to grow. Consistency is just as important as the number of channels you offer, so don’t expand so quickly you can’t offer a good experience everywhere. 

Create a customer loyalty program 

Many businesses focus the majority of their attention on acquiring new customers, figuring this is the best way to grow their business. But retaining and rewarding your loyal customers is also vital. 

Creating a customer loyalty program is a great way to thank your customers for continually choosing your company over your competitors. You can start small, but beginning here will help your company grow in the long run. 

Develop a customer-centric culture 

The best way to ensure your company offers great customer service is by developing a customer-centric culture. That ensures every decision, even the ones beyond your customer team, is made with the customer in mind. 

This goal requires buy-in from your entire organization, of course, so you’ll need to involve a cross-functional team. But if your company decides to commit to this, the customer service team can lead the way. 

Gather more customer feedback 

Customer feedback is much more than a customer service trend of the moment. You must know what your customers are thinking to provide them with service they find exceptional. 

Regularly gathering feedback with customer support surveys gives you insight into how customers feel about your customer service, and why they feel that way. This goal can be a good first step in improving your customer service and customer experience effectively. 

Improve customer onboarding

Once a customer makes their first purchase, they still may need assistance and support from your business to set up their new product or service. Creating a great onboarding process that helps customers get the maximum value from their purchase can increase satisfaction and reduce churn. 

Your customer service team might be only partly responsible for onboarding, but creating a cross-functional team to tackle this goal could be a good idea. A better onboarding process will reduce requests for your team to fix issues related to set-up, so it can benefit you as well as customers. 

Improve employee experience 

Employees are the face of your business, and they do the tough work of interacting with your customers every day. Improving the employee experience by empowering your customer service team is an excellent goal, especially because customer service can be a draining job. 

Training and development benefit your customers, but they also make sure your employees know your business values and invests in their career development. It’s a win-win. 

Determining what are the customer service skills they need to succeed, and providing thorough and free training, benefits everyone. 

Personalize your customer service experience 

You’ll notice a common theme when researching customer service tips - people increasingly expect personalized experiences from businesses. They don’t want to feel like just a transaction to your company. 

You could set a goal to use the customer data you already have to personalize customer service interactions. Even a step as small as greeting callers by name, or giving agents access to their complete customer history to avoid repetition, can make a significant difference. 

Increase customer satisfaction 

Customer satisfaction is important to your business - satisfied customers have higher retention and loyalty rates. And your customer service team has a large part to place in customer satisfaction. 

That’s why many customer service teams have CSAT as one of their KPIs (more on this score below.) If your customers aren’t satisfied with the service you offer when they have an issue or question, you know you need to make improvements. 

How to measure customer service goals 

The hardest part of achieving your customer service goals is setting the right ones - and knowing how to measure your success is almost as challenging. 

Fortunately, there are many metrics you can use to gauge where your customer service team currently stands, and track your progress towards your goals.  

CSAT Score (Customer Satisfaction Score) 

CSAT measures how satisfied your customers are by asking them, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [product/service/company]?” 

Customer service teams typically use the CSAT survey to identify issues in real time, like unsuccessful service interactions.  

Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

NPS is the best way to measure long-term customer loyalty. The survey asks customers, “How likely are you to recommend [brand/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” 

The customer ranks their likelihood to recommend on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being highly unlikely and 10 being extremely likely. People who choose 9 or 10 on the NPS survey are considered Promoters, people who select 7 or 8 are Passives, and people who pick 6 or below are Detractors.

NPS measures the relationship you have with your customers, instead of a specific interaction like CSAT. Using transactional NPS, which tracks how a specific interaction affected a customer’s loyalty to your brand, can be very informative for customer service teams. 

Customer Effort Score (CES) 

CES tracks how easy you make it for your customers to do business with you. For your customer service team, this metric can help you gauge how easy you’re making it for customers to solve the problems they come to you with. 

CSAT, NPS, and CES are the three most popular customer loyalty metrics, and by using all of them together, you can get a complete view of customer relationships. 

First response time (FRT) 

Responding quickly to customers shows them you value their time. Measuring FRT can give you a useful metric to determine how well your team is acknowledging issue reports and solving problems quickly. 

To measure it, calculate the time of first response minus the time of customer request. 

First contact resolution rate (FCR) 

Customers also want you to solve their problems fast, and without bouncing them around to several other departments or representatives. FCR measures how well you’re resolving issues the first time a customer makes contact with your team. 

Calculate this metric by taking the number of incidents resolved on the first contact divided by the total number of incidents to get the first contact resolution rate.

Average handling time (AHT) 

AHT tracks how long an agent spends working on a single ticket - the less time they spend, the more efficient they are. Focusing on only this metric can backfire as agents will rush through tickets, but as part of an overall strategy it can help to measure the efficiency of your team. 

To measure this metric, you need a system where your agents manually or automatically track their time per ticket, and then review the average time over a period of a week or a month.

Resolution rate 

How many problems are you actually solving for your customers? Tracking your resolution rate will let you know - you want to see this going up as you fix issues for customers who contact you. 

To calculate it, divide the total number of tickets by the number of tickets solved to get the overall resolution rate metric.

Customer ticket request volume 

It’s important to know how many customer ticket requests your team receives daily and monthly. If the volume is very high, that could indicate a product problem, or perhaps that your marketing promises don’t match what you offer. 

Customer churn rate 

Churn is when a customer chooses to stop using your products or services, at its most basic level. There’s no single factor that causes customers to churn most of the time - usually it’s a combination of service, price, product features, and competitive offerings throughout the customer journey. 

This is the formula to calculate this metric: (Lost Customers ÷ Total Customers at Start of Chosen Time Period) x 100 = Churn Rate.

Wrap up 

What makes great customer service? There are many factors that go into providing exceptional service for your customers. If your organization could use a boost in the customer service arena, you should start by setting strategic goals and measuring your progress. 

GetFeedback’s complete customer experience platform can help you determine where your customer service stands in the eyes of customers right now, and measure your progress into a customer-centric future.

Subscribe for the latest CX content

Privacy notice|California privacy notice
Terms of use
|Cookie policy

*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.