corporategrowthWhen organizations complain Net Promoter Scores are too low, a great question to ask is "What other key performance indicators are you using for customer service?"

Surprisingly, many companies admit they are tracking only NPS.

While Net Promoter scoring is critical, problems can more easily be addressed if additional information is available to managers.

Organizations struggling to enhance NPS should also be tracking these metrics:

Time Spent Per Customer

The squeaky wheel gets the grease—literally—in the automotive aftermarket industry. A customer who always has a complaint about a noise his car is making can take up hours of a mechanic's time without spending another dime.

Meanwhile, Promoters are being hustled out the door so the team can return to addressing the concerns of a chronic complainer.

What is wrong with this picture?

If the company involved had been tracking service personnel's time spent per customer, a manager would notice time spent on the chronic complainer, and see that this led to less face time for good customers.

Even a Promoter can leave feeling under-appreciated if customer service professionals never have time to wish her a nice day. Addressing customers who take more than their fair share of time is a subject for another blog post, but the bottom line is: If you don't track this metric, you are not giving yourself the means or the opportunity to solve problems.

Percentage of Concerns Resolved

If you are spending an average of 20 minutes on each customer service request and solving 95 percent of problems, you are operating more efficiently than an organization that spends five minutes on each request but solves only 20 percent of customers' problems.

Customers who leave with a concern unresolved will often cost you more time. A really dissatisfied customer might even publish a negative online review or make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Using this metric, you can uncover information not revealed by NPS alone. For example, you may find some customers are Promoters because they love your products, but they are promoting you despite poor service, not because of  great service.

Cost of Resolving Service Requests

Lean managers owe it to their company to locate efficiencies anywhere and everywhere. In a customer service department, this sometimes means the most efficient thing is unconventional or even, on the surface, somewhat unfair.

For instance, if a customer has a legitimate concern about a product but is one day outside her warranty period, you could easily defend the position that you owe her nothing.

But if it costs you $15 per hour to have a representative available to listen to her complaints, plus facilities costs, energy costs, and the costs incurred through overall longer wait times for service, it may be more efficient to simply replace the product and hope she becomes an enthusiastic Promoter.

If you are not tracking the costs of providing service, you will not know when bending the rules for a customer can create savings.