Working in customer support can be overwhelming, especially for those who are new to the job. The field is filled with jargon and technical terms that can be confusing, making it difficult to understand what customers are saying or to communicate effectively with team members. In this blog post, we will explain some of the most common terms and phrases used in customer support to help newcomers decode customer support jargon.
A ticket is a customer inquiry or request that has been submitted through a customer support system, such as a helpdesk or a chatbot. When a customer contacts support, a ticket is created to track the conversation and ensure that the customer's issue is resolved in a timely manner. Tickets can include information such as the customer's name, contact information, and the nature of the issue.
For example, a customer contacts support to report an issue with their account. The support representative creates a ticket to document the customer's issue and tracks the progress of the issue until it is resolved.
SLA (Service Level Agreement)
An SLA is a contract between a customer and a service provider that defines the level of service that will be provided. It sets expectations for response times, resolution times, and other metrics that are important to the customer. SLAs are used to ensure that customers receive high-quality service and that service providers meet their obligations.
For example, an SLA might specify that the service provider must respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours and resolve the issue within three days.
First Response Time
First response time (FRT) is the amount of time it takes for a support representative to respond to a customer inquiry or request. FRT is a key metric in customer support, as it is often used to measure the speed and quality of customer service. A shorter FRT is generally preferred, as it indicates that customers are receiving timely assistance.
For example, if a customer submits a ticket at 10:00 AM, and a support representative responds at 10:15 AM, the FRT is 15 minutes.
Resolution time is the amount of time it takes to resolve a customer inquiry or request. It is another key metric in customer support, as it measures the efficiency of the support team and the effectiveness of their solutions. A shorter resolution time is generally preferred, as it indicates that issues are being resolved quickly and efficiently.
For example, if a customer reports an issue at 10:00 AM, and the support team resolves the issue at 11:00 AM, the resolution time is one hour.
Escalation is the process of transferring a customer inquiry or request to a higher level of support or management. Escalation is typically used when a customer's issue is complex or requires specialized expertise that is not available at the initial level of support. Escalation is also used when a customer is dissatisfied with the level of service they are receiving.
For example, if a customer is experiencing a technical issue that cannot be resolved by the initial level of support, the issue may be escalated to a technical specialist for further assistance.
An SLA violation occurs when a service provider fails to meet the terms of the SLA. SLA violations can result in penalties or fines for the service provider, and they can also damage the provider's reputation and customer relationships. It is important for service providers to monitor SLA metrics closely to avoid violations and to ensure that customers are receiving the level of service they expect.
For example, if a service provider fails to respond to a customer inquiry within the specified response time outlined in the SLA, this would be considered an SLA violation.
A call center is a centralized facility where support representatives handle customer inquiries and requests via telephone. Call centers can also handle inquiries via other channels such as email, chat, and social media. Call centers are typically used by organizations that receive a high volume of customer inquiries and need a dedicated team to manage them.
For example, a telecommunications company might have a call center to handle customer inquiries related to their internet or phone services.
A knowledge base is a collection of information and resources that support representatives can use to help customers. A knowledge base can include articles, tutorials, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). A knowledge base is important in customer support as it enables support representatives to quickly find information and solutions to customer inquiries, reducing resolution times and improving customer satisfaction.
For example, a knowledge base for a software company might include articles on how to troubleshoot common issues, tutorials on how to use different features, and FAQs on billing and account management.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
A customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is a metric used to measure how satisfied customers are with the level of service they receive. Customers are typically asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. CSAT scores are used to monitor customer satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement in customer support.
For example, after a customer support interaction, a customer might be asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5. The average of all customer ratings would be the CSAT score for that interaction.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A net promoter score (NPS) is a metric used to measure how likely customers are to recommend a company or product to others. Customers are typically asked to rate how likely they are to recommend the company or product on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers who rate the company or product a 9 or 10 are considered promoters, while those who rate it 6 or below are considered detractors. The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
For example, a company might survey its customers and ask them how likely they are to recommend the company to others on a scale of 0 to 10. The NPS would be calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who rated the company 6 or below from the percentage of customers who rated it a 9 or 10.
Customer support jargon can be overwhelming for newcomers, but understanding the key terms and phrases is crucial to providing high-quality service and ensuring customer satisfaction. In this blog post, we have explained some of the most common terms and phrases used in customer support, including ticket, SLA, FRT, resolution time, escalation, SLA violation, call center, knowledge base, CSAT, and NPS. By understanding these terms, newcomers to customer support can communicate more effectively with customers and team members and contribute to the success of their organization.