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“KPIs influence management behaviour as well as business culture. The use of KPIs is meant to improve and transform the organizational performance,” – Pearl Zhu

Businesses use key performance indicators to monitor the performance of a company or commercial organisation. These qualitative and quantitative measures can be deployed to review an organisation’s progress in terms of achieving set goals and targets. We note that these indicators help business managers to evaluate a company’s growth, plot future revenue projections, and assess a variety of parameters in order to gauge the performance and financial health of an enterprise or a business.

The top KPIs for marketing include ‘sales revenue’ which can be calculated by subtracting the total revenue gained from customers that were acquired through inbound marketing strategies from the total sales registered by a business in the course of a calendar year. We recommend that businesses pay close attention to this metric because it is used to calculate other important metrics, such as gross profit, operating profit, and net profit. Therefore, businesses view sales revenue as an important indicator of financial performance of a business enterprise.

The ‘return on investments on inward marketing’ campaigns represent another aspect among the top KPIs that are tracked and evaluated by modern businesses. This metric is critical because it helps the business to assess monthly and annual performance. It is worth noting that the use of automation, in such campaigns is important because an estimated 44% of brands and businesses that use marketing automation software generate a return on investment within six months. Further, the ROI on inward marketing campaigns is important because significant numbers of businesses plan to boost such campaigns to the detriment of outward marketing campaigns.

‘Traffic-to-lead ratio’ has emerged among top KPIs because it helps businesses to understand and decode the volumes of online traffic directed at the business website. The said ratio essentially denotes the volumes of new customer contacts generated by a business enterprise. We must note that said ratio is especially important to businesses that use their flagship website to generate business transactions. Therefore, a high ratio indicates that the business enjoys a fair amount of market traction. However, a dipping rate indicates that the business should ideally implement changes in website design, website mechanics, text, etc.

‘New sessions’ figure among the top KPIs that should be monitored by online business enterprises. This metric essentially indicates the number of new visitors to a certain website, as also the number of returning visitors. We must note that modern Internet technologies enable this KPI to monitor and process the relevant numbers. Multiple inferences can be drawn when businesses evaluate this metric. For instance, the metric indicates the effectiveness and sustainability of business outreach efforts. It also indicates whether a business website is able to hold the attentions of customers.

Marketing metrics must include the ‘bounce rate’ because it indicates the proportion of visitors that abandoned their online visit without further exploration. This metric rightfully takes its place among the top KPIs because it indicates the level of customer interest in a website’s offerings. Therefore, brands and businesses should work to ensure that the bounce rate remains low, because a high duration of customer visits translates into higher chances of a purchase or a transaction. Additionally, the bounce rate should remain low because a commercial website should ideally, be engineered to attract and retain a customer’s attention. To ensure low bounce rates, businesses should pay special attention to create a visually attractive website in terms of design and content.

‘Customer retention’ remains prominent among the top KPIs because it indicates the proportion of returning customers. This metric is significant because it denotes the volume of repeat business for e-commerce operators, subscription-based services, and other online business operators. We must note that customer retention is critical for a business enterprise and therefore, a high number on this metric indicates a healthy business operation with significant chances of future success. Customer retention is also critical because returning customers tend to transact in higher volumes with a trusted brand or business. This tends to expand revenue streams and boost business outcomes for most commercial organisations.

Customer service strategies vary from one industry to the next. However, certain generic key performance indicators can be examined within the scope of this article. The ‘first contact resolution rate’ resides among the top KPIs because it measures the efficiency of a business to resolve customer complaints at the first instance. This KPI essentially depicts the percentage of customer requests and complaints that were resolved effectively in the course of a preliminary contact with the customer service department. We may state that every business should aim for a high first contact resolution rate in order to reinforce its brand image as a customer-centric organisation. Additionally, a high number on this metric can help to boost customer confidence in a certain business, thereby creating grounds for higher volumes of future business traction in any given market. Further, when a business consistently achieves a high number on this metric, it helps to improve industry wide customer service standards. This encourages competitive business peers to strive to achieve higher counts on this metric thereby, boosting overall levels of customer services.

The ‘quality ratings’ earned by each customer service representative is rated high among the top KPIs valued by business managers. This metric essentially denotes the quality of customer service that is offered to the individual customer in the course of his or her interaction with a business enterprise. These ratings assess the professional competence of a representative in terms of his or her ability to offer the correct solution to a customer request. We must view these skills are important because customer service representatives execute customer-facing functions; therefore, their skill sets and quality of service exert a direct impact on customers. In light of these facts, businesses must invest significant time and effort to train these employees intensively in the relevant best practices. Further, systemic safeguards should be built in the form of on-going training schedules that encourage perfect practices in all customer-facing staff members.

We live in a world populated by a rising number of brands and businesses. In sharp contrast, the attention spans of the average consumer have registered a sharp decline in recent decades. Therefore, the ‘average wait time’ has attained criticality among the top KPIs in modern customer service paradigms. This metric denotes the average waiting time for a customer before a business responds to his or her call or online request. Therefore, in terms of telephone and online chat support, the average wait time is important because ideally this number should correspond to the lowest possible lapse of time. In terms of email support, businesses should make it a point to respond with alacrity to reduce the time between receiving a customer complaint and issuing a swift, but considered, response. The quick reactions should be mandated as critical to business success and must be inculcated into every customer service representative.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the top KPIs that attend, shape, and inform commercial activities in the domains of marketing and customer service. We note that these metrics are important to build a long-term business enterprise and therefore, managers and employers should work to evaluate these as objectively as possible. When managed properly, these metrics enable a business to achieve the desired outcomes and to stand out among its peers as an example of corporate achievement.

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