I get excited about metrics. They tell a story. They provide the data required to set goals and improve performance. It is difficult to know how you are doing if you cannot measure it. To use a sports analogy, how can you improve as a runner if you don't use a stopwatch?
Since I arrived here in January I have been working with the team to build a set of metrics that capture our significant activities across all our departments - sales, service delivery, service assurance, facilities, security, engineering and finance. The focus is not on collecting useless data, but on determining how select metrics can provide real insight into our business and our performance as an organization. Said another way, how do we best measure and report those things that make a difference to our business and to our customers? The process is iterative, as reporting on a "live" company is by definition a moving target. We have made a lot of progress on this front and today I wanted to share some of our metrics on customer service that tell a bit about the NAC story.
Probably the most important metric we track is "churn". In our business, churn is the percentage of customers who cancel a monthly recurring service divided by the total amount of monthly revenue. I like to call churn the "temperature" of a company. High churn means the company is "sick" as it means a lot of customers are canceling service. Low churn is "healthy" as it means the company is not losing a lot of revenue and customers. It really is the true measure of company performance in our sector as it tells us if customers want to keep doing business with us. Below is a chart of our churn over the last five quarters at NAC. We have been averaging 0.7% per month. This is an amazingly low number. Most companies in the sector average from 1.0% to 1.5% monthly churn so NAC’s figures are 25%-50% better.
Why is our churn so low? A couple of other metrics tell the story. First, we respond to our customers extremely fast. As you can see by the chart below we respond to calls to our operations center within eight seconds on average. Eight seconds! We answer almost 95% of all calls within 30 seconds. Nobody likes to wait and we don't think our customers should.
Once a customer opens a ticket either by phone, email or web (we actually take in more trouble tickets via email or web than by phone), our team resolves them quickly. Below is a chart on our "Mean-time-to-Repair" for customer trouble tickets. In laymen's term, how long does it take us to resolve a customer service issue from the time it is reported by a customer? For NAC, the average MTTR across all tickets was 3.53 hours in September. This is extremely good when you consider the broad range of issues that our service organization deals with, from remote hands requests to networking problems to infrastructure and application issues.
More impressively, when we look at the trouble tickets broken out by time bucket (0-4 hours, 4-8 hours, 8-12 hrs, etc.), the NAC team resolved an amazing 90% of trouble tickets in 4 hours or less. This is an absolutely impressive metric and one of the best I have seen in the business.
At NAC our mantra is "taking care of the customer for life," which we do by providing a superior customer service experience. We really do take it seriously and metrics are one of the tools we use to deliver and improve on that pledge every day.