16 Metrics of Healthy Customer Service-Oriented Businesses: Part One


At Inkling, enabling operational excellence for enterprise companies is what we’re all about, and helping them deliver first-rate customer experiences is key. So when we came across Forbes’ blog post identifying five crucial customer-centric employee traits, we were intrigued.

Duly inspired, we have compiled our own list of metrics that define a healthy customer service-oriented business. Specifically, quick-service restaurants (QSRs), retail organizations, and hotels. In an effort to keep things short and sweet, in part one of a three-part blog series, we will focus on QSR first.

Categorized by operational excellence and employee productivity, these first five indicators of a healthy QSR will arm managers, business owners, and their staff with a framework to run their business operations more efficiently.

Operational Excellence

1. Employee turnover: With an annual turnover rate of about 66%, the restaurant and accommodations sector has one of the highest churn rates out of any industry, according to the National Restaurant Association. For some QSRs, this is a low figure. Chipotle, for example, has an employee turnover rate of 80%, writes QSR Magazine. Therefore, the most effective restuarants must not only minimize employee turnover, but also decrease the amount of time it takes to train and onboard new employees.

2. Labor cost: Labor costs are on the rise in states such as California and New Jersey, where QSRs are required to find new ways to reduce food costs and labor expenses. While some choose to employ less staff or limit overtime, others must increase employee productivity. Decreasing labor costs below the 30% of total expense average can also enable QSR leadership to invest savings back into the business.

Employee Productivity

3. Speed of service: A strong indicator of employee effectiveness, speed of service measures the ability of a QSR employee to fill a customer’s order. Staff that is well-trained can service customers more efficiently and deliver more positive customer service experiences—without sacrificing food quality.

4. Order accuracy: Proper training and adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) can drive order accuracy in QSRs. To increase order accuracy, managers must ensure their employees can easily find and access operations and training manuals while they are on shift. Limiting accessibility to key material can result in decreased food quality—and customer satisfaction.

5. Upsells: When corporate franchisers launch a new product, they rely on their owner-operators to directly market to customers. They may also try to bundle a new product with an established menu offering for a small fee to drive upsell. Earn incremental revenue for your business by monitoring the percentage of customers that are upsold in a given month on a new product.

Don’t worry, retail and hospitality leaders—your metrics are coming up! Be sure to read Part Two and Part Three of this series.