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Companies are becoming more aware of the importance of great customer experience (CX), wherein planning on making improvements and measuring customer experience is one of the top priorities. 

In this article on Customer Experience Metrics: A Complete Guide, we will discuss in in-depth the following topics:

Here are some facts associated with customer experience:

  • Temkin Group learned that companies earning $1 billion annually can expect to earn an additional $700 million (on average) within 3 years of investing in customer experience. 
  • It was said that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience. The more expensive the item is, the more the customers are willing to pay based on PWC research.  
  • A Walker study suggests that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.  

If you want to start investing in providing good customer journey and great customer service, a great place to start is by measuring your key customer experience metrics. 

The question is when it comes to the qualitative concept like customer experience, how do you measure customer experience?

Let’s begin with the common metrics that most companies utilize to measure customer journey experiences.

What are the most important customer experience metrics?

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score metric measures the loyalty of customers to a company. You can measure net promoter score with a single question survey and a given rating from -100 to +100, where a higher score is preferred.

Depending on the response, customers are categorized into one of these 3 categories:

  • Promoters: respondents that give a rating of 9 or 10 and are considered loyal customers.
  • Passives: respondents that give a rating of 7 or 8 and are satisfied but not that happy enough to fall under promoters.
  • Detractors: respondents that give a rating of 0 to 6 and are unhappy customers. These customers are unlikely to buy from you again. They may also discourage others from buying from you.

Net promoter score provides an overall metric to track and in return allows you to monitor improvements in a product, service, or company. 

However, there is more to consider when analyzing your NPS. There will be instances that you need to run and research more data that are driving your NPS. 

The more data you can collect and analyze along with your NPS, the more you can fully understand what’s driving your customer journey experience, allowing you to prioritize the improvements that can have the biggest impact on your customers. 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT stands for customer satisfaction. This is a commonly used key performance indicator to track how satisfied customers are with your products or services.

CSAT is measured by this kind of survey question, which usually appears at the end of the customer feedback survey:

“How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [product/service] you received?”

Respondents then use the following 1-5 scale:

1- Very unsatisfied

2- Unsatisfied

3- Neutral

4- Satisfied

5- Very satisfied

The results from this survey are averaged out, with results usually expressed as a percentage scale, with 100% as the total customer satisfaction, and 0% as total customer dissatisfaction. 

But what is the difference between CSAT to NPS? 

CSAT measures customer satisfaction with a product or service, while NPS measures customer loyalty.

Furthermore, CSAT targets a “here and now” reaction to a specific product or service. However, this is limited when it comes to measuring the customer’s ongoing relationship with the company.  

CSAT can use multiple questions in order to focus on specific parts of the customer journey, while net promoter score NPS single-question loyal measure, asks customers to take a much wider perspective of the product or service. NPS question is focused more on intention, rather than the overall feeling of satisfaction. 

CSAT like NPS should be supplemented with further qualitative research to better understand the drivers behind the scores in order to improve the important areas in customer experience. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The customer effort score is a single-item metric that means what it says. It measures how much effort a customer must exert to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, a product purchased/returned, or a question answered.

CES surveys are typical questions in this format: “On a scale of easy to difficult, how easy was it to contact our company?”

Customers are believed to be loyal to a product or service that is easier to use. 

The customer effort score is easy to deploy and track. This is best for measuring customer loyalty, but unfortunately, it does not give the full picture and should be used with other CX measurement like score NPS. 

For example, a customer may have a good relationship with your product but had a bad experience with it one time. If you looked at score CES, you would conclude that he is not considered as a loyal customer, but that might not be the case. 

Customer churn rate

The customer churn rate, or also known as the rate of attrition, is the rate at which customers stop doing business with a product, service, or company. 

This is expressed as the percentage of the company’s subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given period. It is also a rate at which employees leave their jobs within a certain period. 

For a company whose goal is to expand customers’ database, its growth rate must exceed its churn customer churn rate. Therefore, a high churn rate has an adverse effect on profits and may impede the company’s growth. 

It is recommended that you compare your growth and customer churn rate to determine if there was a growth or loss. 

First response and average handling time

First response and average handling time

The first response time is the average amount of time it takes for a customer to get the first response to their issue.

This is usually measured by taking the average amount of time from when the customer first opens the support ticket to the time, they receive the first response from the customer support. 

The average handling time is the average amount of time it takes to resolve the customer-related issue from start to finish. 

The measurements involved here include the time spent interacting with customers on calls, emails, chats, etc.  

The average handling time is usually measured by taking the average time it takes to resolve the customer’s issue to the point when the issue has been resolved successfully.  

The goal for CX metrics

By now, you already have the idea that metrics for customer experience are used to measure, compare, and track the quality of CX over time. 

They are used to measure the effectiveness, outcomes, and success of customer experience. It is important to note that the metrics you chose should be customer-focused and not business-focused. 

Why measuring customer experience metrics matter?

Using the wrong or imperfect customer experience measures can have a negative impact on your business. The same is true for not having the right knowledge of your customers, which can lead to mistakes that can severely hurt your company. 

The usual root cause of poor customer experience measurement starts from when companies use to measure customer experience that only tell a part of the story. As already previously discussed, there are some important underlying drivers to take note of when it comes to CX. 

Choosing the wrong metric can also generate a misalignment between the company’s purpose and the customers' journey being measured.  

A classic example is in the call center setting, where measuring the success of a customer support representative based on the total calls they respond to in a day. This does not align with their work of making their customers happy and satisfied. 

Since the measurement of success is based only on the number of calls received, it is within the support rep’s self-interest to shorten the calls, which may result in unresolved customers’ problems. 

The call center company may lose customers, who had miserable customer support experiences. In turn, these customers will become detractors sharing their bad customer experiences with their relatives and friends. The company may lose sales because they are losing customers due to mishandling in the customer service section.   

How to choose the right customer experience metrics

The five metrics mentioned in this article are commonly used to measure customer experience.

However, these are not the generally accepted customer experience measurement to use in terms of finding the optimal measurements and tracking for you. 

Thus, you need to narrow down your focus and select only the metrics that matter to your product, service, or company. 

The first thing you should consider is the metric that matters to your users, to your business, and the experience that you want to measure. 

Select only the metric that your company cares most and the metric that truly reflects what you want to achieve in terms of improving your CX. 

How do you handle customer experience metrics?

Customer experience metrics are only a part of the whole picture. You need to combine your CX results with business outcomes to show how your overall customer satisfaction performance works. 

You need to make a connection between your company’s revenues and your customer experience efforts to see whether you are making any progress. With the right baseline and consistent measuring and tracking of metrics in place, handling your CX metric is easier than you think.  

When it comes to handling improvements to your CX, it takes a multitude of plans emerging from good intentions within the different organizations in your company. 

Improving your CX also means having a great understanding of all possible combinations of interactions that a customer can take, and then identifying possible opportunities for improvement. 

In order to know what to improve, you need to understand first how your customer thinks and feels. Just place yourself in the situation of a customer where you think like one. If you are able to achieve this, you can quickly improve your product/service, your marketing, your messaging, and support experiences.  

Over to you

You can have the opportunity to make better improvements to various aspects of CX by following the right customer experience metric fits for your company. 

Once you have successfully collected your CX metric, consider the following recommendations for your company:

  • Don’t focus on one customer experience metric. Instead, take multiple related CX metrics, taking into account for a more balanced review of CX.
  • Consider too the effects of a change across departments in your company. While there is a specified department handling the customer experience metrics, the changes regarding how your company does business and interacts with customers must be considered as well to prevent negative outcomes, while improving your CX.
  • Always consider customer emotions. While rational, data-backed CX changes are important, always consider how your customers will emotionally react to the changes you make, both positively and negatively.
  • Determine a hierarchy of metrics to guide CX plans. Also, consider how you invest in your improvement efforts. Decide smartly what statistics are most important for your company and what changes should be prioritized.

These recommended guidelines are enough basis for your company to properly approach customer experience metrics and customer experience improvement efforts using a comprehensive strategy. 

Mary Ann Dalangin

About the author

A content marketing strategist and a UX writer with years of experience in the digital marketing industry.

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