Measuring customer experience: 8 metrics to help you succeed

Posted May 14, 2021

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By Cari Murray

Senior Editor at Outreach

From social ads to sales emails to cold calls and more, companies constantly bombard customers with promotional messaging that promises to solve all their problems with the perfect product or service. But a targeted customer experience cuts through the noise to give your company a competitive edge. When you tailor each buyer interaction to meet the needs and expectations of your audience, they are more likely to become loyal customers who recommend your product and services to others.

But before you can curate a personalized customer experience, you must first gain insights into their thoughts and behaviors using metrics that will inform each interaction. Here, we dive into how to measure customer experience and outline key metrics to help your team succeed.

What are Customer Experience Metrics?

Customer experience (CX) metrics are the values used to measure customer satisfaction and, in turn, make improvements that increase retention and brand loyalty. While metrics provide measurable criteria to track behavior, it’s important to note that CX is complex and can't be measured directly. However, by monitoring and analyzing other factors, your team will gain deeper insights into each touchpoint throughout the buyer experience.

How to Measure Customer Experience

The customer journey involves many moving pieces, so collecting data is only the beginning. Your team must have a solid understanding of context and how data can improve customer engagement and experience. Follow these five steps to gain comprehensive insights into your customer experience:

1. Identify Your Objectives/Priorities

The metrics you choose should align with your customer's journey in addition to your overall business objectives. Ideally, when customers achieve their goals and solve their problems, you should see increased revenue growth and customer retention. With a clear set of goals, you can implement metrics that work cross-channel to identify what's working, areas of improvement, and potential challenges.

2. Determine the Right Metric for Each Phase of the Buyer Journey

Your team interacts with customers throughout varying stages of their buying cycle. Each requires a different need, solution, and messaging, making customer segmentation an essential tool when targeting your audience. In turn, you should choose metrics that capture the full scope of your customers' experience.

In the early 2000s, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric became an industry favorite, with some companies using it as its only indicator for success. But this one-dimensional approach can be limiting. Instead, examine every stage of your customer's journey to determine pivotal points where accurate data can yield practical results. For instance, at the beginning of a transaction, you may measure the customer effort score (CES), while the NPS may be most appropriate once they’re an established customer.

3. Collect Customer Feedback Throughout the Journey

Capture feedback at each stage of your buyers' journey to gain a bird’s eye view of your customer's experience. Based on what you already know about your customers, identify their preferred channels and times for engagement. You want to prompt customers for feedback when they are the most eager to respond.

In today's data-driven climate, everyone collects customer information, and consumers are exhausted with survey fatigue. So ensure your feedback process is short and straightforward. Modern customer engagement platforms automate and track the entire process, allowing you to connect your CX tools and trigger engagement throughout the journey.

4. Calculate CX Metrics at the Individual Level

Having high-level knowledge of your customers is essential, but being well-versed in their sentiment helps you identify your most valuable customers. Every customer should receive quality care and attention, but not every customer spends equally, so you need to focus efforts on those segments that produce the most revenue. Use customer journey analytics to target profitable segments with the highest growth potential and influence.

5. Monitor Your Metrics in Real-Time (Over a Long Period of Time)

Tracking long-term data and monitoring metrics in real-time equips your team with a holistic, customer-centric view of the overall sales process. Discover how customers feel about your business after one interaction vs. after being a customer for many years. How has the relationship changed, and in what ways have short-term engagements contributed to their brand loyalty?

Tracking and analyzing metrics over time will help your team identify potential difficulties, pinpoint high-value opportunities, and provide immediate solutions to close gaps in service. Modern solutions enable you to create dashboards to monitor, track, and report metrics. Some even provide all relevant team members access to the most recent customer data and statistics with the click of a button.

8 of the Best Customer Experience Metrics to Track

Customer experience metrics are excellent tools for measuring how successful you are at engaging buyers, meeting their goals, and closing the deal. But the metrics you choose should depend both on what you want to accomplish and the customer behaviors that impact your bottom line. Choose metrics that relate to your business goals for data that enhances the overall experience. To help you get started, here are eight CX metrics to consider utilizing throughout your buyer's journey:

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Your customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is the average rating of how satisfied customers are with their experience. The CSAT survey usually involves one question that asks customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being 'Not at All Satisfied' and 5 being 'Very Satisfied.' This quick survey is generally triggered following a transaction or specific interaction with your customer service team. While CSAT is a common form of measurement, it’s best used as a tool to assess a one-off engagement and gather real-time feedback.

To calculate your score, add the overall score given by all respondents and divide the sum by the total number of responses you received.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

How likely are customers to recommend your products or services? Your net promoter score calculates a customer's willingness to promote your organization based on their experience. Like CSAT, the NPS is a quick, short survey that allows customers to rate their experience on a scale of 0-10, with scores that can be broken down into three different categories:

  • 9-10 = Promoters
  • 7-8 = Passives
  • 0-6 = Detractors

You can calculate your NPS by subtracting the total number of detractors from the total number of promoters, then dividing the sum by the overall number of responses. Higher scores indicate increased trust and brand loyalty, while lower scores may indicate a lack of confidence in your organization.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Your customers want quick, convenient solutions. In fact, 94% of customers indicate that they are more likely to continue doing business with a company following an effortless experience. The customer effort score (CES) calculates how much work a customer has to invest in your brand to solve their issue or find a solution.

You can calculate your CES using a single question or a short answer survey to gauge customer effort. For example, following a transaction, you may ask, "How easy was it to find everything you need in the store?" Responses can range on a 5 or 7 point scale, from 'Very Difficult' to 'Very Easy.' Using your CES, you can identify and remove potential barriers to an effortless experience.

Employee Engagement (eNPS)

Engaged employees create a positive work environment, resulting in a customer experience where buyers are excited about shopping with your company. But when employees are disengaged, the quality of service and product delivery may suffer, resulting in a lackluster customer experience. With 70% of employees reporting that they feel disengaged from their work, low eNPS can be a barrier to delivering a high-value CX if not properly addressed.

Calculate eNPS feedback periodically, using short anonymous surveys. Like the NPS or CSAT survey, you may ask, "How satisfied are you with your role at X company?" or "How likely are you to recommend working with X company to a colleague?" Be sure to take the opportunity to ask follow-up questions concerning their scope of work, contributions to the team, and challenges.

Customer Churn

Your customer churn rate measures the number of customers you've lost within a specific timeframe. You can calculate the churn rate by subtracting the number of customers you have at the end of the period from the total number of customers you started with, divided by the number of customers you had at the beginning.

You can also calculate revenue churn to determine the percentage of profits lost during a particular month or year. While many factors can lead to customer churn, tracking the metric can help you identify contributing factors and potentially repair relationships before more customers are lost.

Customer Retention

The other side of attrition is customer retention, or how successful your organization is at retaining customers for future transactions within a given period. Customer churn and retention are directly related: Higher churn rates, lower retention, and vice versa. This information is essential, as acquiring new customers is costly, and loyal consumers are more likely to make more purchases in the future.

Behavioral Analytics

Learn how customers engage with your brand throughout their experience with behavioral analytics data. Use this metric to track the actions customers take online and how they engage with your brand through your website. Be sure to pay close attention to the features with which they most often engage and pages or add-ons that make navigation difficult.

Monitor customer behavior to enhance your site's user experience and, in turn, site conversions. Track behavior metrics over time to gauge the success of inputs and collect data. By using a healthy mix of engagement data (e.g. bounce rates, pageviews, click-through rate, etc.) and customer surveys and feedback, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how customers interact with your digital experience.

Qualitative Feedback

Numbers and data give you an idea of how customers feel about your company, but you need qualitative data to understand the context entirely. Qualitative or narrative research provides insights into why customers feel the way they do and the factors that have influenced their opinion. Some customers may even provide direct suggestions for solutions or improvements, giving you a clear idea of how you can enhance their CX.

You can easily collect qualitative data by adding an open-ended, follow-up comment box to your rating questions. For instance, when calculating the NPS or CSAT, you may ask, "How could we improve your satisfaction with X company?" or "Why are you likely to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?" When analyzing your qualitative data look for trends, common pain points, recurring positive themes you can replicate, and negative drivers you should avoid.

Employing Actionable Metrics to Grow Your Business
Once you understand customer experience metrics and how to apply them to your journey, it's time to take action. Simply measuring behavior and satisfaction isn't enough—you also need to use these insights to adjust your strategy.

Outreach's Sales Execution Platform can help you automate and simplify your process, with tools that help you collect, protect, and analyze your data for a better customer experience. Learn how your sales team source more pipeline from existing relationships, or request a demo today.


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