Let’s be honest, your hands tremble each time you walk that performance report down the long hallway to the C-Suite, fearful that the subpar customer experience Key Performance Indicator (KPI) results may cost you your annual bonus, or much worse, your job. Well, maybe those poor results are due to measuring the wrong things.
With so many customer experience KPIs to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones deliver the best insights to help your company enhance customer experiences, motivate loyalty, and increase sales.
While those are questions you’ll need to ask yourself, we can examine the top Customer Experience KPIs used by CX leaders to make a more informed decision.
I’ll begin with those that have historically won the popularity contest.
Every company wants good word-of-mouth to spread in hopes of increasing sales. This customer loyalty survey measures word-of-mouth potential. NPS® asks customers how likely they are to recommend a particular company after having interaction.
According to 2016 Nielsen study, referrals are still one of the most trusted form of advertising, with more than 84% of users relying on recommendations before making a purchase. The idea being that if customers are excited about your company and the experience, then they will refer you to friends, family, or a complete stranger. Customers fall into three categories: promoters😍, passives 😐, and detractors😡 .
It’s one of the traditional and simplest customer experience KPIs on the market. It’s an easy and quick survey. NPS® is often paired with Customer Satisfaction.
NPS® offers no deep insight into their promoters, passives, and detractors. It’s not data driven. There’s no way of knowing what’s driving any parts of the score. No weight is given towards the progress made within the categories. In fact, two companies can have the same percentage of detractors of varying degrees and still have an identical NPS®, although one delivers a lousier experience than the other.
Also, passives are a non-factor in the NPS® score, even though they’re closer to becoming promoters than detractors. And about those promoters? Do recommendations translate into profits? The verdict is still out.
Every company wants satisfied customers, I hope. CSAT gauges whether customers are satisfied or not.
The more satisfied you are, the more likely you’ll stick around. This is a great feel-good metric (when all goes well) that measures customer retention. It is sort of the precursor to NPS®, which is why many companies use them as a tag team. If you’re satisfied (CSAT), you’ll recommend the company (NPS®) to others, and maybe they will buy from the company as well.
It’s said to reduce churn rate. A “Very Satisfied Customer” contributes 2.6 times as much revenue to a company as a “Somewhat Satisfied Customer”.
The biggest challenge with CSAT is that it doesn’t necessarily correlate with financial data. Satisfaction does not always equal loyalty and dissatisfaction doesn’t mean churn. I’m very satisfied with Android, but I’m switching to iPhone X. I’m dissatisfied with my cable provider, but it’s the only one I can get in my complex.
There is nothing like feeling as if I didn’t have to lift more than a finger to get something done. This KPI measures a customer’s perception of how easy it is to access the benefits and overall value proposition a company promises to deliver.
The idea here is less is more; the less effort a customer has to exert, the more loyal. CES doesn’t make experience the focal point. It’s about ease of effort and meeting customer expectations. Oracle examined a large organization and found that customer satisfaction increased from 61% to 93% when customers reported low effort.
The downside is CES fails to look at potential influencing factors like product, competitors, and price. It applies only to services, leaving no room for other interactions. Also, it doesn’t address how to resolve issues in the future.
As with NPS® and CSAT, CES does not answer the “why”. It isn’t clear what’s behind the effect customer effort has on its customers decision making process, which is critical information for companies to improve their customer experience.
Here are some customer experience KPIs to watch.
A good relationship with customers is imperative for growth. This metric is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. Seventy-six percent of companies see CLV as an important concept for their organization and a key factor in driving customer loyalty. Companies that calculate some form of CLV tend to be those enjoying stronger customer experience business results.
This is a more complex metric that requires a lot of calculation, but if you can get this number on your customers, it will incentivize management to invest more in improving CX.
Due to e-commerce, this is becoming a more popular metric, whereas before it was used mostly in financial services. Google Analytics is beta testing CLV to better understand the value of users as measured by revenue and engagement metrics.
Before every buying decision, we ask ourselves one final question, “Is it worth it?” This metric offers a complete customer experience Voice of Customer KPI that helps identify why customers buy and which products, services, and experiences are most "worth it" to them. It gets to the crux of the buying decision making process.
Worthix uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI to rank both rational and emotional decisions that customers deem most worth it. It predicts buying behaviors and correlates directly with financial data.
This is a great companion for NPS® and CSAT, but doesn’t rely on either one to produce comprehensive results.
Also referred to as Share of Wallet, this metric is calculated based only around buyers of a specific brand and represents the percentage of purchases inside the relevant category, accounting for the brand in question.
If you’re anything like me, you always read reviews prior to buying. And I bypass all the great reviews to find the one or two horrible ones just to see why they complained. This KPI is like NPS®, but transparent. It lets it all hang out. In fact, 91% of consumers read online reviews on products and services.
Companies are investing in NLP solutions to read their customers’ comments because it’s honest feedback that can help companies better understand customer pain points and learn what experiences are valuable to them.
Any company that cares about its reputation will be reminded by reviews and ratings that’s it’s always on the line.
A sign of a great experience is when you want to go back for more. Whenever customers cancel a subscription, fail to renew, take their business elsewhere, or close an account, it’s called churn or attrition. This is the percentage of customers who cancel their recurring services or subscriptions. The lower your churn, of course, the better. The challenge is getting to the bottom of what’s causing it.
To calculate churn, divide the total number of lost customers by the total number of active customers for a selected time period.
Considering a new set of KPIs, or even adding one, can seem overwhelming, especially if your organization has the “chosen ones” in place. We only mentioned a few, but there are a lot more out there. What you select as most worth it for your company depends on the overall objectives.
If you’re looking for deeper insights, you can try out our unique CX customer experience VoC KPI.
Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.