For business in today’s environment, improving customer experience has become a priority. In fact, surveys have indicated that 46% of businesses cite this as being most important ahead or pricing and product. But how does one know whether customer experience is effective or not? Knowing this can mean the difference between success and failure. Therefore, businesses are increasingly getting more serious about how they explore the answer to this question. As such, there are several customer experience metrics that are used to guide strategies. These are no longer simply an exercise of interest but one essential in gaining a competitive advantage.
When it comes to improving customer experience, there are a number of areas that require monitoring. Different customer experience metrics naturally evaluate different aspects of the customer’s journey. Thus, it is important to know which ones are needed to explore specific areas related to customer behaviors. With this in mind, there are key areas of customer experience that all businesses should assess. These include customer referral behaviors, customer retention, problem resolution, and customer acquisition. The following discusses these components of customer experience and various metrics to consider.
“According to Gartner’s research, companies that successfully implement customer experience projects begin by focusing on how they collect and analyze customer feedback.” – SuperOffice CRM Report
- Customer Experience Metrics – Referrals
It might go without saying, but happy customers tend to refer your business and brand to others. Therefore, customer experience metrics that evaluate referral behaviors is essential. several metrics exist in this regard. For example, the most common metric used for this is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS assesses the percentage of customers who state they would recommend a brand to friends and family. In addition, Referral Rate measures the actual referral behavior, which is a more powerful metric. Other measurements in this category may also include Customer Effort Score and Customer Satisfaction After Transaction (CSAT). Customers who exert less effort per interaction and are highly satisfied will naturally refer more often. Deficiencies in these areas suggest businesses need to invest in improving customer experience to boost referral power.
“According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more.” – SuperOffice CRM Report
Customer Experience Metrics – Retention
In addition to referral behaviors, business should also explore their rates of customer retention. By improving customer experiences, it is assumed customer retention will increase. Thus, additional customer experience metrics can also examine this area. The most common used in this regard include Customer Loyalty, Customer Retention, and Churn Rate. Customer Loyalty evaluates how often a customer returns after an initial purchase. Customer Retention then determines the number of customers who actually purchase a second time. In terms of Churn Rate, this is effectively the opposite of Customer Retention metrics. It actually measures the number of customers who stopped doing business with a company over a set time period. Combined, these provide a great snapshot of how well a business is retaining its customers long-term. In addition, some companies also include a Customer Engagement metric, measuring website visit durations and click numbers by customers. This too provides some measure of customer retention and guide efforts in improving customer experience.
Customer Experience Metrics – Resolutions
Another area where companies routinely invest in improving customer experience involves issue resolution. How quickly an issue can be resolved affects perception, which naturally influences loyalty, retention, and referrals. Understanding this, common customer experience metrics in this category include Average Time Resolution and First Contact Resolution. The former divides the sum of all resolution times by the number of cases per period. The latter examines the percentage of all customers with issues who effectively addressed this in the first attempt. These metrics may also be combined with Task Completion metrics, which assesses whether brand visits achieved success. Many companies appreciate this as being important since 86% of customers are willing to pay more for positive experiences. Improving customer experience and customer communications in these areas can go a long way in this regard. (The push for rehumanizing customer communications is underway–Bold has the story.)
“The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.” – SuperOffice CRM Report
Customer Experience Metrics – Acquisitions
It goes without saying that companies routinely invest a great deal in acquiring customers. While retention is important once acquired, businesses must also evaluate whether they’re receiving a strong ROI on customer acquisition efforts. On the front end, customer experience metrics companies may want to consider include Customer Acquisition and Customer Lifetime Value measures. These determine how much is being spent to acquire customers and the value a customer offers respectively. At the same time, businesses also might need to measure how customers are interacting with their brand. A Contact Volume By Channel metric tells companies where customer acquisition investments might be needed. Notably, you cannot have customer experiences without first acquiring customers. Therefore, efforts in improving customer experience should also explore acquisition efforts as well.
Customer Experience Metrics – Indirect Measures
In addition to metrics specifically designed for improving customer experience, there are additional ones that also may be used. These additional measures tend to examine customer experience more indirectly, but nonetheless, they are valuable. One of the most obvious customer experience metrics involves measuring changes in actual sales. This is particularly helpful after launching a customer experience initiative to determine its effect. Another important indirect measure relates to employee satisfaction. Happy and satisfied employees are consistently linked to better customer services. Finally, stock price measures also offer some indirect insights about customer experiences. Companies with good customer experience are poised for higher growth, and stocks tend to reflect this. Thus, if these metrics suggest areas to address, improving customer experience might be a potential remedy.