The best way to measure customer experience is to go straight to the source: The voice of the customer. Over the years, many tools and processes have emerged to help companies hear and understand customers, including online or in-app surveys, call recording, and proactive customer outreach.

Below we take a look at some of the customer experience metrics in use today, what they measure, and what you need to think about when choosing the best way to track your customer’s success.

  1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT):

One of the most common measurements of customer experience, CSAT uses surveys to determine how satisfied a customer is with a company, product, or transaction. CSAT surveys can come in the form of one question, ranking overall satisfaction, or as longer surveys with several questions on specific areas of the customer experience. CSAT surveys typically offer the freshest insight when customers have just completed a significant customer journey, like buying a product online, filing an insurance claim, or making a reservation. Measuring these more process-oriented tasks can help companies unlock new ways to be more efficient when serving customers. However, critics of CSAT claim the metric is good for measuring satisfaction over the short-term, but is not enough for determining satisfaction across the entire lifecycle of a customer.  

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS):

Pioneered by Frederich Reicheld and researchers at Bain & Company, NPS aims to measure customer experience by answering one simple question: How likely is it that you would recommend Company X to a friend? Using a 1-10 scale, NPS identifies three segments of customers. Promoters, those that answer 9-10, are “loyal enthusiasts” who love the brand. Passives, those that answer 7-8, are typically less loyal and less excited about the company and its products. Detractors, those that answer 1-6, are “unhappy customers trapped in a bad relationship.” NPS is the percentage of a company’s Promoters minus the percentage of its Detractors. A good score can be anywhere from zero to 50 percent, the higher the better. Seventy-five percent or more is best-in-class, regardless of industry.  

3. Customer Effort Score (CES):

Developed by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now owned by Gartner, CES makes the case that “effort” is the strongest indicator of a good customer experience. The lower the score, the better the customer experience. High effort interactions include repeating information, switching channels, and being transferred. However, according to CES principles, the easier you make it for the customer to buy a product or resolve a problem, the better their customer experience will be. Benefits include not only faster customer interactions and lower costs, but also positive word-of-mouth, more repeat business, and increased employee retention.

Other CX metrics include customer churn, which measures the percentage of customers that leave the brand over a given period, and time-to-value, which tracks how long it takes for a customer to get value from a product or service.

There is no secret formula for determining which metric is best for your company. In fact, many companies use multiple CX metrics to build as complete a picture of the customer as possible.

Like any successful data analytics initiative, taking action is key. No matter which CX metric you decide to use for your company, closing the loop with your customers is critical. This can range from a simple thank you to resolving specific issues with direct contact from company representatives and executives. When customers receive quick responses as part of a continuous CX improvement process, they are more likely to continue providing valuable insights and more likely to stick with your brand.