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Measuring customer experience: 5 CX KPIs to keep an eye on

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Image source: grapestock from Getty Images | Canva

In modern business, focusing on customer experience (CX) is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity for businesses of all sizes. However, defining a successful customer experience can be difficult because many touch points form the customer journey. By using online surveys, companies can gain quantitative information about the customer experience to actively monitor trends that develop over time. Based on customer feedback, organizations can identify areas for improvement, adjust their strategies accordingly, set better goals for their key performance indicators (KPIs), and strive to deliver the seamless experiences that today’s consumers expect.

Customer experience KPIs

Research shows that CX is now competing with traditional factors such as price and quality in influencing customer loyalty and advocacy. According to  Forbes, 77% of consumers consider CX just as important as the main product or service itself.  PWC reported that even beloved brands risk losing 32% of their customers after one negative interaction. In addition, poor CX burdens the company with costs. To address this, this article outlines five critical CX KPIs that can be systematically monitored, evaluated, and optimized to help address customer service problems and strengthen a company’s connections with its customer base.

1. % Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)

This KPI measures how customers rate particular interactions with a company, such as getting a response from customer care or processing a return. Users can score their satisfaction with the experience on a scale from “very dissatisfied” to “very satisfied” by responding to an automated questionnaire sent to them. Monitoring the ratings depends on a company’s objectives, but the general rule is that anything above 85% is excellent, and anything below 60% requires rapid attention.

Calculation: CSAT = (Number of Positive Responses / Total Number of Responses) x 100

2. # Net promoter score (NPS)

The NPS, considered the most famous CX KPI, reflects the willingness of consumers to recommend a product to friends and acquaintances. To calculate NPS, a company can conduct a survey of customers from one query: “What is the probability that you will recommend the product to your friends?” The answer is given on a 10-point scale, where 0 is “I will not recommend it in any case” and 10 is “I will definitely recommend.” The respondents can be divided into three groups depending on the scores obtained: promoters, passives, and detractors. The majority of companies consider a score above 80 as excellent, a score between 50 and 80 as very good, and a score below 50 as good.

Calculation: NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors.

3. % Word of Mouth Index (WoMI)

An extension of the NPS index, the creation of the WoMI was motivated by criticism towards the traditional NPS. Researchers believed that the NPS made the incorrect assumption that if a customer does not recommend a product or service, then they are automatically considered detractors. This led researchers to make adjustments to the KPI in order to better reflect reality.  It tracks the recommendation, but from the opposite perspective: “What is the probability that you will discourage people from doing business with the company?” This can be rated on a scale of 0 to 10. Those who choose 9-10 on the scale of “dissuading” are categorized as “true detractors.” The threshold varies from one industry to another. It is better to have a lower score, as the target for most companies is less than 10%. To gain a comprehensive understanding of your company’s position among customers, we suggest employing both approaches to obtain a complete picture.

WoMI = (Number of Promoters – Number of Detractors) / Number of Respondents * 100.

4. Consumer Effort Score (CES)

The CES index, which was developed in 2010, is related to the idea that the more effort the product or service requires from customers, the less likely they are to stay with the company. As cited in an article, research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) shows that 94% of customers who have an effortless experience are likely to make repeat purchases. The KPI could be measured by the customer’s response to a statement like: “Thanks to the service/product of company X. I was able to easily cope with my problem.” with a rating scale of 1 to 7. Most companies typically receive CES scores ranging from 5 to 5.5. A score exceeding 6 is generally considered above average. 

CES = (Sum of response scores) ÷ (Number of responses)

5. Customer churn rate

Simply put, the churn rate is the number of users who stop any interaction with the company. Depending on the industry, this could mean that customers deleted their account, did not re-buy, or simply decided to switch to a competitor. In its simplest form, customer churn can be calculated by comparing the number of customers lost to the total number of customers. By dividing one metric by another, one can get the customer churn rate as a percentage of the total base. The most common acceptable churn rate is 5-7% annually.

Enabling effective CX measurement

KPIs must be monitored and measured in order to improve CX. To do so effectively, a system that accurately collects data from all channels should be considered. This allows requests to be categorized and common issues to be identified. In-depth interviews with both loyal and dissatisfied customers should be conducted to understand the root cause of any problems, as some of which could be related to support services. Consistency in tracking and improving CX KPIs is the key to ensuring decisions and actions in customer service adapt to changing customer sentiment and meeting their needs. 

Take your CX to the next level! Visit smartKPIs.com for a comprehensive, 360-degree view of CX KPIs.

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