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The Favorite CX Metric Of The Top CX Industry Leaders

When it comes to assessing a business’, many organizations tend to monitor customer support organizations’ productivity. Preceding the big data revolution, the activity-based metrics like the number of tickets closed, emails sent, and so on. Monitoring these metrics helped the management assess how well their brands are doing among the customers. However, these figures are no longer enough to keep customers happy and loyal for the long term. So, what’s the new school of thought? 

Today, brands are focused on establishing a relationship with customers and look beyond the activity-based process of winning the customers’ hearts. This new outlook has also evolved the customer experience metrics that matter most than ever and will continue to drive the organizations’ customer-engagement operations.

10 Most Significant Traditional Customer Experience Metrics

  • Customer Health Score
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Qualitative Customer Feedback
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Customer Retention Cost
  • First Contact Resolution Rate
  • Customer Satisfaction Score
  • Renewal Rate

 

We asked 25 CX leaders from different organizations to share their perspectives on what they consider the most important metric for their department/brand.

To do so, we simply asked them a single question.

What’s Your Favorite Customer Experience Metric?

It’s All About the Ecosystem! 

Haydn Shaugnessy, Chief Content Officer at Flow Academy when asked about his favorite CX metric in an interview with CX Buzz, stated,

 “Advocacy leads to customers setting up their own businesses in and around the brand, as they do around Amazon. Having a vibrant ecosystem is a great moat.”

 Undeniably, a vibrant ecosystem allows an organization to take 360-approach towards customer-centric “health-status” of products and services and brings several advantages to the company. For instance, all the customer experience management participants will work together to create and empower customer-loyalty for the long term by including all the possible touchpoints.

However, for the advocacy part, points of view may differ from organizations to organizations. James Perryman, Founder Of, Momentus believes that corporations can no longer pay for lip service. The most important KPIs to measure customer experience benchmarks are measuring their own level of customer experience maturity.

“You know what, KPIs like CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) are great for measuring how customers feel, but it’s generally a moment (see, told you everything is about a ‘moment!) in time and a set of many brilliant interactions with a customer can be tainted by one bad interaction, which invariably is what a customer will remember most.

CES (Customer Effort Score) is good for measuring how easy it is for customers to engage with your products or services. High effort experiences are proven to have a negative impact on CSAT and loyalty.

One thing we encourage businesses to consider is their own level of CX Maturity. We look at six key areas of vision, leadership, customer, culture, design, and governance. Excelling in these areas within an organization will deliver greater returns for a customer and commercial KPIs.”-James Perryman, Founder, Momentus.

Do Traditional CX Metric Like NPS, CSAT Still Have It In Them?

James indicated NPS and CSAT might be relevant, but still, there is room for more relevant metrics. Similar thoughts for NPS and CSAT were shared by John Jordan, SVP of Customer Experience at 1010data

“We track quite a few KPI’s – for my team specifically, we look at both NPS and CSAT. While these alone never tell the whole story and need additional metrics to complete the picture, they allow you to measure and improve upon your Loyalty and Satisfaction initiatives.”

These statements indicate that while customer experience metrics like NPS, CSAT, CES, and others are significant to determine the ground-reality, businesses today may need more than that to get a complete and true picture.

Do Right For Your Organization

 For Ben Motteram, Principal at CXpert the most important ones to use are the ones that are right for your organization.

“No one recommends a monopoly to their friends and family so Net Promoter Score isn’t going to make any sense for such a business nor a government department. While the contact center metric Average Handling Time won’t mean a thing to a brick-and-mortar retailer.

The key with perception metrics is to choose one (be it CSAT, CES or NPS) and then use it systematically to constantly improve your CX. Stick with it. You may not see results immediately but by persevering with it as part of the process, you dramatically increase your chances of it being a success.”

The Anchor Metric

 Bill Staikos leads Customer Experience for Freddie Mac’s Single-Family division puts his best bet on more than one:

“I don’t have just one.  I think teams should have one, but whether that is customer satisfaction, customer effort, net promoter score, or some other anchor metric is not the important point. The key thing to highlight is that you understand the drivers behind the anchor metric, the journey metrics that lead up to those drivers, and the metrics that give you insight into customer expectations in those journey stages and activities.  Moreover, these metrics need to be integrated with sentiment, behavioral and financial data so you can ACT on these metrics. So don’t get stuck on what metric you’re going to use.  Focus on what you’re going to change as a result of that metric or metrics.”

President of CTS, Adam Toporek, brings out a completely new metric to check the truth of customer experience management. For him, it is the profit that gives you the exact scenario and is the favorite metric to know about the customer experience, while the traditional metrics are simply indicators

“Profit. I’m serious. While not every transaction needs to be profitable, customer experience, on the whole, must be executed profitably. The traditional CX metrics – NPS, CSAT, CES, and a host of contact center and efficiency metrics – are nothing more than indicators. All they can do is point a finger at something you’re doing well or something you could be doing better so that you can investigate it, analyze it and improve it. The metrics that point your team or your organization in the right direction to improve your experience are the best ones for you to use.”

Mary Drumond, CMO Worthix also mentions the important KPI to measure customer experience benchmarks to CX Buzz. But for her, this KPI is specific to Worthix-

“…Worthix has developed a score that determines how ‘worth it’ a company or brand is to their customers. So, it’s the first Decision-based KPI. The decision is the sum, or the conclusion of all the experiences, positive and negative, that lead up to the point where customers choose to do business with you or not. We believe that when a customer decides that something is ‘worth it’, they’ve already concluded that the product/service in question is in fact worthy of the money/time/effort they’ll need to exchange in order to access that benefit. This “worth it conclusion’ guarantees repeat purchases again and again. But if your company, product or service is not worth it, it means your offer is not attractive enough for customers to exchange value for it, and you’ve lost their business to the competition.”

The Traditional Way

Neal Topf, President, Co-founder at Callzilla, counts on the traditional metrics and shares his perspective why:

“My favorites center around Voice of Customer: Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction, and Resolution and First Contact Resolution. A shift must also take place to be able to interpret sentiment and words and expressions and convert these into valuable insights.” 

For Annette Franz, Founder-CEO of CX Journey, CSAT, Customer Effort Score (or Ease of Doing Business), and Expectations Met are great indicators to know how well business has performed against the expectations about the experience.

“I think metrics like retention, recurring revenue, share of wallet, and customer lifetime value are KPIs that the business can track as a proxy for the customer experience. But it’s also important to note that there may be reasons that the customer stays or buys more that may be outside of the experience, i.e., the business is a monopoly or the only option in town. Those reasons are important to uncover.”

Jim Tincher, CEO at Heart of the Customer also advocates for industry-specific KPI and says that there is no one “magical” KPI that works for everyone.

“…Big B2C companies can often tie survey scores to revenue, but the rest of us need to find more granular ways to show impact. Our interviews with over one hundred CX leaders have discovered that the best find specific ways to show impact, such as share of wallet, order velocity, reducing churn, or reducing the cost to serve.

When making your case to the C-suite, the most important thing is that you’re monitoring and measuring a concrete business outcome, not intangibles, such as “loyalty” or “satisfaction,” that are captured by surveys and may, or may not, impact the bottom line. To get leadership interested and onboard, you need hard data about financial results.

In our work, we link these with a “killer metric,” one internal KPI, which allows the company to align around the same vision. But exactly what that is will vary from company to company and industry to industry.” 

Time also play a crucial role in determining the key CX metric for a business. Especially after Covid-19 hit the world, consumer behavior changed drastically and with that changed the way of measuring customer experience for some of the organizations.

 

Changing With The Changing Times

“During the pandemic, we have focused on helping our customers access expert content to enable them on their technology and transformation journey. As CMO I have segmented our customer experience focus into interactions through the web and social media. I have looked at the amount of footfall on our website, the number of inbound inquiries to Delta Capita, the engagement on our social activity, and the industry recognition of our capability in Financial Services. Of course, each of our Business Operating Platform as a Service (BOPaaS) offerings has its own metrics to measure customer satisfaction.  For example, a critical differentiator in our CLM business is our focus on quality which leads to a very high degree of customer satisfaction and repeat business.”

Leeya Hendricks, CMO Delta Capita.

A similar note was struck by Russel Lolacher, Director of Web and Social Services at BC, for whom it works best when customer experience is measured as per the seasons.

“For our most immediate metrics, we refer to our engagement rate to understand what content is clicking with our customers and how much we’re building our reputation as a resource. Seasonally, we dig deeper into engagement rate per platform against relevant seasonal periods. We’re a very season-based organization, and it would be odd to compare winter months to summer ones. Finally, we conduct a yearly Customer Satisfaction Survey as part of our service KPI that measures response time, satisfaction, and preferred platforms.”

The Complete Picture …

James Kerr completes the picture with an ultimate customer experience question:

Is this business one that customers can’t live without?

If your answer is yes, you’re indispensable – you’re the company that customers prefer to do business with over any other available on the planet.

If you answer no, you have work to do. My work with clients involves looking at 6 dimensions of where the focus may need to be placed, including:

  1. Leadership Mindset
  2. Vision
  3. Culture
  4. People
  5. Trust and Empowerment
  6. Change Frameworks

Chances are good that something is lacking in one or more of these areas and it’s those things that are preventing the business from being one that customers can’t live without.”

The ultimate CX metric is this:

Is this business one that customers can’t live without?

If your answer is yes, you’re indispensable – you’re the company that customers prefer to do business with over any other available on the planet.

If you answer no, you have work to do. My work with clients involves looking at 6 dimensions of where the focus may need to be placed, including:

  1. Leadership Mindset
  2. Vision
  3. Culture
  4. People
  5. Trust and Empowerment
  6. Change Frameworks

The chances are good that something is lacking in one or more of these areas and it’s those things that are preventing the business from being one that customers can’t live without.”

To summarize, the industry leaders believe that the traditional customer experience metrics still hold significant value in determining the truth about customer experience. However, with evolving times, the term key metric has also evolved with a diverse meaning for different industries. Whether it is sales, profit, ecosystem, customer loyalty or responsiveness, any specifically designed metric to measure the customer experience or even the traditional ones, an important take-away is to make sure that the metric should bring out the ground reality and help businesses improve their customer engagement.

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