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Customer Experience & its Popular Metrics

An introduction to CX and its most common metrics

Customer Experience (CX) can be understood as the collective sentiments, emotions and feelings that a customer develops towards a brand, its products and services. Customer experience directly impacts the customer loyalty, retention, and lifetime worth. Most innovative companies pride over their CX as an organizational core value and a competitive advantage. In a marketplace where customer is spoilt for choices, this strategy may well be the winning one.

An efficient CX strategy isn’t really a walk-in-the-park even for established market leaders. In a digital-first sales and support ecosystem, customer touchpoints are scattered across several channels and over extended periods of time. Brands are having to drive coherence and consistency in their CX across all the channels. And, not to mention that these days, reputations get built or damaged in a short time.

While all this may seem complex, there is a silver lining to the new-normal. There exists a detailed digital trail of the customer’s journey across time. Corporations have access to vast amounts of data that can be mined for predictable customer trends and actionable insights. Then again, measuring Customer Experience (CX) can be just as difficult as managing it. This is especially true for organizations with large number of geographically and demographically distributed customers.

Over the years, a few metrics have been widely agreed upon as key indicators of CX.
Here’s a quick overview of them.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Score – the Big Picture

The customers are asked one question, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

Based on the response, the customers are categorized as promoters (who rated 9 or 10), passives (who rated 7 or 8) and detractors (who rated 6 or less).

NPS = (% of promoters) – (% of detractors)

NPS measures the overall perception of the customer, but misses out capturing the varying perceptions about the intermediary steps in the customer journey. The NPS survey is often sent once or twice a year.

NPS is indicative of customer loyalty, advocacy and overall experience with the brand/product.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score – Transactional Feedback

The CSAT survey is usually sent out when the customer completes a transaction (or) interaction. Typical examples include order confirmation, payment completion, product delivery, etc.

These surveys are intended to capture the impulsive perception (in the moment reaction) about a recently concluded transaction. A typical survey question looks like:

“How satisfied are you with your recent purchase/booking/service?”

The response can be captured on a scale of numbers (1 to 5) or a satisfaction scale (happy, satisfied, disappointed), etc.

Customer Effort Score (CES) – Ease of doing things

CES is an indication of the ease of transacting or interacting with the brand. A good CES suggests that the customer could get his job done with minimal effort/confusion. A typical CES survey question looks like:

“On a scale of 1-5, how easy was it to complete this task/transaction.”

The CES helps organizations identify the instances of complex workflows, less than optimal UI and improve them.

First Response Time (FRT) – Readiness of Responders

FRT is the time (in minutes and seconds) elapsed between the customer seeking help/information and an authorized representative reaching out. This metric is usually indicative of the availability and response time of the customer service team.

A low timing indicates an efficient and responsive customer service team.

Average Handling Time (AHT)

AHT represents the average time taken to address/resolve the customer’s issue. This metric is particularly prominent in the customer-support department.

The optimal duration of the AHT will depend largely on the use cases and workflow involved.

While this is just an indicative list, there are many CX metrics that can be calculated and monitored from your existing set of customer data. The key to this entire exercise however is to answer the following questions:

  1.  How to define my most important metric?
  2. How can I bring sensitivity to the calculation so that it does not reflect a siloed set of data either from a single listening post or from limited customer persona?
  3. How can I convert qualitative information into measurable CX KPIs?

Are these the metrics that your organization is also concerned with?
Do you have any other metrics to add to this list? Let us know!


AUTHOR: Pratik Bajaj, Digital Consultant - EVRY India.

He spends his time studying the nuances of Customer Experience (CX); helping organizations measure and calibrate it for optimal performance.