Customer experience is crucial and C-level executives are indeed becoming increasingly aware of the importance of a good CX. However, the Forrester CX Index study found that while 73% of companies believe that improving customer experience is essential, only 1% of businesses deliver an “excellent” experience. The analyst firm urges companies to become more “customer-obsessed”.
While many companies pay lip service to customer-centricity, it’s those that truly are “customer-obsessed” that are already seeing positive results. According to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95% (CustomerThink).
So you’ve implemented customer experience initiatives and focus on customer needs to become a customer-centric company. How do you know if it’s actually working? How do you evaluate the effectiveness of customer experience initiatives? It is not that easy to find the right metric as “Customer Experience” is a qualitative concept that is simply difficult to measure.
Here, we’ll help you identify some of the key metrics to consider based on the objectives you want to reach.
1. Increasing Engagement
Customers who have a good experience, are more engaged. And customers who are engaged are more likely to convert. High engagement is a precursor to a sale.
The key metrics to measure include:
– Pages per Session: The average number of web pages your customers view during a single visit to the website.
It is a measure that tells you how compelling users find the content on your website and how well it is arranged for navigation. In most industries, anything from two upwards is generally seen as positive.
– Frequency of Visit: The number of times a customer visits your service over a given time period.
It’s also closely related to the loyalty of the visitors you reach and measures how many of your site visits are from first-time visitors or returning visitors.It tells you how ‘sticky’ your content is and whether it’s worthy of being checked out multiple times.
The ideal value depends on your goals, business, and industry. For example, if your goal is to increase conversion, you’ll want a higher number of returning visitors as it often takes multiple interactions to convert.
– Bounce rate: The bounce rate represents the number of people who visit your pages and then immediately leave your site rather than browsing further (single page visits).
If your bounce rate is high, it is a warning sign that you need to focus on targeting your content and keywords more effectively. You may be attracting the wrong audience. It can also be related to anything from slow page loads, poor aesthetics to low content quality.
“Ask not how you can sell, but how you can help.”
Mohanbir S. Sawhney
2. Increasing Revenue
Growing revenue is essential for most businesses. Forrester Research released new research that reveals that there is a direct connection between the quality of customer experience (CX) that businesses provide and their revenue growth.
The key metrics to measure include:
– Conversion Rate: The percentage of interactions that result in a completed sales transaction (or other desired outcome).
It’s that one metric that most business leaders are obsessed with. This number is typically decomposed by channel, product, or other segmenting factors to identify areas that hold the greatest amount of value and where CX improvement is needed most.
However, it’s important to note that it’s hardly ever the case that a single initiative leads to a significant increase in conversion. No one CX initiative can live in isolation. For example, if you launch a new CX initiative, you need to embed it in a holistic strategy and consider the big picture. It often will need other related initiatives to be effective and improve your bottom line (e.g. SEO, banner ads, blogging, and social media).
In 2012, Marketing Sherpa published the self-reported average conversion rates by industry sector.
– Average Order Value (AOV): The AOV tracks the average sales revenue (in monetary terms) spent in each sales transaction in a given period. It is often reported both in aggregate but also by channel and by other segments.
If increasing your AOV is your goal, avoid falling into the trap of spamming your customers and implementing aggressive sales tactics as they are destined to impact customer experience negatively. There are a couple of successful strategies to increase your AOV without sacrificing customer experience.
- Price anchoring: Offering a product at a lower price than customers expect; Price Anchoring, Or Why a $499 iPad Seems Inexpensive
- Cross-selling: Offering complementary products
- Up-Selling: Offering products that fulfill the customer’s needs better than the one they have selected
- Volume discounts: Reducing the price of a product based on the quantity purchased
- Digital advisors: Interactive solutions that help companies deliver personalized offers and recommendations that reduce the time and effort shoppers need to identify, choose and purchase the right product
“Customers buy on price because they can’t find
extraordinary quality, convenience, service and value.”
Warren Greshes, Supercharged Selling
3. Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction represents how many customers feel as though you excelled during their last interaction with you.
It shows you whether you managed to meet or exceed a user’s expectations, and it’s a good way to quantify how customers feel about the experience they have with your business.
– Net Promoter Score (NPS): The percentage of customers that would recommend an organization to their friends, family or colleagues.
It is typically measured through a customer survey asking the single question “How likely are you to recommend X to a friend or colleague?”, accompanied by a 0-10 scale. It is calculated by the percentage of Promoters (9-10) minus the percentage of Detractor (0-6). The metric is now the worldwide standard for organizations to measure, understand and improve their customer experience.
NPS Benchmarks is a free and accessible repository for NPS benchmarks scores
– Average Resolution Time: The average resolution time is the time it takes to resolve a customer problem segmented by contact driver (why someone contacts you) or channel (phone, chat, email, etc).
While speed can be a valid factor, it can be misleading, as it does not reflect how sufficiently and effectively an issue has been resolved. This is why measuring the absolute number of interactions between the customer and your company can give you a clearer picture of how you are faring.
“When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily. What exactly does “make it easy” mean? Simply: Remove obstacles…”
4. Increasing Retention and Loyalty
Just because a customer had a positive experience doesn’t mean that they’re going to keep doing business with your company. Building loyalty is a long-term project. Research shows that it’s cheaper for businesses to retain customers than acquire new ones.
– Customer Churn Rate: The percentage of customers that do not remain loyal to the organization either by failing to make a repeat purchase (transaction-based businesses) or by canceling their service (subscription-based businesses).
Whether you are a subscription or non-subscription-based e-commerce store, keeping your churn rate low is essential for the long-term growth and health of your business.
Churn is closely related to customer experience. 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning (Kolsky) and 58% of consumers will never use a company again after a negative experience (NewVoice).
– Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV is a prediction of all the value a business will derive from their entire relationship with a customer.
It lets you directly measure the value your business creates for your customers and the value these customers create for your business in return.
There are two methods of determining the CLV:
- Historic CLV is calculated by the sum of the gross profit from all historic purchases for an individual customer
- Predictive CLV is a predictive analysis of previous transaction history and different behavioral indicators that indicate the lifetime value of an individual.
Today, it’s all about creating a mutually beneficial relationship between a company and the customer. Consumers will stick with you when you offer them value. And, because consumers can easily switch to a competitor, the onus is on the company! The more committed you are to understanding, connecting with and inspiring your customers, the higher your customer retention.
“As we leap to the next level of customer expectations, a company’s future success will depend on how well it is able to build a long term relationship with customers. Becoming a customer’s trusted advisor is the new competitive battleground.”
Markus Linder, CEO SMARTASSISTANT
Measuring CX is important to help you improve your business. Successful companies use a range of metrics because a single metric won’t give you the whole story.
So gather information, understand and apply changes.
Which metrics do you find most useful and significant? Let me know in the comments.