Top Customer Experience Metrics To Track in 2022
How do you ensure that your customers are enjoying your products? How do you know if they are satisfied with your customer service? Are they having problems understanding your UI or your product’s features?
These are questions all SaaS businesses, and especially marketers working for said businesses, find themselves asking. And all of these questions are categorized under one term: customer experience. To learn more about customer experience, why it’s important, and how you can assess it, keep reading.
What is Customer Experience About?
Customer Experience (CX) is, in short, the way your customers view your brand and how satisfied they are with it. This means that every aspect of your company, ranging from the reply speed of your customer service team to the usefulness of your products’ features, is a part of your customers’ experiences. Everything you do for your customers is counted under CX.
Note that CX encompasses all stages of a customer’s journey: their experience in the pre-purchase, consumption and post-purchase stages are all a part of their experience. So, it’s not enough to just treat your customers well while they’re using your products, it’s also important to treat them before they’ve become your customers (and that’s also why it’s so important to use welcome emails, surveys, and other customer engagement tactics that are built for the different stages of your SaaS sales funnel). But why is CX this important?
The Importance of Customer Experience
64% of customers think that the customer experience is more important than the price when it comes to purchasing a SaaS product. Customer marketing is gaining more importance every day, and a good customer marketing strategy should include optimizing the customer experience.
You have to care about your customers’ experiences because they always have the option of switching to your competitor when they’re unsatisfied. That’s why nearly half of the business professionals that were surveyed with the question “What is your top business priority is for the next 5 years?” answered with customer experience, as can be seen in the graphic below.
This is the primary reason why CX is so important. Customers have plenty of brands to choose from, especially in the ever-growing SaaS industry. Since it’s so easy to switch to a brand with a better CX, it’s crucial for you to keep track of your customers’ satisfaction.
On the flip-side, if you provide customers with a good CX, you can:
- Increase your customer retention rate and reduce churn by giving users reasons to stay with your brand,
- Improve the reputation of your brand by leaving a positive influence,
- Generate more referrals, positive reviews and reccomendations, all of which make your brand seem more trustable and attractive to new leads.
So, how do you make sure that your customers are satisfied with your services? I’ve listed the most crucial metrics to assess the success of your CX. Some of them are quantitative and some are qualitative. When combined, they’ll give you a complete view of your customer’s view of your brand.
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
What is the NPS?
NPS is a metric used to collect feedback from customers in the form of a single survey. This survey collects this feedback from customers by asking them how likely they are to recommend your brand to a coworker on a scale of 0 to 10. Generally, customers who respond with a 9 or 10 are said to be “promoters,” as they are likely to promote your brand, those who respond with a 7 or 8 are said to be “passives,” as they are not as likely to spread the word but won’t harm your brand either, and those who respond with a 6 or less are said to be “detractors,” as they’re not only unsatisfied, they’re also likely to talk about their dissatisfaction and harm your brand.
The NPS is a good metric since it’s a single, easy to respond question that takes no time on the customers’ part. Getting users to respond to surveys is hard, and NPS makes this easier by just asking for a number.
How does the NPS relate to CX?
The logic behind it is quite simple: if a customer is satisfied with your products, your customer service, your interface and the support you provide, they’ll be likely to refer your product to someone else. A high number of promoters means that customers are satisfied, a high number of passives means that you’re providing the required services but not going over and beyond, and a high number of detractors means that you have to work on some key issues.
The problem is that the NPS doesn’t give you a reason. If you want to investigate the reasons behind the scores, you’ll have to ask some follow-up questions.
How do you calculate the NPS?
Firstly, you’ll need a good NPS survey tool.
Try HockeyStack’s free NPS survey tool if you’re looking for an easy-to-integrate tool with ready-to-use survey templates 🙂
Once you have the numbers, calculate the percentage of detractors and promoters.
% Promoters – % Detractors = NPS
Generally, SaaS businesses aim for an NPS between 0 to 30%, but a higher number is better in terms of CX.
2. Customer Effort Score (CES)
What is the CES?
The customer effort score measures the difficulty an average customer will have while making a purchase, resolving an issue, or getting a request fulfilled. For instance, if your customer is having problems with your service and contacts your customer service team, the amount of time it takes for your team to respond and the time it takes for them to resolve the issue are all a part of the CES.
It’s important to note that a bad CES doesn’t directly indicate loyalty or overall satisfaction. A customer may have had a hard time with your product once, which may lead them to give a low CES on your survey, but they may still be a promoter according to the NPS. That’s why it’s important to use these metrics together rather than by themselves.
How does the CES relate to CX?
The CES is great to detect the areas you need to improve for better CX. While other metrics tell you about how good your brand is at maintaining customers and promoters due to your CX, the CES tells you the possible reasons why your customers may be dissatisfied with it.
How do you calculate the CES?
This metric doesn’t have a direct numeric survey like the NPS does. In order to measure the CES, you’d have to send a post-interaction survey and look at the overall distribution of your customers. The question would ask “How much effort did you have to put in to resolve the issue?” and the possible answer choices would range from Very Low Effort to Very High Effort.
3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
What is the CSAT?
You may ask “Why use all of these metrics if we already have a metric that measures customer satisfaction?” The answer is that the CSAT is a specific metric: it collects the responses from a targeted survey, which may ask “How would you rate your onboarding experience for this product?” and then gives an average satisfaction rate for the onboarding process of said product.
So, the CSAT tells you about your areas of improvement rather than the satisfaction with your brand as a whole. Usually, CSAT surveys are on a scale of “Very Satisfied” to “Not Satisfied at All.”
How is the CSAT related to CX?
The CSAT is used for the important aspects of your brand that have a direct impact on customer experience. For example, you may use CSAT surveys after a customer had a call with your sales rep to get information about an upgrade. Since this call will affect your customers’ experience, the CSAT should consider the average satisfaction of your customers with different aspects of your brand.
How do you calculate the CSAT?
By using the qualitative scale I’ve mentioned above, you can look at the percent distribution of your customers.
4. Customer Churn Rate
What is the Churn Rate?
Customer retention metrics are used to assess the ability of your business to convert customers into loyal buyers. The customer churn rate is one of these metrics: it measures the number of customers that cut their ties with your brand over a specific time period. It’s the opposite of the retention rate, so calculating one essentially means looking at both your retention and churn stats.
How does the Churn Rate relate to CX?
The main idea behind using this metric for CX is that satisfied customers won’t stop doing business with you. Especially if you’ve made a change in your website’s UI, or if you’ve removed a feature from your services, and noticed a change in your churn rate, this may indicate a change in customers’ satisfaction. Just like all the other metrics, the churn rate by itself doesn’t tell you about the experience of your customers, but interpreting it according to the context will give you an idea about CX.
How do you calculate the Churn Rate?
(# of Customers Lost During the Month ÷ Total # of Customers at the Start of the Month) x100
Most SaaS businesses check their monthly churn rates, but if you’re using a different time frame, you’ll just adjust the formula accordingly. If your customers are satisfied with their experience, your churn rate will be around the 5-7% band.
5. Average Resolution Time (ART)
What is the ART?
The ART measures, on average, how long it takes for your support teams to resolve a customer’s issue. It’s similar to the CES, but they do not measure the same thing. While the CES measures the time and effort put in by the customer for any reason, the ART only measures the speed at which a request is handled by the support team. Your CES may be high if your products are complex and hard to understand, but your ART may be relatively high if your team resolves issues very quickly.
How does the ART relate to CX?
The speed of your customer services is a big determinant for your CX. A quick return and resolution from a brand are one of the top priorities for most SaaS customers. By measuring your ART, you can ensure that your customer support team is working productively and that your customers won’t leave because they have unresolved issues waiting in line.
How do you calculate the ART?
Divide the total time of resolutions by the total number of resolved cases over a certain time period. This will give you a general idea about the speed of your customer service team.
6. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
What is the FCR?
The FCR is a metric that’s calculated as a percentage and used to track the number of customers that have their issues resolved in the first contact they have with your business. It’s similar to the ART and CES in the sense that they all relate to issue resolution, but the FCR is much more specific.
How does the FCR relate to CX?
For every 1% increase in your FCR, your CSAT score increases by 1%. Thus, the FCR and CSAT have a 1:1, meaning that customer satisfaction is almost directly affected by the number of issues that are resolved within first contact. The logic behind this proportion is the same as that behind the ART: customer satisfaction is heavily dependant on the effectiveness of your customer support speed.
How do you calculate the FCR?
(# issues resolved in first contact) / (# of customer support interactions) = FCR
However, there are some factors that you should keep in mind while performing this calculation:
- Was a follow-up call from the customer needed to ensure resolution? If so, the issue may have been solved in the first contact, but not have been included in the data.
- Did the customer have time to try out the proposed solution? If not, this may be the reason behind a second interaction.
- How long did a follow-up call take? Did the customer spend hours trying to apply the solution?
By considering all of these aspects, you’ll get a clear picture of your FCR.
7. Social Listening
What is Social Listening?
Social Listening is basically tracking the quantity and quality of comments that your brand gets on social media. Though it may not be strictly categorized as a “metric,” Social Listening is still a tactic/assessment worth mentioning for CX. This strategy, by analyzing mentions, related keywords, and pages, lets you know how your brand is doing in terms of reviews.
How is Social Listening related to CX?
Since reviews are one of the best ways to understand customer satisfaction, Social Listening is an important tool. Not only is it possible to see what your customers are thinking, but it’s also possible to respond to them if necessary to resolve issues.
Also note that when satisfied customers talk about you on social media, prospective leads have a better first impression about your brand, and if the reverse happens, your reputation may be damaged.
How do you perform Social Listening?
There are a few required steps for social listening:
- Monitor relevant keywords: these include brand mentions, product names, competitor names, industry-specific words, campaign names, etc. You should also keep possible typos and abbreviations in mind while tracking words.
- Limit your research to specific demographics to make things easier. You won’t be able to assess all platforms all over the world, but if you’re having high churn rates from a specific demographic, than you may want to listen to their conversations.
- Know where the conversations are: Twitter is one of the most popular places, but depending on your customer profile, this platform may be Facebook or Linkedin.
Social Listening is a continuous process, but if done correctly, it can give you much more valuable and specific feedback than all the other numeric metrics.
Understanding your customers’ experience is hard, but if you have a proper system that makes use of a customer experience map and the metrics above, you’ll have a good overview of your success. Remember that these metrics should be used together and that by themselves they will not provide you with the complete picture.
Also, know that not all of these metrics will be necessary for your company. You should choose the ones that are most vital to your brand’s needs: if your tool is more complex, you may choose the ones related to customer service. If you’re looking to enlarge your customer base, you may use the NPS and Social Listening. In the end, it all comes down to your own SaaS marketing plan.