The 5 Most Important Customer Experience Metrics and KPIs


[Updated January 22, 2022]

You know it’s important to collect and analyze customer experience (CX) metrics. After all, these metrics and performance indicators help you understand how loyal or satisfied your customers are! But with so many possible metrics to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which metrics should serve as your guiding star. 

Lucky for you, your journey and acquisition to become a customer service and CX legend is within reach, as we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation. We’ve identified the five most important CX metrics that you and your company need to start paying attention to NOW. Read on to learn more. 

First things first: What are customer experience metrics?

Customer experience (CX) metrics are used to measure the overall relationship between a business and its customer base. Customer experience metrics are crucial in measuring the health of a business and how well it’s meeting the demands of the NOW Customer.

Customer relationships and customer feedback are vital to businesses staying afloat, and it is important to keep tabs on how well you’re doing. We have identified five CX metrics that all businesses should pay attention to if they want to maintain their lead, stand out from the competition and have high return on investment (ROI).

The five most important customer experience metrics:

1. Customer effort score

2. Site conversion rate 

3. Repurchase rate

4. Net promoter score

5. Customer satisfaction

The above-listed metrics, when done right, will help your business or management develop a reputation for excellent customer relationships and position your CX organization as a revenue generator. When you have customers making referrals on your behalf, you can be guaranteed to increase your market share.

With customer loyalty and customer retention being more important now than ever, it’s time for businesses to step up their game. Failure to include CX as well as customer engagement into your strategic management will virtually cost you missed business opportunities. 

Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these CX metrics below.

1. Customer Effort Score (CES)

What is customer effort score (CES)?

Customer effort score is a customer experience metric that helps measure customer experience or user experience regarding the ease of doing business with your brand. The metric asks customers to assign a rating to the ease of using a product or service.

The rating could vary from “very difficult” to “very easy” when asked to rate their ease of finding products and information or completing a transaction on your online store, web page, blog or mobile app and other avenues if you’re doing omnichannel approach or marketing . Also, are these platforms user-friendly and intuitive enough for your customers or prospects?

Sometimes, the rating can be numerical from 1 to 5, with one being the hardest in terms of ease of use and five being the simplest when it comes to customers using your product.

An instance where customer effort can be ranked could be when someone called your call centre aka contact center and the number of departments he or she has to be transferred to when resolving a complaint. If transferred multiple times, chances are that you will receive a low CES from that particular customer.

How is CES calculated?

CES is calculated by dividing the sum of all individual customer effort scores by the number of customers who provided a response. The higher your CES, the better the experience of your customers.

Why is CES important?

Customer Effort Score is vital to any business today, as customers want and hope their problems to be resolved quickly without delay. Issues such as delays in resolving a customer complaint and check-out problems could result in you immediately losing customers to a competitor.

Having a high CES does not necessarily guarantee customer loyalty and repeat purchases, but it does suggest that your customers are highly satisfied.

Calculating this metric can help you continuously improve your products and customer experience over time as more respondents keep sharing their opinions. Structure a CES survey correctly, and based on the data you receive, you will know exactly which areas to prioritize and improve upon… Because of course, the data doesn’t lie! Consider asking customers to rate the ease of signing up, checking out, paying, resolving a complaint, or getting a question answered. Did they experience any hiccups? Were they feeling frustrated? It’s always smart to try to hear and understand the voice of the customer. 

Be sure to continuously calculate and actively work on improving your CES; if you lose sight of this critical metric, your business could be hit with bad reviews and negative referrals.

2. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)

What is customer satisfaction score (CSAT)?

Customer satisfaction score is a performance metric used by companies to measure how satisfied a customer is with their business. The key aspects measured in customer satisfaction are what customers think about the brand, its product or service, and most importantly, the efficiency and helping behavior of the customer support team, chatbot included. Customer satisfaction data is gathered via questionnaires and surveys. It is expressed as a percentage (0-100%), with 100% being an outstanding score and 0% being the lowest score. 

Having taken the survey or questionnaire, a customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is generated. Typically, 5 to 10 questions are included, as more than 10 could be too long for some customers and deter their completion of the survey… Especially if their sentiment is dissatisfaction and disappointment. 

Customer satisfaction score questionnaires and surveys are usually sent from a business email to customers after they have completed a purchase. The responses are then gathered and sent to the customer support team or appropriate department.

How is CSAT calculated?

Customer satisfaction is calculated by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. This results in your CSAT percent. It is expressed as a percentage (0-100%), with 100% being an outstanding score and 0% being the lowest score. 

What is the purpose of CSAT, and how can I improve it?

The primary purpose of customer satisfaction surveys is to learn more about customer behaviour and to determine customers who are pleased with your services, and those who are displeased, and what solution to work on ahead of their next visit.

This survey methodology also delivers insights and areas to improve upon so you can exceed customer expectations and increase customer retention rates. 

You will likely have fewer customers leaving without returning, leading to a lower churn rate than if you had not asked for their feedback or introspection at all.

Keeping customers coming back to your site will greatly increase the probability of them making repeat purchases from your business. It also increases your customer lifetime value (CLV).

The best strategy to improve your customer satisfaction score is to work on your products and services and let your unhappy customers know that you are doing something about it. Doing so is always a pleasant surprise to previously unsatisfied customers. Creating an amazing customer experience across every touchpoint will help you exceed customer expectations every single time.

3. Net promoter score (NPS)

What is net promoter score (NPS)? 

Net promoter score is a metric that gauges customer loyalty and can foretell potential business growth to some extent. This performance metric involves asking your customers if they would recommend your services or product to friends, relatives or colleagues based on CX. 

Net promoter score is the percentage of your customers who are most likely to recommend a friend on a scale of 0 to 10, with different numerical ranges indicating different categories. Respondents can fall into one of three categories: detractors (those who give a 0-6 rating), passives (those who give a 7-8 rating), or promoters (those who give a 9-10 rating). 

How do you calculate NPS? 

The net promoter score is calculated as the difference between the percentage of promoters and detractors. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)= % Promoters – % Detractors

The NPS is not expressed as a percentage, but rather as an absolute number lying between -100 and +100. 

Let’s take a closer look at the three NPS categories that customers can fall into:

  • Detractors (0-6 Rating)

The customers who give ratings within this range are displeased with your services, and you should not expect word-of-mouth referrals from them. Instead, they might damage your brand through negative reviews and opinions.

Such customers might only see your company as a last resort and expect the worst in terms of service. They most likely will never become repeat customers. 

  • Passives (7-8 Rating)

Customers who give ratings between 7 and 8 are those who rate your service as “satisfactory” but are unenthusiastic compared to your loyal customers. These lukewarm customers can be easily swayed by a competitor’s slightly better price, discount, shipping speed, or benefits.

They will not damage your brand like detractors, so they are not typically included in the NPS calculation. However, it would be great if you could convert them to promoters for the sake of boosting return on marketing investment and driving business growth.

  • Promoters (9-10 Rating)

Customers who give a 9 or 10 rating are essentially your brand ambassadors. These customers are great for your marketing strategy and brand awareness, as they will eagerly promote your brand to family and friends – free of charge. They could help you poach market share from your rivals without any need for marketing or advertising campaign, plus drive overall business growth. In most cases, they are your loyal and repeat customers, so it’s essential that you pay extra attention to this customer base. 

Why is NPS so popular, and how can I improve my NPS? 

Since NPS provides a window into potential business growth, it can help create an actionable plan to drive better customer reviews and increased revenue through referral marketing.

Employment of NPS, in conjunction with other key performance metrics like customer satisfaction score and customer effort score, can also be used to create a well-structured customer experience program.  

This particular metric can be obtained via website and email surveys. Create a survey question or use a template and place it immediately after a customer checks out or completes any other important interaction on your website.

If a customer assigns a 0-8 rating, automate a space asking why this particular score was given, and what efforts could be put in to make things better.

Asking, “Why?” will bolster your chances of earning a higher NPS score in the future and give you insight into areas that need improvement.

4. Site conversion rate (CVR)

What is site conversion rate (CVR)? 

Site conversion rate is defined as the percentage of site visitors that complete the desired action from the total number of visitors.

Site Conversion Rate = (Number of visitors that complete action ÷ Number of total visitors) x 100

Why do CVR metrics matter? 

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s highly beneficial to have a high CVR, as it translates to more purchases, inquiries, and overall revenue. It also reduces churn rate, which could lead to more repeat customers.

Having a high conversion rate on your site is an indication that your site has a great design and layout, plus is easy to navigate. Having a low conversion rate, on the other hand, could be an indication of one or more of the following scenarios:

  • Your site is difficult to navigate and warrants design edits. It may have dull colors, small CTA buttons, or poor contrast between the text and background.
  • Your site has high prices. Your web design may be top-notch, but high price tags could be driving away potential customers.
  • Your site is suffering from “flow-blockers.” These are unnecessary steps or processes that may be little or insignificant to you, but can impede overall user experience.
  • Your site does not suit the demographics of your customers. For example, if you have a site that sells video games, it would help significantly if you could “gamify” your site to appeal to your customer base.

What is a good conversion rate? 

In terms of acceptable CVRs, industry averages are around 2.4%, while the top 25% in their fields are converting at 5% or more. Impressively, the top 10% in their fields have site conversion rates higher than 11%. 

As for a bad conversion rate, anything below 3.5% should prompt you to reevaluate your site immediately, particularly if you are running an ecommerce store. 

How do I improve my CVR? 

Whether your site CVR currently falls above or below average, there are several steps that you can take to immediately increase your CVR. Here are a few:

  • Ensure your website has readable copy, visible buttons that pop, and a clear contrast between the text and background. Need help? Consider hiring a UI/UX designer.
  • Eliminate flow-blockers by pinpointing exactly where users tend to drop off of your website. Understanding click analytics or using analytics tools like Hotjar can help identify the reason for this churn rate.
  • Understand customer psychology and how certain features you’ve found on easy-to-use websites can be incorporated into your own site. It could be directional arrows or precisely labeled buttons.

5. Repurchase rate

What is repurchase rate? 

The repurchase rate is the percentage rate of your customers who request another order within a given time frame. This metric indicates how many customers are returning to you with orders, which gives you insights into the customers you should be focusing on and cultivating. It also reveals which specific products or services most align with your market. 

How is repurchase rate calculated?

When calculating a repurchase rate, the time frame usually used is usually within a 30, 60, 90, 180, and 360 day period.

For example, if 60 out of 250 customers who placed an order for a pair of shoes in September place another order within September or October, the 30-day repurchase rate will be calculated as follows:

30-Day Repurchase Rate: (60 ÷ 250) x 100 = 24%

The longer the time span used, the higher the RR tends to be and vice-versa.

What is repurchase rate important, and how do I improve it? 

Repurchase rate is one metric that is often overlooked, especially by ecommerce stores. This metric does give a sense of customer loyalty to some extent, but in the shorter term when compared to overall customer retention rates. 

If interested in boosting your repurchase rate, consider taking these steps and methodology:

  • Implement a referral or rewards program that incentivizes customers to come back to your site and share your company with their friends and family. 
  • Make purchasing easy by gamifying it and removing any friction that may exist in the buying process. 
  • Offer helpful product recommendations by upselling or cross-selling based on web tracking customer insights like webpages viewed and past purchases. 
  • Share helpful communications that add value. If you sell products or services that can be purchased on a recurring or subscription basis, consider sending purchase reminder notifications. (It’s time to stock up on X product again!)

Bringing it all together: How to leverage the power of these 5 metrics

The knowledge shared in this article can help you create best-in-class CX. Lower churn rates, higher customer retention rates, greater customer satisfaction, and higher site conversion rates could all be yours.

Keep track of every single metric here – especially if you run a startup – so you can know what to tweak and improve upon as you scale. No matter the size or success of your organization, it’s important that you continue to collect and analyze customer experience data, as it will shed light on how satisfied your customers are, identify areas in need of improvement, and allow you to retain customers. Most importantly, it will give you a leg up on your competition! In an increasingly competitive and crowded online marketplace, premier CX is a proven way to stand out from your competitors. 

Ready to take your CX metrics to new heights? It’s an easy decision because Simplr’s conversational commerce capabilities include the tools you need to create a seamless path to purchase for your potential buyers. Removing friction and adding consultation helps you develop a best-in-class customer experience that will give you a distinct competitive advantage.