5 ways to measure customer experience

Dhiraj Nallapaneni

8 min read Last Updated Sep 14, 2020

Why do you need to measure customer experience? I’ll answer that question with a story. Every time I go to my local acupuncturist, I love the care that I receive. The front desk is friendly, the wait time is short, and the practice sends me text message reminders before every appointment. Even if I found a practice that offered a lower pricing, I don’t think I would switch. 

Businesses that make an effort to deliver a quality customer experience perform far better than their competitors. According to Oracle, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Of course, it’s not enough to just aim to provide a great experience. It’s important that you’re measuring your customer experience to make sure that what you’re providing aligns with your lofty goals. 

Let’s talk about how you can start measuring your customer experience today. 

5 metrics for measuring your customer experience 

Here are 5 metrics that can help you measure your customer experience. 

Net promoter score 

The most common metric to use is net promoter score (NPS). Net promoter score measures how likely customers are to recommend your business to family and friends on a scale from 0-10. Customers who leave a score from 0-6 are considered detractors, meaning that they will actively turn friends and family away from their business. Customers who leave a score from 7-8 are considered passives. Meanwhile, customers who leave a score of a 9 or a 10 are considered promoters. 

To determine your NPS, simply subtract the number of detractors from the number of promoters. This score will give you an idea of how well you’re turning your prospects into loyal brand advocates. 

Customer churn rate

It’s easier to sell to existing customers than new customers. Your existing customer already has a level of familiarity with your brand and if they’re happy with the experience that they had with you so far, they’ll be more than willing to continue. 

Churn rate refers to the percentage of your customers who’ve turned away from your business over a certain period of time. To calculate it, simply designate a period of time, like a year or a month. Then calculate the number of customers who left the service in this period and divide it by total remaining customers. 

Customer satisfaction score

Customer satisfaction score, as you might expect, helps you easily understand how satisfied customers are with their overall experience. A customer satisfaction survey asks a question like “How satisfied were you with your experience on a scale of 1-10?” Customer satisfaction score is a great way to measure the effectiveness of particular customer touchpoints. 

Customer support ticketings 

If you see that there’s a ton of customer support tickets arising from certain areas in your business operations, take a closer look and see what your customers are complaining about. Chances are there’s a touchpoint within your customer experience that you could improve. 

Employee engagement 

Employee engagement has a direct correlation with the quality of your customer experience. If your employees aren’t engaged at work, chances are that they’re not providing the kind of service that your customers expect. Make sure that you’re staying on top of employee engagement with regular employee surveys

What metric is the best to use? 

Of course, you don’t have to stick to only using NPS. Different businesses have different goals and different mission statements, so no one metric will work “best”. Instead, we recommend that businesses collect a variety of different data sources in order to get a comprehensive understanding of business operations.

While it’s easy to simply focus on one customer experience metric to show improvement in certain areas, a consolidated view can help provide more insight. For example, it’s completely possible that you might improve in NPS, but see lower employee engagement. Keeping track of all of these metrics will help to make sure that you are providing a great experience across all areas. 

Tips on getting started 

Start with the customer journey 

It’s important that you get started mapping your customer journey and understanding what stage different customers are in. Customers in the beginning stages of the journey have completely different needs and expectations that customers in the later stages. 

Keep track of metrics in real-time

Whatever metric you choose to focus on, make sure that you measure it over time. When you make changes to your business operations, it’s important that you see its effects on the metrics that you choose to measure. Otherwise, it might have some completely different effects than what you wanted to achieve. 

Remember to benchmark 

It’s easy to be so focused on your own metrics that you forget to compare yourself with other businesses in your industry. It’s important that you are keeping an eye on local competitors to make sure that you are delivering the best services in the area. 

One more way to measure customer experience: online reviews 

Why online reviews matters to your brand 

Online reviews are examples of honest feedback from your customers. They provide insights into your strengths and weaknesses throughout the entirety of the customer journey. 

In the first stage of the customer journey, reviews can help customers understand the value propositions of your business. Customers value the social proof that reviews provide because they reflect the genuine experience of other customers. That can help give them the push they need to go from interested prospects to customers.

But the benefits from reviews don’t end there. Reviews can also provide valuable insights that can highlight some of the strengths and weaknesses in your business operations. 

There is a catch though. In order for online reviews to provide truly valuable insights, it’s important that your business solicit reviews. The customers who are most motivated to leave reviews are those who feel that they’ve had a strongly negative experience. Be sure that you’re sending your customers regular review requests via text and email to counter this problem. 

How to analyze online reviews 

Your reviews can help you get insights into how customers perceive different aspects of your business. For example, a review may say something like “Great customer service, but way too long of a wait time.” This can help you improve on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. 

While it may be possible for a human to do sentiment analysis, this becomes more and more difficult when you have more reviews and multiple locations. We recommend using natural language processing to help analyze different reviews. 

BirdEye’s natural language processing (NLP) engine Athena can help you here. Instead of having to manually go through all of your reviews, BirdEye can give you grades on categories that your customers are mentioning in your reviews. 

How to turn review sentiments into concrete action

The first step to managing a review is to leave a response. Customers leave reviews hoping that businesses will engage. Make sure to thank your customers and encourage them to return for positive reviews. For negative reviews, make sure that you’re apologizing and getting to the bottom of the customer problem. 

By taking the review sentiments that you’ve found through your analysis, you can make improvements to your business operations. By taking time to improve your strong points and fix your weaknesses, you can help create a better customer experience for your future customers. 

Reviews can also help you adjust your messaging to better fit the needs and expectations of your customers. Using language that your customers are using in reviews in your copy can help you better understand the wants and needs of your target audience. 

Building a customer experience framework: A real-life example  

So what can you do with all this information? It’s simple: get started with a customer experience framework. A customer experience framework is a fancy phrase that boils down to using data to make your customers happy and coming back for more. 

Want to know how you can use data in order to build a customer experience framework? Let’s talk about how Blaze Pizza managed to keep its customers happy in more than a hundred locations using BirdEye. 

Blaze Pizza started with BirdEye back in 2015, when the company was going through a rapid expansion. They used BirdEye to keep track of their Net Promoter Score in more than a hundred locations. 

With BirdEye, Blaze Pizza was able to keep track of customer feedback across all of their locations. BirdEye’s Natural Language Processing engine Athena gave them grades for every category based on the keywords that customers were mentioning in reviews. Blaze Pizza was able to take this data to make improvements to its own operations. 

More tips on delivering superior customer experience

Want to see more tips on delivering fantastic customer experience? Check out our complete guide to improving your operations and being the best business in your area. It contains a few tips that you can’t find anywhere else.

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