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CX Tech

3 CX Metrics to Live By in 2020

Phil Britt
February 27, 2020

3 minute read

Companies collect a plethora of customer data, but not all of it is meaningful. Here’s what experts say are 3 of the most important elements that will provide insights for driving positive CX.

Net Promoter Score

As explained in a Smart Insights blog, Net Promoter Score (NPS) was designed to replace long surveys with a simple measure of customer experience — how likely a customer is to recommend an organization, product or service to others, based on a 10-point scale. Customers who give scores of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, those who respond with scores of 7 or 8 are considered passive, and those who provide lower scores are considered detractors.

But while this has become a dominant customer experience metric, by itself it doesn’t tell you why customers are dissatisfied or less-than-excited about a brand. Therefore, NPS is best used in conjunction with other metrics.

Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES), which first started to emerge as a metric a few years ago, is starting to push aside Net Promoter Score (NPS) for many marketers and their companies as the most meaningful CX metric, though right now NPS still is the favorite measure for many other marketers and organizations, according to Roy Atkinson, analyst with ICMI and HDI, in an interview with SmarterCX.

“Customer effort score tells you how hard or easy it is to do business with a company,” Atkinson said. “If it is easier, it is better for customers. Life has continued to become more complex; people want things that make their lives easier.” As an example, Atkinson pointed to the growing popularity of food delivery from quick service restaurants.

Companies can use CES scores in a variety of different ways, from how easy the organization’s website is to navigate, to satisfaction with the performance of a product, to how easy it is to obtain further information or the interaction with a customer service agent. The customer simply scores the effort on a 0-5 or 1-5 scale.

“Customer Effort Score has become more important as time has gone on — as people became more aware of it and as people have seen how it can be used,” Atkinson said.

In an IDG blog, Radaro co-founder and managing director, Brenton Gill, concurred that NPS is starting to lose relevance because the NPS data is typically captured only from highly engaged consumers.


Did the CX program make money or save money? This is the only metric that truly matters to C-Suite executives, Forrester analyst and VP Harley Manning writes in a company blog. While marketers often concentrate on typical CX metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) results, it’s the financial metrics that truly matter to the C-Suite. If revenues, profits, and stock prices increase, C-Suite executives tend to get raises, contract extensions, and other perks. If, on the other hand, the financial metrics underperform, top executives risk losing their jobs.

So, C-Suite executives want to know how particular CX programs have resulted in financial benefits. A soft, indirect relationship, such as improved CSAT scores (which theoretically should improve financial results) isn’t good enough, according to Manning. Marketers should “connect the dots,” and show executives the increased financial results, in additional revenues, cost savings or both, of customer experience program(s).

Don’t stop there! Keep learning about CX metrics with more articles like this:

Phil Britt
Phil Britt is a veteran journalist who covered various aspects of customer relations, marketing, technology and financial services for 40 years, with his work appearing in several national publications as well as on various websites. A Purdue University graduate, Phil enjoys following Chicago sports teams.
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