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10 Best Customer Experience Metrics (According to the Experts)

June 1, 2023
November 7, 2022
October 3, 2022

Measuring your customer experience metrics is important. These can tell you how easy or difficult it is for customers to use your products, which has a direct impact on whether customers will refer you to their friends and colleagues or stay with your business.

But how do you know which metrics you should pay attention to?

We’ve got the answers.

We reached out to leading Customer Experience experts to see which metrics they’re tracking and compiled the most popular answers below. You’ll get an idea of how to measure customer experience with just a handful of key metrics.

Scroll to the bottom of the post to read their answers in full!

Top 10 Metrics for Measuring Customer Experience

  1. Customer Effort Score (CES)
  2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
  3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  4. Customer Retention Rate
  5. Customer Churn Rate
  6. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
  7. Average Resolution Time (ART)
  8. Customer Referral Rate
  9. Monthly Active Users (MAU)
  10. Trial-to-paid Conversion Rate

Here’s our summary of the most important Customer Experience metrics you can use to improve your products and services.

Want to use these metrics on your own customer data? We've got you covered: download the Parative CX Metrics Calculator Here!

1. Customer Effort Score (CES)

What Customer Effort Score tells you:

How much effort your customers need to put in to complete a task. This could be anything from getting a support request handled to finding the product or service they were looking for. It’s a transactional metric that measures how simply your customers are able to find something.

How you can use CES to improve the customer experience:

The more effortless you can make the customer experience, the more likely your customers will buy from you again.


Research shows 94% of customers who have an effortless experience are likely to buy again, versus 4% of those who had to put in a lot of effort. The same research indicates 81% of those who have to put in a lot of effort are likely to share their experiences, compared to 1% of those who went through an effortless experience.

Understanding your CES will also show you where the customer experience is smooth and where there are friction points. Use this data to make your services easier for customers to use and boost your customer experience KPIs.  

How to calculate Customer Effort Score:

Typically, you’d send out a post-interaction survey asking your customer about their experience. The survey will ask them to rate this from low to high. To calculate your score, follow the average score and distribution of scores.

2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

What CSAT tells you:

How happy, or unhappy, a customer is with your overall service. This is usually for a certain feature within your product, such as having a support ticket resolved or returning a product. It’s easily adaptable to the needs of your business.


How you can use CSAT to improve the customer experience:

Because it’s so targeted, you can use CSAT responses to figure out which parts of your product customers are satisfied or unsatisfied with. You can then make any necessary adjustments to these specific areas.

How to calculate CSAT:

sum of the scores and divide this by the total number of respondents

Send your customer a short survey immediately after their interaction with you or their interaction with a certain area of your product. This will ask them to rank how satisfied they were on a scale of 1 – 10.

Sum of scores/# of total respondents = CSAT

Then take the sum of the scores and divide this by the total number of respondents. You may wish to ask your questions differently, depending on the nature of the customer’s experience.

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

What NPS tells you:

How many of your customers are likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague. Usually this will be on a scale from 1 – 10. Respondents can be split into three categories: detractors, neutrals, and promoters. Those that answer 1 – 6 are detractors, 7 – 8 are neutrals and 9 – 10 are promoters. It tracks how loyal your customers are likely to be too.

How you can use NPS to improve the customer experience:

NPS shouldn’t be used to measure product success. That’s because it’s too broad in nature. Instead, think of it as a useful way of getting to know your customers better. How satisfied they are, and how this impression could change over time.

Alternatively you could try using aNPS, or actual NPS, instead. Instead of asking, “Would you recommend this service?”, try “Have you recommended this service already? Why or why not?” Ultimately, this insight is more actionable.

How to calculate NPS:

NPS = % Promoters - % Detractors

Subtract the total number of detractors from your promoters.

% Promoters – % Detractors = NPS

If 70% of your customers are promoters and 10% are detractors, your NPS score will be 60%.

“NPS helps us use data to measure satisfaction while leaving room for comments. We query users after a set number of interactions and events to find out how willing they are to recommend us to others (especially useful when talking about that touchy subject of cash management!)”– Blaine Bertsch, Co-Founder & CEO at Dryrun

4. Customer Retention Rate

What Retention Rate tells you:

The measurement of how many customers stay with your business over a given period of time, or keep paying for your services. It’s highly connected to your churn rate, which we’ll come to next.

Retention can show you when customers are likely to stop using or paying for your services. This could be after a week, a month or a quarter. You can also see how retention affects different cohorts of your audience.

How you can use Retention Rate to improve the customer experience:

When you look at retention, you can get a better handle of customer experience by tracking certain points in your product life cycle or specific user groups. You’ll get an idea of how much users value your product over a given period of time and have the chance to make improvements. This is something worth doing, as it’s far more expensive to onboard new customers than it is to keep current ones.

How to calculate Customer Retention Rate:

Customer Retention Rate equation

There are a few ways of calculating your retention rate. One is to subtract the number of customers who churn over a period of time from the number of customers who stay loyal.

90% retention  – 10% churn = 80% retention rate

Another way is to look at how many customers stay loyal for one period of time, vs another period.

% of customers in period one / % of customers in period two = retention rate

Bonus resource: 36 Experts Rank the Top Customer Retention Strategies for 2023

5. Customer Churn Rate

What Churn Rate tells you:

The opposite of retention. How many customers are leaving your business over a period of time or are no longer paying for your services.  

How you can use measuring churn to improve the customer experience:

It’s critical to keep an eye on churn rate, as it’s more expensive to find new customers than it is to keep existing ones.

The lower the churn rate, the more loyal customers you’ll have. Use the drop-off points in your retention measurement to see where, or which group of users, are losing interest in your services. And make any necessary adjustments to improve the customer experience in these areas.

How to Calculate Churn Rate:

# of customers at beginning of a period - # of customers at the end of that period / # of customers at the beginning = churn rate

To figure out your churn rate, do the reverse sum of your retention rate.

# of customers at beginning of a period - # of customers at the end of that period / # of customers at the beginning = churn rate

Bonus resource: Reducing Customer Churn: Everything You Need to Know

6. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

What FCR tells you:

How many of your customers had their issue resolved within one interaction. This would typically be used in areas such as customer support.

How you can use FCR to improve the customer experience:

Customers that have their issue resolved within one interaction tend to be more satisfied. A study shows for every 1% increase in FCR, there’s also a 1% increase in CSAT and a 1% decrease in support operating costs. So there’s plenty of incentive for you to solve as many customer issues as you can within the first contact.

How to calculate First Contact Resolution:

FCR is best thought of as a total percentage of the calls or support tickets you receive. How many of those calls or tickets are entirely dealt with in the first contact?

FCR = # issues resolved in first contact / # of interactions

You can calculate it like this:

# issues resolved in first contact / # of interactions = FCR

There are some other factors you may want to consider too:

  • If a callback is needed to confirm the issue was solved
  • How much time the customer calls back within
  • If they have enough time to try out your recommendation

7. Average Resolution Time (ART)

What ART tells you:

How long it takes to solve a customer’s issue, on average. This metric allows you to see the efficiency of your support teams. This may be high for some support enquiries, and low for others.

How you can use it to improve the customer experience:

Customers don’t want to wait a long time to have their issues resolved. So the faster you can solve their issue, the more satisfied your customers will be.

Average Resolution Time can have a direct impact on your company’s CSAT score. However, you should also be paying attention to why your customers are calling. If there’s a recurring issue among multiple customers, then it’s likely an issue with your product and  is something you’ll want to address.  

Consider the customer’s expectations too. These may be set out in the Service Level Agreement you made with them when they began using your service, or based on your company’s values or mission statement.

How to calculate ART:

Average Resolution Time calculation

Take the total amount of time it takes to resolve all issues, and divide this by the number of calls or support tickets you receive over a given time period.

Time it takes to resolve issue / # of calls or tickets = ART

8. Customer Referral Rate

What Customer Referral Rate tells you:

While NPS tracks how many customers say they will refer you to a friend or colleague, the referral rate shows how many are actually doing it. It’s the volume of referred purchases from your total purchases.

How you can use it to improve the customer experience:

If customers are referring you to their friends or colleagues, it means they believe your product is of a high-quality and worth investing in. But for that to happen, your customers need to have first had their own positive experiences. This covers all interactions with your business, from signing up at the start to receiving invoices.

The smoother these processors are, the more likely they’ll be to refer you.

How to calculate Customer Referral Rate:

Your referral rate is the total number of referred purchases from all of your purchases. So if 1 out of 100 customers came from referrals, you’d have a referral rate of 1%.

“Number of referrals made is a super important experience metric. A happy customer who’s had a positive experience will go out of their way to recommend your company to their colleagues. We report on this each month and set quarterly benchmarks.” – Andrea Moxham, Founder at Horseshoe + co.

9. Monthly Active Users (MAU)

What MAU tells you:

How many users are actively engaging with your product or service within a given timeframe. In this case, how many active users there are within a month. By themselves, these metrics show how user activity changes over time.

You can also calculate Daily Active Users (DAU) or Weekly Active Users (WAU) depending on how often customers are logging into your product.

Here’s how your MAU might look:

How you can use MAU to improve the customer experience:

Maybe people aren’t spending as long on a part of your product as you’d like. Or they’re abandoning a feature within a few seconds of getting onto it. This could be because they went to the wrong part, have no use for it or found it too complicated.

You should address anything that comes up. Removing unused parts of the product will streamline the process for customers, while making something simpler to use will save them time.

How to calculate MAU:

How you define an active user will depend on how your product is used. Is this judged by the number of people logging in? Or do they have to take part in some kind of function for anything to count? Once you have this worked out, you can see how many people count as MAUs.

“I think a key customer experience metric that brands should be tracking is MAU (Monthly Active Users). While NPS and many of the conventional metrics are important gauges to look at, if users are inactive, it is almost a guarantee they are not having a positive experience with your brand. By improving MAU, you will also gain deeper data across all other metrics that your team is working on.”– Casey Hill, Head of Growth at Bonjoro

10. Trial-to-Paid Conversion Rate

What Trial-to-Paid conversion tells you:

How many of your trial users are turning into paying customers for your product or service. It’s an upgrade from the free version. You’ll get an idea of, on average, how many trial users you can expect to see turn into paying customers.

How you can use Trial-to-Paid conversion to improve the customer experience:

You’ll gain insight into how changes or features in the trial period impact what makes your users decide to turn into paying customers. You’ll see if different cohorts are converting at different rates, and if there’s anything you can do to improve the experience of particular cohorts.

People must have seen the value in the product in order to pull out their credit card and upgrade the plan. One way of helping people convert to paying is to show them what they’ve achieved using your product in the trial period. They’ll see what they might not have achieved without your product.

How to calculate Trial-to-Paid Conversion:

# of paying customers / # of trial users = % of customers that will convert

Which Customer Experience Metrics Are You Tracking?

It’s critical that your company is investing the time and money to measure customer experience metrics.

Not only will these metrics allow you to better understand how frictionless your customers find your product, but they will also give you actionable insights into how to improve the product. This can have huge benefits for your company as a whole, such as decreasing your churn rate, or driving up your retention and trial-to-customer scores.

You’ll also see where your teams are performing most efficiently, and where there’s room for improvement. The same can be said of your products and their functionality. The more you know about how your customers are using this, the more positive changes you can make, and the more delightful you can make their experiences.

Free Customer Health Scorecard Template

22 Experts Discuss Best Customer Experience Metrics

Casey Hill
| Head of Growth

I think a key customer experience metric that brands should be tracking is MAU (Monthly Active Users). While NPS and many of the conventional metrics are important gauges to look at, if users are inactive, it is almost a guarantee they are not having a positive experience with your brand. By improving MAU, you will also gain deeper data across all other metrics that your team is working on.

Blaine Bertsch
| Co-Founder & CEO

While this year has been a year like no other, we do find that customer experience metrics shed light on our development as well as retention and churn.

  • NPS helps us use data to measure satisfaction while leaving room for comments. We query users after a set number of interactions and events to find out how willing they are to recommend us to others (especially useful when talking about that touchy subject of cash management!)
  • Retention and churn data helps us see what we're continuing to do right and helps us steer toward our successes, as well as to see who left and when as we look to understand our market and what attracts businesses and their financial teams to lean in to cash management at certain stages of the business or times of the year.
  • Finally, because Dryrun's features can be adapted to a user's specific cash management needs, and cash management is a huge business stressor, track number of users and in-app event frequency in order to help them learn and navigate our app in the simplest most comfortable way possible.

Trey Gibson

Sales Engagement Activities per User- SPOTIO is a sales engagement platform used by field sales teams to interact with their customers both in person and via call/text/email so we track those engagement activities. If our users are creating more and more sales engagement activities with their prospects and customers it's a leading indicator to value realization.

Mateusz Krempa
Piwik PRO
| Chief Revenue Officer

We used to be more devoted to standardized metrics like NPS, but we saw the metric itself as a bit ambiguous - useful for individual scores, but more difficult to interpret as the total score for the entire portfolio. Now we are more focused on the timeline of the onboarding projects - how quickly are we able to deliver minimum business value to our customers.

This is tricky because "minimum business value" will differ from customer to customer - sometimes the scope is so complex, that it takes 2 months to complete the project - other times, we are able to set everything up within a single day. However the ratio of complexities is more or less the same, hence our goal is to decrease time to minimum business value delivery.

In the process of personalized onboarding, we are able to understand our customers better and quickly increase their engagement. We analyze this monthly together with the retention rate. NPS and support tickets satisfaction level.

Paige Arnof--Fenn
Mavens & Moguls
| Founder & CEO

For my business the most important CX metric is how much repeat business and referrals I get from my clients. The old NPS Net Promoter Score is a useful tool to make sure your customers are happy across all businesses whether you are in B2B or B2C. Most of my business comes from referral and word of mouth so keeping current clients happy is my top priority.

NPS is a valuable tool for measuring not just CX, but also customer loyalty, because it transcends single experiences. It is often referred to as a brand or relationship metric. We check it on an annual basis.

Tommy P Landry
Return On Now
| President and Founder

Pretty much any company in any business niche, both B2B and B2C, should be tracking at least two common CX metrics: Customer Churn and Retention Rate. By now we've all seen the numbers on how much more cost efficient it is to retain as many customers as possible. And not all customers will stick around or buy again. But in the end, we need to understand where the balance point is between retaining customers and having an acceptable churn rate over time.

Mike Lieberman
Square 2
| CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Customer Happiness (1 to 10). Because whether they're happy or not is directly related to how many referrals we get, how referenceable the client is and how likely they'd be to convert into a proactive advocate for our company.

Andrea Moxham
Horseshoe + co.
| Founder

Number of referrals made. A happy customer who's had a positive experience will go out of their way to recommend your company to their colleagues. We report on this each month and set quarterly benchmarks.

Lydia Sugarman

As a solution provider, there are so many important CX metrics that you can and should track, but I like to keep an eye on how actively engaged our customers are with their accounts. We are able to monitor the last time they logged in. We try to be subscribed to any newsletters they send. We welcome questions, requests for help. If a customer is actively engaged, we can assume they are happy customers. Since our customers are month-to-month, they stay because they like us, not because they have to stay put until the contract is up.

We try to get a general feel weekly, but definitely put together a report monthly so that we can reach out and make sure everything is good, they're happy, or if they aren't, address any issues and prevent churn.

Angela White
ProProfs Survey Maker | Product & Marketing Analyst

At ProProfs, we majorly track three customer experience metrics: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES).

NPS tracks customer loyalty on a scale of (0-10). Promoter (happy with products) customers give a score between (9-10), (7-8) score is provided by a passive customer (neither happy nor unhappy), and a detractor (unhappy) customer gives a score ranging from (0-6). We send out an NPS survey every six months.

Customer satisfaction score gives an idea of how many customers are happy with our product or services. The satisfaction level is measured on a rating scale from (1-5), with one representing lower satisfaction levels and five representing higher satisfaction levels. We conduct a CSAT survey on a biannual basis.

CES is a measure of how easy or difficult it is for a customer to interact with our brand and solve their queries. CES is measured on a scale from (1-5) or (1-7). Lower the score, the higher the effort taken by the customer while solving their queries. We send out a CES survey every six months.

Aiza Domingcil
| Co-Founder and Chief Copy Strategist

We track the number of SaaS clients who upgrade to our higher copywriting packages. Because that means our initial service has given them results and we're gaining long-term clients who not only trust us, but are happy to work with us.

Brett Casey
| Executive Sales Leader

The most important metric I track is referrals and repeat business. Beyond that, I keep track of exactly where my team's sales are coming from as well as mine. We use several advertising methods through social media, TV, billboards, radio, print, etc. Tracking what percentage of sales comes from each segment helps me better understand where my money needs to be invested more heavily.

Peter Caputa IV

Along with the usual metrics like first response rate, resolution time, customer NPS and customer lifecycle stage, 'deals sourced from support' is one of our most important customer support metrics.

Given that we have both a free plan, a free trial for our paid plans and multiple upgrade paths, and a large support team available to answer questions via chat, our support team stands the best chance of identifying prospects or customers who are looking to purchase or upgrade.

Each support team member has a goal for sourcing deals for our sales team. In order to hit that goal, they offer to build custom dashboards (which is what our software does: for users based on their specific reporting requirements. At a minimum, this acts as a proof of concept for new users and lets us show off what our product can do. After they build the dashboard, they usually suggest that the user books a call with a sales rep (who is even more of a product expert) in order to customize the dashboard further or answer additional questions about Databox.

April Sullivan
| Founder & CEO

Renewal Rate is our main metric that we track, and that's because we work closely with a small group of entrepreneurs at a time. We strive to keep our clients retained for a minimum of one year, with three years being the average

Craig Morison
Fast Cover Travel Insurance

Capture as much information for customer experience metrics as possible but focus on what is important to achieving current business goals. NPS is an obvious customer experience metric, but others may be more crucial to achieving goals.

Rebuy Rate - Demonstrates customers are happy with their experience and allows you to grow revenue at a low CPA.

Friend Referrals - This shows the experience is good enough for someone to add their personal brand to yours and broadens your customer base.

Customer Reviews - If someone goes out of their way unprompted to leave a review, it's strong indication of their experience.

Kent Lewis
Anvil Media
| President

As an agency, we track the following metrics in our business (rather than for our clients):

  1. Client delight: measured monthly based on reporting call, bi-annually based on President's check-in and annually via NetPromoter Score survey. Ad hoc metrics include ability to be a client reference, referrals to new business, online reviews and testimonials. I personally look for feedback about our team's responsiveness, transparency, understanding of the client's business and strategic/creative problem-solving on behalf of the client.
  2. Client elevation: measured monthly in our end of month reports (EOMRs), ad-hoc with case studies (as the data allows) and NPS survey results regarding ability to meet client goals.
  3. Client retention and growth: on a quarterly and annual basis, we evaluate net client retention and revenue growth. Happy clients stick around and trust us to expand the partnership.

Andy Crestodina
| Co-founder / CMO

We build websites, and after every project, we do a detailed post-launch interview. One of the questions is for net promoter score.

It gives us intel into our performance (of course) but also about improvement opportunities for services, tools, process and general communication.

People often ask us "how can I gather testimonials?" when we suggest that we fill their site with evidence and social proof. The answer is simple: testimonials and reviews arise naturally when you have a formal process for gathering customer experience feedback.

How do you find your super fans? The ones that are happy to help with testimonials, reviews and case studies? Reach out to every customer and listen. Your biggest fans are waiting for your call.

Another benefit: their input can guide the writing of your website copy. Their feedback and questions can immediately be added to sales pages and guide the design of your FAQ page.

If you're not gathering customer experience metrics, you're probably missing a chance to produce customer-focused content, which is the key to conversions, lead generation and growth.

Ruby Rusine
Social Success Marketing
| Chief, Social Media Strategist

Visitor intent. I look for two things here: why they came to a website, and how they got there.

  1. Why they came to a website: The information I gather will help me optimize a content to match it with what the visitor is searching for. I use this information, also, to optimize social media posts.
  2. How they got there: As a social media strategist, tracking this information is valuable because it will help me pinpoint which social channel the customers are getting the information.

James McGrath
Yoreevo LLC
| Co-Founder

We like to keep track of our Google and Yelp reviews. The percentage of our clients leaving a review is a good measure of how happy they really are. If someone isn't thrilled with our service, they're not going to go out of their way to leave a review.

Charles Musselwhite
Musselwhite Marketing
| Co owner

Over the years we've tracked different metrics for different reasons but the two we find to be the most valuable to us and our clients are Conversions and Net Promoter Score.

It is our opinion the rubber meets the road with conversions as it is the simplest and most powerful success metric most businesses want. So whether a prospect conversion is to a demo or a discovery session or a conversion due to a sale of some sort, conversions mean the prospect has chosen you to share their time and/or their money with. That'a a pretty big deal!

After the conversion, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is something we look at often as a gauge to customer/client happiness which is critical! Next to conversions, NPS is the most commonly used customer experience metric because it is simple and relatively accurate. When a customer or client tells you on a scale of 1-10 how likely they are to refer or recommend a business that feedback can be used immediately to make improvements and/or give rewards.

James Pollard
The Advisor Coach LLC
| Founder

The biggest customer experience metric I track is consumption. I offer products and services to financial advisors, and I make sure I track how often they're being used.

For example, I have a monthly paper-and-ink newsletter. The biggest metric we track with that is how long people stay subscribed. If people stay longer, it's a good sign that they're happy with the content. If we notice an uptick in cancellations, we are probably doing something wrong and we seek to correct it.

I also have the ability to see how often my digital products are accessed, how long they're viewed, etc. and I apply the same type of thinking there. If people watch more of the content, that's good. If they watch less of the content, that's bad.

In fact, I apply this same type of thinking across all my content channels, from my blog (where I track time on page) to my podcast (where I track downloads).\

Mirva Saarijärvi
Wirepas | Head of Ecosystem Marketing and Communications

We have several different metrics, commercial and support related.

In commercial side we ask the customer:

  1. How they have been served
  2. Did they get a hold of the KAM quickly and easily
  3. Did the KAM provide answers and assistance in the process

We try to ensure that being our customer feels like your issues are always on the focus and you feel that someone cares and takes your cases to heart. We measure these issues both in a quantified manner (0-5 scales) and qualified as well with open questions.

On the support side, as our product is software and we are in B2B market, we want to ensure that applying the technology into our customers products and solutions is fast and smooth we tend to ask:

  1. If they have received answers to their issues along the development cycle?
  2. If they feel that the answers helped them solve their issues.
  3. What kind of issues they have had with the product development?

We want to compare the answers to find out if we can assemble more FAQ type of answers as well as guides and how to videos to make the development with our technology easier for our customers.

We also always ask if our customers are willing to recommend us, both commercial and technical people. The key to having a scalable business is to see the product being recommended to projects.

Quincy Smith
ESL Authority
| Founder

We primarily review time on page, pages viewed, and goals/events completed. The first 2 metrics show us how engaged users are with our content and site overall while goals/events help us see how we're converting visitors. We review all of these monthly and use Google to run automated reports to keep it simple.

The post was originally appeared on the blog and was rewritten in 2022 after the company rebranded to Parative.

Parative for CS
Mark Lerner

Head of Marketing @ Parative, the Customer Behavior Platform. SaaS enthusiast, B2B Marketing Specialist, Startup Survivalist. Dad x2.

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