Customer Experience Metrics Evolve Beyond Net Promoter Score

September 17, 2015
Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

What measurement practices can marketers use to know how well they’re winning the customer loyalty game?

How likely is your customer to recommend a product to her best friend or her entire social network? Does that mean she’ll purchase it again? Net Promoter Score (NPS) was devised to measure the relationship between attitude and behavior. Today’s proliferation of marketing channels and hyperconnected consumers has turned the buying journey into something of a random walk. What are the key indicators of a satisfied customer?

According to Jake Sorofman, research vice president, Gartner for Marketing Leaders, “New channels, competition and growth expectations put pressure on digital marketers to look at customer experience through a broader lens.” Gartner’s 2013 Digital Marketing Measurement Survey found a substantial knowledge gap in digital marketing measurement practices for customer satisfaction. This finding underscores the point that marketers yearn for new and better ways to measure customer satisfaction.

“Gartner’s 2013 Digital Marketing Measurement Survey found a substantial knowledge gap in digital marketing measurement practices for customer satisfaction.”

Net Promoter Score: Simplicity is a good start

NPS is derived from one or two questions (including “How likely are you to recommend us to someone you know?”) and subtracts lower from higher scores to yield a single number and benefits from high response rates and rapid deployment. But NPS has some well-known limitations including its difficulty to understand the absolute economic value of the score (NPS is a relatively weak indicator of actual purchase behavior) and the fact that NPS won’t reveal why a score is low, high or in between. For more action-oriented insight, Customer Effort Score (CES) holds promise.

Customer Effort Score: Isolate and act

CES focuses on key transactions between a brand and a consumer, positing that customer service and online experience are the key indicators of customer loyalty. Speed and simplicity are believed to be key brand builders and attitudinal measures such as NPS, are sidelined. CES allows a brand to isolate transactional variables to address performance issues. CES is both actionable and operational, but tends to focus heavily on the customer service angle of the customer experience.

Mobile & Wearables: Promising but early

Today, marketers can yield customer insights by combining attitudinal and behavioral data through web tracking, mobile app engagement and transaction analysis. But the promise of new data sources such as wearable devices and broader mobile tracking strategies have the potential to open up a whole new level of customer insight. By combining behavioral data alongside attitudinal data, companies can discover patterns and correlations that have the potential to make predictive models much more powerful. Though early in their lifecycle, now is the time to monitor the progress of wearable technology and predictive algorithms to yield a complete picture of attitude and behavior.

“Though early in their lifecycle, now is the time to monitor the progress of wearable technology and predictive algorithms to yield a complete picture of attitude and behavior.”

It’s important to rely on composite methodologies for now because mobile data is not generally accessible at the level of granularity required to make use of it for this purpose.  The net result is that you are left to collect and combine different sources of behavioral and attitudinal data in search of a truth that may resist full illumination for some time.

You may also be interested in

Create Customer Journey Maps That People Will Use

February 28, 2020

Create customer journey maps that internal teams will use to make customer experience improvements across the business.

Redesign Your Website to Do What Your Customers Want

January 16, 2020

For better customer conversion, use customer focus to drive your website redesign.

3 Key Findings From the 2019 Gartner Customer Experience Management Survey

January 11, 2020

As customer experience programs mature into cross-functional C-suite priorities, marketing plays a bigger role in execution.

“I use Gartner to bolster my confidence in decision making.”

Stay smarter.