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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

10 key metrics to improve a customer’s journey

Don’t play guessing games when it comes to building consumer trust and brand loyalty.

10 key metrics to improve a customer’s journey
Members of Fast Company Executive Board share their expert insights. [Image: Courtesy of the individual members.]

Developing a brand’s long-term success in any marketplace largely depends on a team’s ability to strengthen healthy customer relationships and meet their ongoing needs. But if retention is thriving, then it is obvious the team must be doing something right.

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On the contrary, how can a leader accurately gauge whether their team is truly hitting the mark, or if there is still room for improvement, so the company receives positive reviews while making a profit?

Here are 10 points that Fast Company Executive Board members have found useful when it comes to measuring their customers’ satisfaction levels throughout the product or service journey. Try implementing these tips to provide invaluable insight into your business efforts moving forward.

1.  THE OUTCOME DRIVER

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I have a very strong opinion on this, and sometimes not the most popular. The metric that provides invaluable insight is the one that drives outcomes, and it’s not just about checking the box. That means, finding out what works best for your organization. For example, think of the triple metric model: business metric, business (operational metric), and project (consumer or customer) metric. You just can’t measure one! – Shawn Nason, MOFI

2. NET PROMOTER SYSTEM

We are big on customer service because relationships are everything when it comes to building a sustainable business, both internally and externally. We measure Net Promoter System (NPS) scores quarterly among our clients but do the same for our employees, staff, and freelancers. We have seen that Client NPS is often in direct correlation with Internal NPS, so, we set both as the business KPIs to maintain over time. – Sharon Lee Thony, SLT Consulting

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3. CUSTOMER TRUST

Do your customers trust you? Are they willing to expose parts of their business that they would normally not tell anyone about? When both parties share in the vulnerable aspects of their business, it means you have a healthy and long-term relationship. Trust enables your customer to take risks and is often earned through the creation of shared value. – Christopher Aliotta, Quantalytix, Inc.

4. BRAND PARTNER FEEDBACK

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One key metric to measure success is the feedback received from brand partners. Being able to quickly adapt and adjust to meet partner expectations is crucial, and brand feedback can be used to improve in the future. – Yonathan Lapchik, Suku

5. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION 

Getting an accurate snapshot of customer health requires a nuanced approach that factors in multiple components like adoption, stickiness, and growth in relationship to time. That said, if I had to focus on just one, I’d go with CSAT. Measuring satisfaction over the course of a customer’s journey allows you to get a quick pulse of how customers are experiencing your products, services, and brand. – Tal Almog, Blooma

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6. INCREASED RENEWALS

Renewals can be a barometer of the value you’re bringing to your customers, including both first-time renewals and tenured renewals. For example, in our luxury real estate education business, adding value is a key component of retaining customers. We do this by building community and creating ways for customers to connect with each other as well as focusing on their metrics of satisfaction. – Jennifer Dixson Hoff, Colibri Group

7. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

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One of the best customer success metrics (besides data) is the client’s feedback. While client retention should also be considered a top factor, the feedback is what gives your business the overall best insight on why the client has continued, or discontinued, with your business. This information is vital because your future business depends on the nature of their customer experience. – John Hall, Calendar

8. GROSS PROFITS

Look at client-specific gross profits to spot the outliers. You’ll see the aggregate of clients in the middle, so look for clients that account for very low or very high profits. Both low- and high-profit clients could be great to have, or they may be too expensive to maintain relative to the overall investment. With these numbers, you’ll also know where to focus your attention on improving operations. – Robert Brill, Brill Media

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9. CRM SURVEYS

Automatically send your customers a survey through your customer relationship management  (CRM) platform to monitor their experience and interaction with your brand. This will help identify any negative trends with your customer support team and allow you to make necessary changes. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing

10. REFERRAL RATES

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“Would you refer us to your peers? Why or why not?” A positive response leads to referrals and rehiring our company enhancing both metrics. A negative response begets a follow-up conversation and learning opportunity with the hope of improving and earning trust. – Michelle Hayward, Bluedog

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