To decide which Customer Experience KPI to use for measuring performance and setting targets, it is helpful to use a method that offers a clear and transparent score system. To measure customer experience, we use CSAT, NPS or CES. But what do they measure exactly and when to choose CSAT, when NPS and when CES? You can find which research method is best suited for your goal in this blog with the advantages of each CX KPI explained.

CSAT: the big advantage

If you are curious about the satisfaction concerning a specific product or service, CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) is the right KPI to use. Customers give a score between 1 and 5, where 1 represents ‘very dissatisfied’ and 5 is the highest possible score representing ‘very satisfied’. Organisations may also choose a 10-point scale.

CSAT works best when satisfied customers are the norm or when a recommendation doesn’t make sense or is inappropriate. Governmental, health or other institutions where switching between providers is not easily done are the organisations that can use CSAT for measuring certain situations. Using CSAT as a CX KPI is also a good choice when there is no competition. In comparison to NPS, CSAT measures short-term happiness and focuses on a specific interaction, service, or product, where NPS focuses more on forecasting the future behaviour and customer’s loyalty.

NPS: the big advantage

The Net Promoter System measures customers’ loyalty by asking the recommendation question. Respondents answer on a scale of 0 to 10. Based on their score, respondents can be categorised into three groups: Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9-10).

The NPS-score itself does not provide a lot of insight. What to do with it is a lot more important. NPS is not about the score; it’s about the system and the stories behind the score. It becomes more fascinating when you look at NPS continuously and when you find out what the drivers of NPS are. This gives you insights into whether customers have become loyal to your brand. Subsequently, you can focus on the causes of this changing NPS and act accordingly. The use of NPS is particularly useful in highly competitive markets where you want to be the organisation that your customer is loyal to.

Don’t use an NPS survey too frequently in the customer journey! You can measure NPS at regular moments in the customer journey but choose these moments wisely. For example: when sending an NPS question after interaction with customer support, the customer will inevitably reflect on that interaction, and not on the organisation in general or the wider relationship with the company. The power of the Net Promoter System is the ability to measure the customer’s opinion across channels, contact moments, and experiences.

CES: the big advantage

With the Customer Effort Score, it is all about ease. Most organisations underestimate the importance of ease for their customers with which they can access services. To find out how your customers experience your service, you can ask how much effort they must put in to get helped or to get a problem solved. CYS uses a 5-point scale for measuring CES, where 1 is ‘very low effort’ and 5 is ‘very high effort’.

The method is straightforward, and it takes your customers little effort (!) to fill in the questionnaire. CES has a high predictive value for customer loyalty. As little hassle as possible, that is what makes the customer happy. The outcome of the method is understandable and insightful, and any developments are easy to interpret.

A CES survey is mostly used after an interaction with a customer service or a customer support department because CES tells you how your client has experienced the service you deliver. CES is very useful to pinpoint actionable service improvement areas. But also, if you want to find out how much effort it costs to place an order or to measure the ease your customers experienced to purchase the product online, CES is the metric that’s best suitable.

Combine NPS, CES, and CSAT for an optimised customer experience management

CES, NPS, and CSAT can be applied for each Customer Journey, process, department, or employee. You can analyse and discover the underlying reasons for any high effort customers experience by adding an open question linked to a root-cause analysis to the CES, NPS, and CSAT question. These CX KPI’s can easily be combined to get more insights about each step in the customer’s journey. But watch out, the only danger lurking is that the feedback from the customer is not always focused on the process on which the organisation has set up the feedback survey. For examples taken straight from real-life case studies, download our e-book about the use of Customer Experience KPI’s below.

Download our free e-book ‘A successful CX program – From measuring to improving’

Which Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are used for the measurement and management of Customer Experience? The free e-book ‘A successful CX program – From measuring to improving’ provides solutions and practical examples. If you want to gain (more) insights into all the opportunities brought by CX-related KPIs and how they can be made tangible and concrete, download this helpful document.


A successful CX program - From measuring to improving!

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