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Guest post: Measure CX performance to look beyond Net Promoter Score

Guest post: Measure CX performance to look beyond Net Promoter Score

Editors note: We invited Rachel Bodony from Usabilla, the newest addition to SurveyMonkey's portfolio of enterprise solutions, to talk about what Usabilla does best: measuring customer experience across diverse channels.

Without a doubt, Customer Experience (CX) is a key differentiator for future-proof companies. According to a Walker study, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience by 2020. Because CX offers the largest and most exciting opportunity for success & growth, many companies are creating and developing customer experience strategies.

But, how do you know if your strategy is successful? Which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) contribute to that perfect experience? And how do you measure those?

We’ll guide you through the first steps of CX measurement, where to start and how to measure success.

According to the Forrester Customer Experience Pyramid, there are 3 distinct ways to measure customer satisfaction, each with their own degree of influence on your overall customer experience. 

  1. From the basics: “Does my CX meet my customer’s needs?”
  2. To more advanced questions like: “Is my CX easy to use and navigate?”
  3. Then, a more mature phase: “Is my CX enjoyable for my customers?” 

The CX Pyramid measures customer loyalty in logical order from the baseline essentials to more sophisticated business metrics.


Usabilla helps you home in on the pain points your customers are facing across multiple channels, including websites, apps, emails, and more.

Many companies still work exclusively with a combination of Net Promoter Score (NPS) and web analytics data to measure the customer experience. But there is much debate over the degree of importance and flexibility NPS has on evolving CX measurement standards.

NPS was originally a brand loyalty metric, an indicator to measure engagement; how likely it is your audience will recommend your brand to family and friends.

Small nuances can be made to make an NPS question more specific, for example: How likely would you recommend Company or Service X based on your visit today/ Based on your purchase/ Based on the app experience/ Based on your trip/ etc. But, it is still a very standard and general metric.

Does this cover the total customer experience? Do you know why customers give a low or high NPS score? With a single KPI (such as NPS), it’s hard to keep track of the overall experience. We see that companies still shoot in the dark, making uninformed product and service decisions because they’re capturing feedback without any context.

For example, if a customer leaves a low NPS score on an online or email survey, it could be because earlier that week they had a bad in-store experience. The low NPS score has nothing to do with your online CX, and everything to do with a certain salesperson. There’s too much left up to interpretation.


Capturing multiple metrics allows you to be more specific with your NPS questions. Without the basics, your NPS doesn’t pinpoint issues or allow you to take action. You’re left wondering if any of your Promoters will even actually recommend your product to anyone they know. If measured and managed, the 3 steps of the CX Pyramid will support an increase of the NPS score and overall customer loyalty. 

Let’s dive into the 3 parts of the CX pyramid: Meet needs, Ease of use, and Enjoyability so you can reap the rewards of customer loyalty yourself.


Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the first stage of the CX pyramid covers the basics: how effective is a company in meeting their customer’s needs?

This stage goes hand in hand with the CX metric Goal Completion Rate (GCR)which asks the customer: Were you able to reach your goal? GCR can be measured via Google Analytics or asked in a short survey. If you choose to actively ask your customers if they were able to complete their goal, be aware that you have to target this question right after a certain interaction, so your data is tied to a specific task.

Ask: Did you reach your goal today? With options: Yes/ Partially/ No. To get the most out of this question, use an open text field follow-up question to understand what your customers were looking for in case they did not accomplish their goal, or just partially did.


Some goals can’t be measured by Google Analytics, though. Let’s say a user bounces or leaves a specific page, it’s often seen as a negative website visit. But, in reality, it can actually be a positive one for a user (if they completed their goal).

For example, they found the information they were looking for, they just weren’t ready to purchase yet. That’s why it’s so important to ask for qualitative feedback from your users, to understand the wide range of reasons your visitors are coming to your site or digital channel. You can then facilitate a number of goals your various users might be trying to accomplish.

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

― H. James Harrington


How easy was it for your customer to reach their goal and finish a certain task on the website? To measure this you can use the Customer Effort Score (CES). The idea behind CES is that organizations create loyal customers when their customers can find what they’re looking for or solve their issues quickly and easily.

CES is a metric which is always related to a certain task or action so its, of course, necessary to ask it following a specific interaction or task. The question is quite standard: How easy was it to do X, Y, or Z? 

To measure ease of use, companies mostly ask on a 5-point scale or, if phrased as: X Organization made it easy for me to do X, Y, Z – follow up with options: Strong disagree/ Disagree/ Somewhat disagree/ Neutral / Somewhat agree, etc. 


Ease of Use/ CES complements GCR perfectly. For example, you could deploy a survey that asks 2 questions: Did you reach your goal today?, and if Yes, How easy was it to reach your goal? If a user describes their experience as difficult or hard, you know you need to work on your user experience, and as you make changes you can measure if you’re moving the needle by tracking how the score changes over time.

CES does not measure whether or not customers were delighted. For that metric, we move up the pyramid to Enjoyable.

The third stage of the pyramid is all about fun. How enjoyable was it to buy from your platform? You can use a Customer Satisfaction or emotional rating question focused on how your users feel. Why? A Hubspot study found that over 80% of companies believe retention is cheaper than acquisition –  keeping your customers happy pays off.

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), also known as an emotional score, is a multi-functional metric. It can give you a general view of customer emotion, or a magnified look at the mood around a specific topic, feature, or step in your customer journey. In most cases, CSAT is based on a 5-point scale from very unsatisfied to very satisfied, with the sum of respondents that answered somewhat or very satisfied as your score – the higher the number, the higher your customer satisfaction.

All three metrics support loyalty and engagement with your brand or platform. Combined with AB testing, you can get definitive answers to questions or issues affecting your KPIs.

According to Tom van den Berg, “On average, 20-30% of AB tests have a positive result, let’s say another 20-30% have a negative result… This means 50% of AB tests have no effect on the most important KPI.”  To ensure you get the most out of every AB test you run, take feedback in both environments to find out what’s working, and what’s not. CES shows you if your test delivered a higher CES in addition to an increase in conversion – and if it doesn’t and the two are contradictory, then the qualitative feedback will help you determine what to do.

Maybe a change on the site results in short-term conversions but has an overall negative impact on your ease of use/ goal completion rates. Enhance your AB tests with the CX pyramid metrics and qualitative feedback.

Combining these methods into your CX strategy gives you a good overview of how you’re performing. Bain & Company found that a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new customer; investing in customer loyalty is an investment in your business.

As Hoolio at Wyzerr said, “People today are not like people 14 years ago when the NPS was first introduced to the business world. Understanding the WHY behind a customer’s attitude and behavior towards your company is much more important than understanding how loyal or satisfied a customer is.”

We believe that a well rounded CX strategy combines multiple CX metrics, including NPS as well as qualitative feedback. When you collect different types of feedback data, you get a robust view of what exactly is going through your customer’s mind as they run through your digital channels. To do so, it’s important to follow up CSAT, CES, and GCR questions with open-ended questions where users can leave qualitative feedback.

Sound a bit complicated? A VoC solution can help you gather and analyze these metrics together along with your qualitative feedback in a digestible and actionable way.

Join our upcoming webinar to learn how to home in on the pain points your customers are facing across multiple channels, including websites, apps, emails, and more.