3 of the WORST Customer Experience Metrics

by Jeannie Walters

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Customer Experience is a slippery subject. Some people jump right to Customer Service – thinking of call centers, Time-Life operators, and ignorant technical support folks.  Others think of the way they feel when they are finished with a transaction.

It’s great that more and more companies are naming executives as “Experience Leaders” of some sort and tracking metrics to keep them focused. The challenge, however, continues to be on how to execute.

3 Worst Customer Experience Metrics | 360Connext.com

Sure, information is great, but if you’re tracking the wrong things it’s the garbage in-garbage out model that leads to poor experiences, frustrated customers, and negative word-of-mouth.

So here are some of the current favorites in the hit parade of customer experience metrics. The thing they have in common? They track the wrong things and I hate them.

 1. Time on Call.

Can you think of a LESS customer-focused metric? Causing your customer service representatives to fear punishment for assisting a customer through a particularly tricky situation by using genuine care and concern to get the problem solved is ANTI-CUSTOMER.  I know I’m not the only one who has been hung up on due to this metric. It is awful.

2. Conversion rate as the ONLY metric in social media.


Social media is a measurable tool, as it should be. But if you are ONLY reviewing one metric like conversions from promotional tweets, you’re missing the point. The value of the conversation can be sales, but it can also be keeping customer service costs down, improving customer loyalty, and more. If you’re just promoting and hoping for sales, you’re missing not only the conversation but also revenue.

3. Satisfaction for satisfaction’s sake.


Satisfaction is not a great metric. It tells you that people are satisfied. Great. I’m satisfied with lots of things, but I don’t love them. I don’t feel loyal to them. I am satisfied with how Gmail works but I don’t love it – it needs work. But ask me if I’m satisfied and I’d say “yeah, sure, I’m satisfied.” And yet time and again companies promote the 89% SATISFIED metric. Yuck.

Customer experience is nebulous and difficult to pin down. The measurements are not always clean, like online conversions or annual renewals. There are GREAT ways to measure it, but these 3 aren’t the place to start. We can do better.

Photo credits: barbouriansJim BauerDon Hankins via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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