How to measure customer experience for SMEs

Unlocking customer satisfaction: Key metrics for small business.

Knowing how to keep your customers happy counts for so much. Let’s face it, they’re the ones using your services, buying your products, helping your business grow - and paying the bills of course. If the customer has a great experience with you, they are more likely to become a loyal customer, but how can you find out if they’ve had a good experience or not?

Why measure customer experience?

Customer experience, often referred to as CX, is how the customer feels once they’ve completed their interaction with you. Knowing they leave your store, site or service feeling good is important. It’s the impression you leave both immediately after and for the months and even years to come. Customer experience expert Esteban Kolsky found that 91% of customers who are unhappy with a brand leave for a competitor without even registering a complaint. So it can be difficult to know why your customer is leaving.

As an SME, KPIs (key performance indicators) provide valuable insights that can drive your future development or investment strategies. You need to know what’s working and more importantly, what isn't.

Measuring customer experience is done via customer experience metrics and can help:

  • Boost customer retention

  • Create brand loyalty

  • Enhance your name in the industry

  • Steer targets in the right direction

  • Save money (it’s cheaper to keep current customers than to search for new ones)

Reporting on customer experience

When it comes to customer satisfaction and how it’s measured, there are a lot of different ways to gather the information you need. Reporting on customer experience can be done right from the start of the customer journey to the finish via KPIs. Here are some of the main measurements you can calculate to measure good customer service and keep customers coming back to you.

Net promoter score (NPS) separates your customers into either detractors, passives, or promoters. They’ll either love your brand, be neutral, or dislike you (sorry!). You can find out by sending a survey to your customers and asking, ‘On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?’


0-6 are Detractors

7-8 are Passives

9-10 are Promoters

To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of detractor responses from the promoter responses. The result will show you how many of your previous customers had such a great experience with you that they’re out there promoting you!

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is simple and measures customer satisfaction and customer service performance. It is done immediately after an interaction or purchase and will show how satisfied a customer is with their experience on a scale. Usually, it's 0-5 or 0-10 but you can get creative if you want to. Simply ask your customer to rate their experience via a survey after an interaction including:

  • After a live chat experience

  • A phone call that provided a solution

  • An email following a purchase

The CSAT result is the average score of the surveys you collect. The higher the score the more satisfied your customers are. You may have experienced these surveys as a customer yourself, for example if you’ve ever been on a web chat with your phone or WiFi provider.

Customer Effort Score (CES) calculates how easy your customers felt their experience was with your business. Is your website easy to navigate? Are your contact details easy to find? Are your instruction booklets easy to follow? These are all questions you can ask your customers to get honest answers. Keep it simple and ask your customers if they found whatever it is you’re asking them to do easy, neutral or difficult. Here are some examples:

If a customer sends an online enquiry form ask, ‘How easy was it to find our contact form on our website today? Or ‘How easy was it to find the product you needed on our website?’ The score will be the number of ‘easy’ answers divided by how many responses you received.

First Response Time (FRT) is another easy KPI and is the time it takes for your business to respond to customer contact. FRT should be calculated during your business hours only to get an accurate result but if you operate 24/7 we have some top tips on how to keep your customer service top notch too. It’s also useful when measuring customer service as it shows how accurate your correspondence is. For example, if you send an automated email after your customer contacts you stating that someone will be in touch within 48 hours, how many miss that timeframe?

Average Resolution Time (ART) will vary depending on your industry, but it's obvious that quicker is better. Customers don’t like to be kept waiting and your ART will show how long it takes your company to answer customer enquiries. Generally around 5 minutes is considered a good wait time and you can track the average resolution time via the representative, via department, via region or anything else that makes sense for your business.

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a KPI that measures how many customer enquiries are solved during the first contact. Meaning both the customer and the business are happy and working efficiently. This percentage can be calculated by taking the number of calls received in a single period and dividing it by how many were resolved at the first interaction.

What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?

Both customer service and customer experience must coexist and work in sync with each other, but they are different in how they connect customers to your business and how they are measured.

Customer service is a big slice of the CX cake and is generally measured through a single touchpoint. It could be a phone call to resolve an issue, an interaction with an agent via live chat or any instance where a customer reaches out for support.

The CX is about the entire journey your customer takes with your business. From the time they first become aware of what you do, to the completion of their purchase or time with you. There are lots of touchpoints and interactions throughout the customer experience which are all opportunities to improve the customer experience and achieve consistency across all elements of your customer journey.

The KPIs we’ve outlined here are invaluable to SMEs who want to understand more about customer service metrics and if the passion for your business shines through, the KPIs will reflect that and show you have that extra bit of something that will keep your customers happy for many years to come.

Still wondering how to get started with how to measure customer service and experience? No problem. It can be overwhelming at first but you can get 1-2-1 support by speaking to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisers.

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