Sean Moran co-wrote this blog post with Amy Myers. For more ZS insights on the impact of COVID-19, visit zs.com/COVID19.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve heard from sales leaders that teams are turning inward, focusing first on how to best connect with their current customers. And that makes sense. Customers will long remember how they were treated and supported during this time, while prospects in fire-fighting mode are delaying conversations around new products and services. So how can sales leaders monitor how well their customers are being supported?
A few months ago, ZS surveyed about 200 executives from middle-market companies to find out which sales KPIs are most important to them and how they’re used for strategic decision-making, including measuring customer satisfaction. In the current environment, as companies begin tracking and testing new tactics, setting and using the right KPIs is critical.
Measuring retention vs. satisfaction
More companies are tracking retention than customer satisfaction or experience, but that may need to change. According to our survey, 74% of companies track customer retention, while just less than half (49%) track customer experience. Companies also rated retention KPIs as more important (on average, scoring a 5 out of 5) than experience measures (on average, 4 out of 5).
Understanding how a customer is feeling and using your services is critical as needs change amid the global pandemic. Focusing on experience scores while testing what new touch points and offerings are resonating will mean deeper partnerships for the future and nimbler adaption to customer demands.
How are companies measuring experience?
Customer satisfaction matters, but the way that customer sentiment is measured, tracked and shared varies by organization. In our survey, execs cited Net Promoter Score (NPS) as the most popular way to measure customer experience or satisfaction, with 41% of survey respondents using the score. Retention or churn KPIs and customer satisfaction scores were the next most popular measures.
Most companies are reporting these satisfaction measures monthly (36% of respondents) vs. quarterly (26%), semi-annually (13%) or weekly (11%). As leaders are laser-focused on their current books, we recommend stepping up the frequency of measurement and considering customer-segment-level measures for a better picture.
Of the companies collecting customer experience measures, only 31% are sharing these scores organization-wide, and companies are most frequently using the score to measure customer success roles. As supporting customers becomes a team effort with sales reps pitching in to share what they know about accounts, customer satisfaction is an important metric for every team member across functions to understand.
What can you do?
Now is not the time for drastic changes and new, complicated dashboards. However, expanding the reach of already-collected KPIs like NPS and distributing your KPIs more widely can get the full organization involved in customer service and support. Beyond a wider internal audience, amping up the frequency of your already-collected customer satisfaction measures can help your company monitor a rapidly changing landscape. Finally, for those who have historically focused only on retention and churn, implementing a simple measure like an NPS score or even a structured rep-administered survey can help you understand customers’ needs right now.
In periods of uncertainty and change, measuring customer satisfaction is critical. By maximizing the efficiency of your existing data and adjusting KPIs to take the pulse of your customer, you can be well-positioned to plan (and track) your next moves.