It’s a huge job to do all the tactical work it takes to keep customers successful. With all the things you could be doing every day, spending your efforts wisely is critical. That’s why getting your customer success KPIs right is a must. Keeping a close eye on these metrics ensures your team is focused on the right areas that guide your users to success with your product.
There are likely many KPIs and customer success metrics your team is keeping track of, but here are our top four.
Customer Success KPI #1: Churn Rate
Churn is the defining factor of a SaaS company’s ability to retain customers—a pivotal measure of the growth potential of a company. In an article on the importance of churn, David Skok explains that as a company grows and experiences churn, “that loss of revenue requires more and more bookings coming from new customers just to replace the churn. As a result, growth slows substantially.”
This is where customer success teams really shine. Not only can great customer success teams retain customers, but they can take the lead on account expansion and referrals, which can dramatically offset inevitable churn and even achieve negative churn (when the expansions, up-sells, and cross-sells to your current customer base exceed the revenue that you are losing due to churn).
Even if you choose to separate your customer success team from the team that handles renewals and expansions, the CS team is the key to driving the value that customers expect that will make them receptive to those conversations.
Customer Success KPI #2: NPS Score/Customer Sentiment
Perhaps the most common and most standardized metric in customer success is sentiment, a part of collecting voice of the customer. Customer sentiment is most often measured through a quick NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey asking customers how likely they are to recommend this product to others. This helps measure customer satisfaction and loyalty and also lets customer success teams know what they can do to improve and who is prime for referrals.
Many companies implement NPS surveys via email, but we choose to deliver them inside our web-app (as seen above), using NPS best practices and strategies, where we know our customers are most receptive. Our customers have seen great success with this method as well, with some noting as much as a 70% increase in survey completion rates.
Customer sentiment can also be measured through Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys; some companies (like us) even use both for a more complete view.
Customer Success KPI #3: Activity Level
Our customer success team keeps a close eye on user activity levels. This not only shows them who is inactive (and therefore at risk for churn) but also shows where a user might be stuck or confused inside the app. This information helps them chart a course for correction through relevant messaging campaigns like guided tours or feature callouts. Appropriate activity levels will inevitably vary between companies, but login frequency is a key variable for us.
Customer Success KPI #4: Product Utilization
We also care a great deal, as most SaaS companies do, about measuring product usage analytics to help us ensure the product we’re building is actually being used and used as intended. For us, this is made up of three key factors:
- Feature Usage measures what features customers are using in the application. You want to make sure your customers are using the stickiest features, including integrations. Feature adoption measures how well customers adopt new features as they roll out.
- Depth of Usage measures the percentage of the product being used and can indicate whether a customer is getting the most out of it. The more features a customer is using, the more invested they are in the product.
- Breadth of Usage measures how many users or licenses (or seats) a customer has logging in on a regular basis. For us, this isn’t perfectly weighted against the others because an account can have any number of users and still be perfectly healthy, but the more users in an account, the more buy-in your product has.
Customer Success is much more than a checklist; it has real impact on the success of the company itself. From company to company, it looks different and it’s constantly evolving, but having a few solid KPIs as guides can help your team stay ahead of churn and work toward growth. You can read about these KPIs and more in our Complete Introduction to Customer Success.
Want to see how UserIQ can provide deeper insight into these customer success KPIs?