The success of any business venture depends on two factors: the goals and metrics for defining that success. One of the goals is customer success, which starts with understanding why and how customer success is critical for growth.
Customer success goals might be straightforward, but the real deal lies in metrics. For entrepreneurs already on top of one or more of these CS metrics, monitoring business success will be easy.
Here are five customer-focused metrics that reflect the performance and true health of a business:
Once the business gets off the ground and starts attracting clients, loyalty is arguably one of the most important objectives to focus on. Customer loyalty is reflected in the retention rate. Tracking retention rate will indicate the number of customers that consistently use a company’s product or service over a specified period and—in the case of merchandise—repeat purchases.
The actual number of loyal customers can be calculated with this formula: Retention Rate = [Number of customers at the end of a specified period] – [Number of new customers in the period] ÷ [Number of customers at the start of the period] x 100.
In other words, the retention Rate is the number of retained customers divided by the number of customers at the start of the period x 100. The last step will give you the percentage, which you can use to easily track improvement.
Net Retention Rate And Average Rate Per Customer
Closely related to customer loyalty is the net retention rate. While customer loyalty measures the number of clients that stay with the company, the net retention rate tells of their purchasing power.
Customer loyalty is an excellent foundational customer success metric for a new business to track. However, net retention must be considered down the line as it is more comprehensive. For instance, net retention will tell you how many customers have upgraded or downgraded their product use. These factors can indicate when a customer is about to stop using a product.
In addition to the net retention rate, the average rate per customer speaks of the company’s customer value. While the number of customers matter, one business may have high-value customers while another has low-value customers. You want to be in the former category. To gauge the average customer value of the business, divide the total revenue collected from customers by the total number of customers.
The churn rate is another success indicator when it comes to customers. Simply put, churn rate is the flip side of customer loyalty, showing the number of clients a business has lost over time.
In SaaS, the churn rate is the number of people unsubscribing from the product, considering product or service satisfaction generally drives the churn rate.
Notably, a high churn rate is a critical telltale sign that the business may not be providing value or the retention strategies are not working. Further, these retention strategies may include activities along the customer journey, such as onboarding, customer support and promotions.
As with average rate per customer, churn rate is another excellent way to determine the value each customer brings, helping you to assess the difference between losing a client paying $200 and one paying $1,000.
To get the churn rate, use this formula: Churn Rate = [Number of lost customers] ÷ [Total number of customers at the start of the period] x 100.
Is there an acceptable churn rate? All businesses lose customers at some point, even the most popular and robust ones. The big question is how many losses can you incur before you enter the red zone. According to Hubspot, an acceptable churn rate is below 8%.
User statistics or analytics indicate customer success in using the product or service. A business can determine its user cohorts (i.e., groups of users with shared traits) by analyzing the user data inside the website or product.
Analytics show the company’s health at a finer scale by revealing how customers adopt, interact and engage with the key product features or, in the case of goods, the types and categories of goods. Entrepreneurs using tools like customer relationship management technology understand how vital this metric is to the growth of the business and customer success in the long term.
Customer 360: Tying It All Together
At the core of customer success is the customer. That’s why gauging the health of a business takes interacting with metrics around the customers. With that said, a Customer 360 touches on all of these metrics and more trackable data and solutions that give businesses information about the customer’s interaction with the business at any point—past, present and even future.
While it takes sophisticated tools to gather consistent, accurate data, a Customer 360 is the single source of comprehensive insight into all the relevant information, which includes but is not limited to:
- Product usage history
- Purchasing history
- Transaction history
- Length of time as a customer
- Survey history
- Inquiry history
- Next purchase or renewal
- Contract value
The goal of customer success is revenue growth, but it is also worth noting that customer success is customer-focused. From these metrics, the business owner can tell whether that’s the case for their business.
Read the original article on the Forbes website