A Strategic Blueprint for Measuring Customer Experience Analytics 

Customer experience spending will grow 8.2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period to $6.41 billion in 2022.

What are Customer Experience Analytics?

Customer experience analytics is the specialized process of gathering, processing, interpreting, and acting upon customer data to guide experience optimization efforts. The core objective is an empathetic, 360-degree understanding of multifaceted customer journeys across every physical and digital touchpoint interaction.

This means thoroughly analyzing satisfaction drivers, emotions, pain points, needs, and preferences that shape engagement. Leaders can then make informed decisions on improving experiences in target areas.

Table: Key customer experience analytics

AspectDescriptionData SourcesFocus AreasStrategic Actions
Data CollectionGather both solicited and unsolicited customer dataSurveys, forms, social media, reviewsExpand listening scopeAdd emerging channels; prompt reviews
Analysis DimensionsAnalyze satisfaction, effort, emotions, preferencesFeedback, behavioral dataSentiment, journeys, needsPriority index for enhancements
Journey MappingIdentify specific pain points across stagesInterviews, analytics, surveysHigh effort touchpointsSimplify/automate friction areas
Channel EvaluationUnderstand interactions across access pointsWeb, mobile, call center dataChannel experience benchmarksStrengthen weakest channel experiences
SegmentationDivide customers into subgroupsDemographics, behaviors, value dataDrivers of satisfaction per segmentPersonalize experiences based on segments
Metric PerformanceTrack key indicators like NPS and churnVarious data sourcesHistorical trends and benchmarksSet improvement goals and optimize

Mastery requires collecting comprehensive qualitative and quantitative insight through solicited and unsolicited sources. Traditional feedback channels like surveys, interviews, and focus groups actively gather customer perspectives. These outputs direct subjective evaluations of brand sentiment. However, best practice programs supplement with unsolicited data capturing unfiltered customer behaviors and conversations.

Sources span social listening, chat logs, behavioral tracking tools, review sites, and more. Together, this combined data corpus fuels deep journey mapping analysis.

Sophisticated analytics model the complex dynamics influencing engagement at each sequential touchpoint. This means identifying moments of delight versus difficulty in the end-to-end sequence. Analytics quantify emotional resonance, provide behavioral and psychographic profiling, and uncover operational friction areas.

Overlaying contextual signals like past purchases, demographics, and channel preferences facilitates segmenting audiences based on drivers of satisfaction. Statistical techniques model predicted “next best actions” to tailor for micro-segments.


Engagement Modeling: Sophisticated analytics models delve into the dynamics of customer engagement, identifying key moments in the customer journey.

Leaders can then track broad metrics like NPS and churn rate while monitoring touchpoint-specific measurements like ease of online checkout. This interconnects emotional health factors, operational efficacy, and digital experience indicators. Reliably linking journey components to business impact proves crucial for executive alignment. Analytics inform continual experimentation and optimization, further enriching data sets over iterative cycles.

The analytics engine must sit at the heart of customer experience strategies. It supplies the fuel powering informed roadmaps for enhancement rooted in customers’ wants and barriers. Data-derived intelligence facilitates reducing effort, expanding value, and nurturing lasting affinity across segmented populations.

Aligning Customer Experience Analytics to Business Strategy

As customer journeys grow increasingly sophisticated across the omnichannel ecosystem, every customer experience strategy requires an encyclopedic understanding of evolving needs, friction points, and emotions shaping their audiences’ realities. Flawless execution comes from continually embedded empirical truths – not isolated hunches or lagging indicators. Sophisticated analytics modeling is the illumination driving strategy enhancements rooted in customers’ desires.

Marketing leaders must marshal robust data capabilities, solicited and behavioral, and human discernment to drive agendas optimized to wants.

This means complementing customer experience metrics like satisfaction with opportunity diagnostics around predictive propensities and operational metrics intersecting downstream. Infusing analytics throughout strategies sustains a reliable feedback loop bridging team assumptions to validated realities, ideals to credible refinements.

How to Measure Customer Experience

The Gartner Digital Customer Experience model outlines four core categories of metrics to gauge CX’s success. First, engagement indicators track interaction frequency and depth – such as email open rates, time on site, and repeat visits. Second, Net Promoter Score surveys quantitatively measure satisfaction and loyalty based on customers’ willingness to recommend. Third, the Customer Effort Score rates the ease or difficulty of meeting needs across touchpoints.

Finally, analyzing retention rates over time shows effectiveness at nurturing lasting relationships as customers repeatedly purchase instead of churning. Together, these metrics allow brands to monitor experience health holistically across customer journey stages.

Table: Customer Experience KPIs

Customer Experience KPIMethod of MeasurementStrategic ImportanceDescription
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)Surveys post-interaction asking customers to rate their satisfaction.Indicates immediate customer reaction to a product or service.Measures customer satisfaction with a specific interaction or overall experience.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)Surveys asking customers how likely they are to recommend the product/service.Assesses customer loyalty and predicts business growth.Gauges the likelihood of customers to recommend a company to others.
Customer Effort Score (CES)Surveys asking customers to rate the ease of their experience.Helps identify pain points in the customer journey.Evaluates the effort required by a customer to get an issue resolved or a need met.
Churn RateCalculated by dividing the number of lost customers by the total number of customers.Indicates customer retention success and potential issues in service or product.The percentage of customers who stop using the company’s products/services over a period.
Customer Retention RateCalculated by dividing the number of retained customers by the total number at the start of the period.Reflects customer loyalty and effectiveness of retention strategies.The percentage of customers who stop using the company’s products/services over a period.
Average Resolution TimeTracking time from initial customer contact to issue resolution.Directly impacts customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.The average time taken to resolve customer issues or complaints.
First Contact Resolution (FCR)Percentage of issues resolved in the first interaction.Measures efficiency and effectiveness of customer support.The rate at which customer inquiries or issues are resolved in the first interaction.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)Calculated based on average purchase value, purchase frequency, and customer lifespan.Indicates the long-term value of customer relationships.The total revenue expected from a single customer account over their relationship with the company.
Conversion RateCalculated by dividing the number of conversions by total visitors and multiplying by 100.Reflects the effectiveness of the sales funnel and customer journey.The percentage of customers who take a desired action, like making a purchase.
Social Media Sentiment AnalysisAnalyzing comments, mentions, and feedback on social media platforms.Provides real-time insights into public perception and customer satisfaction.Gauges customer opinions and satisfaction through social media interactions.

Measuring Customer Experience: Drill Down

Creating exceptional customer experiences relies on thoroughly tracking and analyzing key metrics reflecting engagement, satisfaction, loyalty, and relationships. While quantitative data provides impartial feedback, experienced leaders must employ qualitative insight and empathy to interpret the full context behind the numbers. This helps uncover why specific metrics may lag and guides more effective strategy enhancements rooted in what customers think, feel, and desire along their journeys.

Several core metrics shed light on the health of customer experiences:

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics indicate how well a brand connects with and activates its audience through interactions. Key indicators include open and click-through rates on emails and other outreach, time spent on site or in apps per session, return frequency, and volume of direct customer feedback submitted. Analyzing engagement performance across segments and channels reveals areas of strength to double down on and weaknesses to improve.

Leaders should set clear benchmarks and monitor trends aligned with business objectives over time. When paired with customer satisfaction data, engagement metrics allow brands to pinpoint specific touchpoints and journeys to refine for optimal impact.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score directly measures customer experience sentiment through the likelihood of a recommendation. It provides a quantifiable indicator of satisfaction and loyalty via a simple survey asking brand promoters to rate on a scale of 0 to 10. Those scoring 9-10 are official “promoters” who drive growth through referrals, while detractors (0-6) share negative feedback that fuels churn. Subtracting the percentage of detractors from promoters yields the NPS, ranging from -100 to 100. Given its ease of implementation and clarity of results, NPS provides an invaluable barometer of overall brand health.

example nps score calculation

Responses are Collected: The company asks its customers the NPS question and gathers their ratings.

Respondents are Categorized:

  • Promoters (score 9-10): The company’s most enthusiastic and loyal customers.
  • Passives (score 7-8): Customers who are satisfied but not enthusiastic and who may be swayed by competitors.
  • Detractors (score 0-6): Unhappy customers who can harm the company’s reputation and hinder growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Score Calculation: The company calculates the score by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The score is between -100 and 100, not a percentage.


For instance, in a survey of 100 customers, if the company finds:

  • 70 Promoters
  • 20 Passives
  • 10 Detractors

The NPS calculation would be:

  • % Promoters = 70%
  • % Detractors = 10%

NPS = 70

Thus, the company’s Net Promoter Score would be 70. This score is considered good, as anything above 0 is positive, above 20 is favorable, above 50 is excellent, and above 70 is considered world-class.

Segmenting the data by customer demographic, product line, and other variables identifies strengths versus pain points to double down on or improve. Leaders should monitor NPS trends over time and set goals for increasing promoters while reducing detractors.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

While NPS measures broad experience sentiment, the Customer Effort Score concentrates directly on the ease or difficulty of resolving issues, answering questions, or conducting transactions. It examines a critical driver of loyalty – how much effort a customer must expend to achieve their goal. CES surveys ask respondents to rate interaction effort on a scale, usually 1-5 or 1-7. The lower the overall score, the more accessible customers found the engagement, indicating smooth, frictionless processes requiring minimal customer effort.

As with NPS, analyzing CES performance by channel, product line, and other factors spotlights strengths and weaknesses. This helps leaders identify areas where simplification and friction reduction would improve loyalty by making things easier for customers.

Retention Rates

Analyzing customer retention rates over time provides another vital indicator of experience quality and loyalty cultivation success. Strong retention and reduced churn signal brands effectively converting new customers into lasting devotees. Common metrics examined include repeat purchase levels, order frequency trends, customer lifetime value shifts, and churn percentage decreases. Retention analysis also allows spotting early warning signs of issues before churn spikes materialize.

This helps quantify experience efforts’ impact on sustaining and expanding customer relationships. Leaders should supplement retention rate performance with qualitative insight into the emotional factors influencing loyalty. This informs enhancements, making it easier for the right customers to stay – and grow in value – for the long haul.

Using Data Analytics to Improve Customer Experience 

As consumer behaviors and expectations continuously evolve, even industry leaders risk falling behind without vigilant utilization of data analytics to improve customer experience. Relying on intuition over data-validated insights means strategies get built on assumptions rather than truths. This proves unsustainable as customers exhibit shifting needs across journeys. Brands can actively respond in real time by relentlessly employing data analytics to improve customer experience.

Powerful analytics modeling guides enacting enhancements precisely matched to known customer needs. The outputs facilitate the agility essential to keeping experience strategy locked in as markets fluctuate. Ultimately, fully embracing data analytics to improve customer experience represents the fuel injecting ever-present customer intelligence across processes as a wisdom-guiding force. With consumer demands intensifying, sacrificing data analytics to improve customer experience risks disengagement.

Customer Experience Platforms

Spending on customer experience (CX) initiatives continue rising steeply as brands strive to meet expanding consumer expectations through engagement technologies. IDC forecasts 8.2% CAGR industry growth through 2022, expecting over $6 billion yearly investment. With no unified CX stack meeting every need, companies leverage specialized software across critical areas.

Customer experience analytics spending will grow 8.2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period to $6.41 billion in 2022, according to a forecast by IDC.

Retail-focused platforms like Oracle and SAP facilitate omnichannel commerce, order processing, and customer segmentation to streamline shopping interactions. Customer service tools from vendors, including Zendesk and Salesforce, manage support cases across digital engagement channels for consistency. Community software solutions enable crowdsourced answers and peer-to-peer conversations as cost-efficient self-service.

Customer data platforms also play a role, centralizing identity and behavior signals across properties to enable personalization. Finally, content management systems like Adobe, Sitecore, and Episerver drive consistent, targeted website experiences through analytics-informed design and messaging.

As consumer expectations escalate, brands must coordinate CX efforts across stacked technology, orchestrating efficient, satisfying journeys matched to individuals. Specialist vendors fill gaps in broader strategies while integration builds alignment.

Tools for Customer Experience Analytics

A multidimensional understanding of dynamic customer journeys is a vital competitive advantage. Sophisticated analytics tools empower brands to evolve offerings and engagements actively informed by audience needs. Technology enriches human-centric decision-making across the organization by transforming disjointed data into unified insights. This drives agility by responding to customer expectations in real-time versus lagging.

Various specialized platforms facilitate gathering, synthesizing, and acting upon solicited and organic customer signals. Each capability set targets specific business challenges around experience measurement, analysis, and optimization. But mastery comes from selecting the right tools aligned to an overarching strategy, not adopting a spray-and-pray array of tech. Orchestrating disparate systems into a cohesive infrastructure provides the foundation.

Table: Summary of customer experience analytics tools

ToolFunctionKey FeaturesIdeal Use CaseIntegration(s)
QualtricsSurveys, NPS, analyticsAdvanced survey tools, analytics dashboardCustomer feedback collection and analysisIntegrates with various CRM systems
MixpanelUser analytics, funnel analysisUser journey tracking, conversion analyticsOptimizing user journeys, improving conversion ratesIntegrates with data management platforms
HeapWeb and mobile analyticsAutomatic data capture, user behavior analysisIn-depth analysis of user interactionsIntegrates with web and mobile platforms
UserpilotIn-product analytics, user testingFeature usage tracking, feedback collectionSoftware user experience optimizationIntegrates with SaaS platforms
ZendeskCustomer service analyticsSupport ticket tracking, performance metricsEnhancing customer support servicesIntegrates with various support tools
HotjarHeatmaps, recordings, surveysVisual behavior tracking, user feedback toolsWebsite usability improvementIntegrates with web development tools
Adobe Experience ManagerWeb analyticsContent performance analysis, multi-platform managementContent strategy and digital asset managementIntegrates with Adobe suite and other marketing tools

Qualtrics: Surveys, NPS and Broad Analytics

As a frontrunner in customer experience analytics, Qualtrics offers an expansive range of feedback collection mechanisms while integrating advanced analytics modeling and reporting. Products span survey builders, NPS trackers, machine learning, and more – all interconnected to streamline the derivation of intelligence. This allows businesses to consolidate multiple data sources around engagement and loyalty indicators in a unified view. Sophisticated filtering and segmentation powers drill-downs illuminating macro trends down to micro-journey nuances across lines of business, regions, and personas.

For example, retail brands can compare regional satisfaction variances to target and tailor local experience improvements at scale. Qualtrics provides one springboard for gathering and making sense of cross-channel customer signals.

Mixpanel: User Analytics and Funnel Optimization

Where Qualtrics facilitates broad engagement measurement, Mixpanel offers surgical precision analyzing digital experience mechanics and optimization. Its capabilities delve deep into quantifying how users interact with online platforms such as websites and mobile applications. Mixpanel’s automated user behavior tracking replaces manual tagging to uncover comprehensive journey insights. These span engagement patterns, conversions, abandonment trends, and complex multi-channel analysis. Embedded funnel reporting visualizes drop-off rates across sales, sign-ups, and other critical processes. This quantifies friction areas undermining conversion goals for remediation.

For example, e-commerce brands can diagnose shopping cart inefficiencies using Mixpanel’s behavioral analysis, enhancing checkout flows to lift sales. For digital experience leaders, Mixpanel fuels targeted optimization relying on direct feedback from user actions.

Heap: Automated Web and Mobile Analytics

Heap differentiates in the crowded customer experience analytics space by automating customer digital body language collection and measurement. Their technology eliminates the tedious and error-prone implementation of manual tracking. Instead, Heap ingests and processes all unfiltered user interactions with web and mobile touchpoints. This black box flight recorder perspective provides an invaluable audit trail – objectively capturing every tap, swipe, and click along the journey sequence. Heap empowers businesses to reconstruct paths even non-technical teams can decipher. Visualizations spotlight usability challenges and diagnose needed optimizations like page redesigns for stickiness.

For publishers struggling with inconsistent content consumption, Heap delivers web and mobile analytics tracking engagement metrics by format. Leaders gain visibility into performance gaps between text versus audio versus video pieces for better targeting content strategy to usage behaviors. Heap simplifies insight extraction for broad business types through intuitive reconstructions of customer digital body language.

Userpilot: In-Product Analytics and Embedded User Testing

While traditional web analytics examine superficial customer journeys, Userpilot drives insights directly from instrumented product experiences. Their toolkit facilitates observing actual feature adoption, measuring engagement mechanics, and trialing enhancements natively within existing interfaces customers use daily. Capabilities embed seamlessly across web and mobile, quantifying in-the-moment interactions lining up precisely with development roadmaps.

For example, tracking reveals if new dashboard views click with target segments versus older self-service portals needing a refresh. Userpilot makes it simple to run A/B tests onboarding flows or evaluate new alert modules influencing renewals. This tightens the loop between product teams’ launch cadence and confirmation of desired behaviors exhibited in the field. In essence, Userpilot closes the gap between releasing features and understanding their impact when experienced first-hand by customers. Their in-product analytics and experimentation platform brings the voice of customer insights further upstream to inform strategic prioritization grounded in measured response.

Zendesk: Customer Service Analytics

Zendesk sits at the intersection of customer experience and service analytics, supplying omnichannel support teams with actionable insights. Their toolset monitors key performance indicators quantifying the health of help center operations, from average response times to resolution rates and overall satisfaction scores. Advanced reporting also provides diagnostic capabilities determining frequent inquiry types, knowledge article effectiveness, training gaps, and other drivers. For instance, brands can leverage Zendesk’s analytics to reconstruct common customer issues and realign resources to enhance self-service content targeting major question categories.

This helps balance ticket volume with support team capacity. For experienced leaders seeking a window into the voice of their customers through support engagements, Zendesk supplies a specialized system connecting data directly to agent improvements.

Hotjar: Heatmaps, Visitor Recordings and Feedback Surveys

While many customer experience analytics platforms focus on back-end performance indicators, Hotjar offers crucial front-end visibility through its suite of conversion tools. Features incorporate heat maps illustrating visitor scrolling and tapping, session replay documenting journeys, funnel visualization, and targeted micro feedback surveys. Together, this expands the context around emotional, ergonomic, and usability friction points that challenge visitors.

A media company may leverage heat maps revealing issues around layout hierarchies and then confirm how readers consume surrounding content via recordings. Visitor-informed visualizations make it easier to convince teams to address pain areas. Hotjar closes customer experience analytics blind spots through human-centric reconstructions of customer struggles — moving beyond pure numbers into the realm of observed behaviors and expressed sentiments.

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM): Content Analytics

Adobe Experience Manager represents the gold standard solution for brands struggling to streamline content production workflows while extracting intelligence around performance. AEM consolidates digital asset management, omnichannel distribution, and built-in analytics tracking engagement for different content types across platforms. Combining work management efficiency and insights into downstream effectiveness makes AEM invaluable for contemporary marketing teams balancing expanding workload complexity with demands to optimize content return on investment.

For example, consumer electronics brands can evaluate resonance across decision-stage content, from educational buying guides to promotional launch assets. This connects mission-critical content activities to revenue growth within a unified system. AEM introduces order in an increasingly chaotic content landscape while providing the analysis needed to inform ongoing strategies.

Wrap-Up Thoughts

In an era of exploding data and extreme customer centricity, brands must embrace a specialized customer experience data and analytics strategy to thrive. While awareness around the competitive necessity of CX builds, most still struggle to turn theory into impactful practice. True transformation requires investments in people, processes, and technologies, allowing masterful insight extraction, ecosystem mapping, and journey enhancement.

With sophisticated customer experience analytics as the engine, companies progress from guessing about customer wants to embed the voice of customer intelligence across the board actively. Technology fills visceral blind spots, while empathy and imagination steer resulting actions. Together, they close experience gaps through informed prioritization attuned to nuances across channels, touchpoints, and segments.

While the customer experience analytics journey demands commitment, perseverance pays compounding dividends, moving beyond transactions into lasting customer resonance. Ultimately, this earns loyalty beyond reason, fuels reliable growth, and futureproofs organizations against market fluctuations or emerging competitors. But it starts with the first steps – expanding listening, vetting capabilities, and fortifying strategies with hard customer truths.

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.