The hot numbers in hard data

Gary - 7 th September 2017

‘Hard data’.

The term alone causes us to puff out our chests and radiate an aura of resilience.

It’s the bedrock of the predictions your targets should be set and monitored against, and helps you to see what is currently happening.

Without it, you’ll find it hard to deliver hot business.

When it comes to acquiring the right numbers, there are several data measures to consider. These should all be a part of your Customer Experience Measurement Toolkit.

To ensure you’re equipped with everything you need to drive valuable action, here’s a rundown of each data measure (online and offline) in detail.

(Digital) Visitor Intent And Task Completion

When customers engage digitally, they normally set out with a task and goal in mind.

This means it’s only them who can provide accurate feedback on their experience in the context of their intentions.

Were they satisfied with the digital interaction?

Could they complete what they set out to do?

Listening to what they say about the experience and monitoring the level of task completions is crucial. These are key customer experience (CX) metrics that have opened up a whole new world of measurement using digital analytics.

Armed with these numbers, you’ll understand how your customers feel, think, and behave.

(Digital) Abandonment Rates

Once you’ve spent time and money getting people to your site, the last thing you want to do is lose them.

The average shopping basket abandonment rate is 68.53% - Baymard Institute

Permit me a WOW! here and a moment’s contemplation…  

Let’s get this straight, only a third of people who have actively decided to place an item in their ‘to buy’ list on your site actually checkout and follow through with the purchase.

To avoid this waste, be sure to remove any barriers preventing your customers from achieving what you want them to achieve, such as hidden fees and inconvenient payment methods.

Make everything as frictionless and seamless as it can be.

(Digital) Time On The Site

This is one of those ‘should I, shouldn’t I?’ data measures.


It’s believed that we all tend to stay longer and spend more time on things that we are enjoying, or find rewarding in some way.

And the same can be said for websites.  

The amount of time people are spending on your site could be a key indicator as to how fresh and interesting your content and service is to potential customers.


Or does time on the site demonstrate poor usability?

Those against measuring time on the site suggest that the longer people spend on a site, the worse it is in terms of navigation. It might also indicate that your customers can’t easily complete their desired tasks.

The Brand Vista Way

With no fundamental evidence to prove which side is right, we suggest doing things a little differently:

  • Watch what’s happening on advisor chats, in particular the topics being discussed

  • Monitor what content attracts the most interactions

  • Review what content people are sharing and how many times

(Digital and Physical) Conversion Rate

Following any interaction with a customer you need to determine the likelihood that they will take some further action. If your customer experience is ‘hot’ this number will sizzle.

Companies with particularly long sales cycles need to design their experiences in a way that allows customers to move along their individual buyer journey both seamlessly and efficiently.

Providing the best user experience (both physical and digital) throughout the buying process will help improve conversion rates from one touchpoint to the next.

The offline/online conversion rate is also important.

Businesses offering services like click and collect, book a test drive, book an appointment, or call back, must understand the journey and the implications of combining the two platforms.

(Digital and Physical) Retention Rate

Once a prospective customer has made their first purchase they become a major opportunity for any organisation.

Increasing retention rates has obvious revenue opportunities - something that has been proven time and time again. And hot organisations that provide hot CX have demonstrably lower customer churn rates.

So monitor yours closely and take corrective action if it starts moving in the wrong direction.

(Digital and Physical) Acquisition Rate

Organisations nearly always need new customers if they want to enjoy long-term growth.

Higher acquisition rates correlate directly with higher rates of income.

This is why it’s important that you’re able to identify what proportion of your customers are first time visitors, or more importantly purchasers.

This is a significant indicator of future performance.

(Digital and Physical) Resolved Issues

To understand how your company performs in terms of customer service, review all of the customers’ issues your team has logged and resolved.

Regardless of how successful your company is, there will always be some problems and grievances. However, a team that can solve these efficiently will ignite benefits in the form of extra sales and improved loyalty.

Start by setting your standard of efficient response time and measure everything against it. Just be sure to keep it realistic - you want to motivate your staff, not dishearten them!

(Digital and Physical) Repeat Visits

An understanding of both the frequency and regularity of repeat visits (online and offline) will provide you with clear evidence of how well your site satisfies your customers’ needs.

You’ll need to capture data to measure and differentiate between the different types of visitors:

  • First or second time visitors

  • Frequent and regular visitors

  • Less frequent, but regular visitors

  • Infrequent visitors

(Digital and Physical) Customer Lifetime Value

Or, put simply: the net value of revenue flows from each customer.

(Digital and Physical) Benchmarking and Trends

Less a hot number and more a hot principle, benchmarking is crucial if you want to truly understand where you are.

After all, being able to compare your business to your competitors is invaluable; don’t forget, your customers may be their customers as well…

You’re competing day in, day out.

But it’s also important to consider trends over time, as progress matters more than snapshots.

How is your business improving?

How is your business performing in comparison to your benchmarks?

Putting Hard Data In Its Place

When we talk about measurement with CX professionals, The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is almost always mentioned first. In fact, it is often the only thing that gets mentioned.

Whilst it has been cited that NPS is the ‘one number you need to grow’, we believe it’s far from the measurement tool brands in this new era require.

Yes, it offers a great benchmarkable and simplistic measure that has proven to correlate with business success. But it doesn’t offer the data required to help you establish the progress you’re making towards the vision...

...neither a clear view of what is and isn’t working and why.

Old era CX tracking is a mess of different techniques and methodologies which don’t give one big picture. They reinforce silos, cause confusion and often get ignored.

But brands are built by the 1000s of touchpoints present in the customer experience (physical and digital). This means that elements from the best existing tracking programmes can be combined to create one consolidated measurement tool…

  1. Brand Tracking

  2. Customer Satisfaction

  3. Employee Satisfaction

  4. Advertising Tracking

After all, surely it’s far better to work out what you really need and then, with a bit of skill and the right attitude, combine the essentials into one CX tracking programme?

For the best results, be clear about the objectives for each of the different elements. This will help you to achieve a balance of real time tactical and strategic feedback whilst cutting costs, busting silos and reducing waste.

Making Customer Experience Measurement Work

It is clear that a new approach and a new attitude to CX measurement is required.

Businesses need an approach which aligns hot CX measures to top business metrics, with clearly defined strategic and tactical roles. It should also combine hard business data with consumer tracking data, while taking measures from inside and outside of the business.

With this data, you’ll be able to accurately judge what’s happening, and treat the hard numbers with respect and caution.

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Gary is the chairman and one of the original founders of Brand Vista. With over 20 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side he loves finding out what customers and consumers are really thinking and turning this knowledge into compelling brand propositions that succeed in the real world.
Find out more about Gary