How to Measure Customer Success


You can get it all correct: products, marketing and even the perfect team. With all of this, you can still fail in business.
Often we tend to forget the most important factor. And no, it won’t simply come right because all the other features work.
Your customers are your most important assets and you need to monitor their success constantly.

Do You Understand Customer Success?
Don’t feel bad if you’re not accustomed to this concept. It’s still an evolving idea that became popular with SaaS (Software as a Service) business.
Important: It started with SaaS, but today it can apply to any field. Don’t you want to know your customers are happy with your service or product? If they utilize it effectively they’ll return for more business.
But let’s explain it in terms of software companies.
You can’t simply sell software. You must ensure the customers are able to use it effectively. That equates to success.
More often than not this is an ongoing process, because the customer can become more adept at using it, expand and use more features or require additional assistance.
Your CS team will have to manage this. And as a foundation of management you’ll have to measure their success to know where clients need more help.
And no matter your type of business, when you measure customer success you can:

  • Use data to improve your business where necessary
  • Assist customers to get more out of your business

Ready for some interesting feedback?

Important CS Measurement Techniques

Your company has many KPIs, right? You want to boost sales, develop new products or launch a new look.
Each process requires unique ways of measuring success. Measuring customer success is no different. Customers differ in how they support your business. Learn the details so you can:

  • Cut away the negative features
  • Build on the positive ones

Here’s what you need to measure.

Measure Their Satisfaction
You can see this applies to any business. You want to know what your customers think about you in general.
You can measure this through:

  • Online or in store questionnaires
  • Telephone polls done via IVR

My advice is to keep it short and be specific. Here are the three best questions to ask:

Please Rate Your Overall Satisfaction
This tells you how customers feel at the moment. But note that this can quickly change, so measure regularly and don’t use last year’s ratings to make you feel good this year.
It’s called the CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and clients can give a rating between one and five. Numbers relate to different levels of satisfaction, from which you can obtain a percentage score.

Please Rate the Likelihood of Recommending us to a Friend or a Colleague
You want word of mouth to draw more customers, right? This test will tell you if it’s a viable expectation.
For the NPS (Net Promoter Score) customers pick a rating between zero and 10. In general, these ratings mean the following:

  • Customers picking between 0 and 6 may even talk negatively about you
  • If someone picks 7 or 8 they’re not likely to refer you
  • The promoters picking 9 or 10 will draw your future customers

These questions are handy to track general impressions, but it won’t show you where to make adjustments, if necessary. For that, you’ll need the techniques mentioned later in this article.

How Effortless was Your Experience With us?
Today’s society is used to getting everything quickly. If you can’t match other companies in how fast and effortless your processes are, you’ll lose customers.
So hopefully your customers all give you a low rating of 1.

Measure Your Expansion
You want your customers to grow with you. When they’re not interested in new services or products you roll out, you’re missing out on huge revenue.
Customer success works this way: If your customers are satisfied with previous models or versions and you helped them optimize usage, new updates or features should attract them.
You measure this by seeing how much of your new revenue comes from existing customers. If you didn’t draw many of them into the new chapter of your business, you know you have work to do.

Measure Customer’s Success with Your Product
Can you know how customers experience your products? It’s not like you can visit all of them and monitor what they do. Once again questionnaires can help you gain insight. These metrics are good indications of whether product training, information and customer service provide adequate insight:

  • Ask customers whether the product helps them reach their goals
  • Enquire how the product changed their business processes or sales
  • Let them state how often they use the product

If you know your product can simplify your customer’s entire day, but he or she only uses it occasionally, you know more work is needed. This can relate to:

  • Making customer care more effective
  • Providing a helpline to assist with problems
  • Giving more in depth training on the product

When you improve these areas and clients start enjoying your product more, you’ll see your NPS scores rise quickly.

Measure Churn
If you’re serious about getting customer success right, you’ll also do the tests that could be quite disheartening to see. But it’s dynamic in helping you build your business. It’s called Net MRR Churn.

Here’s what you need:

  • A: Your contraction amount, which is the revenue you lost when customers downgraded
  • B: Your expansion amount, referring to gains due to upgrades
  • C: A reactivation number relating to customers who left but came back
  • D: Your MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) at the start of the period you’re investigating

Now a simple equation:
(MRR Churn + B/A + C) / D
This will give you a percentage and if you’re lucky—no, if your customer success is high—you’ll get a negative reading. This means you retain customers and even get them to invest in upsales.

How did your company fare? A few numbers and percentages can give you a clear picture of what your customers think of you. This knowledge should drive your actions more than anything. Customers determine your future, so make sure they’re smiling on the inside whenever they use your services.

About the Author:


Povilas V. Dudonis is a serial entrepreneur and likes to dig deep into methods and processes of business operations to find ways to reach maximum performance