CXPA's Book of Knowledge Decodes the Alphabet Soup of CX KPIs

By Aubrey Macklin, CCXP posted 01-12-2023 12:46 PM


Whether you are just beginning your career in CX or you’re a seasoned practitioner, data and metrics should be an important component of your program. Measuring the current state of your business and quantifying the impact of your CX efforts are key to your overall success and the ongoing success of your CX program. But – for many of us – the various acronyms and definitions can feel like alphabet soup either for ourselves, or when communicating with stakeholders or leaders who are less familiar with the intricacies of CX.

The good news is that CXPA has recently released a comprehensive guide called the Book of Knowledge that helps us make sense of it all! The section on Metrics, Measurement, and ROI in this guide is extremely detailed and includes thorough explanations and resources for the various aspects of CX measurement. I encourage you to take advantage of all the insights shared in this section and throughout the book, and would like to highlight two sections I believe are particularly important for a thriving CX program that reaches across your organization.

Choosing and Designing CX Metrics

Understanding how and what to measure is foundational to your CX program. If your CX program is new, you may be building your metrics and Key Performance Indicators from the ground up, and if your program is established, you may be wondering how to enhance the information at your disposal or find new ways to demonstrate the value to your leadership and stakeholders.

The guide outlines and defines a variety of useful metrics, including:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – Likelihood to recommend a company to a friend or colleague (measures relationship behavior)
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT/OSAT) – Overall satisfaction with a product, service, experience, or attribute (measures relationship and transactional experience)
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) – The extent to which a company made it easy for the customer to resolve their issue (measures transactional experience)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – The present value of the future cash flows of a customer (measures relationship behavior and potential value to the organization)
  • And so many more!


 However, it’s important to remember that as the guide states, “There is no singular best metric; rather, we need to use the metrics that best align with the strategic questions we are trying to address.”  Not every metric will always provide the same value, so it’s important to understand what each measures and what information will help you make the best decisions to achieve your goals.

 For example, do you want to understand the overall health of the relationship with your customers, or do you want to understand the experience of a particular touchpoint or encounter?  Do you want to simply know where you stand on a particular experience, or do you need to understand the “why” and the “how” behind your customers’ sentiments?

 When determining what metrics to leverage, remember to always tie your measurements and results back to the organization’s goals. If goals are revenue-related, ROI (Return on Investment) is a great calculation to become familiar with, and is outlined in detail in the guide. Demonstrating how your CX program contributes to your organization’s overall performance will go a long way in securing buy-in from your stakeholders and solidify the value of CX within your company’s culture and business practices.


Analyzing Your Results


Once you’ve decided what to measure, the next step is translating your results into actionable insights. This can be done with a variety of analyses, based on the question you are trying to answer and desired outcomes. The guide describes several ways to do this, including:

 Baseline Measurements: If you are starting a new CX program or initiative, it can be helpful to first measure your baseline (where you are now) so that you can compare future results and see what progress you have made. Review the guide for an explanation of baseline measurement and how to implement baseline methodologies.

 Benchmarking: Rather than comparing to your past results with baseline measurement, benchmarking allows you to compare your organization to other similar organizations. There are several considerations for benchmarking that you can become familiar with by reading the guide, such as what to consider when benchmarking, and what metrics you might think about comparing.

 Sentiment Analysis: While qualitative measures such as NPS and CSAT are great indicators of how your company is performing in the eyes of your customers, to improve your CX, you must understand what feelings are driving these numerical results. That’s where sentiment comes in – it’s the emotion behind the feedback your customers are providing. Understanding the emotional drivers of your customers’ numerical responses is key in correcting experiences that provide negative sentiment and promoting experiences that lead to positive sentiment.

 Causation vs. Correlation: Often, we see that two or more metrics appear to “trend together” or show a relationship with one another. However, this does not always mean that one metric “causes” another, known as causation. Understanding the difference between causation and correlation (correlation being that there is a relationship between two data points) is extremely valuable to paint a true picture of the impact various experiences have on your company’s results and on your customers.

 In summary, effectively incorporating data and analysis into your CX program is a crucial component of your program’s success. By using metrics to tell the story of your customers’ feelings, behaviors, and expectations, and tying those insights to your organization’s goals, you can better communicate the value of CX, increase buy-in, and shape positive change within your organization. And, more importantly, continue to meet the needs of your customers by delivering the experience they deserve.

 The CXPA Book of Knowledge is a fantastic resource to understand the concepts introduced above, as well as so many more, as you continue to develop your CX program and yourself as a CX professional!

Aubrey Macklin, CCXP is the Director of Experience at Allworth Financial and a winner of CXPA's 2022 Emerging Leader Awards. The first edition of CXPA's Book of Knowledge is available for free online reading to CXPA members at Not a member? Learn more and join today.