8 Customer Experience Metric Silos Mask Momentum


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customer experience metrics managementMetrics selection can be the most pivotal decision you make in your customer experience management strategy. That’s because what gets measured gets managed. There’s a science to it. The trick to successful metrics selection is to connect the dots between cause-and-effect. That’s why customer experience metric silos mask momentum as either an understatement or an overstatement of reality.

Team Metrics: Continuity of performance measurement from the organization level to the team level, and to individuals is vital to “moving the needle”. When you think about it, team performance is the summation and synergy of the team members’ achievements. The same is true for organizational performance. This is why connecting the dots is essential for customer experience metrics.

Organizational Metrics: Similarly, continuity across organizations spells success or dysfunction for the company as a whole. Metrics disparity among product lines, account teams, and functional areas will dilute what could otherwise be achieved if everyone pulls together. This is particularly evident when you consider that many customers buy multiple products, in multiple locations. And the need for cross-functional harmony becomes obvious when you look at a customer experience journey map.

Care-About Metrics: Customer experience metrics focused on what the company cares about may be at odds with what customers care about. This is a metric silo (mis-match) that’s a show-stopper in the big scheme of things. For example, if the company cares about customer referrals or revenue growth, metrics are likely to follow suit. However, customers taking the time to answer your surveys are probably indicating other specific care-abouts, such as timely response or defect-free product. If organizations, teams, and individuals are not being measured by what customers care about, they are less likely to make significant improvements in those specific elements. This is a big reason behind survey response rates that are low, as well as internal disillusion with customer experience management ROI (return on investment).

Empowering Metrics: Furthermore, individual and team performance measurement by revenue or customer referrals is typically too far removed from what employees feel is within their direct power to influence. A careful analysis of cause-and-effect will give you confidence that tying employee performance to a customer care-about such as timely response or defect-free product (as the cause, also known as the key driver) of referrals and revenue will indeed cause the business result you’re seeking.

Recognition Metrics: Recognition programs that focus on individuals or heroics are probably not congruent with customer experience reality. Customers have a thousand things to do each day, so they typically prefer hassle-free experiences that require no heroics. Hassle-free experiences are rarely the output of an individual; they are created by smoothly orchestrated teamwork behind the scenes and across interactions. Acknowledging these parameters, you can avoid recognition metric silos by rewarding teamwork and by rewarding prevention of issues for customers.

Dashboard Metrics: Metrics dashboards are intended to provide a comprehensive view of progress. As such, it’s vital to connect the dots between cause-and-effect when you design your performance dashboard. Showing how employees’ and teams’ work contributes to organizational roll-ups and trends is both enlightening and empowering.

Resolution Metrics: Metrics revolving around survey action alerts (case management) or first contact resolution may obscure the bigger picture about customers preferring hassle-free experiences. You’ll always be running along the hamster wheel unless trends are identified and overall metrics focus on preventing the causes of the most common action alerts and contact issues. These metrics must be monitored collectively to realize more profitable customer experience management.

Program Metrics: Customer experience management metrics should also connect the dots between customer sentiment and operational performance. Show the connections between percentage of customers with a certain viewpoint and the revenue or profit they represent. Display the connections between customer sentiment and the percentage of teams engaged in moving the needle for customer care-abouts. Measure your own progress as a facilitator, by connecting the timeliness and extent of your nurturing and accountability management with employee engagement and needle-moving.

Reveal reality to propel progress in customer experience achievements. Steer clear of metric mis-matches that mask underlying factors, fog up the big picture, or compel cooking the books. Transparency and clarity are prerequisites to successful organizational adoption and accountability for customer experience transformation.

This is the 10th article in a 12-part series called Spanning Silos for Customer Experience Excellence:

  1. 10 Silos Impact Customer Experience
  2. Silo Detectives for Organizational Collaboration
  3. Customer Experience Boggle Busters for Channel Silos
  4. Solving System Silos for Customer Experience Excellence
  5. Customer Experience Data Silos Demystified
  6. Customer Experience Management Prevents Process Silos
  7. Customer Experience Vision Dictates Value
  8. Assailing Customer Experience Assumption Silos
  9. Customer Experience Goal Silos Are Gotchas
  10. Customer Experience Metric Silos Mask Momentum

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Lynn Hunsaker

Lynn Hunsaker is 1 of 5 CustomerThink Hall of Fame authors. She built CX maturity via customer experience, strategic planning, quality, and marketing roles at Applied Materials and Sonoco. She was a CXPA board member and SVAMA president, taught 25 college courses, and authored 6 CXM studies and many CXM handbooks and courses. Her specialties are B2B, silos, customer-centric business and marketing, engaging C-Suite and non-customer-facing groups in CX, leading indicators, ROI, maturity. CX leaders in 50+ countries benefit from her self-paced e-consulting: Masterminds, Value Exchange, and more.


  1. Another item that we have found that correlates closely with delivering a differentiated customer experience, is employee engagement metric. The more engaged our employees are, the more passionate they become in delivering a memorable customer experience.

  2. Thanks, Lili. Program metrics include employee engagement, which I recommend to be focused on level of engagement in making a difference for customers.

    You may be interested in my article that discusses this in further detail, and I’m always happy to discuss how to select the most effective metrics:

    Metrics for Customer Experience Management



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