In the modern, customer-centric retail environment, providing your customers with a positive experience is one of the most important priorities. While this clearly includes delivering excellent retail customer service, the overall experience for customers is now wider than this and takes place across many different channels.

At Miller Heiman Group, our own research has shown the importance of adopting an organisational culture based upon delivering a positive, memorable experience for your customer base. The good news is, customer experience improvements do not have to revolve around guesswork and there are several key metrics that can prove useful.

1. Response Times

Very few issues manage to define the customer experience quite like response times. Indeed, customers strongly dislike having to wait too long to get answers to questions or solutions to problems, which is why a significant part of customer service training should be dedicated to ensuring response times are appropriate for each channel.

When it comes to improving the customer experience, various studies have shown that the majority of customers think three minutes is a reasonable wait time on the telephone, while they tend to be willing to wait 24 hours for an email response. Beating these response times is a great way to exceed expectations.

2. Conversion Rate

Measuring conversion rates is an important and sometimes underrated customer experience metric, because it tells you the amount of people who were interested in your products or services, who then progressed to becoming customers. This, in turn, can help you to build a more complete picture of your employee to customer engagement.

A poor conversion rate may, for example, indicate that employees aren’t interacting with potential customers enough. Miller Heiman Group helped to increase the conversion rates of one retailer by three percent inside a year by equipping staff with the ability to interact and create positive defining moments for customers.

3. Customer Churn

The loss of customers – especially customers you were hoping and expecting to retain for future business – is another important indicator that the customer experience you are delivering is not good enough. Conversely, a low churn suggests general satisfaction. Therefore, customer churn is a vital metric to track.

“What percentage of customers make a single purchase, but don’t return within an expected time frame?” asks Yaniv Reznik, chief procurement officer at Nanorep. “The churn rate can be a critical indicator of retention and loyalty, and may be a tip-off that customers aren’t having the quality experience they require.”

4. Complaint Ratio

Finally, a useful metric to keep track of is the ratio of complaints to positive feedback received from customers. While customers who are treated badly are more likely to get in touch than customers who are treated well, this is still an essential measure of how well your customer experience stacks up, because most should feel well treated.

Again, Miller Heiman Group worked with one retail company, which reported a 5:1 ratio of complaints to customer satisfaction calls. By helping them to develop better sales techniques, as well as better methods for understanding the specific needs of their customers, this ratio was reversed to a 1:5 ratio.


Through the use of metrics like response times, conversion rates, churn rates and complaints to satisfaction ratios, businesses get a sense of how their customer experience is faring. Better still, they can also identify areas most in need of improvement, as well as those where they can exceed expectations and stand out from competitors.

The upcoming 2017 Sales and Service Summit Series will go into greater detail about how to strengthen relationships with customers. More information about the event can be found by clicking here.

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