The Ultimate CX Dashboard

A cockpit illustrating the need for accurate measurements and prioritized indicators to successfully navigate, similar to business dashboards.

The creator of the Net Promoter System shares five key dashboard metrics for customer experience.

If dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) do not prioritize customer experience (CX), even the most competent employees may struggle to meet customer needs. This not only jeopardizes long-term business success but also impedes the development and maintenance of customer relationships.

In a recent NPSx webinar, Rob Markey, Bain & Company partner and creator of the Net Promoter SystemSM, explained how dashboards can steer companies away from exceptional CX. He said companies get distracted by short-term returns and functional metrics, instead of focusing on CX journeys that drive customer value.

For example:

  • Sales teams embrace complicated pricing tactics (like surcharges) to encourage growth.
  • Workflows and shipping streams protect speed and cost over quality.
  • Contact centers lean heavily on automated voice response to reduce call volume and cost.
  • Loss management folks create high standards of proof to minimize losses.

Each department can improve functional outcomes, hit its budget, and generate profit—but at the expense of customer relationships. They deliver quick cost savings and look good to shareholders for a few quarters but destroy value over the longer term.

The view from shareholders

What do shareholders want? We often hear:

“We need to meet earnings …”

“We need to make our budget…”

“We need to meet our P&L goal this quarter …”

But that’s not how companies generate long-term shareholder returns. Profits are bad when they’re borne from frustrated customers.

A business’ value is equal to its customer base. The longer you retain customers, and the more customers you attract, the higher the shareholder returns. Companies that are too focused on short-term operational metrics eventually have trouble growing revenue and profit.

The right metrics matter

Dashboards influence how you manage the business and create value for shareholders over time. So, if you look at drivers of functional budget or product P&L every day, that’s what you work to maximize.

The same is true for companies that regularly review, report on, and analyze key customer metrics. And it’s why they drive growth, enhance CX, and build stronger and longer-lasting relationships with customers.

To maximize CX and generate sustainable shareholder value, companies need to map their dashboards to customer journeys. By journey, they need to understand customer needs, volume drivers, cost drivers, NPS scores, quality metrics, and employee performance and retention data.

Accountability needs to match the customer experience, too. Journey managers need the authority to make changes that improve outcomes. And good decision-making requires good data.

Once you orient dashboards to be customer-focused and journey-based, then leaders can see the impact they have on the business, both long- and short-term. Over time, companies will see how each channel and journey influences customer value.

If you’re collecting the right data, you’ll be able to see how acquisition and revenue differ by product, channel, or offer. Then, you can take the right actions to correct or replicate strategies.

The ultimate CX dashboard

Five CX metrics regularly contribute to outcomes—but are rarely included in dashboards. To stay customer-centric and increase lifetime customer value, companies need to look at:

  1. Cohort revenue. Customer-centric organizations need to see data at the customer group level. What does the revenue curve look like for a group of customers that were acquired at the same time or in the same way? And what is the group’s total contribution to revenue growth?
  1. Revenue per customers remaining. How much revenue comes from existing customers vs. new acquisitions? Does revenue per customer decline over time? Or does it vary by product, channel, or offer?
  1. Retention curve. How long do customers stay active, and when does drop off occur? If you examine this data, you’ll find events or timelines that are linked to incremental attrition. Then, you can stop the bleeding.
  1. Cross-sell penetration. How many products and services are customers consuming? Really, this tells you what portion of a customer’s needs you’ve earned the right to serve.

  2. Service cost per customer. How many times do you interact with each customer? In which channels? And how long do interactions take? Understand how many resources customers are drawing on and the result, broken down by population.

Companies that earn higher loyalty from customers outperform their peers, grow faster, and increase earnings—sometimes delivering two to three times higher shareholder returns than the competition. Monitoring these metrics can help companies identify opportunities, test strategies, learn and scale.

CX dashboards don’t have to be sophisticated to be effective. Very simple modeling and disaggregation can drive value. The key is to start somewhere and start now. And we can help. NPSx from Bain & Company can help you build customer-centric dashboards and drive lifetime customer value.

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For a deeper dive on where to start and how to track
customer  experience indicators, watch the recording of our

About the Author

Evan Brennan-Johnson

Communications Manager, NPSx | Evan manages external communications and engagement, helping business leaders develop their capabilities and drive customer experience in the third wave of CX. He loves roller coasters, yoga, and traveling the globe.