The customer relationship has evolved, and so have its key performance indicators (KPIs). Things that used to be considered cost drivers, such as customer service and support, are now viewed as a potential revenue generators.

Done right, that is.

That’s because the new customer relationship calls for more intense focus on the ways we help make our customers successful throughout the entire customer journey.

In a word, customer success.

The better we can deliver on the objectives of customer success, the more likely our customers are to keep coming back with smiles on their faces—to become loyal product experts that advocate for our brands and spread the good word.


The benefits are there, and they’re tangible.

Unfortunately, most organizations have one foot in, one foot out. Though their slow move toward a customer success model is gaining traction, it’s still bogged down by the same old, same old: legacy technologies, organizational silos, and a lack of staff buy-in.

Customer Success KPIs to Keep an Eye On

How, then, do we demonstrate the value of customer success? How do we make it tangible for team members at all levels of the organization? Here are six good places to start—six of the most important customer success KPIs to help any business begin measuring and improving their success model.

1. Upsell and cross-sell rate

Put plainly, upsell and cross-sell rate is the number of people that accept an alternative or augmented offer. Upsell refers to an offer that is more beneficial to the company (like selling a more expensive product). Cross-sell refers to an item that’s related to the original desired item (like improved features, a-la-carte service, or more).

2. Rate of adoption

First off, it’s important to define what adoption means in our organizations. Is it the number of beginner users? Or is an “adopter” only an intermediate or advanced user? To calculate the rate of adoption, take the total number of adopters and divide it by the total number of users. Then, compare this number to itself over time for the rate of adoption.

3. Average revenue per customer

This is the average revenue that a company derives from a single customer over a given period of time. To measure this, take the total amount of revenue generated and divide it by the total number of customers.

4. Customer churn rate

Churn rate is the percentage of customers that do not renew at the end of their subscription. To measure this, take the total number of lost or canceled customers and divide it by the total number of active customers over a given time period.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is the percentage of customers who would recommend you to their friends, coworkers, and family. This is typically measured through a survey. The customer is asked a question of “How likely are you to recommend _____ to a friend or coworker?” accompanied by a 0-10 scale. The NPS score is the percentage of Promoters (people who left a rating of 9-10) minus the percentage of Detractors (people who left a rating of 0-6).

6. Customer Effort Score (CES)

A score that determines how much effort a customer had to take to accomplish a certain task. This is typically measured through a survey. The goal is to ensure all customers will select a one, which denotes low effort. If any number higher than a one is selected, it shows that there is something wrong with that particular segment of the customer journey. It is then up to the organization to identify what’s making customers exert effort and fix it.

An in-depth discussion about success KPIs

As the customer success field expands and becomes more varied, so too does the conversation around the KPIs we depend on to measure our programs. Here’s an in-depth discussion about customer success KPIs, how they’re measured, and the impact they can make on an organization’s bottom line.

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Additional categories: Customer Experience