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The MOST Important Customer Success Metrics

Any customer success leader worth his or her salt isn’t making strategic, department-wide decisions based on gut feelings. Instead, customer success leaders lean on hard numbers, insights, and data to help steer their team’s decision-making. These numbers are also shared with other departments, executives, and even board members to inform how the business is doing. After all, even if sales are through the roof, if customers aren’t satisfied, the business likely won’t last.

However, when it comes to knowing which metrics to track, not all customer success leaders are on the same page. There are widespread metrics like NPS and sentiment and high-level numbers like churn rate and retention rate. But then don’t forget about more specific data, such as days in onboarding or even CSM sentiment. 

Here is a rundown of some of the most critical customer success metrics to measure regularly:

  • NRR: net revenue retention (NRR) is a great metric to view the high-level trending success of your customer success function, as it measures your total churn minus expansion revenue.
  • GRR: gross renewal rate (GRR) measures the percentage of your customers who renew within a given time frame and can be a good indicator of the level of service your team is providing to customers.
  • ARPU: the average revenue per user (ARPU) looks at the total revenue your customers are bringing in averaged out across all of your customers. If your company is B2B, this could be interpreted as average revenue per logo.
  • ARR: annual recurring revenue (ARR) is a company-wide metric that measures the value of a customer’s contract (aka what they are paying) on an ongoing yearly basis. 
  • Renewal rate: understanding the percentage of customers that renew their business with your team can help your customer success functions and your executive team understand how the business is growing and where things will stand down the road. 
  • Logo churn rate: this metric looks at the percentage of logos (aka customers) that churn (end their contracts) in a given period vs. the number of customers that your team started within that same period. 
  • Logo retention rate: the opposite metric from logo churn rate, this number measures the percentage of customers that renew or retain their business with your organization in a given timeframe.
  • Customer lifetime value: measuring the total lifetime contract value of a customer, including upsells, renewals, and expansions, is what keeps the value of your business trending upward over time.
  • Percentage of live customers: this is the total percentage of your customer base that is currently ”live” – aka fully onboarding and using – your platform or service.
  • Average days in onboarding: tracking the average days it takes to get your customers onboarded can help your team identify gaps in onboarding or help optimize this incredibly crucial step of the customer lifecycle.
  • Number of active users: once a customer is live and using your product or service, measure the total number of active users to stay on top of any dips or increases in logins.
  • Product adoption: this metric tracks how many users at a specific customer are using the product or service. Over time, the product adoption rate should continue to rise as more and more users join the solution.
  • CES: a customer effort score (CES) measures how easy it is for a user to use the product or service, get issues resolved (either through customer support or on their own), and generally engage with the solution. 
  • License utilization rate: if your product is sold as part of a licensing agreement, this metric tracks how, if at all, these are being used. For example, if a customer purchases 20 licenses but uses only 5, the license utilization rate is only 25%. 
  • Outcomes: during the sales cycle, customers will outline specific goals they are trying to achieve with your solution. Did they achieve these outcomes? Looking at this metric on a customer level and then across your entire customer base can help your team assess how your team as a whole is succeeding.
  • Customer engagement: if your customers are quietly trucking along with no input, feedback, or questions, this could be a sign of low engagement. Customer =engagement can be measured by monitoring inbound support questions, stakeholder input, and more.
  • Customer advocates: each customer you work with needs at least one (and preferably more) advocates working to increase the adoption and engagement of your product within their organization.
  • NPS: the stalwart of customer success metrics, a net promoter score (NPS) measures how likely a customer is to recommend your product or service to friends, peers, or colleagues.
  • Average number of engaged contacts: every customer account has a handful of key contacts or stakeholders driving your project on their side. Look at the total engagement across your customers to determine the average number of engaged contacts. 
  • CSM sentiment: your CSMs are working with multiple customers daily, and if they aren’t happy, if a specific customer is not cooperating, or if something is off track, you as a team leader need to know about it ASAP.
  • Billing delinquency: unexpected things happen in the SaaS world and chasing down customers who have unpaid invoices is something that CSMs must deal with. Keeping track of your customer billing delinquency incidents ensures visibility and allows for quick action. 

Ready to learn more? 

You can discover new ways to leverage data, insights, and metrics to take your customer success functions to the next level with these additional resources from ClientSuccess:

Announcing ClientSuccess Goals: Deliver Measurable Results for Your Customers

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