The Most Important Measurement In Business

This is the first of a number of lessons I’ll be sharing from my newest book, I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again. A few years back I wrote about the idea of measuring customer satisfaction versus customer behavior. We’re revisiting that topic with a fresh point of view.

Today’s lesson is about the exciting topic of measurement and data. Okay, maybe not that exciting, but how about very important? You know it is! Business management guru Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

So, what should we be measuring? What’s the best metric? Why do our customers come back? There are a number of ways organizations measure customer satisfaction. By the way, I don’t like that word, satisfaction. The word satisfactory implies everything is okay, average, or fine. If you asked someone to rate you as either poor, satisfactory, or excellent, you can see that satisfactory is in the middle. Again, just average. But, back to the point. Call it customer satisfaction, customer happiness, or anything you want. The important idea to remember is that we’re looking at ratings.

As an example, two very popular measurements are NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction). Both give you an idea of how happy the customer is. But, you need to know more. When you ask marketing and customer service experts what they monitor, you’ll likely hear about similar satisfaction or happiness measurements. You’ll also hear them talk about sales numbers, profit, revenue, and other indications that the company is doing well – or not so well.

But another measurement I suggest companies pay close attention to, in addition to those just mentioned, is this one: Does the customer come back?

That’s not a rating. That’s behavior! Big difference. Your customers can rate you five out of five stars and give you glowing reviews. But what if they don’t come back? The ratings and reviews were nice, but the opportunity to do more business vanishes if they don’t return.

It’s important to know how customers feel about the experience they just had. We should always be looking at those experiences and finding ways to make them better. Feedback and ratings will help drive that effort. But in the end, knowing what percentage of customers come back, how often they come back, and how much they buy when they do come back, is a metric to pay close attention to.

If getting your customers to come back, again and again, is important to you, and you know it is, you’ll love the book. Just go to

Related: How To Care More About the Customer Than the Sale