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History of customer experience measurement

The history of customer experience (CX) measurement is a complex story that has evolved in parallel with technological advances and changing market demands. This development cannot be understood without acknowledging the contributions of many key figures and the significant changes in business strategy and marketing.

In the 20th century, the methods of measuring customer experience were relatively simple. Before the advent of the Internet in the 1990s, companies relied on direct feedback obtained through face-to-face interviews or written questionnaires. This period is characterised by the customer being perceived as a passive recipient of services rather than an active participant in the value creation process. Important figures of this period, such as Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler, laid the foundations for understanding the importance of customer behaviour and customer-centric marketing strategies.

With the advent of the internet in the 1990s and the gradual development of digital technologies, there has been a significant shift in the measurement of customer experience. The first online tools for collecting feedback, such as email questionnaires and online forums, were developed. This evolution also included the rise of CRM systems that enabled better management and analysis of customer data. The founders of companies like Salesforce (Marc Benioff) and Siebel Systems (Tom Siebel) played a key role in the development of these technologies, which allowed companies to better understand their customers’ needs and respond more effectively to their feedback.

With the advent of social media and mobile technology in the first decade of the 21st century, the ways in which we interact with customers and collect data have changed dramatically. Social media founders such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Kevin Systrom (Instagram) have given companies access to new ways of collecting and analysing customer feedback. This period is also characterised by the rise of mobile apps, which have enabled real-time tracking of customer behaviour, providing a new perspective on the customer experience.

In the age of big data and artificial intelligence, which has emerged in recent years, there is even more sophisticated data collection and analysis. Scientists and engineers such as Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun and Andrew Ng, who are pioneers in the field of deep learning and machine learning, are having a huge impact on how companies use AI algorithms to analyse customer behaviour and preferences. This era also includes the development of advanced analytics tools and platforms that integrate different types of data – from transactional data to social media and online behaviour – to provide a comprehensive view of the customer experience.

Today, technologies such as virtual and augmented reality play a key role in measuring customer experience. Prominent developers and researchers in the field, such as Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, are opening up new possibilities for simulating and measuring customer experiences in digital environments. Companies can now create realistic virtual environments where customers can interact with products and services, providing deeper insight into their experiences and preferences.

The history of customer experience measurement is therefore a story not only of technological evolution, but also of the people and ideas that have shaped the current state of the industry. From the first steps in understanding customer needs, to the development of CRM systems, to the current use of artificial intelligence and big data, this history is a testament to the evolution of business strategies and technologies that help companies better understand and meet their customers’ expectations.


History of CX measurement methodologies

The history of customer experience (CX) measurement is not without mentioning the development of key metrics that play a vital role in the evaluation and analysis of customer experience. These metrics include Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). These metrics provide valuable data and insights that help companies better understand their customers and improve their experience with products and services.


The Net Promoter Score (NPS) was introduced in 2003 by Fred Reichheld, a partner at the consulting firm Bain & Company, and published in the Harvard Business Review. NPS is a simple metric that measures the likelihood that a customer will recommend a company, product or service to their friends or colleagues. This metric has become very popular due to its simplicity and strong correlation with company growth. The NPS is calculated based on customer responses to the question: “How likely are you to recommend our company (product, service) to a friend or colleague?” Responses are rated on a scale of 0 to 10 and customers are classified as promoters, passive users or detractors.


The Customer Effort Score (CES), introduced by CEB, now Gartner, in 2010, is a metric aimed at measuring the effort a customer must expend when interacting with a company. CES emphasizes simplicity and a seamless customer experience, from selection to post-purchase support. This metric is based on the premise that reducing the effort customers must expend leads to higher satisfaction and loyalty. CES is usually measured using questions such as “How easy was it to solve your problem or achieve your goal?”


Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is one of the oldest and most widely used metrics for measuring customer satisfaction. The CSAT measures customer satisfaction with a particular product, service or interaction and is usually assessed through a short questionnaire with questions such as “How satisfied are you with [product, service]?” Responses are usually rated on a scale, for example from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).


These metrics – NPS, CES and CSAT – have become the cornerstones for measuring and analyzing customer experience. Each provides a unique perspective on different aspects of the customer experience, and together they help companies better understand customer needs and expectations and identify areas for improvement. Using these metrics in conjunction with advanced technology and analytics tools allows companies to gain a comprehensive and multi-dimensional view of the customer experience.