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Top 6 Subscription KPIs for Measuring Subscriber Satisfaction (and Why You Should Measure Them)


As an owner or operator of a subscription business, you’ve probably been hit with all sorts of content that talks about how this or that measurement makes up “the most critical metrics for your company.”
You’re probably sick of all that noise.

We are, too.

That’s why we’re not going to bother you with a long, crazy list that’ll solve all your problems. We just want to show how having the right subscription KPIs will help you get actionable insight into how to keep your customers happy.

Lots of Metrics. Endless Noise. Here’s How to Know What Matters.

Customer acquisition cost, average revenue, monthly revenue, revenue churn, web visitors, new visitors, unique visitors – the list can go on forever. It’s overwhelming.

But you’re caught in between two realities. You know you need the key subscription metrics, but you also know you can’t reasonably prioritize each one. How do you decide what matters most?

By prioritizing what your customers prioritize: their satisfaction.

Why Your Subscription Business Should Measure Customer Satisfaction

Your business growth depends on your ability to produce valuable customer experiences that meet their needs. Measuring customer satisfaction enables you to know whether you’re accomplishing this essential goal.

And it brings some other benefits, too.

  • You’ll know Where You Stand With Your Customers

Measuring customer satisfaction gives you quantifiable data about what your customers think about your brand. You can then use these numbers to give you a clear path forward for future engagement efforts.

  • Create Better Experiences for Potential and Existing Customers

Different customers have different expectations around good experiences, and measuring customer satisfaction will help you identify the specific things your customers are looking for.

  • Inform Sales and Marketing Efforts

Customer satisfaction starts with your initial sales and marketing impressions. Having the data to answer experience-based questions in these areas will allow you to come up with better strategies that win more customers.

  • Reduce Customer Acquisition Cost

Satisfied customers are unlikely to bail on your company. In fact, research shows they’ll probably give you more business. Having the right customer data helps keep your paying customers happy and reduce the need to constantly acquire more.

6 Best Subscription KPIs for Customer Satisfaction

Customer Churn Rate

Customer churn measures the number of customers who cancel their subscriptions with your company within a certain time period. Some brands choose to calculate monthly churn, while others opt for a yearly or quarterly.

To calculate your churn rate, divide the lost customers by the number of customers you had at the start of the period.

Benchmarks vary depending on the industry, but average between 6-8%.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a measurement of how much revenue the average customer brings into your business as a subscriber.

In their 2021 State of Subscription Commerce report, Recharge Payments found “an average of 90% growth in subscribers across all verticals, with an average LTV growth of 11%.” They collected some industry-specific benchmarks to help give subscription businesses a base to work with.

  • Food and Beverage = $213
  • Pets and Animals = $202
  • Home Goods = $166
  • Health and Wellness = $166
  • Beauty and Personal Care = $93
  • Apparel = $140
  • Other = $148

Average Order Value

Average order value (AOV) is a key subscription metric for subscription companies. The Recharge report says “maintaining a high AOV ensures consistency, or even growth, in recurring revenue.”

Divide your total revenue for a specific period by the number of orders in that same period.

While values will vary depending on product prices, the Recharge report offers some helpful benchmarks for various industries.

  • Food and beverage subscriptions have the highest AOV at around $50, though the number has stayed nearly flat year over year.
  • Products in the Beauty and Personal Care or Health and Wellness categories saw 20% growth in their AOV. The former averages just over $30, while the latter’s AOV is $40.
  • Home Goods also saw an increase of 13%.

The authors of the report show how companies can use AOV by pointing out how the COVID-19 pandemic could have affected consumer behavior.

For instance, the “Other” category set for hobby boxes and miscellaneous products was the only category that saw a substantial decline. Recharge suggests this could be “potentially due to a limit on discretionary spending in 2020 caused by financial changes for customers.”

Net Promoter Score

Nothing shows customer satisfaction like a good recommendation, and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) were designed to help you discover how many customers would tell their friends about your product.

It’s a simple idea with huge ramifications. You send a survey with the following question:

“How likely is it that you would recommend [your organization/product] to a friend or colleague?”

Then, give them an option between zero and 10. Here’s how Qualtrics breaks down the ratings:

  • 9 or 10 = loyal and enthusiastic customers they call “promoters.”
  • 7 or 8 = satisfied with your service, but not as excited as promoters. These are called “passives.”
  • Zero to 6 = “detractor.” These unhappy customers probably will not buy from you again, and could discourage people they know from buying from you.

Once you have the raw data, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the Promoters. Your final number is your net promoter score, and will give you a sense of how much your customers like what you’re offering.

Qualitative Customer Feedback

Numbers aren’t the only thing that matters in subscription metrics. According to the Customer Feedback tool Monkey Learn, “Qualitative feedback is non-numerical information that measures opinions and views from an individual perspective.”
You can collect this feedback in many ways

  • Open forms on surveys
  • Reading reviews
  • Checking social media posts
  • Social media polls and questionnaires.

The point is to hear what your customers actually say and experience. You get a greater understanding of their motives, and can make more informed decisions from there.

Monthly Recurring Revenue

Last but certainly not least is a familiar metric in the subscription game: monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

You likely already keep track of your MRR, monitoring what you make on a monthly cycle. But your MRR can also tell you how happy your customers are.

If your MRR is growing, you can assume that people like what you offer. If it’s shrinking, well… you get the idea.

Keeping an eye on your revenue is always good, but don’t forget that there are real customers behind the dollar amounts. And they want to be satisfied by what they’re paying for.

Using Analytics to Measure Subscriber Satisfaction

Subscription KPIs are impossible to measure without a robust analytics dashboard. These platforms help you

  • Visualize the health and growth of your subscriptions
  • Make more informed decisions
  • Understand what your subscribers are doing
  • Come up with a plan to maximize your success.

Closing Thoughts

You want happy customers, and customers are looking for the products you offer. Give them what they want, and they’ll return the favor. From there, you just have to monitor their satisfaction, ensuring that you keep offering what you promised.