15 Customer Journey KPIs to Track Across Different Stages

15 Customer Journey KPIs to Track Across Different Stages cover

Wondering what customer journey KPIs align with your business goals?

Customer journey KPIs, alongside product analytics, help product teams understand if they’re meeting their goals. This insight can help you make informed decisions to optimize your user experience.

This article will explore 15 essential customer journey KPIs that help you better understand your customers and make data-driven strategies.


  • The 5 stages of the customer journey maps are Awareness, Activation, Adoption, Retention, and Referral.
  • The awareness stage is the initial phase of the customer journey, where you should focus on making potential customers aware of your and its benefits. So here are the crucial KPIs to track during this stage:
  1. Impressions to assess your initial customer interactions.
  2. Click-through rate to gauge the effectiveness of various communication channels.
  3. SEO ranking to monitor and improve product visibility on search engine results.
  • When customers enter the activation stage, they are taking the first steps to use your product actively. Therefore, you should track the following KPIs:
  1. Onboarding completion rate to see if users are experiencing the initial value.
  2. Trial-to-paid conversion rate to assess if enough users are finding your product worth it.
  3. New user growth to evaluate if the product is expanding or not.
  • During the adoption stage, customers start to use your product more regularly and incorporate it into their daily workflows. It signifies a deeper level of engagement and commitment compared to the activation stage. So here are the important KPIs to keep a tab on:
  1. Product usage to understand how customers interact with your product.
  2. Feature adoption rate to see if users are engaging with specific features.
  3. Customer Effort Score (CES) to see the perceived effort users give for interacting with your product.
  • The retention stage is all about keeping your existing customers satisfied and engaged with your product to ensure they continue using it over the long term. And that’s why you should track the following:
  1. Customer satisfaction to assess how content your users are.
  2. Lifetime value to understand how much revenue you generate from the customers.
  3. Retention rate to assess if you can keep your customers with your product.
  4. Churn rate to understand how many users leave and the reasonings behind it.
  • The referral stage refers to a phase in the customer journey where satisfied customers become advocates for your product and actively refer new customers or clients for you. Therefore, the KPIs for this stage should include:
  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  2. Reviews and ratings to gather testimonials and build advocacy for your product.

How to choose the right customer journey KPIs?

Selecting the right KPIs is critical if you want to gain actionable insights about your customer journey. When choosing customer journey KPIs (key performance indicators), it is important to:

  • Look at specific metrics that might be relevant for you at different customer journey stages. It will help you understand where users drop off and where you should focus your attention.
  • Make sure the KPIs fit the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals criteria. It’ll help you track the KPIs effectively and ensure that there are no vanity or unnecessary metrics wasting your time.
  • Consider both leading (future-oriented) and lagging (past outcome-based) indicators for the KPIs. A balance between them will give you a holistic view of your customer journey.
  • Regularly evaluate the KPI’s relevance and ability to offer actionable insights. You should adjust them from time to time as needed.

What are the 5 main stages of a customer journey?

Building the customer journey map is a critical process for businesses aiming to understand and optimize the experiences of their customers. It helps you define what success looks like at each stage, which in turn informs the selection of appropriate KPIs.

There are 5 main stages when you map out a customer journey. These 5 main stages include:

  • Awareness: When potential customers start seeing your product as a potential solution to get their job done.
  • Activation: This is when customers take your product for a spin, often through a trial or demo. They get to experience its core features firsthand and gauge its value for themselves.
  • Adoption: When customers become active users and embrace your product for their routine work.
  • Retention: At this stage, the focus is on continuously providing value to your customers and keeping customers continuing their subscriptions.
  • Referral: At this point, they’ve gone from satisfied customers to loyal advocates. They’ve seen your product’s value and eagerly recommend it to others.

3 key performance indicators for the awareness stage

Let’s look at the KPIs for the awareness stage that can help you create a lasting impression on customers.


Impressions are the number of times when your content is displayed to a user. It can be of different channels, like emails, digital ads, social media, etc. This KPI offers insights into the initial phase of customer interactions and the visibility of your presence to customers.

You can easily determine your total impressions by using tools like Google Search Console. For that, you can go to the search results under the performance tab of the Google Search Console and select web as the search type to see the number of total impressions.

Impression calculation in Google Search Console.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your website impression, for example:

  • Create high-quality content for your target audience: This involves knowing what kind of content your audience needs and making sure to follow Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
  • Promote your website on social media. Share your content on social media and interact with your followers. This will help to increase awareness of your website and drive traffic to it.
  • Run paid advertising campaigns. Paid advertising can be a great way to reach a wider audience and improve your website impression. However, it is important to target your ads carefully and set a budget that you are comfortable with.

Click through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures the number of times a user clicks on a specific link or advertisement divided by the number of times the link or ad is shown. You can track it to assess the effectiveness of your communication channels (like blog posts, emails, demo clicks, etc.) in persuading users to click on the content.

To calculate CTR, you can divide the number of clicks by that of impressions and multiply it by 100.

Depending on the specific content you’re aiming to enhance CTR for, there are various strategies to boost click-through rates. But here are some tips for you:

  • Your headlines and titles are the first things people see, so it’s important to make them count. Use clear, concise, and attention-grabbing language that accurately reflects the content of your page or ad. You can also try using numbers, power words, and questions in your headlines to make them more appealing.
  • Use strong calls to action. Tell people what you want them to do. Whether you want them to visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, or make a purchase, make it clear in your call to action. Use strong, persuasive language and make sure your call to action is easy to find, i.e. by using a banner.
  • Use urgency and scarcity. Create a sense of urgency or scarcity in your headlines and copy to encourage people to click. For example, you could use phrases like “Limited time offer” or “Only a few left.”

SEO ranking

The SEO (search engine optimization) ranking is the position a website or a particular web page appears on the search engine result pages (SERPs) for a particular query or keyword. This KPI is important to track and optimize, as the search results directly impact your website’s visibility to potential customers.

You can assess your SEO ranking by checking your website’s average position with Google Search Console.

SEO Ranking.

When we talk about improving SEO ranking, there are a lot of things to do, but the most essential thing is to follow Google Search Central Guidelines before anything else.

As Google wants to provide users with the most relevant and useful results possible, investing in your content quality is also a must. This might involve delivering well-researched, informative, and actionable content.

3 key performance indicators for the activation stage

Now, let’s go through the customer journey KPIs you should track for the activation stage.

Onboarding completion rate

The onboarding completion rate is the percentage of users who complete their onboarding process. It indicates the level of user onboarding engagement, like finishing the onboarding checklist, flow, interactions with tooltip, etc.

You can measure the onboarding completion rate by tracking the completion percentage using custom event tracking – meaning grouping a list of user activities that lead to activation.

Tracking custom events in Userpilot
Tracking custom events in Userpilot.

Ways to improve onboarding completion rate:

  • Use welcome surveys to capture customer data and personalize customer experience during onboarding and later.
  • Add step-by-step guides using onboarding elements like tooltips to remove friction and help users experience your product’s value.
  • Collect feedback to understand where users struggle and what they find valuable. You can use the collected data to offer help where it is needed.

Trial to paid conversion rate

The trial-to-paid conversion rate measures the percentage of users who convert from free trial users to active paying customers. It lets you assess if your product successfully persuades potential customers to subscribe after they’ve tried it once.

To calculate the trial conversion rate, divide the number of converted users during a period by that of total free trial users in that period.

Trial to paid conversion rate formula.

Ways to improve trial-to-paid conversion rate:

  • Set start events, like sign-ups, and end events, like purchasing your subscription, in the conversion funnel. You then need to identify the friction points on this conversion funnel by seeing where most users drop off.
  • Use A/B testing to see what drives more conversion, be it a checklist, a tooltip, or any specific flow, and utilize it for an improved conversion rate.

New user growth

The new user growth rate measures the percentage of new users using your product, including the trial users. Therefore, tracking this KPI helps you monitor new user growth during the activation stage and assess the initial impact of your onboarding processes.

You can calculate the new user growth rate by subtracting lost users from new customers, dividing it by total existing customers, and then multiplying the ratio by 100.

New user growth rate formula.

Ways to improve new user growth:

  • Optimize your sign-up flow by using single sign-on (SSO) to let users log in with a single set of credentials, removing any entry barriers.
  • Include welcome surveys to collect customer data at the beginning and use this data to personalize their in-app experiences.

3 key performance indicators for the adoption stage

Let’s look at the 3 crucial customer journey KPIs for the adoption stage.

Product usage

Product usage is the data that represents how your users use the product, which features they engage with most, and how often. So keeping track of this KPI is essential to understanding how customers are using your product.

You can track product usage data (like user activity, session analysis, average events per session, etc.) using feature tagging or event tracking features from tools like Userpilot.

Analyze product usage in Userpilot.

Ways to improve product usage:

  • Using product data segmentation, you can identify customers with low engagement levels and take proactive actions to bring them back. For example, you can trigger tooltips for disengaged users to drive high-value feature discovery or re-engage them with important features.
  • You can analyze power users’ product usage data and identify engagement drivers. Maybe what turned them from regular users to loyal customers was an onboarding checklist of advanced features for their use case. Then you can implement the same one for the rest of your users who share similar characteristics to increase your product’s overall usage.

Feature adoption rate

The feature adoption rate helps you gauge how effectively your customers are incorporating the new feature into their workflows and whether it aligns with their needs and expectations.

You can calculate the feature adoption rate by dividing the number of a feature’s monthly active users by that of active users during the same session and then multiplying the ratio by 100.

Feature adoption rate formula.

Ways to improve feature adoption:

  • You can use in-app guidance like tooltips and interactive walkthroughs to drive user engagement with existing features.
  • Trigger in-app feature announcements to introduce customers to new features and show them how they can incorporate the feature into their usual workflow. You can also target relevant user segments and then send them webinar invitations, tooltips, etc.
  • Design a second onboarding flow to drive adoption for advanced features. You can build one without coding by using a tool that offers different UI elements like native tooltips, modal, slideout, etc., like Userpilot.

Customer effort score

CES, or customer effort score, measures the customers’ perceived effort in engaging with your product. It offers insights into how easily your customers accomplish their goals with your product.

You can collect customer feedback by sending in-app surveys and then measure it by dividing the total CES by the number of respondents.

CES surveys in Userpilot.

Ways to improve CES:

  • Identify friction points by including a follow-up question in the CES survey to uncover reasons and act on them accordingly.
  • Offering self-serve content within an in-app resource center shortens the learning curve for users and enables them to do any task easily. Customers can also get help at any time they want from self-serve content.

4 key performance indicators for the retention stage

Next, we’ll go through the customer journey KPIs that tell you if you’re retaining your customers.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction refers to how happy or content customers feel using your product. By tracking this KPI, you’ll have access to valuable insights into whether your SaaS product aligns with user expectations and satisfies them.

You can measure customer satisfaction by sending customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys after specific customer interactions or for the overall experience.

CSAT surveys in Userpilot.

Ways to improve customer satisfaction:

  • Automate customer service with proactive help by triggering support messages based on any customer’s provided score.
  • Act on feedback data to make improvements and showcase your commitment to enhancing satisfaction.

Customer lifetime value

Lifetime value (LTV) is the total expected revenue you will get from paying customers during their relationship with your product. Tracking this KPI is essential to understand if your product is profitable and bringing in enough revenue against the acquisition and retention costs.

To calculate customer lifetime value, you have to multiply customer value by the average customer lifespan.

LTV formula.

Ways to improve customer lifetime value:

  • You can leverage data from customer behavior analytics to identify upsell opportunities and drive account expansion. For example, you can pinpoint users reaching their subscription plan limits and target them with upgrade messages.
  • Using an annual billing system can ensure long-term commitment and more time to prove your product’s worth to customers to increase customer lifetime value.

Customer retention rate

Retention rate refers to the percentage of customers you retain over a period. This retention stage KPI tells you if your customers feel satisfied to continue with your products.

The first step in measuring customer retention rate is to divide the difference between the number of paying users and the total acquired users in a period by the total number of users. You then need to multiply it by 100.

Retention rate formula.

Ways to improve retention rate:

  • Use customer data to create and offer personalized experiences and continuously deliver value through in-app communication (like providing updates, feature announcements, and more).
  • Build loyalty programs to incentivize customers to stick with your product and do repeat business.

Customer churn rate

The churn rate is the percentage of customers who discontinued your product over time. It offers insight into why customers leave your product and what you need to do to enhance your retention strategies.

You can calculate the customer churn rate by multiplying the ratio of the total number of lost users and that of the total users by 100.

Churn rate formula.

Ways to avoid customer churn:

  • Identify the at-risk customers with NPS surveys and engagement level analysis and then proactively reach out to them to address their issues.
  • Use your cancellation page to remind customers what they’ll lose and trigger a churn survey to understand why they’re churning.

2 key performance indicators for the referral stage

Let’s look at the KPIs for the referral stage.

Net Promoter Score

NPS, or Net Promoter Score, is an important referral KPI that measures customer loyalty and satisfaction. It asks respondents a simple question, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to others?”

You can use tools like Userpilot to build and trigger Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, determine NPS scores, and visualize your NPS scores with a dashboard.

NPS surveys in Userpilot.

Ways to improve NPS:

  • After identifying passives and detractors through NPS scores, you can learn more about their issues by effectively tagging the responses to close the feedback loop.
  • Enhance customer experience by analyzing promotors’ survey data and then offering the same experience promoters have to the passives and detractors.

Reviews and rating

The reviews and ratings your product gets on platforms like G2 are your customer testimonials, and they show how satisfied users are with your product. They can be crucial KPIs, as tracking them helps you understand if you’re getting qualified leads through customer advocacy.

You can assess the reviews and ratings by checking your product’s page on G2.

Userpilot’s G2 review.

Ways to improve reviews and ratings:

  • Actively persuade customers to leave reviews about how they feel about your product.
  • Respond to positive and negative reviews to show customers that you care. It’ll help you have customers’ trust instilled in you.


Understanding and tracking customer journey KPIs are vital for product managers seeking to optimize user experiences. These KPIs can provide valuable insights and help you take on informed strategies to enhance the product’s performance.

Want to get started with customer journey KPIs? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can track and improve them to drive growth.

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