Published On: November 15, 2023By
Customer Education ROI Metrics - Customer Ed Nuggets Podcast with John Leh - Episode 5

The most refreshing thing about being a customer education leader is that you can choose the best ROI metrics from countless options. This makes it relatively simple to measure and prove program effectiveness, so you can obtain funding to enhance and expand your efforts. Think profit center.

Conversely, employee education is chock-full of dry, mandatory training content, and it’s nearly impossible to prove how content consumption contributes to your organization’s bottom line. Think cost center.

Why does customer education enjoy such an advantage? The vast majority of customer and prospect data resides in an organization’s CRM. Fortunately, combining that CRM data with customer education data is a fairly straightforward process. As a result, it’s relatively easy to assign learners to groups so you can compare, contrast and analyze training outcomes and related business impact. No wonder so many customer education professionals recognize the strategic value of ROI metrics.

But what exactly should your organization measure? Which metrics are most important to use? Which are easiest to apply? Where should customer education professionals start? Find out in this fifth episode of Customer Ed Nuggets podcast!

To learn about 16 ROI metrics for key stages of the customer lifecycle, keep reading. Or to learn about three core must-have metrics for all customer education organizations, watch/listen to the podcast…


Brett Strauss, President of NetExam - guest on Customer Ed Nuggets Podcast with John LehToday’s Guest Expert

For this episode, it’s a pleasure to welcome back someone who’s been leading the way in customer and partner education since its early days — Brett Strauss, Founder and President of NetExam. As an expert in this domain, Brett understands how to define ROI metrics and use them effectively to measure business impact.


Making Sense of Customer Education ROI Metrics

Many ROI metrics can link customer education to business performance, but every organization has different priorities. Those priorities should determine what you measure and how you apply the ROI metrics you choose.

Typically, organizations start with whatever is easiest to measure. Then, as they resolve common learning analytics challenges, their efforts become more strategic over time.

I’ve found the best way to think about customer education measurement is through the lens of the customer lifecycle. Each stage in this journey calls for different ROI metrics as the customer experience evolves. In addition, each department (marketing, sales, customer support, customer service) owns distinct aspects of the customer relationship, and their performance is judged by different ROI metrics.

For example, here are some popular metrics for four key stages in the customer lifecycle:

1. Attraction

Do you provide the market with information that entices, educates and converts prospective clients into customers?

  • Lead-to-customer conversion rate — Measure conversions as contacts move from unknown, to known, to free trial, to sign-up. Is attrition decreasing between each level?
  • Volume of educated qualified leads — Better-educated leads buy better, with less proactive help from sales staff. They also experience less after-purchase regret. What is your benchmark?
  • Sales cycle length — How long do your prospects tend to remain in the sales pipeline? Is this time interval decreasing?
  • Size of initial purchase — Among your new customers, what is the average initial sale value? Is it increasing?

2. Onboarding

Are new customers succeeding with a personalized, adaptive learning plan?

  • Completion rates — Are learners finding value in the content and connecting it with success?
  • Time-to-value — How quickly do your clients see full value from their investment? Is this decreasing?
  • Support call volume — Are lengthy, expensive support calls decreasing?
  • Support call resolution time — When calls do happen, do you resolve them more quickly, on average?

3. Retention

Do you drive adoption and continued involvement with new, updated or complementary features or products?

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) — How happy are your customers?
  • Retention or renewal rate — Are you driving down customer churn and increasing renewals?
  • Upsell or cross-sell opportunities — How effectively are you expanding customer share of wallet or lifetime value?
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) — How likely are customers to refer your products or services to others?

4. Advocacy

Are you empowering successful customers to amplify their experience with your product or service?

  • Frequency/quality of social media shares/mentions — Are you building your brand one client click at a time?
  • Proactive support from clients — How often do customers participate in public case studies, success stories, or speaking engagements on your behalf?
  • New client referrals — How often do clients refer potential clients to you?
  • Time-to-advocacy — How quickly are new clients becoming proactive advocates? Is this timeframe decreasing?


Watch This Episode of Customer Ed Nuggets

Before recording this unscripted 9-minute episode, Brett and I brainstormed the list of 16 customer education ROI metrics above. We could’ve gone on forever, but we agreed to call it quits at 16 possibilities. Next, we chose our favorites based on their business importance, ease and popularity. For details, watch the video…

If you’d prefer to listen to our conversation, tune in to this Customer Ed Nuggets audio podcast right here at


The Bottom Line

If you’re a customer education professional who has never been involved with employee training, congratulations! By strategy or luck, you’ve found your way to the fastest-growing segment of the LMS market. It’s also much more measurable and fun.

On the other hand, if you’re an employee training professional who is now involved with customer education on a part-time or full-time basis, congratulations, as well! It’s time to spread your wings, start measuring results and take your seat at the business table.

Customer education is special because organizations can prove and improve the impact of learning at every stage of the relationship lifecycle. The metrics you choose depend on the lifecycle stage that matters to you, the business function you represent and/or the metrics you want to improve.

The possibilities are endless, but it’s your job to figure out which ROI metrics are important, put a strategic plan in place and demonstrate how customer education is helping your organization achieve its goals.


About Talented Learning Customer Ed Nuggets

Hosted by Talented Learning CEO John Leh, the Customer Ed Nuggets podcast is a trusted source of advice, guidance and best practices for customer education professionals of all types. In this series of brief video and audio “nuggets” (each 10 minutes or less), I explore key topics with numerous guest experts.

We explore all facets of customer education from how to build a persuasive business case, to effective strategies, technologies and content that help professionals create, deploy and grow successful customer-centered programs.


How to Follow the Customer Ed Nuggets Podcast

We practice what we preach by providing our content in a format for every learning preference. You can stay up-to-date with this podcast series through these channels:


Learn More from Brett Strauss

Want more of Brett’s customer education wisdom? Check out these Talented Learning productions:


Also, to find out more about NetExam, check the company profile, product demo, review, case studies and related insights in our Learning Systems Directory. Or visit the vendor website at


Learn More About Customer Education ROI Metrics

Explore related resources at


Need Expert Guidance to Find the Right Customer Education LMS?

Looking for a new or improved system for customer education? Be sure you make the right decision. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation with Talented Learning Founder and Lead Analyst, John Leh:

About the Author: John Leh

John Leh is Founder, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning and the Talented Learning Center. John is a fiercely independent consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker and educator who helps organizations select and implement learning technology strategies, primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based upon more than 25+years of learning-tech industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to hundreds of learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $100+ million and growing. John would love to connect with you on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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