What CX measures to track
In the last two parts of this series we have looked at the why and the how of customer experience evaluation. It’s tempting to dive in and start mapping out customer journeys, after all, that’s the cash cow for most CX consultancies. However, essential as they can be, customer journey maps may not be very actionable. It can be hard to look at a set of beautifully mapped pathways and see which of the broken journeys are holding your business back. Even if it is clear, how do you prioritise which things to fix? So now it’s time to get real and look at some of the typical things that you should be measuring to give you a proper insight into your organisation’s customer experience maturity.
Is your organisation committed?
The biggest, and most often overlooked factor in building an organisation that is focussed on customer experience is to align the people within that organisation. It is easy to pay lip service to great CX as being an important goal, but talk is cheap. A lot of nodding of heads amounts to very little if the commitment to follow through is there.
Commitment can come from the heart. It can come from an honest belief that building a great customer experience is the sure-fire way to build a great business. We know that the evidence is there, after all. We also know that to make things happen in larger organisations we must align the vision of the business with our stated objectives and our remuneration plans. The leadership team have to live, breathe and talk CX, and while it is hard to measure whether they are doing so, we can measure the extent to which they themselves are incentivised to do so. For the wider team, the same applies. If remuneration or bonuses are directly linked to CX success measures then we can be more certain that the team is committed.
Other important team measures are the assignment of CX responsibility at leadership and departmental level, as well as whether these CX roles are empowered to direct change. Measuring empowerment is hard, but a staff survey can deliver great insight.
- Ensure incentives are aligned with CX vision at all levels
- Allocate CX responsibility at overall organisation and department level
- Ensure your CX team feel empowered to direct change – ask them!
Understand your customer
To have an understanding of the effectiveness of your customer experience, of course you must understand your audience. There are many tasks in this area that indicate good practice. If your organisation is routinely performing customer segmentation and creating user personas, then they are likely considering the customer first.
User testing of online experiences both pre and post implementation is as essential way of creating insight and if your organisation is not performing user testing routinely then you are missing what is possibly the key opportunity to quickly improve your online offering. In fact, any area where customers are encouraged to offer feedback and where this feedback is measured and fed into the change process is likely to result in a better overall customer experience. In addition, you will be creating a connection with your customers that has its own positive benefits in terms of experience. After all, people like to be heard.
Omnichannel has been a buzzword of years gone by. Measuring the number of journeys that your customers can complete using multiple channels is surely useful. It isn’t just about making sure you can begin journeys in multiple ways. Being wary of the number of times you are forcing customers to switch channels (such as from online to phone or vice versa) is a way of ensuring that you are always going to them instead of demanding they come to you. Think how much better it is to say, “yes, I can do that for you now” than it is to say “yes, you can easily do that online.” Keeping track of, and minimising forced ‘lane changes’ within journeys will not only delight your customers but will also remove potential leak points in your sales funnels. If customers must switch channels, or even switch assistants within the same channel, they get frustrated if they are forced to repeat information.
“Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort – the work they must do to get their problem solved – does.”
When customers complain, it is vital to measure what happens. Not just how many complaints you are receiving, but how many are resolved by a single person, in one step? How many customers come back after having made a complaint? These types of measure are great for understanding how customers are being treated when they have a grievance.
Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience.
White House Office of Consumer Affairs
As discussed in part one, customer experience is a key way to differentiate a proposition in a world where regulatory compliance demands certain things are done in a certain way. And nowhere more so than in the documents that are produced. Quotations, projections, Key Features… the message is often prescribed, but is your organisation doing the things that can make these more accessible, understandable and… well… interesting? How many of those important documents are being read, or even opened? Beyond that, testing whether the documents are understood can be a real eye opener! Together, these measurements are not only a good indicator of whether your output is customer friendly but can also serve as evidence that your approach to complying with the regulations is effective.
- Check you are revisiting your customer segmentation and personas regularly
- Keep enforced channel ‘lane-changes’ to a minimum to reduce customer effort
- Record and measure the result of all customer interactions
- Be clear and transparent at all times, including with your measures
Now you have the checks and balances in place to ensure you are doing all the right things. Your team is set up to succeed and you have an intimate knowledge of your customers and their needs. Your processes are giving CX the priority it deserves and you can see that changes are happening. So are your customers finally enjoying an improved customer experience?
As well as your internal metrics around journey completion and what your team are telling you, it’s critical to look into the outside world and hear what your customers are saying about you. It might not be easy to see, but don’t assume because you can’t find the conversations quickly, that they are not happening.
75% of businesses believe they are customer-centric, and just 30% of consumers agree.
If you’re lucky you will see active conversations about your brand. Not just on your own social channels such as your Facebook page, but on the open social channels such as Twitter, Medium and LinkedIn. If there are more than a few posts then it may be possible to perform a sentiment analysis and extract some tangible data that you can use to keep an ongoing set of scores.
Consumer review sites such as TrustPilot and Yell may provide more direct feedback in the form of star ratings and comments. Industry analysis as well as consumer review services like Which? Are also useful indicators of success, though may be more tricky to track over time.
One of the most widely adopted measures of consumer sentiment is the Net Promoter Score. Developed by best-selling author and business strategist Fred Reichheld, it is now a trademark co-owned by Reichheld, Bain & Co and California based Satmetrix Systems. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple calculation that is based on the answer to the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our company / product / service to a friend or colleague?” Recognise the question? Of course you do! Now you know why you’ve been asked it so many times!
NPS scores range from -100 (everybody is a detractor) to +100 (everybody is a promoter), with any positive score deemed to be good and a score of +50 being considered excellent.
- Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean sentiment isn’t there
- Be proactive and seek feedback from customers
- Measure and publish trends – don’t let up!
And so we’ve come to the end of this short series on the evaluation of Customer Experience. To find out how we can help you get to grips with the task and how to get your CX working for your business instead of against it, get in touch.