A well-constructed and effective customer experience is a crucial part of business strategies today. No matter the industry, customer experiences (CX) that meet target audience needs and help convert them into customers are a crucial part of continued commercial success. But due to its often difficult to define nature, CX can be difficult for companies to gauge in order to determine its value and make changes that improve ROI.
However, measuring CX successfully can be done with the right insights and, when done correctly, can help businesses effectively shape and refine their strategies.
Requirements for Measuring Customer Experience
According to Gartner, there are three conditions that must be met by companies in order to successfully implement customer experience measurements.
- Measure CX Across Levels of Management - Companies should work to understand how customer experience impacts various levels of management, ranging from C-suite executives to operational leaders across the organization. These various measurements show how CX affects business outcomes, cross-departmental issues, department tactics and more. Should you only focus on one level, valuable insights may be missed.
- Include Metrics from All Departments - As opposed to the vertical nature of the first condition, this second condition is horizontal in nature and is meant to encompass the many different teams that make up a company. A metric such as customer satisfaction can vary between departments and reflect how each impacts the experience. Measuring such a metric across a business will provide comprehensive data and insights regarding where improvements should be made and how they may need to differ depending on the department.
- Balance the Rational with the Emotional - Businesses should not only measure the quality of the services provided, but the emotions they provoke within customers. Customers will have an emotional reaction to the treatment they receive from a company and these reactions will influence rational decisions. The more they love an experience, the more loyal they will become, and the more they dislike it, the more likely they are to leave for a competitor.
Having these conditions in place will help your team correctly approach metrics to better prevent accidentally skewing data and for an effective application of CX improvements across the company.
Measuring Customer Experience
Because customer experience involves all aspects of a consumer interacting with a business, there are many elements that may be measured by an organization. However, the following aspects can provide highly useful CX insights, regardless of the industry of a company.
- Customer Satisfaction Scores - Companies should extensively poll customer satisfaction across all departments and keep detailed records to better understand weak points and areas for potential improvement, which can boost customer experience as a whole.
- Product or Service Quality Metrics - Beyond being satisfied with their experiences, customers should be enabled to rate the products and services they receive. Whether this is through a third-party site or on the company’s own, receiving evaluations of products can show if CX issues are caused by what customers purchase, rather than how a company provides it.
- Employee Engagement - A workforce that is committed to your company’s goals and values and is determined to perform their best means a more effective team. By measuring their investment in the company through anonymous surveys and performance evaluations, you can better determine how well a team is performing their duties. The result is an ability to equip and train your team as needed.
- First Call Resolution Rates - An effective customer service center will have a higher likelihood of resolving customers’ problems during their first call or online chat. The higher the resolution rate, the more effective your service. Low rates should be a sign that your customer service is in need of improvement for a better customer experience.
- Net Promoter Score - Beyond customer satisfaction, a net promoter score determines customer loyalty with one question - “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” Based on a score of 0 to 10, a company can determine which customers will likely buy more and refer, as well as which will likely not return, according to Forbes. These insights help determine the longevity of a customer base and what should be done to improve CX.
Improving Your Customer Experience
Following a successful customer experience evaluation, companies will have the opportunity to make improvements to various aspects of the experience as needed. Once you have collected your CX metrics, consider the following recommendations on how you should take action.
- Don’t focus on one major customer experience metric, but take multiple lower-level metrics, such as how various departments field a complaint about a product, into account for a more balanced review of CX.
- Consider the effects of a change on all departments. While a specific department may have been in charge of tracking a metric, changes regarding how your company does business and interacts with customers must be considered to prevent negatively affecting some departments while improving others.
- Take customer emotions into consideration. While rational, statistically-backed CX changes are crucial, remember how your audience will emotionally react to the changes you make, both positively and negatively.
- Determine a hierarchy of metrics to guide CX plans and how you invest both time and money in your improvement efforts. Decide upon what statistics are most important for your company’s performance and what changes should be prioritized when planning both time and financial investment.
By following these guidelines, a company can approach their metrics and CX improvement efforts through a comprehensive strategy.