In a recent Forrester’s CX Index study, it was reported that “a whopping 81% of brands had stagnant [Customer Experience] scores in 2019. Many industry front-runners saw their scores decay, and for the fourth year running, no brand made it into the “excellent” category.”
Over the years, providing an exceptional customer experience has played a monumental role in brand success. Whether it be increasing loyalty or improving customer sentiment, going the extra mile comes with a plethora of benefits.
However, reaching that level of experience can prove to be challenging. As we can see from the Forester Study, even top brands struggle to design and implement a great customer experience. It takes time and an understanding of the customer’s wants and needs, a well thought out strategy and metrics that can support change.
This is where measuring the customer experience emerges as a strategy to gain insight into customer preferences while staying aligned with business objectives.
The Benefits of Measuring The Customer Experience
As many businesses attempt to create a thriving customer experience, measurement has emerged as an effective method to understanding customer desires. In essence, it’s the process of observing and analyzing interactions and relationships within the customer experience, focusing on key touchpoints to identify areas of improvement and opportunity.
One of the major benefits of measuring customer experience is the ability to stay ahead of market trends. Customer preferences are never stagnant, they fluctuate regularly and can be difficult to keep up with. This is especially true within recent years given the introduction of new tech, faster service and an array of products readily available. By measuring the customer experience businesses learn about trends or emerging preferences directly from the customer and gain a better understanding of the market as a whole. This visibility and understanding helps shape future initiatives and enhancements to products and services. What’s more, it keeps your business relevant and ahead of competitors.
A second and critical benefit of measuring the customer experience is the ability to drive long term customer loyalty. By measuring the customer experience, businesses gain insight into customer preferences, key business touchpoints and the effectiveness of operations that can be leveraged to improve experience more strategically. Listening builds a stronger relationship with customers leading to less churn and more revenue from repeat business. What’s more, understanding the customer can help you personalize your experience to better suit their needs and preferences – further increasing loyalty and revenue.
Lastly, measuring customer experience helps your business stay aligned with business objectives. By measuring, you can ask questions specific to your overall objective and track its progress to see if you and your team are making progress to further hold teams accountable for their progress and to inform stakeholders of success. In addition, it gives you visibility into how you’re currently doing so you can determine goals or KPI’s that are realistic and attainable.
When it comes to the benefits of measuring the customer experience the aforementioned points just scratch the surface. As businesses begin to build consistency with measurement, they gain greater insight to propel their business.
In this next section, to optimize your success, we cover the best practices to consider when measuring the customer experience.
Best Practices To Optimize CX Measurement
Create a Plan
Whether you’re measuring the customer experience for the first time or adjusting your current measurement process, it’s important to devise a game plan that can help visualize how to reach your objective.
When building out your measurement plan try and be as strategic as possible by asking yourself probing questions. Questions like; will omni-channel be more effective when sending out surveys or will a single channel? Will paper surveys or an on-site kiosk be the customer preference? What audience segment is best to survey? Would NPS or CSAT focused questions provide more objective-driven information? will help identify areas in your customer experience program you need to measure.
Ask Survey Questions With The Customer Top of Mind
The questions you ask in your survey play an enormous role in survey design. Ultimately, they determine what insight you’ll receive and utilize to enhance the customer experience – so it’s important they are well thought out and have a purpose within the survey.
When formulating your questions, make sure you consider the customers preferred language, location (if you are a multi-location business) and customer demographic traits. Keeping preferences top of mind is essential to make sure the survey experience is engaging and simple to fulfill.
Consider A Range of Channels For Deployment
With the rise of fast technology and higher than normal customer expectations, convenience is key and personalization is preferred. This notion is especially true when it comes to the way in which customers communicate with brands.
Today’s customers regularly channel hop and expect you to be readily available on their channel of choice. When measuring the customer’s experience it’s important that you’re sending surveys and communicating with customers on their preferred channels to not only improve sentiment but also encourage a higher survey response rate.
Leverage Customer Experience Management Technology
Incorporating technology is critical to measuring the experience today. Helping to generate greater results in a streamlined fashion, technology like a sophisticated Customer Experience Management (CEM) solution, can help measure customer experience at scale. However, not all platforms are created equal.
When considering a platform look for one that is user-friendly, has powerful reporting and dashboards that are easy to configure and interpret. In addition, real-time capabilities can help address concerns in-the-moment to reduce negative sentiment. When leveraged correctly, a
Include Multiple CX Metrics
For many businesses, choosing a single metric like NPS is commonplace when measuring the customer experience. However, this greatly limits insight gathered and can hinder your understanding of their preferences as a whole.
When constructing your customer experience survey, consider multiple metrics like NPS, CSAT, CES, EES, and more to extract data. Using a range of questions can provide greater insight into customer preferences and sentiment. With that said, it’s also important to not overdo it. Sending a lot of questions can be overwhelming so make sure to always be cognizant of your buyer. When devising your survey determine its length by considering where the survey will be placed, your audience and the urgency.
Benchmark Against Competitors
When it comes to measuring the customer experience a great way to understand how well you’re doing in your respective market is by comparing against competitors. Not only does it help businesses move strategically, but it can also help keep your employees on their toes and performing to their best ability.
When benchmarking against competitors, try and also discover any tactics that have and haven’t worked. Knowing this can deter you from making the same mistakes and losing loyalty or revenue.