A friend of mine emailed me a few weeks ago with one question: “Mary, how do you measure customer experience?” My friend is a six-sigma black belt call center executive. Therefore, I naturally took this question as not only a challenge, but as an opportunity to provide him with an answer he could actually use. So…where does one start when wanting to measure their customer experience?
First, Start by Reviewing Your Current State
First, you need to understand your current customer experience situation – both externally and internally. More often than not, companies focus on external customer experience. This said, there is a correlation between internal, employee loyalty and satisfaction, and external customer experience satisfaction.
Next, Focus on External Measurement
You must measure and benchmark your customer focus on the activities that drive customer satisfaction and retention. These benchmark results are important to understand in order to determine which strategy is best suited for your company to deliver the best customer value both internally and externally. If there is weakness in the entire customer focus aspect, a complete customer experience management reengineering program may be necessary.
Then, Pay Attention to Your Internal Measurement
One of the most important aspects in customer experience management is creating an empowered workforce of employees who are committed to your customer and believe in your company. They need to be able to make a direct connection to how they contribute to customer value and satisfaction.
How Do We Measure It? Measurement Methodologies
Here are some of the top methodologies utilized to measure customer experience:
- CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)
- NPS (Net Promoter Score)
- Customer Effort Score CES(TM)
- CxPi (Customer Experience Index)
Quality Customer Experience Metric
No matter what methodology you use, remember to focus on the quality of your customer experience metrics, as well.
- Credibility: How widely accepted is the measure? Does it have a good track record of results?
- Reliability: Is it a consistent standard that can be applied across the customer lifecycle and multiple channels?
- Precision: Is it specific enough to provide insight? Does it use multiple related questions to deliver greater accuracy and insight?
- Accuracy: Is the measurement right? Is it representative of the entire customer base, or just an outspoken minority?
- Actionability: Does it provide any insight into what can be done to encourage customers to be loyal and to purchase? Does it prioritize improvements according to biggest impacts?
- Ability to Predict: Can it project the future behaviors of the customer based on their satisfaction?
In conclusion, you want to be able to leverage your customer experience metrics into superior business performance. These value metrics should enable you to identify competitive performance gaps on those factors that are critical to quality from a market perspective (CTQs, in Six Sigma jargon…). The nature of those gaps, whether positive or negative, will point you to the specific product (service), people, or process issues that you can improve to realize or sustain a competitive advantage.
You can read my complete research on this topic for free, including more in depth explanations around the measurement methodologies on the Contact Center Associations’ website. And don’t forget about the ROI behind customer experience. Forrester recently produced a study that showed, for example in financial services, that a small increase in customer experience could have an impact of more than $200M from reduced churn, word of mouth referrals, and increased purchases.