Measuring Customer Experience: A systematic approach
According to Forrester’s CX Index, 73% of businesses name improving customer experience their top priority. Needless to say, in a time when the customers’ perception of their interaction with your brand can make or break your business, measuring customer experience is the first step towards improving Customer Experience Management (CEM).
CX encompasses every single interaction between your company and its customers. As a result, measuring your efforts at positively impacting the customer experience can prove to be quite the daunting task. That is why it’s worth considering implementing a systematic approach to measuring customer experience.
Why measuring customer experience matters?
Obviously, measuring customer experience is a no-brainer for many reasons. Monitoring how successful you are with your CX initiatives will help you
- Better understand your customers
- Make informed business decisions
- Determine return on investment
- Improve service and/or product quality
- Justify future investment
Getting started with systematically measuring customer experience
The customer experience represents the sum totality of all interactions between your company and its customers. As a result, measuring customer experience can prove to be quite a daunting task because of the many factors affecting the customers’ perception of your company. Designing and implementing a systematic, goal-driven approach to measuring the CX can save you costs, time and energy. Considering following these steps to get you started with measuring your efforts at boosting CX:
Get everybody on the same page
Improving the customer experience is a job that should involve everybody in your organization. The same applies with measuring customer experience. Make sure that every single member of your team understands the need to systematically monitor and measure the experience. Building a customer centric company requires customer-centric thinking. Measuring will not get you very far unless you are able to convince everybody to use measurements as a starting point to making business decisions that prioritize the customer.
Know your customer
Customers no longer buy products, they buy experiences. In this context, it is important to understand the business you are in and get to know your target audience within that business. At this point, you should be focusing on creating a customer journey map and outlining customer needs and expectations across different legs of the journey.
Identify all touch points
After you map out the customer journey, you should be able to clearly identify all the different touch points between your brand and the customer. Identifying touch points is crucial because that is where the interactions happen, and it is practically impossible to measure the experience unless you first figure out where all the instances that shape it take place.
Along different touchpoints of the customer journey, customers have different needs but still expect a superior experience. Break down the touch points to their core and identify any problematic areas. For example, if you are running an e-commerce business and you notice that many customers abandon their carts before purchasing, you can with certainty pinpoint cart abandonment as an issue. You have figured out a problem. Now, it’s time to do something to address it.
Set clear goals
The goals you set out to achieve should be aligned with the problems you have identified or dictated by your overall business strategy. Following the previous example of the e-commerce business, the problem of cart abandonment might prompt the goal to reduce cart abandonment rates. Obviously, you can have more than one goals but remember to make sure they are realistic, and to set a course of action towards reaching them.
Monitor Metrics and KPIs
There are many available customer experience KPIs to choose from. From all the metrics out there, choose the right ones to track. Start monitoring and measuring KPIs based on your predefined goals. This should give you an accurate picture of how well you are performing and whether you need to reassess your game plan to improve the customer experience.
What gets measured gets managed
The process of measuring key metrics will give the necessary insights to continue implementing or redesigning your customer experience initiatives. Measuring in itself is, however, pointless if you don’t get that data into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and turn them into action. Importing that information into your CRM will enable you to better manage direct interactions from sales to customer service and marketing.
Care for a more visual representation of the information included in this article? Take a look at this infographic illustrating the key elements of measuring customer experience: