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How to Build a Customer Experience Measurement Program
Have you ever wondered how to build a Customer Experience Measurement program (aka CXM Program)?
Or wondered how you can measure your customer experience?
PWC published research indicating that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one negative experience and recent research by Propel Software revealed that more than half of consumers, 54%, said they would stop using a brand after just one bad experience and it was even worse if your target market is millennials with 57%.
So it’s no wonder that a CXM program should be a critical part of any business strategy.
But it’s more than just potentially losing customers.
Deloitte research revealed that customer-centric companies bring in 60% more profit than those who aren’t.
An integral step to becoming a “customer-centric” organisation is ensuring that you are capturing feedback from your customers, analysing the information and creating actionable insights to drive improvements across your organisation – creating a Customer Experience Measurement program.
By following the seven-step process detailed below, we have full confidence that you’ll be able to improve your customer experience, ultimately leading to reduced customer churn and increased customer profitability!
How to Build a Customer Experience Measurement Program in 7 Steps
Below we’ve mapped out 7 practical steps you should follow if you need to build a CX Measurement Framework in your business.
Step 1: Understand customer needs
Before you start to think about a CXM program, it’s CRITICAL to first understand the needs of your customers.
This will allow you to understand what motivates your customers to interact with your business and will also help you understand what makes them angry.
There are several different ways that your organisation can identify customer needs.
The approach you take will often be dependent on the maturity of your business (and likely the budget you have to spend on CX research).
A few ways you can identify customer needs have been listed below:
- Quantitative – Analyse existing customer datasets – behavioural and solicited
- Qualitative – Interviewing staff & customers Interviewing staff, particularly front-line
- Customer journey mapping
Note – To avoid bias through this process, it is recommended to get an external research agency to facilitate the needs identification process.
Step 2: Identify available customer data
Once you have identified your customer needs, the focus should be on understanding the customer data that you have at your disposal.
This is the single most critical step in the customer experience measurement framework for many reasons:
- You should NEVER ask a customer something that you already know about them
- Customer metadata is critical to contextualising the “WHY” behind the survey response, E.g. Survey data (X data) could be combined with Call Waiting Times (O data)
- The quality and accessibility of customer data will dictate the survey program you build.
Too often, organisations build a lavish CXM strategy without understanding what data is available in the business.
Planning an intricate program that triggers surveys at different intervals is no use if the data capability within the business cannot support this approach.
Below are five principles that we strongly recommend you adhere to when trying to obtain customer data for a CXM program:
- LINK – What unique identifier can link this dataset to others?
- CONSISTENT – How can data files be sent to our team in a consistent format?
- CLEAN – This data will be used to visualise results. What data specs are available?
- FREQUENT – How can we receive this data as frequently as possible to send surveys?
- AUTOMATE – How can we establish a data pipeline to receive this dataset continually?
Step 3: Define appropriate metrics
Now that you have identified the customer needs and know what customer data is available in your business, it’s time for the fun stuff – defining the actual metrics!
Depending on how sophisticated your CXM program is, there are several layers to this step.
3A – Determining the measurement tiers
There are generally three tiers of a CX Measurement framework:
- Relationship / Strategic – this aims to measure the customer’s overall perception of your organisation.
- Episodic – this tier measures the “moments that matter” across the customer journey.
- Transactional – this tier hones in on specific interactions a customer has had, i.e. post-phone call, or website interaction.
Each organisation will take a different approach to their tiers; however, the general rule of thumb is that Strategic surveys are sent less frequently (every six months) to more people, whereas Episodic / Transactional surveys are sent more frequently (after an interaction) but to targeted customers.
3B – Establishing headline metrics
The two most common headline metrics are:
- NPS (Net Promoter Score) – a measure of customer advocacy on a scale of 0-10
- CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) – a measure of customer satisfaction, generally on a scale of 1-5 or 1-7
A helpful article on the difference between these metrics can be found here.
3C – Establishing metrics for the moments that matter
Apart from the headline metrics, the other intent of any measurement program should be to quantitatively understand how customers are feeling at critical moments when they interact with your business.
Whilst these critical moments will generally be established in Step One, it is extremely important to ask the right survey questions to measure the experience correctly.
The four most common measurement scales that are used include:
- Resolution – Was your enquiry resolved?
- Satisfaction – How satisfied were you with this interaction?
- Opinion – How much do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- Effort – How easy was it to interact with us today?
The above questions are generally coupled with opportunities to supplement their response with a comment, i.e. open text response.
Step 4: Build the survey(s), invites & reminders
Now building the survey might sound simple, but it can actually become quite intricate depending on the detail within the survey.
Lucky for you, there are several CX Survey tools that make it extremely easy to build surveys in today’s world – Qualtrics, MaritzCX and Medallia are probably market leaders at the moment.
Five principles we recommend following for building surveys, invites & reminders are below:
- Display logic – Only ask questions that are relevant to this particular customer. Try to utilise metadata variables to personalise and customise the survey to the specific customer you are trying to obtain feedback from.
- Response validation – Don’t force a response from the customer unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. This is particularly relevant for open-text feedback.
- Survey length – Customers are busy and can become bored very quickly. Try to keep the survey to 7 questions or less.
- Scale consistency – Customers will become familiar with responding to questions on a particular scale, i.e. 0-10. Don’t chop and change the question scale as it will confuse the customer.
- Survey fatigue – Modern technology has democratised customer surveys. Try not to survey the same customer more than once every 3 months. One survey reminder is often enough.
Step Five: Implement a closed-loop process
We can almost guarantee that somewhere in your CXM program, there is a statement that says “Your feedback is important to us”.
Is it though?
Too often, businesses establish Rolls Royce programs but do nothing with them.
There’s absolutely no use in setting up an elaborate CXM program unless you’re going to utilise the feedback to drive change at a micro and macro level.
We’ve listed FIVE easy steps to follow to ensure customer feedback is being actioned in your business:
Step One: Identify “customer champions” across your business.
These are SMEs who will be responsible for owning the customer feedback in their respective area.
Step Two: Systemise the process.
Create a standard rule for customers who need to be contacted. For example, it is common practice for businesses to contact their detractors i.e. any customer who has scored 0-6.
Step Three: Humanise the process.
Some businesses refer to their detractors as “MARCs”, which stands for Most At Risk Customer. This creates a common language for the business to become familiar with.
Step Four: Automate the notification process.
Make it as easy as possible for the customer champions to be notified of the feedback, to identify the respective customer and to leave case notes on the status & outcome of the interaction.
Step Five: Review & track progress.
Gamify the process by acknowledging customer champions who have made the most successful contacts.
Over time, it is also extremely useful to correlate repeat respondents to the closed-loop process, ideally demonstrating that the overall score for these customers has risen!
By implementing a closed-loop process in your business, it assures customers that their feedback is being heard.
It is also a great way to always ensure that the voice of the customer is top of mind for certain business areas.
Step Six: Build tailored dashboards & reports
This is the fun part! But don’t be fooled – building useful dashboards & reports is harder than it looks…
Depending on the survey platform you utilise, dashboards may or may not be able to be built within the tool itself.
Our top 5 recommendations for building effective dashboards & reports are below:
- Build for the end-user – Data analysts will often think differently to the end user. It is INTEGRAL to obtain feedback from the consumer of the dashboard/report throughout the build process. Iterate and improve.
- Data governance is critical – Dirty data into the platform will inevitably impact your ability to visualise information in a meaningful way. Try to envision what you’d like to visualise at Step Two to avoid unnecessary re-work or data cleansing exercises.
- Performance Dashboards VS Insight Reporting – Whilst dashboards are dynamic in nature, they can be left open to interpretation of the end-user. We strongly recommend trying to supplement performance dashboards with bespoke insight reports, providing further context and insight into the numbers which appear in a dashboard.
- Sample sizes matter – A common problem with CXM programs is that the sample size is too low to yield any meaningful insight. As a rule of thumb, any result with <30 responses should be treated with caution. If your business is struggling to obtain a meaningful sample, consider using 30, 60 or 90-day rolling results. This will stabilise your survey results over time.
- Open-text feedback is invaluable – Whilst graphs are nice, open-text feedback provides meatiness and context to quantitative data. Try to share customer verbatim with as many staff members as possible. Word of caution though: de-identify responses if customers have not given permission to share this information with others.
Step Seven: Establish deep-dive working groups
The final step in how to build a Customer Experience Measurement Program is often called the “long loop” or “outer loop”.
The outer loop requires your business to establish working groups and regular cadence to discuss systemic customer issues/themes that have been identified via your CXM program.
These working groups should be focused on actioning the insights that have been identified, implementing initiatives to improve certain pain points.
Once implemented, the loop should be closed by measuring the effectiveness of the initiative and communicating the results to the customers who initially provided feedback!
In conclusion, a CXM program should follow a system known as CRAM:
You set up a survey to CAPTURE relevant data from customers
You establish systems to REPORT on this data
You identify ACTIONABLE insights from the data
You implement initiatives and MEASURE the effectiveness of them
- About the Author
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I’m a seasoned CX professional with over a decade of experience helping organisations build and maintain exceptional customer experiences. I have a passion for demonstrating the financial benefits of CX & EX initiatives and sharing industry trends and insights.
I currently write a weekly newsletter called “What’s CEXy,” my audience which you can access on the website link below.