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How you should be measuring customer experience

By November 8, 2019Customer surveys
customer survey

As every business knows – delivering first-rate experiences to customers is a strategic priority. But many companies still fail to accurately quantify the complete customer experience (CX). Without a layered approach to CX measurement, you’re missing the first crucial steps in getting insight into customer satisfaction and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to predict customer loyalty with any accuracy. Fail to do this, and you probably won’t survive the decade in a world that’s finely balanced on the fulcrum of customer-centricity.

The case for CX measurement

Customer experience is simple enough – your company’s interaction with your customers. From their perspective – you will be judged on how well you deliver to their wants and needs. But that’s where simplicity ends. Leveraging the power of CX to influence consumer spending and inspire loyalty to your company, begins with an understanding of the complexity of the customer experience.

CX takes place in three areas: the customer journey, the various points of interaction between the customer and your brand, and the different environments in which interaction takes place – from digital environments to the sales floor.

Contact with your company can be both direct (during the purchase phase) and indirect (advertising, word-of-mouth, news items). Now add to this, the different levels at which the customer experience takes place – physical, sensorial, emotional and rational, and ideological.

Although creating a superior customer experience involves six disciplines – strategy, understanding your customer, informed design, accurate measurement, and governance and culture – this blog focuses on measuring customer experiences, and how your understanding of the role and complexity of the customer experience determines how you choose to measure CX.

Common CX measurements

Two of the most widely used customer experience metrics include: Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). eValue’s CX survey maps and links theses metrics for comparative demographic analysis and historical trend analysis.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) – also called the brand or relationship metric – gathers data based on the question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Scores of nine or 10 represent ‘promoters’, seven or eight ‘passives’, and zero to six ‘detractors’. For deeper qualitative feedback that can guide product or service improvements, an NPS can include a more nuanced follow-up question like “Care to tell us why?” Because the NPS draws on a customer’s experiences with your organisation for the entire duration of the relationship, it is mainly used as a predictor of customer loyalty and can be used to inform your customer retention strategy.

An NPS is the best starting point when initiating a customer feedback program, but keep in mind that NPS surveys will give you an overview of customer experience only. For a customer experience measurement at specific touch points or transactions along the customer journey, you’ll want to include the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

Your CSAT survey gathers data around a recent customer interaction with your company, like a purchase or customer service call, and how satisfied they were with that transaction. CSAT is a popular CX measurement because it can be easily customised to your particular company’s customer experience landscape. It is also highly flexible – allowing for several questions in a longer survey. Responses are then averaged to create an amalgamated CSAT score. It’s recommended that an open-ended follow up question is included – giving people the opportunity to tell you what aspects of satisfaction are working, or not working, for them.

Delving deeper into the customer experience

NPS and CSAT surveys are undoubtedly a valuable source of customer experience metrics. But using a layered approach to measurement will give you a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the landscape and the game-changing insights that could set your company apart.

We recommend delving deeper into your customers’ experiences by using a drip-approach to NPS. This means continuously keeping your finger on the pulse of customer sentiment so you can react to findings in real-time, instead of just once or twice a year, as is common practice.

In the same way, using short CSAT surveys often and when needed, can be used effectively for a specific time period of change, or to identify staff who may need additional training, for example.

When planning to make product or service improvements, include a Product Satisfaction Score (PSAT) in your metrics with a question like: “How satisfied are you with [this product or service]?”

Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys ask the question: “How much effort did it take to have your request handled?” The customer can provide a score of one to 10. A CES can provide insight into your customer churn rate and is a great way to effectively amp up your customer support offering. In fact, CES may be a more accurate forecaster of repurchasing than CSAT.

Putting customer experience metrics to work for you

Measuring customer experience can happen in many ways, using multiple CX metrics in varying combinations. Irrespective of your methodology of choice, to be truly effective, measurement should cover the main categories – quality, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Only then will you have the data needed to manage and nurture long-term customer relationships.

Your next step is deciding ways to improve CX, testing these and coming up with scenarios based on your new results, which in turn inform further changes or improvements, and so on.

Of course, continuous testing and optimisation can be an insurmountable challenge for companies using outdated methodology – like surveys that go out to customers once or twice a year. More agile survey methodologies deliver results in real-time, which is especially important for rapidly evolving products and services. They are also able to process this data and unlock insight from real-time qualitative feedback. Once the “why” behind your experience measurements has been established, you’ll be able to quickly prioritise improvements that will drive your business forward.

Contact us today to learn how eValue can help you unlock the customer insights that lead to genuine customer-centric service and long-term loyal relationships.