Customer experience has moved to the center stage of the business world over the past few decades.
In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a business today that doesn’t recognize and preach the value of delivering an outstanding customer experience. Research has shown that customers are happy to pay more for a great experience and that these customers are more loyal and drive more referrals. Customer experience presents a massive opportunity for any business looking to drive future growth.
If you’ve heard the arguments and read the studies, you probably don’t need any more convincing. What you need is guidance on how to start measuring your customer experience and how to improve that experience over time.
If you’ve had enough of the hype and you’re ready to take action, this article is for you. Below, we’ll provide a simple checklist you can use to quickly begin measuring your customer experience. Even if you’re already measuring customer experience, the checklist will make sure you’re hitting all the right points along the way. Let’s jump in.
Understand Key Touchpoints
Do you realize that your customers are on a journey with you?
The journey began the moment they first began looking for you and it continues throughout their initial exploration, purchase and onboarding, all the way through to their eventual cancellation.
Your customers came to you because they had a problem they needed help solving, whether that’s something as simple as finding great entertainment choices or as complex as managing their business’ finances. Whatever their problem was, they entered into a relationship with you because they believed your product would help them.
Each of your customer journeys are made up of unique and important interactions with your brand. But while each customer’s experience is unique, each journey also contains common elements. These elements – or touchpoints – are opportunities for you to make or build upon your connection with them. They are defining moments in your customer experience, and if you don’t understand them, you’re missing out on a huge chance to shape that experience.
Delivering a great experience at each of these touchpoints and throughout the entire customer journey is the key to a truly exceptional customer experience.
If you need help uncovering these key touchpoints, we would recommend approaching the question from two angles:
Begin with your existing data. What have your customers been telling you? Where are their pain points? Whether you have a formal feedback program or not, you probably already possess a wealth of data in support tickets, sales and churn data, and other similar areas.
Consider the most common journeys first. The potential ROI of improving a pain point grows based upon the number of customers affected. As you begin, start with the most common elements of your customer journey and attempt to uncover these high-potential areas.
Establish a baseline
Once you’ve identified the key journeys in your customer experience and the touchpoints that make up those journeys, it’s time to dive deeper. Before you can identify how to improve in those areas, you need a thorough understanding of the current state.
Ideally, your investigation will help you uncover a baseline you can measure against as you work towards an improved customer experience. This reference point will differ based upon the touchpoint or customer journey you’re examining. Some examples might be:
Number of support tickets per customers in a given time period
Implementation and onboarding success rate
Time to first value with your product
This is a great time to do some additional data-gathering with your customers. This could take the form of reviewing sales and support calls, conducting employee and customer focus groups, or sending out customer surveys.
Build your Survey Program
Customer surveys are an incredibly important tool in your customer experience toolbox. They offer a scalable means of gathering feedback directly from your customers at whichever moment in the customer journey you choose. This feedback can then drive business initiatives, influence business decisions and lead to changes in company KPIs.
Choose your software
The first thing you’ll need is a tool that enables you to create and send targeted customer surveys. Your customer relationship management (CRM) tool – such as Salesforce or HubSpot – may include this functionality. If not, you might be able to leverage your email marketing software (e.g. Mailchimp, Constant Contact).
Choose your cadence
Once you’ve landed on the right delivery mechanism it’s time to choose when you’ll send customer surveys. The answer to this question will depend upon the customer journeys you’re working to improve. For instance:
If you’re working to improve your onboarding journey, you may want to send a survey seven days after the customer signs up for your product, then again once onboarding is complete.
If you’re focusing on preventing churn and retaining customers, you may want to send surveys each time they contact support. You could also consider sending surveys at a regular cadence – such as monthly or quarterly – so that you can keep a pulse on each customer’s health and happiness.
Choose your metric(s)
You’ve already identified a reference point or two within your customer experience which you’ll use to gauge success, but it’s also a good idea to survey your customers using one or two of the most common customer experience metrics. These metrics are helpful for benchmarking your experience against other companies and for capturing both positive and negative customer feedback.
We’ve written about some of the most popular customer experience KPIs, but three of the most popular to survey customers on are:
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – CSAT asks your customers how satisfied they were with an interaction with your company, typically using a scale of Very Unsatisfied to Very Satisfied. It’s a really useful metric for measuring specific interactions and uncovering ways to improve those areas.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) – NPS is a metric used to measure referral likelihood, typically on a ten-point scale. The assumption is that customers who are likely to refer friends and colleagues to your company must have had a great experience. Its strengths are its simplicity and popularity.
Customer Effort Score (CES) – As the name suggests, CES is used to measure how much effort your customer exerts to resolve an issue with your company. Using a seven-point scale, it can be a very effective way to uncover pain points and areas where you can improve your customer experience.
Whichever metric you choose, it’s often wise to follow up the core question for that metric with at least one open-ended question. This can be as simple as asking for more details on why a customer chose a certain rating, or asking several multiple-choice questions to get more structured data.
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to go about doing this, but beware of the temptation to over-survey your customers. Each additional question decreases the likelihood of your customers completing the survey, so we would recommend limiting surveys to a few simple questions at most.
Analyzing your Results
Gathering feedback from customers is a great step, but then you need a scalable way to analyze that feedback and transform it into actionable insights for your business. To drive long-term change and success, you need to consistently generate insights and take action on the high-impact opportunities the data presents.
This is where tools like Lumoa come into play. Not all insights are created equally. A tool that can sift through your customer feedback and uncover the areas with the most potential enables you to focus your response on areas that will result in the most ROI for your business.
Broadcast the Results
No single team or person can deliver an incredible end-to-end customer experience. Customers interact with your brand in so many different ways that transforming your customer experience requires cross-functional buy-in and investment.
Every team in your company has their own priorities. If you want to drive growth over the long-haul, it’s critical that you can easily keep customer experience front-of-mind for every team. Once you’ve analyzed your results, communication and follow-up becomes the next step.
We would suggest starting by creating and sharing dashboards that allow your company to easily view your customer experience over time. Trending data is powerful, and it will allow you to prove the impact of your customer experience investments.
Next, set up automated alerts and notifications to appropriate teams when customer feedback is received. If a customer submits negative feedback, it’s important to have someone quickly follow up with them in hopes of turning their experience around. Similarly, if a customer submits highly positive feedback, you may want your Marketing or Sales teams to follow up and gather a review or quote about how your product has benefited them.
Customer experience is the new battleground for differentiating your business from your competition. If you haven’t started to measure your customer experience yet, the best time to start is now. By following the above steps, doing some research and creating a little structure, you’ll have the foundation of a great customer experience management program in place in no time.
If you feel that more information or talking to an expert would be helpful, you can schedule a demo with a Lumoa expert today.