If you’re not achieving your goals for the customer experience, you’re probably not measuring at the correct level; learn what that level is.
Companies want to give and get value through the customer experience—what are your goals? To deliver proactive customer service? Reduce customer support calls? Increase customer loyalty? Sell more through each customer interaction?
To achieve your goals, you’ll need to measure the fine-grained elements of your customer interactions. Only an up-close view—not a high-level view—will show you how to actually improve.
Where most companies get it wrong (really wrong) is they spend copious resources tracking the consequences of their customer experience (dashboards, Net Promoter Scores, etc.). But, they barely consider the factors that cause those experiences.
Outcome metrics are your results. For example, after a hotel stay, you might get a survey with the Net Promoter question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Your answer—if you answer at all—will be a result of your experiences at the hotel. Outcome metrics, whether satisfaction or Net Promoter Scores, allow you to track progress over time. They’re indicators of general performance, but they’re limited. They’re limited because they’re not the tools that will help you to improve.
These are the tools that show how to improve. The customer experience consists of broad factors, such as connection and timing, which break down into smaller elements: the smiles, frowns, word choices, thoroughness of answers, and more. It’s these small elements that you can actually change. Nuanced metrics and methods are the tools that delve into these elements, uncovering your gaps, opportunities, and how to improve.
Imagine you own a coffee shop and want to sell more coffee. A number of factors and elements are involved:
- Product: Do customers like the coffee? Is it burnt or bitter?
- Timing: How long do customers wait? And is there music in the background, so it doesn’t seem so long?
- Connection: Did the cashiers focus on each customer? Or were they busy talking to each other?
- Competition: Was a coffee shop on the next block offering free pastries?
You’ll increase sales revenue if you improve underlying factors like coffee quality, wait time and cashier attentiveness. But if you only look at your sales numbers, nothing will change.
Think of it like training to run faster.
To get results, you have to improve factors like: flexibility, endurance, and nutrition.
Each factor is comprised of myriad elements. For example, flexibility depends on: muscle groups, activity level and body temperature.
Devise a plan to improve each element and you’ll improve your speed. Simply measuring how fast you run will never tell you what to improve, or how. You can’t run faster overnight—but you can do 20 extra minutes of endurance training, 15 minutes of stretching, and eat healthier foods.
Wow Vs. Satisfaction
Where Do You Need to Be? How deeply you examine the factors and elements driving your outcomes depends on whether you need to satisfy or wow.
- Wow: In a competitive market, or when customer experience is one of your differentiators, you’ll have to “wow” your customers. “Wowing” requires you to unpack the customer experience at a granular level.
- Satisfaction: But, if you’re the market leader, achieving satisfaction is probably enough—and while you’ll still need to examine the details, you won’t need to scrutinize the subtleties.
What’s the Difference?
Customers are satisfied when their perceptions match their expectations. Expectations are set by your marketing messages, nearby competitors, and other companies comparable in your marketplace. Perceptions result from their direct experiences with you. Satisfaction is ok… but it’s NOT memorable.
On the other hand, to wow is to exceed expectations. This calls for consistency, surprise, and customization.
Know Your QCI™ Score
At Interaction Metrics, we’ve developed the Quality of Customer Interaction™ Score. QCI™ is more actionable than NPS and other single-input metrics. This is because it accounts for multiple aspects of the customer experience, weighted by what matters most for each customer and their situation.
Align Metrics & Methods
Your goals, metrics, and methods should fit together like a puzzle, each piece complementing and informing the other. To get the clearest read on the customer experience, use a hybrid approach—because every method has pros and cons. For example, surveys are easy to do, but fall short because customers are rarely conscious of the details affecting their experiences.
Hybrid approaches deepen insights. For example, service evaluations pinpoint where you’re losing customers, while interviews uncover customers’ innermost thoughts and feelings.
Measure. Grow. Transform.
The best thing about using nuanced customer experience metrics with the right combination of methods is that next steps become abundantly clear. Next steps can be workshops, model answers, optimized interaction maps, director’s cut audio… the sky’s the limit.
Bring It All Together
For any customer experience goal, whether that’s to increase conversion, inspire customers, win market share or anything else, you’ll need to:
- Stop relying on outcome metrics
- Embrace nuanced customer experience metrics
- Combine metrics with the right methods
- Apply powerful, engaging next steps
Let’s talk about your goals and the best metrics and methods. Your takeaways will include: the pros and cons of different metrics plus a few preliminary ideas to advance your measurement. Improve your customer experience metrics. When’s good for you?