Many companies rely on outcome metrics to measure and improve. The problem is, outcome metrics fall short. When it comes to improving your customer experience, first you need to decide what your goals are.
Every company has its own take on customer experience—what are your goals?
Perhaps you’re looking to stage the customer experience to strengthen customer loyalty and retention. Or, maybe you need more proactive customer service to increase First Call Resolution (FCR). Sometimes, customer surveys paint a rosy picture, but your sales numbers tell a different story—and you need to know what’s slipping under the radar.
Lots of companies use outcome metrics like the Net Promoter Score (i.e. “How likely are you to recommend us?”) to gauge customer satisfaction and overall performance. And in some cases, this is enough—especially if you don’t have anything specific that you’re looking to change or improve.
But if you have an area that’s lacking, NPS will never show you what’s going wrong and how to fix it—and neither will any other metric that measures outcomes, and ignores root causes.
Processes Drive Outcomes
Nothing appears out of thin air. Behind every outcome (be it customer satisfaction, NPS, sales, etc.) there are many subtle and not-so-subtle root causes and processes. When an outcome needs improving, you have to get up close and take a hard look at all the dynamics at play. This is how you identify concrete ways to manage your outcomes.
What That Looks Like
Here’s a quick example. You own a coffee shop; the number of drinks sold per day is the outcome you want to improve. Processes that shape this outcome include: coffee quality, wait time to order, wait time to receive order, cashier engagement, local competitors, and dozens of other variables.
To get a handle on your sales, you’ll need to uncover information such as:
- What exactly did customers like and not like about your coffee?
- How long did they wait in line?
- Did they receive proactive customer service?
- Did the cashier meet them where they were at and respect their mood?
- Was the coffee shop a block over offering free pastries?
So take a critical look at all the inputs that drive your outcomes not just the outcome metrics. Once you measure those inputs, you’ll know where to focus to efficiently create the greatest improvement—and meet your goals!