There’s little doubt that a first-class customer experience (CX) is worth investing in
Research from Microsoft indicates that experience is chief among customer considerations, with 90% saying CX is important to their choice of (and loyalty to) a brand. Indeed, more than four-fifths of respondents in a similar study said they’d be willing to pay more for a better experience.
Conventional customer experience measurements — such as customer satisfaction surveys — are a good starting point on this front, but they don’t go far enough. If a business is to craftCX that delivers a competitive advantage, a more comprehensive approach to measurement and analytics is key.
Evangelical about measurement
To begin, business leaders must build a measurement framework based upon a set of customer parameters, to allow the reporting of CX effectiveness and performance.
Benchmarking the customers’ existing experience helps to track future improvements. This can be achieved by mapping your core customers using the jobs to be done method (JTBD) and plotting the pains they experience and their desired resolutions.
Customer experience is felt across almost every aspect of a business — but quantifying the effects of CX isn’t always easy. This is why it’s also important to have analytics built into your CX programmes, which should in turn be based on measurable outcomes.
From brand experience to user interface, OKRs to attitudinal and behavioural changes, every KPI of customer experience must be monitored in real time. These measurements can be conducted in a variety of ways: customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter (NPS) scores, retention and purchase loyalty, waiting times, and so on.
Creating an equal scoring mechanism
But while all these tools, such as CSAT scores and Trustpilot reviews, are effective in their niche, none tell the true, wider story of your customer’s experience. The challenge then is not to introduce a new system, but to equalise and create a bespoke equal scoring mechanism that can apply to all the experience platforms in the technical ecosystem. This can be achieved through strategy and technology, with the introduction of an algorithm that resides in middleware and consumes multiple data points.
These multiple data points can be equalised using a customer job satisfaction scoring mechanism that is unique to your business. Then, the centralised scoring algorithm will determine and provide the equal measurement score, tracking how well served and satisfied your customers are across the board.
To truly put customers at the heart of what we do, we must engage with them directly to better understand their needs and what they are trying to achieve. These equalised insights provide a vital foundation, from which we can build better user experiences.
It’s why market-leading businesses are now allocating over a quarter (26.7%) of their marketing budgets to technology alone, ensuring they have the latest programmes and resources to stay competitive and efficient within the CX space.
Customer experience drives business outcomes
A connected, more intelligent CX can help achieve a host of business ambitions: increased audience engagement, better brand equity, and higher sales volumes. Fully understanding the ROI of an improved user experience is often tricky, however.
CX metrics can help with this. Rather than tackling perceived problems based on anecdotal evidence, a business can — with professional CX assistance — leverage reliable, quantifiable data to determine where the most profitable opportunities for improvement lie. Many large organisations use over 100 different metrics to measure their CX success alone.
To ensure the feedback obtained is useful, data should be fed into a Live Optimal Opportunity Experience Map (LOOEM)™. This is a line that tracks customer satisfaction against the jobs they are trying to achieve. Financial measures are overlaid to show how a job is affecting financial performance and provide triggers for development.
This method is particularly useful when a company is launching a new product or service. Going to market without a CX measurement system is a risky strategy: time and money might be wasted on features and functionality that fall short of customer interest.
With live CX measurement at your disposal, the opposite is true. Satisfied with the business’s tailored approach to user experience and service quality, a customer is more likely to remain loyal — even if prices increase.
Test, learn, and optimise
Having derived data and insights from CX measurements, a company can optimise its customer experience with confidence. Personalisation engines — systems that offer unique user services, such as sophisticated digital experience platforms (DXPs) — can, for instance, be informed by CX metrics to deliver an increasingly distinct, memorable, and pleasing encounter. These solutions are growing in popularity — in 2022, spending on customer experience technology is set to exceed $640m worldwide.
Businesses that fail to grasp the importance of CX software and measurability are at risk of falling foul of ‘bad data’: insights gleaned from generic, ill-designed surveys and other rudimentary engagement tools. Wide of the mark, this information will more than likely frustrate customer experience, repelling repeat business and undermining potentially lucrative relationships.
To this end, management must ensure alignment across all internal divisions, business units and territories. Once a cross-functional team is in tune with the correct customers, data and technologies, everyone can work towards a unified and easily understood metric of success.
Put the customer first with CX measurability
From pricing and commercial analysis to the use of CX metrics and optimisation, measurements and technologies should be baked into all customer experience strategies. The world seems to be taking note — by 2025, 80% of large enterprises will have adopted marketing customer relationship management (CRM) software, up from 67% in 2020.
The companies that win today, and into the future, will be the ones with commercial designs that begin and end with their customers’ needs. If a business’ goal is to build not just a product, service, or experience, but nurture a relationship that stands the test of time, a high level of CX measurability is fundamental.
About the Author
Christian Buncher is Senior Digital Strategist at CI&T. CI&T is your end-to-end digital transformation partner. As a digital native, we bring a 26-year track record of accelerating business impact through complete and scalable digital solutions. With a global presence of 5,000+ professionals in strategy, research, data science, design and engineering, we unlock top-line growth, improve customer experience and drive operational efficiency.
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