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Customer Experience: Use The Right Metrics 

Martha Brooke | Aug 25, 2016 1,040 views 3 Comments

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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.

Goals:
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:
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.

Nuanced Metrics: 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.

Quick Example:
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 VERSUS 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.

Clarifying the Difference Between Satisfaction and Wow:
Customers are satisfied when their perceptions match their expectations. Customers’ expectations are set by your marketing messages, nearby competitors, and other companies comparable in your marketplace. Customers’ 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. For more about “wow” get our free overview.

Whether You’re Aiming for Satisfaction or Wow, 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.Interaction-Metrics-Key-Measure

Customer Experience Metrics & Methods: Align Them.
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 also deepen insights. For example, to gain competitive edge, 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 discuss your goals and the best metrics and methods for you with a free MetricsLAB™. Your takeaways will include: the pros and cons of different metrics plus a few preliminary ideas to advance your measurement. It’s 25 minutes. No strings attached. Improve your customer experience metrics. When’s good for you? Sign up here.

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3 Responses to Customer Experience: Use The Right Metrics

  1. Awais August 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm (1 comment) #

    That’s the right approach ; instead of depending on the outcome, focus shall.be on the input, on the interaction, every single interaction with the customer….to get a win
    Nice read…

  2. Michael Lowenstein August 28, 2016 at 7:41 am (1274 comments) #

    When you say ‘nuanced’, aren’t you missing the emotional components of customer experience (empathy, trust, respect, cared for, etc.) that subconsciously drive emotion, memory, and downstream behavior? These are both measurable and actionable, providing deep insights on how/where to make granular process and experience element correction. Measuring emotions, and emotional impact, is critical to optimizing customer experience at each life stage.

  3. Martha Brooke August 30, 2016 at 7:59 pm (13 comments) #

    Absolutely! Measuring emotional cues is vital; thanks for your comment. Martha

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