When I first heard about it, I did catch myself wondering ….does the world need another way of measuring customer experience, or does it just need to focus on delivering better customer experiences?
According to Stephanie Nerlich, CEO, Havas Creative North America, however, the world does need another measurement tool and one that will help brands deliver those better experiences.
Nerlich points out that
“As modern consumers, we want what we want—and we want it now. As a consequence, we expect brands to offer us a simple and painless experience. Anything less is unacceptable. Despite these expectations, Havas found there was no way to assess how well brands and industries are performing from a CX perspective across a customer journey. Other companies are doing a general assessment of CX, but no one is analyzing CX across the entire customer journey”.
So, given their experience, Havas CX developed the X Index, in partnership with research institute OpinionWay, to fill that gap and allow brands to both measure and deliver better customer experiences across the whole customer journey.
From my perspective, when I took a closer look at X Index, two things stood out for me.
The first is the index’s ability to provide an insight into the minds of consumers and what they consider important across the customer journey.
In constructing the X Index, Havas CX and OpinionWay analyzed around 40 different criteria across domains such as brand perception, personalization, customer service and the customer’s purchase journey to assess, from a consumers perspective, their importance to their overall customer experience. From those 40 different criteria, they found that 9 of them are significant predictors of CX satisfaction. When combined, these scores make up a brand’s X Index Score.
The nine predictors are:
- The amount of trust the consumer has in the brand.
- Whether the consumer perceives the brand as one that keeps its commitments.
- If the brand has taken into account the consumer’s needs and previous experiences to provide them with customized offers.
- The brand’s ability to understand their needs and expectations.
- The quality of customer service received across different channels.
- If the purchasing experience was seamless.
- If the purchasing experience was simple to understand and action.
- Whether the brand was intrusive or not and if they intervened at the right time and in the right way.
- If the overall purchasing experience was pleasant.
In and of itself, this is a really useful, research-based list of factors that brands should consider when designing, delivering or evaluating any experience.
However, more importantly, it also shows that the determinants of an overall experience are multi-dimensional and require coordination and collaboration across teams if brands are to get it right.
The second thing is the index’s ability to identify differences in perceptions across countries about what makes up a great customer experience.
Havas CX launched the X Index in 2019, deploying it across three countries – China, France and the United States. However, in 2020 they expanded their coverage to five countries – China, France, India, the United Kingdom and the United States – and surveyed 28,000 consumers about more than 250 brands spread across numerous verticals.
Their results show that what constitutes a great customer experience is not homogeneous and varies across different countries.
For example, in France, the UK, and the US, their research shows that the two most important factors in the customer’s experience are the purchasing journey and their perception of the brand.
In contrast, customers in China and India place much more weight on personalization and the customer service they receive than any other factor. It is also worth noting that a significant factor in their considerations is also their perception of how brands’ have responded to Covid-19.
Overall, Havas CX’s X Index is a fascinating new tool.
It offers a powerful insight into what different customers value in different countries and its power will only increase as they add more countries.
But, it also helps brands think more holistically about their customer’s experience, including how they are performing across different parts of the customer journey and how they stack up against their peers and leaders in other markets.
This post was originally published on Forbes.com.