Measure customer experience not channel performance


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Organisations traditionally measure customer satisfaction within channels. This fails to capture the full customer experience, which cuts across channels. Customers do not care about channels; organisations do. To improve both customer satisfaction and channel performance, organisations need to reconsider how they measure them.

Combining insights from within channels with an oversight of the full experience is the key to success
Understanding how customers fully experience an organisation suggests ways to improve the experience that, from the perspective of the within channel approach, seem counterintuitive. It’s a challenge to reconcile the two approaches without diluting outcomes and insights. However, done well, it can positively affect the bottom line.

Understand customer behaviour
Research shows that customers often hop between channels during one transaction. A customer might start online, contact the call centre, then visit a store. Asking customers how much research they did before engaging a customer-facing agent yields surprising insights. Learning why and when customers switch channels does too.

Measure customer experience not channel performance Measuring waiting time and time spent with the customer in a channel says little about total time spent from a customer perspective.

Measure the total experience
The transaction above might total six hours of the customers’ time, with three on the phone and in the store. The organisation might capture an hour in call handling time and time in store. And if they only measure within channels, they won’t even be aware of how these two experiences match up.

Over a quarter of email inquiries are answered incorrectly

Who pays?
A well known online shop beats other channels on cost and margins, as well as having significantly growing revenue. However, the total cost of a transaction – including contact with agents in other channels and margin lost with online offers – is significantly higher.

Measure customer experience not channel performance Comparing number of customers who engage a channel with number of customers who engage at least channels shows the ability of an organisation to serve customers in every channel.

Technology is not the answer
There are many sophisticated tools to help organisations guide customers within and across channels and measure performance in each. While intelligent routing, self-service terminals, and smart FAQs might all contribute to better channel performance, these technologies seldom reduce customers’ time in achieving their desired outcome.

Putting it all together
It’s a challenge reconciling channel and experience measurements without diluting outcomes and insights. Done well, they complement each other, with channel performance reports helping improve processes and experience measurements helping channels align. Together they help organisations create a customer experience that is independent of channels and boosts business performance.

Melvin Brand Flu
Melvin Brand Flu is an author, business, and strategy consultant with over 30 years of experience working for startups to global brands and governments. He advises management and leads projects on the cutting edge of business and technical innovation in industries ranging from telecommunication and financial services to the public sector and insurance.