Thinking Beyond Evaluation in the Quick-Fix World of Customer Experience


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According to Statista, global spending on customer experience measurement technology in the U.S. alone is forecast to increase from approximately $500 billion in 2019 to over $640 billion by 2022. It’s no surprise—we’re living in an experience economy where delivering a superior product falls short of expectations if the customer experience isn’t equally satisfying. And with the number of connected devices skyrocketing, there are more ways than ever to monitor and measure how customers are interacting with brands.

But what does this huge investment in CX measurement tell us? It gives us an understanding of how people are interacting with a brand today, identifies the moments that matter, and uncovers the pain points that hinder a good customer experience. In other words, measurement helps companies evaluate their experience and create solutions to repair anything that is not performing optimally.

However, is such an “evaluate and repair” approach enough?

Imagine applying this thinking to any other human relationship. After a first date, an evaluation of the experience could highlight many insights to inform future interactions—topics of conversation to avoid, types of jokes that triggered a laugh, shared interests to dial up, and points of conflict to dial down. All of this information could help to successfully improve the experience at the next date, but there would be something missing—the deep understanding of what an individual truly values in a relationship, an understanding of what makes them tick, and all of the other knowledge that allows a couple to discover new things about one another and build something truly special.

At the corporate level, this disconnect between the promise of CX and the reality of evaluating measurement is clear. Executives say they are seeking to unite initiatives as diverse as business model transformation, employee culture, and data and analytics under a unifying customer-centered strategy. However, typical “evaluate and repair” metrics are too internally focused and lack the outside-in perspective necessary to harmonize CX with the organization’s purpose, vision, and cross-functional delivery to realize returns on their investment. In short, current ways of understanding of the customer experience aren’t creating the opportunities for growth they are looking for.

What’s needed is a way to enhance CX measurement with metrics that uncover opportunities to “discover and build” new kinds of value in customers’ lives.

To get there, we need to fundamentally broaden our focus from business goals to customer goals—understanding not only what a company must deliver along the customer journey, but the true value that customers gain from a company throughout their relationship.

To achieve this, companies must begin embracing Customer Performance Indicators (CPI), a set of desired outcomes that represent the science of how brands express and deliver what customers strive for. Based on our research into the universal drivers of human needs, motivation, and behavior, CPIs bring dimension to three different types of desired universal outcomes that help customers to function, thrive, and succeed as human beings:

• Functional (e.g. saving time)
• Emotional (e.g. providing a sense of accomplishment)
• Social (e.g. providing a sense of belonging)

Delving into the unique relationship between a brand’s ability to deliver against these goals and customer purchase behavior unlocks our Value Exchange Model. In turn, brands discover new ways to improve how they interact with customers.

By looking at the brand-customer relationship through a new lens–not only evaluating the experience, but truly measuring how mutual value is formed and sustained–brands can enter uncharted territory that opens paths to a new creation of value, for them and their customers alike.

By Sam Herzing & Greg Heist

Sam Herzing
Sam Herzing - Strategy & Implementation Lead As a lead in Gongos’ Strategy & Implementation practice, Sam partners with client organizations to align cross-functional teams on a shared vision and path to success on complex business challenges. Her passion for the art and science of empathy in business is at the core of her audience-centric approach to effectively managing change. She works alongside client teams to navigate interorganizational dynamics, crafting clear communications that drive lasting impact.


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