Understanding The Impact Of Competitive Benchmarking Programs


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Contextualizing your brand’s place amongst competitors is vital to creating a leading Customer Experience. Mystery shopping is a great way to capture an understanding of how your brand is performing in the eyes of your customer, but if your team does not have the ability to place this data alongside information from the rest of the industry, then you will be unable to accurately reflect how brand performance stacks up compared to the rest of the industry. Pointing the magnifying glass of a mystery shopping program towards your competitors is called competitive benchmarking, and brands with this kind of program will be able to better serve their own customer base.

Brands in any industry can benefit from a competitive benchmarking program because the information collected can have a direct impact on the Customer Experience platform you produce. However, it is important to begin this program at the right point of your organizational timeline. If you are not investing anything into CX measurement at the moment, it may be more valuable to discover more about your own brand’s performance before beginning to measure what your competitors are doing. Once you have a hefty portion of self-assessment data, begin to branch outwards to compare how your experience is perceived compared to the rest of the industry.

While there is a considerable investment necessary to complete these research projects, some of the insights collected can have a direct impact on your brand identity and experience, thus impacting customer retention and satisfaction rates. By shifting the focus of your measurement programs externally, you can collect information as to which specific brands are most revered by the customers, as well as what specific moments along the customer journey have the greatest impact on brand perception. Expanding the scope of your research beyond self-assessment allows your brand to understand and replicate what has been working for leading competitors, in addition to avoiding common problems faced by the rest of the industry.

One organizational aspect that is a great opportunity for competitive benchmarking is the digital Customer Experience. Whether it is an eCommerce store or just measuring a site experience, gathering quantifiable data about how your competitors’ sites perform can set an easily understandable goal for your own website. These shops are relatively easy for evaluators because they can be completed in the comfort of their homes. These assignments grant you a better understanding of what improvements you need to make on your site to become the number one destination in your industry.

Additionally, competitive benchmarking can grant great insights to your marketing team, helping you to better deliver your brand message to customers. Specific information and citations about how you are outperforming the competition can be a great asset to convince customers to choose your brand, especially considering the vast amount of options available to customers across different industries.

Competitive benchmarking is an often-overlooked aspect of Customer Experience measurement, but brands that can effectively implement these programs will have better opportunities to shine in the eyes of their customers. These programs can illuminate industry trends, ensuring that you do not fall behind the pack in terms of the value provided to customers. Craft a better Customer Experience than your competitors by measuring and understanding what is happening across the industry you encompass.

Daniel Bakst
I am the Social & Digital Marketing Associate for Second To None. Second To None is a Customer Experience research firm helping brands measure their existing CX via mystery shopping, voice of customer surveys, sales/marketing compliance audits and related custom research programs. We serve leading brands within the retail, restaurant, ecommerce, banking, healthcare and education sectors. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 and continue to live and work in Ann Arbor. Go Blue!


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