What’s Your CX Baseline? Tips to Drive Higher CX Scores


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All companies want to improve the service and experience provided to customers, but not all recognize the strategies and technology required to create lasting change with their customer experience (CX) processes and metrics.

When embarking on revitalizing a CX program, the first step for many companies is to identify their baseline performance in key CX metrics. This baseline serves as the foundation for establishing goals and benchmarks for future improvement efforts. For example, many call center organizations need to understand their first call resolution rate (FCR) to gauge how many customer concerns they resolve with one contact—and then use that metric as the baseline score for measuring improvement over time.

The key metrics to baseline may vary based on the company, industry, or service channel, but a few of the ones to strongly consider are issue resolution, customer effort, and customer alerts. For alerts, it is important to baseline the percentage of interactions that result in unhappy customers, the percentage of those alerts that are “touched” (i.e. followed-up directly with customer) within 48 hours, and the percentage of customer alerts resolved within 5 days.

By establishing baseline CX performance for the important CX metrics, companies can leverage their existing CX platforms to monitor results over time to understand where their CX processes are succeeding and where there is room for improvement. With this insight brands then have the data required to define strategies that enable continual improvement in their CX programs over time.

Why the Right Tools Are Essential

As companies embark on initiatives to improve their CX results, they should seek technology and best practices that highlight baseline service levels and how the company is performing across the various service, process, and technological components in their service chain.

For this process to be effective, it is critical to measure customers’ experiences routinely and across every touchpoint with the brand. The most effective CX software platforms for measuring customer perceptions offer a variety of features to help, including multi-channel feedback gathering, dashboard and hierarchical reporting, real-time alert workflow, and customer verbatim analytics.

The insights provided by these platforms enable companies to monitor trends, hold employees accountable for their performance, and ultimately provide insight into the baseline performance across the company’s service channels.

How a Fortune 100 Leader Improved a Critical CX Metric

Identifying a baseline service level and targeting improvements can yield powerful results.

One Fortune 100 leader we work with at eTouchPoint used this approach to monitor how well front-line employees were training customers during field visits. In this instance, the company had guided front-line employees to provide specific information to customers as the home visit was ending. That information ensured that the customer understood their new service and how to use its features. Ultimately, the goal in providing that information was to prevent customers from calling the company’s call centers requesting information about how to use their new service.

When we initially assessed the front-line employees’ compliance with this process, we found that only 20% of employees were actually taking the time to share the information with customers.

What did this analysis reveal? Though employees had been trained to educate customers, most weren’t doing it. Instead of receiving critical information at the close of their initial transaction, customers would later call the contact center to receive support. This led to many preventable and costly support calls.

As soon as this issue was identified, stakeholders in the company were able to understand why this was happening, identify the employees involved, and define what could be done to improve compliance. They also learned that employees felt rushed to get to their next appointment and didn’t feel they could allocate the time needed to train customers.

Using the feedback and metrics provided by their eTouchPoint CX platform, client stakeholders facilitated an initiative within company to remedy this problem. The solution involved communication and increased accountability among managers and front-line field employees. Performance was routinely reviewed and discussed in team and stakeholder meetings, and front-line employees were further educated on:

  • The costs incurred by the company when this proves process was not followed.
  • How spending a few extra minutes with customers lowers support costs and improves customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, the communication and training initiative was a success. Within 6 months the number of front-line employees who delivered service training to customers increased over 250%, from 20% to 75%.

Always Start with a Baseline

When seeking to evolve a CX program, companies need to understand their baseline CX performance. Performance will vary across industries, companies, and even lines of business within a company. But one thing is consistent: understanding their CX metric baseline helps companies identify trouble spots in their CX programs and and then set goals and implement strategies to reach new heights.

A version of this post previously appeared on the eTouchPoint blog.
Header background image courtesy of Pixabay.

Chip James
Chip James is President of eTouchPoint, a pioneering customer experience (CX) technology provider that has provided solutions to Fortune 500 leaders for 15+ years. A CX industry veteran, Chip has been a leading CX advocate through speaking engagements and development of industry best practices. Prior to his work at eTouchPoint, Chip held leadership roles at Commercetel, Qualistics, and CGI. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and holds an MBA from Georgia State University.


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