Customer Experience Metrics – The Basics
Business metrics are a quick way of quantifying the progress (or otherwise) a company is making. More importantly, metrics are tangible concrete goals to focus efforts and resources around because the main presumption behind them is that they are valid indicators of success. The difficulty for many businesses arises when intangible concepts like customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, customer experience and the like are seen as relevant indicators of success but very difficult to quantify and directly link to the bottom line. Customer experience metrics are usually adopted when the business intends to demonstrate serious intentions of making customer experience a strategic goal.
In a recently published Forbes article, Justin Moore gives 7 tips on building good business metrics. Here is what these would sound like for customer experience metrics specifically. You may use these as a quick check list to determine your “customer metrics health”:
- Measure before you manage – Customer experience metrics are not a front line, call centre, customer facing only metrics. In fact, customer experience metrics need to be relevant and applied to the whole organisation, including legal, finance and any other back office department and staff. This is key. If you haven’t found a way to apply customer experience metrics to the back office, you are condemning yourself to a slow and more difficult road to success.
- Choose the right metrics – This implies understanding 2 things:
- What is the customer experience you are trying to deliver?
- What in that customer experience brings return to your business and how much?
There are many tools that can help businesses accurately quantify the drivers of business value in the experience and the return customer experience brings to the bottom line. There will be many things in the experience that may make customers happy and satisfied but bring no value to the business (no customer loyalty, no repeat purchases etc.). The focus needs to be on the few things that matter for the business and the customer at the same time (a win-win).
- Avoid common metric pitfalls – As Justin Moore explains well, metrics need to be accurate, clear, actionable and make day-to-day work better not more difficult or complex. When it comes to customer experience metrics a common pitfall to avoid is using metrics that are general and so high-level that they are difficult to action or use as a guidance in the work. Much of how well metrics are utilized depends on the practices in place around what happens after the defined variable is measured.
- Invest in tools that deliver real-time feedback – a great example of how this can be done is demonstrated in the work Progressive Insurance, US did. You can find the story here. The most important and valuable thing about having real-live feedback is that it puts the metric at the front of staff’s attention and drives their actions in the right direction.
- Share metrics with employees – Especially when it comes to customer experience metrics, make sure they are not at the bottom of the report or last at the meeting agenda.
- Remember that accountability starts at the top – Talking about customer experience metrics is great and obviously makes a strong statement when it comes from the top of the organisation. But true dedication is demonstrated when the top gets involved in improving those metrics and that can be as simple as spending a day on the ground or calling a meeting to brainstorm ideas around the improvement of a particular customer experience metric, rather than just delegating actions.
- Continuously question, re-evaluate and refine – last but not least, treat these as organic material- something that has its own evolution and expiry date. As your performance changes the metrics will too, what once was relevant may now become a standard and not a differentiator. Customer experience relies heavily on customer perception and that is subject to trends, industry developments and ultimately how in control your business is of the experience it delivers. Regular checks to make sure you are still measuring what matters to your business and customers, is a must.
|Kalina Janevska , Kalina Janevska is a Consultant at Beyond Philosophy one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Kalina is a chief experience modeller and designer with deep applied knowledge of CE in healthcare, retail and developing economies. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.
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