In this Age of the Customer, no matter what kind of business you’re in, your primary business is serving your customers. And yet, according to a global survey conducted by American Express, 95% of companies fail to exceed the expectations of their customers.
But your company is really good at delivering exceptional customer experiences, right? You probably know all about the customer journey. In fact, you may have even mapped the customer journey — the steps and channels required for a customer to complete a transaction. But, do you really know what it takes to be a leader in providing exceptional customer experiences? Do you really know what your customers expect?
It’s not guesswork, and it’s not reading the tea leaves. Getting the customer experience right is work. In fact, it takes the hard work of learning from your customers, looking at the data, and listening to feedback that provides insights into what customers are actually experiencing.
CX Metrics that Matter
Now, you may be asking, what feedback and which data provide the answers? Lisa Durant, a Research Analyst who specializes in contact center and customer engagement for Nemertes Research says, “There is no one metric that can fully capture everything that matters in customer experience. Instead, contact center leaders must measure multiple variables that affect customer engagement.” Here are the four metrics she thinks provide the most valuable insights.
Relational Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is probably the Holy Grail for measuring customer feedback. You probably know that the NPS is an enterprise‐wide metric that measures a customer’s relationship with your entire company or brand. You probably also know that it’s based on one question, “On a scale from 0‐10, how likely are you to recommend our company/brand to a friend or colleague?” Respondents are classified as Promoters (those responding 9 or 10), Passives (neutral) (those responding 7 or 8), or Detractors (those responding anything from 0 – 6). You can calculate the NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters and arriving at a score ranging between ‐100 and 100.
Transactional Net Promoter Score (TNPS). You may not be as familiar with this score. It’s tied to a specific transaction and examines how that transaction impacts the customer’s relationship with your company or brand. It adds a second question, “What is the main reason that you gave that score (i.e., the 0‐10 rating in the TNPS question)?” The TNPS must be measured as soon after a specific transaction as possible in order to be relevant.
First Contact Resolution. You probably know this one. It’s the quantitative measurement of the number of calls that could be resolved without having to be transferred. This measurement has important implications for how the customer “feels” about your company. Transfers create friction points for customers because they take longer and can be frustrating. Transfers add volume to your call traffic and incur additional costs, especially for agent‐assisted calls. There is also a risk of the transferred call being dropped.
Customer Effort. This is a subjective measurement of how hard the customer perceives the customer journey for a single transaction to be. This measurement, which is not used by everyone, provides insight on how much effort the customer “feels” it took to get a resolution. Depending on how high this score is and whether or not there is contact information, your company may want to follow up with a customer after a high customer effort score to try to save the relationship.
What Else Matters?
According to Durrant, you should also measure performance metrics, not just within individual channels but also across channels (i.e., how often do customers transfer from chat to voice? When customers abandon one channel, what’s the next channel they typically use?). Switching channels may indicate friction points for customers and can alert you to underlying issues to investigate.
Other metrics that you may want to identify are issues with voice quality and slow system response times; for example, lengthy hold times or delays in answering calls are issues that annoy customers and negatively impact the customer experience. These are all data points that you can mine to make a real difference in the way your customers “feel” about your company and brand.
Turning Insights Into Action
Once you have gathered the data and feedback, it’s important to remember that what you consider to be critical may be different from what your customers expect. Be careful not to over‐think the customer experience and add unnecessary complexity that can quickly trip up your customer and create a bad experience. Instead, you can learn by listening to feedback from your customers and by looking at the data, and you can streamline the customer experience to ensure that it is aligned with customer expectations.
CX leaders who focus on end‐to‐end customer journeys build a significant competitive advantage, reduce customer churn and differentiate their brand from competitors. So quit guessing and trying to read the tea leaves. Learn from your customers, listen to their feedback, and look at the data from the four metrics listed here to build great customer experiences.
Find out more about the value of customer experience