A quick search online will bring back numerous posts, articles, companies, tools and other content centered on measuring your customer experience. In the last year, the topic of measuring experience has been top of mind for many organizations looking to better understand and improve their customer experience.
Throughout the customer's journey with you, there are multiple touch points and interactions with your brand: all of these provide data that you can capture. While data is incredibly valuable, this access to data has led to a complex landscape, which can be overwhelming and confusing.
Measures certainly have their purpose. There are many different measures out there and it's easy to find many organizations focusing heavily on measuring their customers - did they abandon the transaction? Or, what percent of footfall led to a sale? But it can soon become clear that without first understanding what you need to measure, you may end up missing the value that another deliberate measure could have in driving decisions and purposeful design in the creation of your experience.
In Experience Design, you start with understanding the people; who they are, what they need and their genuine problems. When we work with our clients using our approach, we also look at how their target audience measure their own experience. In essence, how do your customers measure you? We first focus on what the true success factors are and then figure out where to measure along the journey, and in what ways. Here are some considerations for those looking to measure experience to proactively drive their design as well as for capturing real-time analytics.
Don't Drown in Data
There are innumerable ways to gather data and plentiful sources available, but, the most important thing to note is that there is really no need to expend all that effort to obtain, possibly store, and analyze everything, just because you can. There is also no need to use all the data you have gathered, just because you have it. How many times have you thought to yourself, what is the point of this data? Is this data even valid in making this decision? Or, it took so long to get the data - was it really worth it?
In designing your data strategy it is important that you start by answering these key questions:
- What is your reason for collecting this data?
- What insights are you hoping to gain?
- Who is the audience for this data?
In this way, you can actually think about what data you will need, and how you will need to gather it. It is not about the more the merrier when it comes to measurements; it is about employing the right ones, for the right reasons to give you the most valuable impact.
Different Data Points for Different Purposes
There are certainly different classifications, or types of data, when it comes to measuring customer experience, all with their own purpose and uses. The often popular include:
- Trending Customer Experience: These are quick and easy to digest. Examples include Customer Satisfaction Scores or Net-Promoter Scores. They can work well to highlight trends and help you to make good comparisons. If bad scores are identified the likelihood is that deeper insights will need to be obtained to action anything.
- Service or phase specific: These can include high volume data analytics for insights into particular interactions or services. Examples include conversion rate, win/loss in sales, ticket volumes and time to resolve in support, etc. They are usually focused around a particular point of interaction or a phase of the journey.
- User Experience: The experience of the user at a specific point of interaction. Examples include time taken to complete an action, success/failure in achieving their goal, etc.
To enhance the measures needed by an organization, we help our customers to understand their Experience Index TM. How, for all necessary audiences that interact with the experience across the whole ecosystem, is experience measured, from each audience's perception? What exactly is it that impacts the emotions evoked by the experience? This understanding can then be used to guide the design of the whole experience vision, holistically and cross-functionally, in an objective and measurable way.
As Gartner mentions, "you cannot manufacture emotion; you can only change what you do to evoke a shift in perception". In other words, it is imperative to understand what affects the experience and emotion, from your customer's perception.
Benefits of Understanding What Impacts the Experience
By understanding how to measure the experience in this way we have seen some great benefits materialize, including the following.
Sometimes, initiatives to try and improve the customer experience do not bring the return that the organization hoped for. This could be because the initiatives are purely reactive or based on an assumption. An example of this could be surmising that "Oh, the Customer Satisfaction is low. It must be because of our call wait times", and then taking an action regarding call wait times without really knowing if this will impact the experience or if it was, indeed, the core reason for dissatisfaction. We find that by using the Experience Index TM as a map across the entire journey and organization, the business is afforded a way to baseline the experience and to focus their investments on the exact factors that will actually impact the perception the customer has at the right moments of interaction.
Structured Moments of Measure
There are several systems, tools, and approaches that can be used to measure experience holistically and to produce dashboards of real-time analysis and sentiment. I, for one, am excited by this tooling and technology. However, we at EffectUX use our proprietary approach to help our clients to first understand what they need to measure throughout the whole journey - those 5-12 factors and underlying attributes that truly impact the perception of the target audiences. Once you know what really impacts the experience, you can identify the right points in the journey and the right interactions, from which to collect this data enabling you a truly holistic view and the capacity to make the best use of all those fantastic tools out there.
The Ability to Objectively Guide Purposeful Design
Measuring and tracking the ecosystem is fantastic, but the real power of our Index is two-fold. Once understood, the Index can be used not just to measure and track, but to lead and guide the process as a common goal and understanding collectively across the whole organization. This limits ego and bias and enables an outside perspective that is founded in the eyes of the customers through each stage in the design process - all the way from strategy, to product, sales, marketing, delivery, support and beyond. It is taking your Organizations vision, and understanding what uniquely leads to the environment in which the desired experience can thrive.
Nothing is perfect, but it is imperative to understand exactly what is OK and what needs to be a certain way to succeed in the eyes of your customer. Every business deals with both short-term plans to improve, and longer term plans to strategically innovate and create. Understanding how your customers measure you can help determine the best short-term and long-term strategies depending on solution efforts and feasibilities, as it correlates to impact on the overall experience.
So, take a step back before running to gather every and all data points you can find and simply ask yourself, exactly how do your customers measure you?
At EffectUX we help our clients discover the exact factors and attributes that enable the successful achievement of their vision, across their business, their customers, their users and those that work to deliver the experience. Learn more today, and see how we can help your Customer Experience Agenda.