Blog Customer Experience

Measuring customer experience is a task undone until you check off this 10-item list!

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

9 min read

A popular joke goes like this:

A shopkeeper instructs his new hire-“Even if we don’t stock a particular product, you should always say that you will get it in 2-3 days and try to sell them something else.”

The shopkeeper eavesdrops on a conversation the new hire has with a middle-aged couple.

The new hire says-“Oh, I don’t think we can expect it in the next few weeks.”

The irate shopkeeper rushes to the scene and mollifies the couple with-“Don’t worry. This kid is new here. We had just ordered a fresh set of what you asked for. You will get it in two days.”

Guess what? They were new to town and wanted to know if they could be expecting rains.

Jokes apart, most businesses work this way. Understanding what your customers truly want, can be achieved by getting constant feedback through an online survey tool. Otherwise, you would be the businessman who ordered a supply of rains.

One of the most important aspects of running a company is to provide exceptional customer experience by offering value to them. More often than not, it is difficult to provide excellent service, and unless you measure customer experience, you can never really know if you are getting better or if it is staying stagnant. The importance of measuring customer experience should be a crash-course for all entrepreneurs as it will open their minds to the possibilities of what can be done for their customers and in turn how it affects their business.

A report by Forrester says that only 32% of B2C CMOs are accountable for customer experience for their organization.

So imagine the number of companies that do not use their time and energy in improving the prospect of its customers in having a satisfying time with their brand. It doesn’t take a genie to figure out how benchmarking customer experience is the way to go if you need to be successful. While executives are being made aware of the importance of CX, they are not really sure the steps that should be taken to measure customer experience successfully.

What is customer experience measurement?

It is the practice of measuring the experience of customers at all touch-points including the entire customer journey. Every company wants to become customer-focused, and the only way you can do that is by measuring customer experience and building an organization that cares about its customers deeply.

Measuring customer experience helps you to understand your customers better

Technology today allows you the ability to collect and analyze information to understand your customers and their needs. Measuring customer experience will enable you to find what your customers like, what they dislike about you and what needs to be done by you to keep them satisfied.

While you might be thinking that how can one measure something as qualitative as customer experience, let us tell you that there are ways to do it. Here are some of the most popular customer experience metrics that are used widely:

#1 Measuring customer experience→ Net Promoter Score

NPS asks a simple question to its customers that shows how likely they are to recommend the brand’s product to their peers. The question goes like this-“How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or a colleague?” The customers rate their response on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest.

The respondents are divided into 3 different categories:

Promoters (9-10): These are your customers who are highly satisfied with your products. You can consider them to be extremely loyal. They will even give you high ratings and are more likely to suggest your products to their friends and family. Losing out on these type of customers by not making them feel valued will be the biggest mistake you commit.

Passives (7-8): These type of customers are not loyal to you, and they will jump ship at the first opportunity. They don’t hate your brand but don’t love you either. In short, they don’t really care enough to stick. You can, of course, bring them into your fold by giving exceptional service.

Detractors (0-6): These are your customers who didn’t have a good experience with your brand and are more likely to badmouth you. These customers are as good as lost. It is challenging even to get them to be ‘Passives’. Introducing a lot of customer-focused initiatives can help you.

NPS surveys are effortless for customers to complete and it can be used at many customer touch-points, it can be used to post a sale or during a customer interaction. There are a lot of online survey tools like that of SurveySparrow which can help you send the NPS survey.

#2 Measuring customer experience→Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

It is the average satisfaction score that customers rate for a specific instance at a customer touch-point. The brand can use CSAT type questions at regular intervals and at specific places too to get an all-encompassing idea of your customer’s opinion. It could be after they made a purchase, after a call with the CX team, when returning a product and so on. It is usually distributed when customers are sent an automated survey asking them to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale that varies from ‘very satisfied’ to ‘very dissatisfied’.

CSAT is better than NPS because it gives you insights across the buyer journey. The best part is that the questions are more specific and are typically longer; therefore, you can pick the brain of your customers. CSAT surveys help your customers feel valued and heard. The open-ended questions that CSAT surveys employ help to get thorough insights.

Like all surveys, CSAT surveys need to be worded right; otherwise, it becomes difficult to get responses. Make sure you only ask the required questions and use the surveys wisely. Share the findings across the entire organization to get maximum results.

#3 Measuring customer experience→ Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES helps you identify the kind of effort and pain that took your customer in their dealings with you. The lesser the effort, higher are the chances that they are satisfied. These type of customer measurement activities can be usually done post an interaction.

The statement that is used will depend on the kind of interaction that they just completed. For a signup process, the question might be like-“How much effort did you put to finish the signup process?” The answers can range from ‘very low effort’ to ‘very high effort.’

If you want to see the kind of efforts that your customer put to find the right product from your website based on their requirements, then the question framed should be like this-

“How much effort did you put to find the right product through our website?”

It is a good sign for your brand if the customers admit that they took very little time to finish the transaction. You score some brownie points as this means you have reduced their effort. Customers hate it when they have to spend a significant amount of time to get something resolved, they don’t want to waste their time. You need to resolve their issues quickly to make them keep coming for more.

#4 Measuring customer experience→Customer Churn Rate

It is the percentage of customers who do not make a repeat purchase or do not renew their subscription service. This metric can be calculated by dividing the total number of customers who dropped out by the total number of active customers at any given period. SaaS and subscription-based companies are the ones for whom this metric will make sense.

Here is how you can calculate churn rate:

Let’s say you have 15 customers who canceled and during the same time period, you had an intake of 150 customers, then your churn rate is 15/150*100% which is equal to 10%.

You can use the same formula to calculate churn rate for any quarter and even annually.

According to research from Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

Customer churn also referred to as customer attrition, is noted as a percentage. Finding the reasons why customers leave your business can help you in a big way. There could be a lot of reasons including price, product/market fit, customer experience, lack of benefits, poor support and so on.

Keep reaching out to your customers even before they need you to showcase that you care. Customers should feel that associating with you will give them the success they are looking for.

#5 Measuring customer experience→ First Contact Resolution

It is the number of customers whose request is resolved within the first attempt. For a live phone call with a customer service executive or for live chats, the customer’s issue is ‘resolved’ if they get the answer before they hang up the phone or end the interaction. The first call resolution is important because you need to properly solve the problem of the customer in the first contact itself thereby eliminating the need for the customer to follow up with a second call, an activity that is an unnecessary hassle for them.

When you have a higher first call resolution rate, it means that you are able to satisfy your customer in the first instance of contact. It not only helps with customer loyalty but also helps to keep the customer churn low.

As a business, you need to remember that customers are usually impatient, especially when dealing with a vendor because they are not expecting to run into problems when they have paid for your services. If they come across an issue, they want to get it resolved immediately. FCR is a direct indicator of how your business support works, which is usually a result of many factors including quality of your CX agents, tools available for the agents, infrastructure setup, their experience in handling complex queries and so on.

#6 Measuring customer experience→ Average Resolution Time

It is a measure of the total time taken to completely resolve an issue, from the time the customer brings the issue to the attention to the time until the issue is resolved. Also referred to as ‘resolution time’ and ‘mean time to resolution’, average resolution time is calculated by analyzing the team’s overall average time to resolution of a group of cases within a particular time period.

Average resolution time has its significance in measuring customer experience since it directly correlates with customer experience. The longer it takes for a business to resolve the issue of its customers, the higher the chances are of them quitting you. The total time taken to resolve an issue will only include business hours, and it is usually measured in hours.

Average Time to Resolution= (Sum of all times to resolution/Total number of cases resolved)

Time to the resolution not only shows if your customer is getting their queries solved immediately but also reflects how your customer experience team functions. You will know that there are chinks in your CX armor when the average time to resolution is not strong.

There are two ways you can analyze ‘Average Resolution Time’:

Analyzing by employee:

When you analyze resolution time by each employee, you can find out the employees that are good, the ones that underperform and create a solution accordingly.

Analyzing by stage:

Another way is to determine average resolution time by seeing how it fares at different stages of the customer journey. Look for reasons why there might be a lag at some places and if there pain points that can be resolved. Analyzing time to resolution will give you an idea of how effectively or ineffectively your team is running.

#7 Measuring customer experience→ Identify customer touch-points

Map the entire customer touch-points of your customers and choose ones that will have a lasting impact on the psyche of your customers. Create metrics for each of these touch-points and measure how you are faring at each of these places. Remember that this is a continuous process and will take its own sweet time to garner results, but it is well worth the wait and effort. Find out each instance where you can improve the process and draft clever customer experience solutions to address any problems.

Understanding the motivations of your customers by seeing how they interact with your business is pivotal in providing value, repeat purchases, longer relationships, creating advocates for your business and more.

#8 Measuring customer experience→ Plutchik’s wheel of emotions

It is said that humans can experience 34,000 emotions, each of which can be identified by different components including emotion, action tendency, appraisal, motor, and physiological component. Robert Plutchik created this wheel of emotions which depicts all the primary and secondary emotions in different colors. We can use sentiment analysis through artificial intelligence to integrate emotions into your customer experience measurement strategy.

The wheel of emotions takes into account how emotions play a huge role in making your customers feel valued. Ask your customers about their feelings towards your product/business and use text analytics to derive results. Actively work in creating a customer experience roadmap for your company at all levels.

#9 Measuring customer experience→ Employee engagement

Employees who are happy to be working at your organization will ensure that your customers are made to feel welcome and valued as well. If your business is determined to take care of its employees, the favor is returned to the employers multiple-fold. Use anonymous surveys and performance evaluations periodically to see how your employee’s experience can be bettered.

Look for reasons if there has been a huge slump in terms of productivity and producing results. If the output graph is plummeting downwards, you need to find out what went wrong and immediately take the necessary action to rectify it. Train your team at regular intervals and see the magic happening.

#10 Measuring customer experience→Customer acquisition rate

Another metric that keeps you humbled is ‘Customer Acquisition rate’; it is the rate at which you are acquiring customers. There are a lot of factors that make up this metric including marketing campaign, your business copy, legacy, goodwill, proper systems, customer testimonials and more.

Giving your customers a really good experience will help them move ahead in the customer journey from just passively observing to making the purchase decision. If your customer acquisition rate is high, it means that you are spending a lot of time and money, but the ROI is high. Providing your customers with an exceptional experience is going to increase your ROI.

Conclusion

Every business has different needs, target markets are different, account sizes are different, but if there is one commonality among all of them, it is the resolve to keep customers happy. Everything that most businesses do is for the welfare of its customers. They know that it starts with measuring customer experience, benchmarking them against the best in the industry and finding ways to improve it with every single interaction.

All businesses need to draft a customer experience measurement program so that they are on their toes to maintain the required discipline to keep their customers satisfied. It helps companies understand what customers want. The metrics you choose to measure customer experience are important, but it does not supersede the importance of the strategy you implement to take action, both for the long-term and for the immediate future.

You can make great strides in improving the customer experience if you happen to identify the root cause of problems. When you know what the reasons are, it becomes easy to make immediate changes which will cascade into a bigger stream of possibilities. Use an online survey tool like that of SurveySparrow to get in touch with your customers and measuring their experience.

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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