Tracking the customer experience

16th Apr 2019

Creating your analytics scorecard.

Identifying and curating the ideal personalized digital experience is ever so critical in an environment increasingly being measured by brand experience over product purchase. Many customer experience and user experience leaders are heavily investing in the how of doing this—integrating VOC platforms, tracking KPIs, incorporating chatbots, and leveraging artificial intelligence to diagnose customer interactions along their journey. But, focusing on single measures results in single outcomes. And, as we all know, why customers have good or bad experiences can rarely, if ever, be boiled down to a single data source.

But as touchpoints grow exponentially and tracking systems become more prevalent, more companies are actively seeking ways to optimize customer experiences through data inputs. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2020 more than 40% of analytics work will be dedicated to some element of customer experience. As this growth trajectory continues, pinpointing the right metrics and KPIs to track and influence—is both perplexing and paramount for customer experience leaders today.

Building out the scorecard

Organizations often want an expedited view of how their customers’ experience is shaping up against their version of the ideal. But how can they establish this view without oversimplifying the story? Successful companies take large amounts of available data and through an initial phase of investigation, identify the measures—or combinations of measures—that link up to the crucial touchpoints along their customers’ journey. They also place emphasis on measures that can be effectively influenced by internal efforts. Once consolidated into an experience scorecard, a summary view of the health and progress of the experience arms leaders with a tool to prioritize resources around significant improvement initiatives.

But, as the volume and variety of metrics increase over time, determining which ones are key to measuring the holistic customer experience becomes increasingly difficult and requires up-to-date knowledge of the ever-changing journey. Rather than trying to understand every piece of data or distilling it down to a single measure such as a Net Promoter Score, finding the balance of a few important, telling, and affectable measures to track will create a framework to activate against in both the immediate and the long-term.

Identifying several key measures allows businesses to prioritize the areas in most need of attention, while keeping a pulse on other metrics that act as a strong lever for the organization to pull at any time to impact the customer’s experience.

Below are three organizations’ situational metrics that augmented traditional satisfaction and customer experience scorecards:

  • Quantifying resolutions: A healthcare provider mapped their customer journey and found that inaccessibility to its chat function was driving customers away from its website. Identifying that enhancing awareness and access to the function would increase conversion, it sought a measure to establish a baseline on chat performance. Adding a measure of resolved chat issues to the scorecard not only represented a powerful metric, but motivated the team to understand how resolution of issues linked to satisfaction and retention.
  • Easy to impact: Acknowledging the negative correlation between the number of steps to repair equipment and customer satisfaction, a manufacturer added a metric to track the number of interactions from communication to on-site service call. This simple measurement led to instating a direct service line to reduce hand-offs from sales reps. As the number of hand-offs decreased and its impact on satisfaction leveled, the manufacturer was able to shift their focus to other ongoing measures of customer experience.
  • Focus on process and product: A client services organization recognized that while their end product was best in class, the iteration required to get there put a significant burden on clients. They looked to their client satisfaction surveys to pinpoint where the working relationship was falling short. They began to track satisfaction at multiple in-points throughout the process. This revealed specific touchpoints throughout where the organization could alter communication channels and workstreams, making the experience of the entire journey as satisfying as the end product itself.

As these cases illustrate, metrics should reflect changes and improvement, allowing the scorecard to reflect evolving organizational objectives. A regular cadence revisiting the raw data to understand shifts in customer perspective and to account for the improvements made will ensure that the scorecard is a living tool, reflecting ongoing current states. Updating the scorecard should indicate that experience efforts have been successful, and the business is moving closer to the ideal customer journey. 

Data informs the ideal experience

Determining the ideal experience and evolving the scorecard with the business operationalizes customer experience data to impact targeted, powerful improvements. This approach to leveraging the expanse of customer data enables experience leaders to capture quick wins and pin success to a variety of KPIs, not a single, hard-to-impact measure.

More and more organizations seek to use their experience as a key differentiator. Being capable of capturing the view of a customer’s end-to-end journey through various metrics will tell the entirety of the customer’s lived experience. Leaders capturing the entire, ongoing human experience and enacting change relevant to it will stand apart from those brands solely using a single measure to describe a series of interactions and touchpoints, failing to create meaningful intervention. These brands will have a more accurate read on why their customers behave the way they do—and will leverage this knowledge to craft and develop the next ideal customer experience. 

{Blogger's note: This piece was written in concert with my colleagues Claire Gilbert & John Joba, Relationship Managers, Customer Experience, Gongos, Inc.}

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