The power of managing CX

From the customers' perspective

When it comes to customer understanding and improving satisfaction, measuring and managing your CX initiatives from the customers’ perspective can take an organisation to the next level.

Perception counts more than reality when it comes to customer experience, at least when companies use qualitative research. On the quantitative side, Big Data provides increasingly reliable insights into the customers’ experience enabling companies to understand their customers and use the analytics to drive strategy and align behind an overarching KPI. It is clear why CEOs around the world list CX as a key priority for them; more loyal and satisfied customers directly translate into more revenue and market share. So what is stopping us?

Customer experience is rarely measured from the customer’s perspective and it’s easy to fall into the trap of prioritising reports over insights. Current variants of Net Promoter Score (NPS), such as Benchmark or Touchpoint, or other methodologies such as Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are useful tools for understanding broadly how you are perceived, but average snapshots of a group at a moment in time hardly provide ‘true’ and actionable insights. Ultimately it is about treating each customer as an individual as opposed to a volumetric.

The challenge in practice

Take the example of a call centre. Dashboards often provide an overview of how fast the support team resolves an issue, percentage of first level resolution and the level of support provided. This dashboard approach would completely miss someone who has called the business ten times in the last week and has been sent from centre to centre with an unresolved issue. Instead of looking at average volumes; individuals’ experiences over touchpoints, channels, products and systems should be managed over time to create not only a touch point experience, but an overall relationship over time. The secret to understanding customers is seeing the experience from their perspective. This means putting the dashboards on their side where every customer is a line item, managed individually. So how do you make the move?

The move to Advanced Analytics

The key here is to use qualitative (CX) and quantitative (D&A) research methods in combination. That way companies can identify what needs to change, how it needs to change, and measure how the subsequent change is received both from an emotional and objective perspective.

The additional benefit is effective root cause analysis (RCA) and the ability to size an opportunity and have accurate return on investment (ROI). These insights would allow portfolio managers to effectively prioritise new product development (NPD) and continuous process improvement (CPI) projects – leading to overall effective allocation of resources and objectives that are aligned to strategic goals.

Three things to look out for when making the move

Measure the right thing in the right way – we discovered that at some firms, average snapshots sometimes drive reward schemes and are mainly used for reporting and marketing purposes. The prospect of introducing a new, and invariably, lower but true customer score can be difficult to embed. If you want the right insights you need to understand what metrics you want to base decisions on and ensure you use them in the defined way. Otherwise this can drive wrong behaviours.

Start small and grow what’s right– developing a proof of concept can be a powerful way to demonstrate how new ways of working provide insight and direction. Once validated, you can iterate the solution to be a north star for transformation.

Continue to iterate and enhance – agile by default for continuous improvement projects has made the iterative enhancement of systems, processes and ways of working incredibly adaptive. Learning how to apply and execute in such an environment is crucial to not only achieve, but also maintain an edge when it comes to measuring CX.

Where it will leave you

Retain your customers – if you use the insights to continually improve the customers experience you will create a larger, loyal and more content customer base that is less price sensitive.

Continue to thrive as an organisation – projects will be run with strategic objectives in mind and be prioritised with respect to ROI. A common KPI would also ensure that initiatives are always aligned and people are incentivised in the right way.

Attract and retain the best people – having the tools to make the right decisions is hugely attractive to current and future employees. By giving them responsibilities, targets and the insights they need to perform their job well, you will create a motivated and loyal workforce while attracting and retaining great talent.

Your organisation most likely already has the core capabilities and is heading in the right direction. The first thing to do now is to assess your organisation and ask three questions:

1) Do we understand and manage our customers as effectively as we could?

2) Do we draw the right insights from our customers’ to make the right decisions?

3) How would we ideally measure and manage our customers – and what is stopping us?