It’s official, the customer experience is now more important to brands than mobile marketing, according to an Econsultancy report which surveyed approximately 12,000 professionals who work for large companies and agencies. And with 86% of consumers saying they are willing to pay more for a better experience, it is clear that CX has become a priority.

But to ensure your brand is maintaining a competitive customer experience, it is imperative to conduct a customer experience analysis on a regular basis to see if your digital experience is falling short, meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

What Is Customer Experience Analysis?

Customer experience analysis is a method for measuring whether your product or service meets or exceeds consumer expectation, or if it falls short. It is highly relevant to “progressive brand builders” and business leaders who understand the importance of customer experience. “Brands are built or broken on how well a company fares with a customer over a lifetime of interactions, customer experience analysis is the act of gauging success (or lack thereof) against the criteria that an audience finds most important,” said Scott Anderson, CMO at Intermedia.

Anderson referred to a study by Medallia Research in which 71% of US consumers said they would switch brands after one bad experience. On the flip side, if brands continuously meet or exceed expectations, brand loyalty increases three-fold.

Gopal Sripada, head of product marketing at Zoho CRM, said there are two factors brands should consider when analyzing customer experience. The first is “understanding customers’ wants and needs in order to offer a personalized service” and the second is “making sure that the customer experience is systematically captured at every interaction and analyzed thoroughly.”

“In a free market economy with thousands of choices for every product category or service that customers have, it's crucial for companies to maintain better relationships with customers and consistently offer top-notch experiences at every touch point in the customer journey,” said Sripada.

Related Article: What Is Customer Experience Management?

How Brands Can Conduct Customer Experience Analysis

Anderson said that the “baseline” for customer experience analysis is to determine the right criteria for both prospective and current customers that are interacting with your brand. You need to ask key questions to determine “if they care about ease of use” or if they like to engage in a “friendly atmosphere” or receive a personalized service. “Brands who know the behaviors, preferences, and requirements of the audiences they serve — not yesterday, but right now — have already placed themselves in the driver’s seat,” said Sripada.

Arun Upadhay, CEO at LionOBytes, said the best way to gain insight into your brand is to conduct a customer survey program. “A well-constructed customer survey can provide insightful and quantitative data, discover problems or challenges and ultimately help a business gauge its progress and/or improvement over time,” said Upadhay. “One of the greatest benefits of carrying out a successful customer survey program is not only discovering ways to retain current customers, but also pull customers away from your competition.”

Upadhay added that the survey data can help brands adjust or “augment” their product or service to come in line with the customer’s wants and needs.

So what can organizations do to make sure they are moving their CX initiatives forward. We asked experts to share those insights. here's what they had to say. 

Related Article: The Metrics Customer Experience Professionals Care About

1. Website Analysis

The first area to look at is your brand’s website since it is often the “first point of interaction” with prospective customers. Brands need to make sure their website has been fully optimized and contains the necessary variants to deliver a personalized and seamless experience. “Through website analysis, companies can observe heat and scroll maps of different website pages, which are then compared to other pages on the site. This will help you determine the pages or site features which attract maximum views from prospective customers,” said Sripada.

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2. See What Your Competitors Are Doing

Besides analyzing your own site, invest some time finding out what your competitor's are doing. “Look at the leading competitors to understand how they are approaching the industry, but more importantly, get beyond your own vertical industry and seek out the best customer experience brands in general. You know all the usual suspects — Starbucks, Apple, Disney — which are so outstanding at using customer experience as a key differentiator,” said Anderson.

3. Utilize a CRM

As Upadhay mentioned earlier, conducting surveys will enable brands to get some insight into how customers are responding to your experiences. To conduct a survey at a large scale, Upadhay advised brands to make use of a CRM tool. “CRM has been created for seamless organization and productivity, so integrating a customer feedback program within your CRM can allow you to perform the task efficiently and effortlessly. Most CRMs are capable of organizing feedback by the customer,” said Upadhay.

Upadhay added that other tools and applications can be integrated into the CRM to help brands amalgamate all the customer data into a single location.

4. Net Customer Needs Solution (NetCNS) Survey

The NetCNS, according to Sripada, is designed to measure organization-wide operations and to set a “benchmark” for how well the brand is performing to meet customer needs and expectations. The NetCNS works by collecting the “the needs and wants” of each customer, putting them into groups, and then analyzing them. The NetCNS score is produced by calculating the difference between the number of needs that have been met and the number of unsatisfactory incidences.

“[NetCNS] process provides a deeper understanding of the customer needs driving the score. It allows companies to have a better understanding of customer requirements and exactly how the product satisfies their needs. It also gives companies a clearer idea of where they need to focus on making improvements,” said Sripada.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS is a traditional method for conducting customer experience analysis and is a “tried and true” practice. The NPS score, which is calculated by asking customers on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they would be to recommend a brand to a friend or colleague. The higher the score, the better. “Most brands that pay attention to customer sentiment use NPS scores to determine the overall level of customer satisfaction while also recognizing improvement areas that give way to better experiences,” said Anderson.

Anderson advised brands to regularly check their NPS.

6. Evaluate Your Data to Find Actionable Steps

And finally, Anderson advised brands to conduct an “honest evaluation” of the data you have gathered and then formulate actionable steps.

“The experience analysis comes in when you compare your ideal customer experience against your actual experience. Conducting an honest evaluation using NPS scores, social listening, ratings & reviews, aggregation of service feedback streams, client advisory boards and so many other venues, provides the data you need to determine your shining stars and gaps,” said Anderson. “And most importantly, make sure your experience analysis leads to insights that drive action. The true value of customer experience analysis comes when a prioritized customer experience improvement plan is delivered and executed.”