This year will soon be in the books, making it a good time to reflect and to examine how your customer experience efforts in 2021 have succeeded, where they have not met expectations and how to improve moving forward.
In its report, Measure CX Performance and Improve ROI, Forrester says: “CX leaders need an effective CX measurement program to determine whether the organization is making progress toward its goal of delivering customer experiences that drive business results.”
Forrester adds that effective CX measurement programs ask the following questions:
- How good is the quality of our customers’ experiences?
- How can we improve the quality of our customers’ experiences?
- How will our organization benefit from improving our customers’ experiences?
CX experts offer the following three recommendations for how to best evaluate the successes/failures of your CX efforts.
Evaluate Six Dimensions
“When I look back at 2021, customer strategy leaders and organizations are those who have made real progress across these six dimensions,” said Jeb Dasteel, founder of Dasteel Consulting:
- Feedback and analytics, including Voice of the Customer programs, customer councils, and customer segmentation strategy.
- Customer and employee engagement, including account management and planning, “white glove” customer care and customer engagement programs.
- Customer success, including customer communities, product support and programs that focus on product adoption and value realization.
- Customer marketing, including customer communications, content and brand advocacy.
- Customer-driven transformation, including change management and ease of doing business projects.
- Customer planning and strategy, including governance, customer data and tools.
"Forget about NPS and CSAT,” Dasteel added. "Look at the efficacy of these capabilities and programs through metrics that objectively view performance; link requirements, aspirations, capabilities, and engagement; and then identify concrete actions to propel us forward. Measuring brand advocacy, the rate of product adoption, value realized, process efficiencies, thought leadership, and engagement in particular programs works.”
Related Article: How Do You Make Customer Effort Score Data Actionable
Moving the Right Needles
“Transforming your business to be customer-centric is not a destination, but a journey based on continuously building a new mindset and way to ‘be,’” said Michael Manfredo, West Monroe senior principal, products and experience lab. “This means organizations must build up the habits to help move along that journey, with the right focus on impact building the momentum needed to establish and scale the necessary habits.”
When evaluating the success or failures of existing CX efforts, it comes down to if you’re moving the "right" needles in terms of business outcomes, Manfredo added. There are qualitative measures that demonstrate success or failure: Improvement in cross-function collaboration, the use of customer insights to make changes across the organization, employees’ mindsets in conversations and decision making, and in the feedback customers provide to the organization.
“However, CX leaders need to use quantitative measures to show the positive movement on key KPIs and link those to business outcomes,” Manfredo said. “While metrics like NPS, CSAT, CES and others may help to validate the improvements you are making, it’s the impact to the top and bottom financial lines of the business that truly demonstrates the impact. For example, CX efforts could focus on making the customers’ experience easier and more satisfying when considering, purchasing, and begin using the product or service, resulting in an increase in customer acquisition and net-new revenue.”
Manfredo recommended that a CMO’s understanding of the overall success of CX efforts should be used to help drive prioritization of efforts in a way that builds and maintains momentum within the organization.
“By tracking and measuring the changes you’ve made, and the outcomes created, you can test and learn to understand which changes can have or have had an impact on the organization,” Manfredo said. “However, it’s not just about identifying the changes that have the biggest impact. It’s also considering the level of internal support and acceptance from the business function, leadership and employees that are impacted by the potential changes that will drive the most impact. Therefore, it’s really thinking about balancing the value verses complexity — defined by the scope of change required across the entire ecosystem of people, process, and technology — to identify where you should focus both in the short- and long-term.”
Related Article: 4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Effort Score
Look at Customer Journey Metrics
"The ability to guide the customer through a journey is key to CX in 2022,” said Uberflip co-founder and CMO Randy Frisch. “The customer is in the driver's seat. It's up to brands to deliver relevance through a strategic content experience. This begins by identifying the right buyers, attracting them with the right channels and engaging buyers with personalized and relevant content. I can't stress how important this is.
He pointed to recent Forrester findings showing that 74% of marketers know how to identify the right accounts but only 11% feel confident they can engage their buyers
“To measure success, think beyond content engagement metrics and focus on the outcomes of these engagements, which include greater brand loyalty, reduced churn and expansion,” Frisch said. “If your CX is failing or succeeding, this is where you’ll first see it. From this point, you can begin to identify specific areas of the journey where you have gaps, and then work to address them. One example is the onboarding process. First impressions last, so ensure there’s a well-defined process and documentation package. Not only can this help you set the right expectations from the start, but it gives your customer a great first experience with you."