Old-model traditional organizations measure the efficiency of the organization rather than the efficiency of the customer. In such organizations, the senior management experience often comes before the customer experience.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents in a 2016 Dimensional Research and AppDynamics survey stated that it was very important to them to “put a monetary value on the cost of poor user experience. However, only 38 percent actually quantified that value on their web or mobile applications.”

Customer experience will be the key driver of business value going forward, so it must be measured properly. That requires a new-model seamless organization. One of the key characteristics of the old-model organization is the silo structure and culture. “Over 77 percent of those surveyed indicated that their businesses have “data silos” of disparate business metrics (i.e. conversion, engagement, segmentation) and performance metrics (i.e. response time, error rates) that don’t integrate into their goals, causing a serious gap in their business impacts.”

This is because old-model organizations are focused on managing the organization, and the best way to do that is to break the organization up into silos. Management becomes narrowly focused on the performance and efficiency of the silos. The metrics focus on what is happening within the silo. In such a culture, pleasing your customer is much less likely to advance your career than pleasing your senior manager.

In measurement you must constantly ask this question: Am I measuring what is important? Many organizations find what is easy to measure (the silo), and then manage that. The customer experience is hard to measure but it is far more important to measure than the performance of the silo.

Media publisher BuzzFeed used to focus on unique visitors to their silos. However, that metric is becoming less and less relevant, because most of its content is now consumed on third party platforms such as YouTube. Other media publishers are focusing on time spent as a key metric. This can make sense in a media environment, but the metric must depend on the context of the customer task. Google takes the opposite approach when it comes to helping you find things. They want to get you the answer as quickly as possible.

Learning Opportunities

Measuring the customer experience means developing a deep understanding of the customer. What is important to them? What makes them satisfied? What do they consider an excellent experience?

To properly manage the customer experience we need new-model organizations. The BBC has recognized this. It’s getting rid of traditional TV, radio and Internet channels, and modeling around its customers. Part of the result will be to “flatten the corporation’s labyrinthine management structures” according to its director-general Tony Hall.

The silos and traditional power structures must come down. It is the silo culture that is the number one cause of poor customer experience today. But because organizations don’t actually measure the customer experience, they don’t recognize the depth of the challenges they’re facing.

It’s time to measure the customer experience and that means measuring the customer task.

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