Customer experience (CX) is a major point of competition and differentiation between brands these days, so it's no surprise the ability to measure and improve CX has become a bigger priority for organizations trying to pull ahead.

Surveys are a common way to measure CX and customer satisfaction, providing us with metrics such as net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT) and other, less common variants. Yet surveys and NPS aren’t always the best measures of certain aspects of CX, and definitely shouldn't be the only measures used.

The growth of real-time data collection and insight tools has made it possible to more robustly measure CX at multiple key points in the customer journey, instead of relying on a survey completed at the end of one experience. These real-time data collection tools capture quantifiable insights about when something happens, how long it took, what device it happened on and exactly when in the customer journey it took place. This article will explore some of the benefits of incorporating real-time insights into your customer experience measurement plan.

Real-Time Insights Promote an Agile Approach to CX

We hear a lot about agility in many aspects of business these days, and  it's grown increasingly important in my work consulting with enterprise organizations. The agile methodology provides the ability to get quicker feedback — good or bad — on how a system or process works thanks to the smaller iterative steps, or “sprints,” that make up an agile initiative.

Just as getting feedback at the end of each sprint instead of waiting until the completion of a project is helpful, real-time insights for customer experience is a way to get feedback at smaller intervals so you can have a deeper understanding of areas of success and those which need improvement.

These smaller intervals allow you to more quickly gather, analyze and make strategic decisions based on the data you acquire. This keeps your customer experience efforts more nimble and agile, allowing you to make adjustments more quickly.

Related Article: What Makes Customer Experience Agile?

Real-Time Insights Provide a Window Into Specific Parts of the Customer Journey

If a customer responds to a survey at the end of a process, saying they aren’t satisfied with their experience, how do you know which part they are referring to? While the customer may at times provide more details, it's often the case that the customer experiences several small bumps in the road before eventually becoming outright frustrated. A survey can’t capture this nuance — but real-time insights can. By capturing information about what a customer is doing, as well as information about your own systems and processes, you can more easily see the points in which the customer experience might be breaking down.

Waiting until the end of a long process to as a customer a few questions doesn’t always get at the deeper issues that make up their dissatisfaction. This has the added benefit of getting objective, quantitative data about their experience while it is happening, which can sometimes yield different insights than how they are feeling once they are through it.

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Related Article: What's Killing Your Customer Journey? Friction

Real-Time Insights Provide Actionable Data for Orchestration

Successful companies understand a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work with customer experience. Consumers expect a level of personalization of their journey, and brands that are unable to provide this are seeing less loyalty and satisfaction.

Customer journey orchestration helps CX personalization by providing a more dynamic experience whose actions, messages, offers and next steps are often dictated by what a consumer does in the moment.

By providing insights in the moments of a customer journey, orchestration tools can make real-time offers, suggestions and actions. These can make the difference between a frustrating experience and an engaging one, or between making an additional sale or not.

Some real-time insights are a requirement to do customer journey orchestration at all, but the more you have at the ready, the best experience you can provide.

As you can see, augmenting your CX measurement with real-time insights provides multiple benefits. While you may still use NPS or CSAT as your baseline measurement, adding real-time metrics to the mix provides additional knowledge and helps fill some of the information gaps.

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