Published on 26th August 2021
According to Forbes, 96 per cent of customers believe customer service plays an important role in their choice of loyalty to a brand. For this reason, being able to measure how successful your business is in providing a good customer experience is essential. Only once you are able to assess this aspect of business performance will you be able to improve on it with the aim of enhancing customer journeys, increasing sales and making larger profits. After all, if you don’t do this, you run the risk of losing your customers to competitor brands.
However, measuring customer experience can be a tricky task. Whether you run an online business, a physical customer-facing store, or a combination of the two, it is likely that your customers will interact with you via a number of unique touchpoints and channels, and for a range of different purposes. For this reason, knowing what’s working and what’s not when it comes to the experience your business provides can be a complex process. Fortunately, there are a number of smart methods of tracking customer experience that all businesses should be aware of.
How do we measure customer experience?
Useful customer experience measurement requires methods of analysis that will measure the success and failings of your business’ customer experience at every touchpoint. For a retail business, for example, this could include everything from a customer’s journey in-store or online to how well your staff deal with customer complaints and feedback.
The key to successfully measuring customer experience lies in putting in place processes which analyse and improve all interactions customers have with your business. This includes monitoring all touchpoints, understanding your customers changing needs, wants and expectations and working on areas of your business you know are currently considered weaknesses. We will go into each of these aspects in the section below.
How to evaluate customer experience
While many brands still believe measuring customer experience involves asking questions relating to post-purchase satisfaction, in the modern business world it is important to measure the entire customer journey. After all, if a potential customer is put off from using your business before a purchase is made, this needs to be addressed.
In this vein, customer experience can be evaluated in three ways. These are:
- Assess customer satisfaction
According to the Temkin Group, 86 per cent of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience – for this reason it is important to assess customer satisfaction. Through the use of customer surveys, email marketing, SMS marketing, and other forms of targeted promotions aimed at customers who have interacted with your business at any stage of a customer journey (not just paying customers), analyse the reasons why an individual did or did not have a good experience with your business. Although time consuming, this information will provide the foundations to your customer experience measurement process.
- Identify reasons for customer turnover
Customer turnover is just part of running a business. However, it’s worth noting that, depending on which study you opt to believe, attracting new customers is thought to be between five to 25 times more expensive than simply retaining your existing customers.
While sometimes there will be no apparent reason why you are losing customers, other times you may be able to identify the cause of the losses and prevent it from happening in the future. The most common reasons for customer turnover are:
- Lack of engagement with past and potential customers
- Poor customer onboarding (online businesses)
- Poor customer service
- Difficulty user experience
- Ignoring customer complaints or feedback
Once again, the best way of identifying causes of customer turnover is to seek feedback directly from customers via surveys, questionnaires and social marketing campaigns. After all, as the Reichheld of Bain & Company recently revealed, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 per cent can go on to increase profits by between 25 and 95 per cent.
- Analyse customer complaint trends
A customer complaint should be viewed by your business as an opportunity to improve. Indeed, according to software company Khoros, 86 per cent of customers believe that good customer service (including how well complaints are dealt) has the power to turn one-time clients into long-term, returning brand users.
Each genuine complaint will highlight an issue with a product or service you offer, or a problem with specific employee behavior or one of your internal processes. By analysing all complaints that come directly from customers, your business can investigate and improve any problem areas that have been identified with the aim of preventing further complaints and improving customer experience.
What is customer experience analytics?
To put it simply, customer experience analytics is the process of collecting and assessing various forms of customer data with the aim of improving the experience your business is able to provide. This can include everything from collating and analysing reviews customers leave on your social media accounts and formal complaints made to your customer service team to reviewing the frequency of purchases on your website. While these processes may sound simple, according to customer experience experts Lumoa, only 14 per cent of businesses actually measure the ROI of customer experience. These simple checks enable you to better understand your customers’ needs, wants and expectations, allowing you to tailor your services to provide a better overall experience.
A more advanced form of measuring and evaluating customer experience, analytics allows you to make data-driven decisions to improve your service, rather than just alterations based on gut feelings. Examples of popular customer experience analytics areas include:
- Traffic numbers, heatmaps and bounce rates – data which shows how many people are visiting your store or website, and even specific areas of your site. With the help of specific analytics software, you can also monitor the amount of time people spend on your site and specific pages before leaving them.
- First-contact resolution stats and average call lengths – data which can reveal how successfully your business deals with customer problems and how long it takes your customer service team to respond to complaints.
- Customer surveys/verbal feedback – arguably the most useful form of customer data, information taken directly from the customer – be that in the form of survey or questionnaire results, email feedback, or simply verbal feedback given in store. When collated and analysed, patterns and trends can be found in this data which can help you to identify issues and solve them to improve your customer experience.