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In modern business, focusing on customer experience (CX) is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity for businesses of all sizes. However, defining a successful customer experience can be difficult because many touch points form the customer journey. By using online surveys, companies can gain quantitative information about the customer experience to actively monitor trends that develop over time. Based on customer feedback, organizations can identify areas for improvement, adjust their strategies accordingly, set better goals for their key performance indicators (KPIs), and strive to deliver the seamless experiences that today’s consumers expect.
Customer experience KPIs
Research shows that CX is now competing with traditional factors such as price and quality in influencing customer loyalty and advocacy. According to Forbes, 77% of consumers consider CX just as important as the main product or service itself. PWC reported that even beloved brands risk losing 32% of their customers after one negative interaction. In addition, poor CX burdens the company with costs. To address this, this article outlines five critical CX KPIs that can be systematically monitored, evaluated, and optimized to help address customer service problems and strengthen a company’s connections with its customer base.
1. % Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
This KPI measures how customers rate particular interactions with a company, such as getting a response from customer care or processing a return. Users can score their satisfaction with the experience on a scale from “very dissatisfied” to “very satisfied” by responding to an automated questionnaire sent to them. Monitoring the ratings depends on a company’s objectives, but the general rule is that anything above 85% is excellent, and anything below 60% requires rapid attention.
Calculation: CSAT = (Number of Positive Responses / Total Number of Responses) x 100
2. # Net promoter score (NPS)
The NPS, considered the most famous CX KPI, reflects the willingness of consumers to recommend a product to friends and acquaintances. To calculate NPS, a company can conduct a survey of customers from one query: “What is the probability that you will recommend the product to your friends?” The answer is given on a 10-point scale, where 0 is “I will not recommend it in any case” and 10 is “I will definitely recommend.” The respondents can be divided into three groups depending on the scores obtained: promoters, passives, and detractors. The majority of companies consider a score above 80 as excellent, a score between 50 and 80 as very good, and a score below 50 as good.
Calculation: NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors.
3. % Word of Mouth Index (WoMI)
An extension of the NPS index, the creation of the WoMI was motivated by criticism towards the traditional NPS. Researchers believed that the NPS made the incorrect assumption that if a customer does not recommend a product or service, then they are automatically considered detractors. This led researchers to make adjustments to the KPI in order to better reflect reality. It tracks the recommendation, but from the opposite perspective: “What is the probability that you will discourage people from doing business with the company?” This can be rated on a scale of 0 to 10. Those who choose 9-10 on the scale of “dissuading” are categorized as “true detractors.” The threshold varies from one industry to another. It is better to have a lower score, as the target for most companies is less than 10%. To gain a comprehensive understanding of your company’s position among customers, we suggest employing both approaches to obtain a complete picture.
WoMI = (Number of Promoters – Number of Detractors) / Number of Respondents * 100.
4. Consumer Effort Score (CES)
The CES index, which was developed in 2010, is related to the idea that the more effort the product or service requires from customers, the less likely they are to stay with the company. As cited in an article, research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) shows that 94% of customers who have an effortless experience are likely to make repeat purchases. The KPI could be measured by the customer’s response to a statement like: “Thanks to the service/product of company X. I was able to easily cope with my problem.” with a rating scale of 1 to 7. Most companies typically receive CES scores ranging from 5 to 5.5. A score exceeding 6 is generally considered above average.
CES = (Sum of response scores) ÷ (Number of responses)
5. Customer churn rate
Simply put, the churn rate is the number of users who stop any interaction with the company. Depending on the industry, this could mean that customers deleted their account, did not re-buy, or simply decided to switch to a competitor. In its simplest form, customer churn can be calculated by comparing the number of customers lost to the total number of customers. By dividing one metric by another, one can get the customer churn rate as a percentage of the total base. The most common acceptable churn rate is 5-7% annually.
Enabling effective CX measurement
KPIs must be monitored and measured in order to improve CX. To do so effectively, a system that accurately collects data from all channels should be considered. This allows requests to be categorized and common issues to be identified. In-depth interviews with both loyal and dissatisfied customers should be conducted to understand the root cause of any problems, as some of which could be related to support services. Consistency in tracking and improving CX KPIs is the key to ensuring decisions and actions in customer service adapt to changing customer sentiment and meeting their needs.
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The customer experience is based on all the interactions a customer has with a company or brand during their relationship. This spans every touchpoint with an establishment which includes accessing them via in-store, online, customer support, and product which encompasses every relationship a customer has with a brand. In essence, customer experience refers to the customer’s view of a brand based on the totality of each interaction.
If you are a business owner, you know that every interaction with your customers, big or small, can impact their experience and how they feel about your brand. You cannot create a unique experience until you know where and when your customers are interacting with your brand. Not all customers know what they specifically want from you, so making this step more enjoyable will help them focus and engage with your brand.
As a business, if you can understand how customers perceive your brand, you can provide them with a better customer experience. Actively collecting customer feedback to understand what is working well and what needs improvement provides a clear picture of how you and your customer service team can improve the customer experience over time. You can use this valuable information about your customers to identify improvement opportunities and enhance the customer experience. Armed with this understanding, employees in the organization can better identify gaps between the desired and current performance, and refocus efforts on new areas of customer service that can be improved.
Importance of a positive customer experience
One thing is for sure: to provide a positive experience, you need to know your customers better than ever. A positive customer experience can also be a huge ROI benefit given that nearly 65% of consumers consider customer experience to be more important than the price of a product or service. This is important to note because if the customer experience is poor, other areas of the business will be affected. Improving customer experience would not only positively affect other areas of the business but also be a great way to increase profit margins. Therefore, creating a positive customer experience is critical to the success of your business because a happy customer is more likely to become a repeat customer who can help you increase your income.
When customers are happy and satisfied with their interactions with your business, it leads to a positive customer experience that increases customer loyalty, repeat customers, and customer retention, as well as encourages branding. When customers feel valued and can appreciate the overall experience of doing business with your brand, they become loyal customers that can help your business expand. Not only that, but loyal customers help spread positive feedback about your brand and attract new customers through referrals.
A great customer experience is based not only on the quality of the products and services you offer but also on how you invite customers to interact with your brand across the multiple touchpoints that you have available. This results in great customer reviews through positive word of mouth that can promote your brand in ways you never imagined possible.
Once you get to know your customers well enough, you can use that knowledge to personalize every interaction. That is why it is so important to provide an amazing experience and make customers want to keep doing business with you. Customers are your best asset in building your brand awareness.
Data-driven decision-making means to put actions based on real metrics and analytics derived from real-world data. In contrast to opinionated, anecdote-driven decision-making, data-driven decision-making is superior since it is based on facts rather than opinions. Numbers and facts represent reality, whereas opinion is highly subjective and susceptible to bias.
Furthermore, with the advent of the internet and technology, we are now bombarded with an abundance of data that is accessible from anywhere. This abundance of data can be an advantage for your organization, but it can also be a threat if you are unable to use it and your competitors are better at it. This article highlights the Sales and Marketing (S&M); area since profitability is the objective of all companies, the main force that drives it is in S&M.
Before going into a data-driven approach, the essential concept of the S&M strategy needs to be discussed. Understanding this concept is important to know what the objective is and ultimately influence the process in a good way. The following are two main components of S&M strategy:
- Customer Experience
The customer experience is what your customers want. It is about speed, convenience, consistency, and friendliness. Understanding the consumer extends beyond customer profiling. Because each product or service offered by a business has a unique target demographic, companies must approach the customer experience for each.
A company will be able to organize its involvement with the consumer or potential customer if it has a thorough understanding of the buying cycle: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. The effort to engage customers nowadays relies heavily on technology and data analytics.
- Customer-centric Business
A customer-centric company is a method of conducting business with your customers that provides a positive customer experience – both before and after the sale – to drive repeat orders and customer loyalty. Being customer-centric goes beyond just providing a good service. For that purpose, companies should utilize technologies that can help companies to be more attentive to the customers.
The two components explained above have similarities. They both require an understanding of the customer: the “who”, “what”, “when”, “why”, and “where”. Years ago, companies relied on surveys to obtain information about customers. But now, a myriad of ways to learn about your customers are available.
Start by collecting customers’ feedback. Not only directly (i.e., emails, phone calls) but also indirectly through statistics and analytics. For example, by using web analytics, you can gather information such as customers’ demographics, where they are from, what is their favorite part of the website, what they do before buying your product, and so on. It is only an example of how a data-driven approach can be used to improve customer experience.
Keep in mind that technologies such as data analytics are only enablers, not problem solvers. Its design and implementation must be aligned for both S&M. Marketing should provide Sales with metrics that delve deep into customer data. If the data is of poor quality, the Salesperson cannot convert prospects into buyers effectively. This is where the data-driven approach comes into play. When the S&M processes are in sync, data and analytics perform best. To learn more about data visualization and how it can be utilized to serve your processes better, join The KPI Institute’s Certified Data Visualization Professional Certification.
If you can name one thing, what is the most important driving factor of your business? The answer might be varied depending on your line of work or industry, but there is one answer that would most likely resonate with all: the customer. People who work in customer engagement, sales, and other customer-facing jobs know it best. Yet it might help to take a better look at your customers and their behaviors, regardless of what your market is.
Customer service is an experience
Often overlooked as a complementary part of a business, many failed to consider how important it is to maintain a good relationship with the customers. Looking at it from the customer’s point of view, the service they experience can be a critical aspect that can help decide how certain products or services are valued in a company. A study published by Harvard Business Review concluded that customers do remember good and bad customer service experiences and are willing to reward companies that give them good services.
A similar survey conducted by American Express showed that seven out of 10 consumers in the United States decided to spend more money with a company that offered great customer service. Understanding what a good customer experience seems like a simple job. After all, almost all of us were customers for another’s business at some point. Even so, it is also a fact that bad customer experience has been the downfall of a lot of businesses.
An article written by Amy Gallo pointed out several things that helped determine what a good customer experience is. First, customers value your active presence in any online platform, including social media. The second is that customers value a fast and reliable response; some studies even show that a fast response is directly linked to sales performance.
Third, customers will feel more engaged with the business if they can get a response, regardless if it will be received with a bad, good, or neutral tone. Responding to both positive and negative comments is proven to give a better impact on the customer rather than ignoring them. Finally, it is important to build a personal connection with the customer; remember that customers are human beings too, thus it is important to treat them as a person. It is always helpful to try understanding them by reflecting on how you want to be treated if you were in their position.
The big potential in recurring customers
Acquiring new customers is important, but keeping your existing customer base is also very crucial. Research by Frederick Reichheld showed that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost your profit by 25-95%. It is also important to note that following up with existing customers often costs less than acquiring new ones. Signing up for the Certified Customer Service Performance Professional course can also help in helping your organization perform better with your clients.
It is a given that having a good customer engagement process will definitely help to secure recurring customers. Even so, it may be not enough to build a long-term connection. There are few other things to consider if you want to increase your client retention rate. Regular contact is believed to be the most effective way to maintain relationships and minimizing churn rate.
Keeping them in the loop for new products and taking note of their feedback can also positively impact your relationship with the customers. Similar to any other human relationship, it is always a good thing to feel involved and heard. Other benefits such as discounts or loyalty rewards can also boost sales. In the end, your customers are more than just numbers; they are the driving factors that deserve your attention.
Measures the percentage of customer calls that do not reach the service operators due to insufficient employees or network facilities in place.