Measure what matters
As customer experience consultants it is great to see leading companies, SMEs and start-ups making CX a non-negotiable foundation of their business operations. The next-step however, isn’t often thought-through – measurement. If you, as a brand leadership team, haven’t yet created a way to measure the impact of your customer experience initiative, ensuring that the outcome is positive and that the experience can be sustained… then it’s time to clear your diary.
Indicators such as profitability and EPS growth are vital for the health of the business and understanding relative performance but they are lagging indicators – the result of what you do; marketing, sales and operations etc. Making your business sustainable means establishing up-stream measures that relate directly to customer loyalty and advocacy. As a result, many brands are using NPS (Net Promoter Score) to measure their customer experience. The problem is that many are using it as a ‘blunt instrument’ to cudgel executives to improve customer loyalty and advocacy but without really understanding the attributes that actually drive these outcomes. They are simply substituting one lagging indicator for another. The CEO of one of our very large banking clients gave executives an NPS target but few knew what they could do in their functions to hit their targets. So, the client hired us to run a series of workshops to help executives make the connection between what they did, the key drivers of customer experience and NPS.
We get it. We’ve all been in large organisations and time is a precious commodity. Who really has the time within a working day to own the measuring of the customer experience? Marketing? Customer service? Data analytics? Good luck with that. There are a dozen data analytics companies that will promise to improve your customer experience if only you will buy their software. This is why a CX specialist can add real value to what’s happening on the inside. If this is where your brand finds itself, then there are three crucial steps we advise:
- Define a complete measurement process – assess the impact of the customer experience, its link to strategic KPIs and determine the ROI
- Scorecard design – design an aligned scorecard, including recognised techniques such as Net Promoter Score and Voice of the Customer as well as the drivers of NPS, client satisfaction, employee engagement and agreed KPIs to monitor the results
- Dashboard design – once your scorecard is well and truly tested, and only then, install an on-line dashboard to distribute the results to all levels of your teams. (Many organisations make the mistake of buying in a dashboard and assuming it will figure out the first two steps for them- it won’t!)
Why we do what we do
We have had the privilege of working with market leading clients in identifying and measuring their unique customer experience and performance on the key drivers of customer loyalty and advocacy. Using recognised measurement techniques such as Net Promoter Score and Voice of the Customer are essential for accurate and timely business decisions. By building an integrated scorecard to align your financial reporting, customer experience and other operational measures, ensuring that KPIs are linked to this, makes everything easier for you to measure and reward people for the right behaviours so that effort is sustained.
A great example of this integrated approach is Premier Inn’s ‘Good Night Guarantee’. Our research with guests found that a key driver of NPS was the quality of the sleep experience so Premier Inn made this a key strategic element of its offer and tasked all of its hotel teams with ‘Making guests feel brilliant through a great night’s sleep’. But they didn’t stop there, they backed it up with a money back guarantee so that if the guest didn’t have a great night’s sleep the resulting refunds were measured as an ‘invocation’ providing a direct economic metric that drove bonuses. It was also very easy to communicate and understand and that takes us to the next point.
Make the comms good…
Continuous communication of results to all levels of your organisation is recommended to embed the measures and hard wire this as the way you do business. Communication is the glue that holds the employee experience together. The employee experience has a direct result on the customer experience. Therefore, how you speak to your employees, and what you speak to them about within your comms, is incredibly important. If there are success stories from the measurement process, don’t slot them into a dull monthly newsletter with a 15% open rate. If there are red flags within the customer experience that need to be communicated to the teams to minimise customer churn or bad PR, don’t bury them in a monthly management report. Book the conference room and get your key executives together to focus on the key problem areas. Task them with doing the same with their teams. For too long brand leaders have relied upon generic communications platforms to relay incredibly important information so that the key messages get lost in the background noise.
Watch Out For…Measuritis!
We’ve all been there, labouring under a leader who promotes the debilitating condition in which everyone is obsessed with capturing data on everything that can possibly be measured. The clever approach sees the brand only focussing on the few key metrics that are critical to business success. There is no point in measuring what doesn’t matter. In fact, measuring those things that have no impact on brand differentiation and customer loyalty can often be detrimental to the wider operation because it confuses your people on what is important with what isn’t. Measure what matters and ignore anything that doesn’t. When it comes to the customer experience, knowledge isn’t just power, it’s absolute power.