Customer Experience

The Customer Experience Benchmark: How Do You Measure Up?

AskNicely Team

Our mission at AskNicely is to help service businesses empower their frontline teams, make every customer experience awesome and accelerate business growth. On this mission of ours, we’ve had the opportunity to work alongside thousands of people-powered businesses, all with varying levels of customer experience maturity. We’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between (it turns out some brands are still receiving customer feedback via messenger pigeon, well, close anyway). 

Based on this knowledge, we’ve formed a pretty clear hypothesis: service businesses who invest in their frontline teams experience higher levels of customer satisfaction, retention and profit. To put our hypothesis to the test, we partnered with the innovative research and strategic advisory firm, Metrigy. Founded by Robin Gareiss and Irwin Lazar, both renowned technology analysts and content developers, Metrigy focuses on some of the most interesting technologies including unified communications and collaboration, CX and contact centers, artificial intelligence, analytics and more. 

In the State of Frontline Survey, Metrigy mapped the following key areas:

  • Customer Experience Maturity
  • Frontline Experience Maturity
  • Employee Efficiency
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Revenue and Cost Impact

The survey is unique in that no other study has been conducted at this level to tie investments in frontline workers to improvements in business outcomes, and specifically to the highest-priority initiatives for service businesses. Frontline and Customer Experience leaders can leverage the results to identify and justify customer experience and frontline enablement initiatives that will help them significantly improve revenue, customer satisfaction, and employee efficiency.

The results from the 2022 State of Frontline study have allowed us to solidify what leading service businesses are doing to excel in customer experience, and create a benchmarking framework to help service brands measure up.

A Little Context

The State of Frontline Survey was completed in January 2022, and involved over 200 service businesses across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany. 

The industries of the participating companies included: 

  • Healthcare
  • High Tech
  • Financial Services
  • Retail
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Distribution
  • Automotive
  • Government
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Advertising, Marketing, Entertainment
  • Construction, Real Estate
  • Travel, Hospitality
  • Not-for-Profit
  • Agriculture, Forest, Fishing, Hunting
  • Aerospace & Defense

Of the participating companies, 36% had less than 4000 employees, 31% had between 700 and 4000 employees and 33% had less than 700 employees. 

What has the biggest impact?

From the study, four focus areas stood out as driving the highest business impact: 

  1. Defining and publishing your service standard
  2. Tracking, sharing, and acting on feedback
  3. Empowering and rewarding frontline employees
  4. Personalizing coaching to increasing training effectiveness

Using these four areas, we’ve created the Customer Experience Benchmark. For each pillar, we’ll outline what the stages of maturity look like, to help businesses determine how they’re placed amongst other service businesses, and how they can level up. 

You can think of the benchmark like a college report card or rubric.  The benchmarks will help you determine where you’re sitting, why you’re sitting there and what the steps are to get an A+. 

Defining and publishing your service standard:

We know that the world’s best experience brands have a set of clear, well-informed and widely understood service standards that are universally used to coach employees to a consistent level of superior service. 

Is your service standard known by everyone and any one who interacts with your business, or are you unsure of what a service standard really is? 

In the first benchmark blog, you’ll learn about the various maturity stages when it comes to setting your service standard, and what you can do to be amongst the best in the business. 

Tracking, sharing, and acting on feedback:

We know from the 2022 State of Frontline Work study that brands with the highest level of feedback mastery experience a: 

  • 41% increase in revenue improvement
  • 68% increase in employee efficiency improvement
  • 105% customer satisfaction improvement

If you’re sitting anywhere other than the highest level of maturity, you’re missing out big time. Learn what the five levels of feedback mastery are, where you sit and how to improve. 

Empowering and rewarding frontline employees:

Awesome customer experience doesn’t exist without awesome employee experience. And awesome employee experience doesn’t exist without recognition, reward and empowerment. 

Do your employees feel empowered, motivated, recognized and valued? Or are they joining the millions of other frontline employees marching to the beat of the Great Resignation? 

Learn what frontline empowerment maturity looks like and most importantly, how to get there. 

Personalizing coaching to increase training effectiveness

Think of the world’s leading experience brands like Disney, Starbucks, Uber and the Ritz-Carlton. Want to know a secret about them all? None of them use standardized, ‘one size fits all’ coaching programs. 

Top performing service businesses who invest in the tools and technology to allow for personalized coaching to prosper, see increases to employee efficiency, revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

In the final benchmark blog, you’ll learn about the various levels of personalized coaching maturity and where you sit amongst other service brands. 

In this blog series, we’ll take a deep dive into each of the four dimensions, define what maturity looks like and help you measure up to reveal where you’re sitting amongst other service brands. You’ll also discover which of the key areas your business needs to focus on that will drive the most impact. 

Speaking of impacts, we know that mastering these four areas will lead to: 

  • 133% higher impact on customer satisfaction
  • 64% higher impact on revenue
  • 60% higher impact on employee efficiency

So buckle up folks, it’s time to measure up. 

Subscribe to the AskNicely newsletter to be the first to get your hands on the benchmarking blog number one: defining and publishing your service standard. 

In the meantime, check out our customer experience resource hub for guides, case studies, industry research, webinars and more. 

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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