How Service Brands Measure Customer Experience Success
To kick off 2023, we surveyed our customers across various service industries, as well as customer experience experts in our community to report on their biggest customer experience learnings of the previous year and their plans for the year ahead. We asked about the best ways to measure CX, the most successful methods of coaching and recognizing frontline teams, their biggest focus, learnings, challenges and goals. In this series, we’ll be diving into the survey results to provide new ideas on how you can make 2023 the year your business wins on customer experience.
The customer experience isn’t black and white – it’s a complex journey made up of many micro-moments, expectations, perceptions and interactions that form a customer’s opinion of a brand. Because of its very nature, the customer experience can be difficult to quantify and measure.
How do you know if customers walk away feeling truly satisfied, or if they’re already planning never to return? We asked our community – “When thinking about success, how do you measure it within your customer experience program?” Here’s what they had to say…
Among survey respondents, the most popular answer when it comes to measuring the success of their customer experience program was NPS – Net Promoter Score.
“We have an NPS scoring system we use after each service”. – Josh Wise, CEO of GrassRoots Turf
If you’re new here, you may not be familiar with our favourite type of survey. NPS is an essential customer experience metric used to determine the strength of a customer's loyalty to your business. The principle is simple. NPS is centered around a simple but brilliantly insightful inquiry:
“How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?”
Customers select a number from 1-10 and with some maths wizardry the results are scored on a scale ranging from -100 on the low end to +100 on the high end. The question can be followed with 1-2 questions that help uncover the source of the satisfaction (or dissatisfaction).
As Josh Wise (wisely) points out, success with NPS comes with consistency – scores should be collected after each and every service, rather than once a quarter or blue moon. By doing so, you can quickly gain a grasp on who your biggest promoters (raving fans) are, and who your biggest detractors (noisy critics) are AND the themes behind their scores.
This data is your ammo for winning on customer experience. It reveals what matters most to your customers and what your frontline teams can do that day to improve the customer experience.
“NPS feedback is our empirical basis for customer experience measurement”. – Tim Daloisio, Eyeful Media
Repeat Business (Retention) & Referrals
Happy customers are repeat customers. Think about a service brand you’ve stayed loyal to over the years – maybe it’s a dentist, a cleaning company you’ve always relied on or a real estate brand you call without even thinking about the other options. This (often subconscious) brand loyalty is formed through compounding and consistently awesome customer experiences.
In fact, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. (Salesforce). Therefore, it makes sense to use repeat business or customer retention as a measure of customer experience success.
“We use repeat visitors and referrals” – Beni Jay, HealthActions Physical Therapy
“We rely heavily on customer retention rates”. – Tim Daloisio, Eyeful Media
Extremely happy customers are not just repeat customers, but raving fans that go on to sing your praises to their friends, family and colleagues. Beni Jay, along with other survey respondents mention using the number of referrals as a measure of CX success. These customer experiences should be used as a blueprint for success that can be replicated across various branches and locations.
The Voice of the Customer
While stats and numbers can be extremely helpful and revealing for understanding the customer experience, nothing compares to actual words that come out of the mouths of actual customers.
“We have a "voice of the customer" program that surveys customers asking how their experience compares to our service standards”. – Stacy Armijo, Chief Experience Officer of Amplify Union
Understanding what customers think of their experience (in their own words) is critical for understanding where your CX stands and what you need to do to improve. What do customers love? What do they wish was done differently? What do they find the most frustrating? The most rewarding?
Although tempting, be sure to not ask these questions all at once in long surveys. Keep your surveys short, frequent, and centered around NPS to drive the most impact.
“We also rely heavily on open lines of direct feedback from our customers”. – Tim Daloisio, Eyeful Media
Another survey respondent says “We do qualitative analysis of the comments received in the NPS survey.”
Measuring customer experience directly from the people that deliver it is often overlooked, yet another impactful way of measuring success. If your frontline employees are engaged and motivated they are far more likely to deliver consistently awesome 5-star experiences to customers.
If your employees are disengaged, it’s a sure fire sign that your customers won’t be far behind from falling into the same state.
“Employee engagement is one way we measure the success of our customer experience program”. – Anna Egan, CX & Business Development Manager of A1 Air Conditioning and Heating
Frontline employees can also offer incredible insight into your customers that would otherwise be unseen from the boardroom.
“Employee input plays a large role in how we seek to understand our customer experience”. – Stacy Armijo, Chief Experience Officer of Amplify Union
While measuring and quantifying the customer experience can be difficult, it’s not impossible. Using tried and tested strategies like collecting NPS, measuring repeat business and referrals, zooming into the voice of the customer and tracking employee engagement, you can gain more clarity over where your customer experience sits, and what you need to do to get it to where you want it to be.
Up Next: Top Customer Experience Tips from Our Community