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Cx Quality Management & Measurement: The Ultimate Success Metrics

Cx excellence is business critical. Here’s how to do it better.

Introduction

 

Delivering exceptional customer experiences (Cx) is job one in today’s competitive landscape.  Retaining a customer—any customer—hangs in the balance of whether the customer experience you offer earns their trust, time or loyalty.  Yet most companies lack the ability to measure the overall quality of their customer experiences, much less have an effective approach to continually improve them.  The purpose of this white paper is to explore Customer Experience Quality, what tools and data are necessary to measure it, and how to use this knowledge to continually improve Customer Experience Quality to both retain and grow your customer base, boost profits across the enterprise, and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

 

The Challenge of Customer Experience Management

 

Customer Experience is formed through the aggregated impact of customer touchpoints, channels, products and marketing.  Monitoring the quality of customer experience—the essential foundation for improving it--requires a holistic and enterprise view that relies on tools and data that are not typically used or mined for these kinds of insights.  Closing this fundamental gap is a critical opportunity for companies looking to improve the value of their customer relationships at scale.

Confirmation Bias of Marketing Effectiveness

 

Within most companies, Marketing is considered the “master” of Customer Experience.  While Marketing does develop and deploy the customer journeys and channel experiences that drive customer touchpoints, they only have visibility into a portion of the Customer Experience.  With that said, Marketers do an excellent job of understanding their view of the world, embracing a highly quantitative view of marketing effectiveness, attributing impact to marketing efforts and marketing spend resulting in a quantitative picture of performance and return on investment that is used to portray success. 

 

But the Marketer’s view is problematic in its scope.  While Marketers hunt for the impact of their marketing on Customer Behavior, customers do not experience a company only through individual brands or programs, or even just marketing.  Every time a customer interacts with any part of a company, that is part of the customer experience - be it through marketing offers, customer support, product availability, product delivery, product quality, and so on. As a result, the concept of “success” for a company’s customer experience is far broader than marketing performance. And sometimes it can be completely independent of it.  Consequently, you cannot look at a successful marketing campaign as proof the customer experience was successful. The common Confirmation Bias for Marketers is that Marketing Performance Success is proof of Customer Experience Success.  At best, this assumption is unreliable, and often is not at all true.  For example

 

  • A marketing campaign exceeds its targets for email open rates and/or website traffic, prompting high-fives and back-patting among the marketing team. But what marketers don’t know is that  this campaign drove customers to an offer on the website that they’ve received so many times already that it contributed to customer fatigue, frustration and churn.

 

  • A telecommunications provider achieves stellar results for a promotion aimed at upgrading customers to a new streaming TV package. While the brand team celebrates beating their conversion goals, this same influx of upgrades is inundating the call center with inquiries about setup and billing issues, leading to long wait times and a high rate of subscription cancellations or downgrades. 

 

  • A meal kit delivery service launches a successful acquisition campaign, bringing in thousands of new customers. However, when mapped against operational data, it becomes clear that many of these new customers quickly cancelled due to delayed or incorrect deliveries and poor customer service experiences.

 

  • An online retailer runs a flash sale promotion that drives record-breaking website traffic and transactions. While the marketing team pats itself on the back, customer data reveals a spike in negative reviews, returns, support inquiries due to inventory shortages and shipping delays. This poor experience also leads to reduced repeat purchase rates and customer drop-off for future sales. 

 

  • A financial services company's digital marketing efforts pay off with increased account openings. However, high abandonment rates on their mobile app and online banking portals suggest that new customers are struggling with self-service platforms. This is compounded by higher than expected account closures and limited balances/utilization among recent acquisitions.

 

  • An automotive brand's dealerships celebrate strong monthly sales driven by enticing incentives. However, when viewed holistically, customer data shows a concerning uptick in trade-ins shortly after these purchases, potentially indicating buyer's remorse or misaligned expectations set during the buying experience.

 

  • A hospitality company achieves excellent engagement on a social media campaign promoting a new resort experience. Yet, customer review data reveals numerous complaints about inconsistent service levels and quality issues at the promoted property, with many vowing not to return.

 

In each of these cases, Marketing Performance appeared successful, but when the entire Customer Experience is evaluated against its impact on overall Customer Behavior, each case was ultimately a failure.  Marketing Performance Confirmation Bias stems from seeing “local” results as definitive markers for Cx success, when Cx is driven so much more broadly.  This is illustrated in the chart below where a Pharmaceutical Company has six omnichannel campaigns running,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, we see that five out of the six omnichannel campaigns were considered “successful” by their owners based on traditional measures of Engagement, Conversion and Reach.  However, when assessing the quality of the overall customer experience for those targeted in these campaigns, we see significant issues in the aggregate Customer Experience along with downstream negative behaviors.   These “Cx blind spots” for Marketing Teams exist for a number of reasons.  Marketers want to be judged on what they can control—which is reasonable.  However, no single group is truly in control of the full customer experience, leaving gaps in knowledge, insight and action for all of them.  Consequently, knowledge of overall Customer Experience Quality is close to impossible for Marketing or any other corporate business unit - until now.

 

Establishing a view of Customer Experience Quality

 

The good news is that the data and tools to build an overall view of Customer Experience Quality typically already exists in the Enterprise—they just aren’t used for this purpose, or shared with those who need to monitor and act on this knowledge.  The first step to building a Cx Quality Measure is to map out Cx Faults, Cx Events that caused them,  and the associated outcome in Customer Behavior.  For example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cx Fault is an instance of failure of the Customer Experience, the most basic example being excessive hold times or dropped calls in a customer service environment.  A Marketer who drives customer to a call center through various marketing campaigns likely will not have visibility into call center Cx Faults in their data or analytics.  Yet Cx Faults certainly do have a downstream impact on Customer Behavior.

 

Uncovering patterns of Cx Faults and the their impact on Customer Behaviors involves exploratory analysis of enterprise data to prove/disprove/develop patterns that can be used in developing metrics. It is likely that all of the data exists in most Enterprises to calibrate the threshold of what constitutes a Cx Fault and to develop algorithms to attribute negative customer behaviors to these faults.  For example, those customers who experienced excessive hold time Cx Faults may be seen as unsubscribing, reducing interactions, buying less, or quitting the company all together.  Once the link between known Cx Faults and Negative Customer Behaviors can be measured, companies are able to intervene and act on this data to reduce instances of Cx Faults. They can actively monitor Cx Quality to continually improve Cx - increasing sales and customer loyalty.

 

The Enterprise Data Sources that can contribute to a view of Customer Experience Quality include:

 

  • Call Center/Customer Service Data (hold times, issue resolution rates, abandonment rates etc.)

  • Sales Data

  • CDP/Marketing Technology Transaction Data

  • Non-Program-Level Channel Data

  • Website Transaction/Interaction Data and Site Analytics (traffic, bounce rates, conversions)

  • Sales and Support Inquiries

  • Inventory Management and Logistics (product availability, shipping times)

  • Product Usage and Service Data

 

Once this foundational data is aggregated, companies can then apply advanced analytics techniques to uncover key insights, such as:

 

1. Correlations between "negative" customer experience events (e.g., excessive marketing, long hold times, conflicting messaging) and subsequent "negative" actions (opting out, abandoning purchases, reduced engagement).

 

2. Positive relationships between favorable customer interactions (consistent, timely, and relevant engagement) and desired outcomes like increased purchases, product availability and rapid delivery, product usage, and customer advocacy. 

 

Tracking and Managing to Cx Quality Measures by
Channel and Customer 

 

The holistic view of customer experience delivered through Enterprise Data drives quantitative Cx Quality Metrics and Benchmarks that elucidate high-impact areas for improvement.  Included in these metrics is a Touchpoint Quality Score, which reveals the degree of ease or difficulty a customer experiences in that channel, including:

 

  • For Call Centers, Hold Time Duration, Call Drops/Call Backs, Navigation Complexity

  • For Websites, Navigation Complexity, Content Engagement, Broken Links

  • For Emails, Non-Open, Broken Links, Dormant Subscribers

 

Touchpoint Quality Scores provide a significant opportunity to improve Customer Experience, But to truly win the Cx game, a company should adopt dynamically generated Customer Level Cx Quality Measures can guide each facet of the Customer Experience for each customer in real time:

 

  • Touchpoint Density Score Threshold to ensure the customer is not overmarketed.

 

  • Content Interest Scores to ensure relevance of content and messaging at each opportunity.

 

  • Touchpoint Triggers to seize the opportunity to reach a customer at the right moment with the right message.

 

Fully activating Customer-Level Cx Quality Measures requires deep integration with content management, marketing automation and CDP systems, as well as with the constructs they manage, such as campaigns and journeys.  For example, when the Touchpoint Density Score for a specific customer is past its threshold, email marketing to that customer may be blocked. To enable this functionality, the email system must be reconfigured to access to the Touchpoint Density Score and threshold logic. Next, the campaign must be designed to reference this logic. These reconfigurations will have a huge impact on customer experience, loyalty and additional sales.

Conclusion

 

Using holistic data and metrics to uncover Cx gaps and flaws opens up huge opportunities to building customer value and reduce customer churn that are simply not visible using traditional channel based marketing tools and data.  Through continuous monitoring and targeted actions that ensure that customer-facing efforts are not only of high quality, but also aligned rather than interfering with each other, companies can proactively maximize the quality of each customer’s experience -thereby ensuring customer loyalty, sales growth, and new customer conversion.

Cx Fault Chart.png
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While Marketers hunt for the impact of their marketing on Customer Behavior, customers do not experience a company only through individual brands or programs, or even just marketing.  Every time a customer interacts with any part of a company, that is part of the customer experience - be it through marketing offers, customer support, product availability, product delivery, product quality, and so on. As a result, the concept of “success” for a company’s customer experience is far broader than marketing performance.
Create a series of four colorful images of a single woman working  at her computer who is
Marketing Performance Confirmation Bias stems from seeing “local” results as definitive markers for Cx success, when Cx is driven so much more broadly. 
No single group is truly in control of the full customer experience, leaving gaps in knowledge, insight and action for all of them.  Consequently, knowledge of overall Customer Experience Quality is close to impossible for Marketing or any other corporate business unit - until now.
different professionals of different races see the customer differently on a computer.jpg
Touchpoint Quality Scores provide a significant opportunity to improve Customer Experience, But to truly win the Cx game, a company should adopt dynamically generated Customer Level Cx Quality Measures can guide each facet of the Customer Experience for each customer in real time
computer lets you see your customers so clearly.jpg
Cx Quality Measurement WP
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