How are our customers interacting with us, and how can we measure their experience?
The customer-journey mapping process allows organisations to have a look at a structured model for how a customer is interacting with you. The sum of every one of those touchpoints – those interactions – is what makes up the customer experience (CX). And not every interaction is going to be equal; some of them are going to be especially important ‘moments of truth’.
Customers can touch you through many channels, whether it’s through human-to-human interaction, by phone or email, at events, or from desktops or laptops. The tech that supports all of that is called the ‘customer-experience platform’ – a buzzword for all of those technologies that ‘touch’ customers. And they can integrate with other technologies, databases and systems at the back end.
The June 2014 Forrester Research report ‘What drives a profitable customer experience?’ reads: “Don’t assume that you know what matters to your customers; at least one of your assumptions is probably wrong.” In other words, don’t assume your customers are going to behave the way you think they’re going to behave. As we’ve talked about in a previous blog post, they’re not rational. They are emotional.
So it’s important that we start to measure CX. When you measure it, you can do so in multiple layers. And what you measure matters:
- Outcomes: You can measure the results for your organisation. So, if I’m in a sales organisation, you can measure how much I sold. Or, or if I’m in a marketing company, how many people did I get to the website? Or how many leads did I convert?
- Perception: What did the customer think of us? You can gauge this by looking at, for instance, customer-satisfaction scores or Net Promoter Scores. In other words, how did the customer feel about our general interaction at a broad level?
- Descriptive pointers: These are the leading indicators that are going to predict the customer’s next steps. For example, how long I spend waiting on the phone to talk to an operator at a call centre can be a leading indicator of how satisfied I’m going to be at the end of that interaction. If I have to wait two minutes, it might be okay. But if I have to wait eight minutes, I’m probably going to be pretty cranky regardless of how well the call itself goes.
By looking at these many layers, you start to get a clearer picture of your customers, which can inform your organisation’s next steps for ensuring that the sum of their experience has a plus sign in front of it.