Why measure your customer experience?

Andrew S - 15 th May 2015

The answer is straight forward.

It’s to understand the experience you are delivering to your customers so that it can be improved to drive the delivery of your brand’s vision. In a nutshell, that’s it. Why else would you want to measure it?

Improving your customer experience delivers an improved financial bottom line. More loyal customers = more likelihood to recommend you to others = smarter and healthier operational and product investments that drive efficiencies or value to your customers at the right time.

Despite this simplicity and the clear benefits there are a number of challenges that exist on the journey to getting there.

Here are six thoughts that will help get you off to a flying start;

 (1) Understand your brand vision and the drivers that will enable you to deliver against it.
This ensures you are setting out with a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve.
How are you positioned in your market? How do you want the world to see you?
What are your brand values that attract people to you?
What brand personality sets the tone of voice to tell your story?

(2) Map your existing customer experience from their perspective.
This helps you understand the experience you are delivering today.
What are your customer journeys?
What do customers do when they interact with your brand during those journeys?
What are their expectations? What do they want and need?
How do they feel?
What touch points do they interact with?
What are the operational metrics that enable the business to understand the performance of those stages today?

(3) Once the existing experience is understood use this information to identify the key moments to measure.
What are the key moments and how can you trigger the measurement? Is anything missing?
When is the right time to measure the experience? Immediately after? A few days later? Simply once a month or quarter? It depends what you want to get from it.
What will measuring a particular moment tell you? It should be focused on how well you are delivering against your brand vision.
How will you use that information? Who will use that information?
Where can it drive positive change?
You may have to experiment. When I worked at Virgin Media we initially tried measuring NPS immediately after the point of sale. Unsurprisingly we received strong scores. Customers were excited about the promise our sales people had made, but it wasn’t telling us anything we could use to drive change. It was a useless moment to measure, so we stopped.

(4) Use an appropriate tool to measure the experience.
Brand Vista’s Brand Alignment Monitor (BAM) measures brand alignment, combining some existing proven methodologies with new ones. The measurement approach is based on the Net Alignment Score (using the same methodology as the Net Promoter Score) which measures progress in three dimensions.

The three core elements are:
The Net Alignment Score, which measures progress towards the brand’s vision and a comparison with your competition
The Diagnosis, which gives you a clear view of what is and isn’t working based on the brand vision drivers that you have defined.
The Impact on the Buying System; the propensity to act. This is a critical assessment of whether people are prepared to be advocates for your brand.

All three elements are assessed amongst four audiences; customers, competitors’ customers, open resistors to the category and an internal audience, as when brands aren’t aligned, staff know first.
The BAM is typically conducted on-line and the individual questions are derived from your brand vision and the brand imperatives that underpin it. It is simple to set up and run and can be significantly better value than other brand tracking approaches.

(5) Pull together by rallying the operational silos behind delivering for your customers.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, March 2015, they discussed the circumstances where strategy execution breaks down. Some stats. 84% of people said they could rely on their boss and their direct reports. 59% said colleagues in other departments are reliable, which is not much better than external partners at 56%. Only 11% felt their strategic priorities had all the resources required to ensure they are successful.

It’s great news that individual departments are well aligned, but it also demonstrates the silo mentality that often exists; driving a department’s individual operational metrics. From my experience using your documented customer journeys to understand how the business delivers against its vision, from its customers’ perspective, helps to break down departmental barriers and rallies teams to work together for the benefit of the business.

(6) Don’t forget that it’s not all about the number.
The BAM will provide you with early warning signals and help you track changes on the journey to delivering your brand vision. The most critical thing is to understand why these changes have occurred. Why is the number going the way it is? What are your customers telling you? How should you act to make it better? The answer is likely to lie with your products, people, processes or communications.

If you find yourself pondering any of the above, find out more about how the BAM can help your business. Or get in touch - we will be happy to share our experiences and discuss any challenges you face.

Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
Find out more about Andrew S