How to measure customer experience (CX): Part II

Written by: Samantha Wolhuter

As we established in Part I, although we cannot measure customer experience (CX) directly by its very nature, we are able to identify and track key factors related to it in order to get a clearer idea of the entire customer experience. The act of measuring gives us a clear indication of how to gauge and make improvements to CX over time.

Now that we are able to identify the key metrics used to measure CX, how do you interpret the data in order to make actionable decisions? Well, your Brainiac posse is at it again helping you find value in your CX data. To kick things off, let’s revisit each CX metric so we have a better idea of how to continue the process.

What are the key CX metrics?

We went into the details of each key metric in Part I, but here are brief explanations of each and what they indicate. These can tell you a lot about how successful your overall customer experience strategy is performing, and provide insight into the areas which require improvement.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES)

Measures how much effort is required from customers to perform a task.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Indicates how likely a customer is to recommend your product or service to friends and family.

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Measures how generally happy and satisfied customers are with their experience. 

  • Time To Resolution (TTR)

Indicates the average period of time it takes for your customer service department to resolve an issue or provide detailed feedback to a customer query. 

These key CX metrics are presented to your customers in the form of questions contained in customer feedback surveys which show you how well or how poorly your customer experience is performing in your business. 

Apart from surveys, you can also find valuable insights in your business’s operational data: website analytics, HR data, sales figures, etc. These data points show links between how your customers think, feel, and act. The idea is that the more data points you have, the more opportunities you create to uncover what is working and what isn’t. 

Now that you have gathered your CX metric data, what’s the next step?

How to interpret CX metrics

As with all data, simply having access to it is only half the job done: now you have to try to understand and interpret it all in order to find its true value. Here is a quick guide explaining how to read each metric:

Customer Effort Score (CES)

If you see a gradual rise in your CES it can mean only one thing: your customers are really struggling to meet their needs and achieve their goals. There could be a host of factors responsible for this, such as glitches, slow load speeds, product/service flaws, confusing policy stipulations, etc. It is vital to quickly identify and resolve the issue immediately before they become large enough to drive customers away for good: nobody wants their digital experience to be laborious or cumbersome.

Action: Go through each touchpoint in your customer journey map that requires your customers to perform an action and identify where you can make each process simpler and easier. Make adjustments according to the ease of use and simplicity without compromising the overall flow.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If your customer feedback surveys show a high NPS then this indicates that all of your CX initiatives are working well, generally. It shows how your initiatives are working over a period of time and how much of a tangible impact they are having on your customers. NPSs are linked to the organic growth of a business as the happier customers are with their experience the more likely they are to promote and advocate the business. Adversely, the lower your NPS the deeper you need to investigate where you can improve to secure the trust and loyalty of customers.

Action: Dive deep into investigating the reasons why your customers like and dislike their experience by way of detailed interviews and surveys. Take a personalised approach to this and devote management’s time to make contact directly to show how important this is to you. It is crucial to instill a pro-NPS culture in your business to drive all departments in the direction of putting customers’ needs first.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

A sharp decrease in CSAT scores shows that there is an issue that requires immediate attention and resolution. Satisfaction, or lack thereof, is a difficult concept to qualify as there are a number of factors that can contribute to a customer’s satisfaction: from unintuitive UX to poor customer care support, and everything in between. CSAT surveys indicate the success or failure of new business approaches used over time (i.e. if your score dropped after a new approach was deployed, you can be assured that your customers are not happy with the change). 

Action: Luckily, CSAT surveys can be used to identify micro issues of a particular digital touchpoint, as well as issues relating to the overall experience: it can be as detailed or broad as you like depending on where you are trying to identify where exactly the issue is coming from.

Time To Resolution (TTR)

Great customer support is the backbone of any enterprise wishing to retain high CX metric scores (and a profitable business for that matter). So this metric is crucial in showing how quickly and effectively you prioritise your customers, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, all customers want to know they are being taken care of. Technical issues are responsible for large volumes of churn so be sure to do whatever needs to be done to lower your TTR score.

Action: If your TTR rises it shows that you are either expanding too quickly and are in need of more customer support staff, or that your internal workflow is experiencing hindrances that need to be optimised. Go back to basics and streamline processes and operational management to get a consistent and accurate approach to dealing with issues quickly.    

Are some CX metrics more important than others?

As you can see, there are a number of metrics to measure your CX and some may be more useful than others depending on your business. But using just one metric is not going to provide you with enough detail for a bigger picture, which is why we recommend using all of the above metrics to measure your CX. Just make sure your Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores are in the driver’s seat.

But don’t only focus on the metrics, the point here is to listen attentively to your customers’ needs and wants. The objective is to use these metrics to drive overall improvement into every aspect of your platform. 

Take action

The most important metrics are actionable ones. For any organisation wanting to remain profitable and relevant, continuous improvements in all aspects of the business are paramount. So, choose to place importance and priority on the ones which will allow you to action tangible changes and use the others to add to your understanding of your overall CX strategy.

These CX metrics should form part of a general action plan as a guiding beacon towards improving the overall CX in your business. All this valuable insight is gathered from your customer’s feedback, so be sure to let them know when you have implemented changes from their suggestions. When customers know their concerns have been heard and their needs are being continuously met, it opens up a new level of customer/brand loyalty that will only grow stronger as the relationship evolves.

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Last modified: May 17, 2021
Author info
Samantha Wolhuter
Sam is in charge of writing a big portion of WeAreBrain’s creative content. She is a digital nomad always on the go, inspiring us with her words from some of the world's most beautiful locations.
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