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Growing up as a competitive figure skater, I lost count of how many times my success was measured by my performance at a competition or how quickly I reached a new level. There were specific metrics along the way that showed me how I had — or hadn’t — improved: how quickly I spun or how many revolutions I had during my spins, endurance quality in programs, the height and distance of my double and triple jumps — from takeoff to landing. It was easy to get mired in all the ways we measured progress and then slice and dice that data. But my coach, an Olympian in her day, understood that all the measuring in the world didn’t mean anything if we didn’t take active steps toward improvement. She understood the value of seeing the bigger end goal — a spot on a national team or the Olympic team.
This is also true when measuring and, more importantly, delivering an exceptional customer experience. While individual interactions and moments matter, they only do when it’s in the context of an end-to-end holistic experience.
As you continue your practice of experience management and measuring customer experience, here are four things to keep in mind — regardless of the metrics you use.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a solid metric many brands use to measure loyalty. With NPS, be sure to make the connection back to the customer and your business. It’s important to understand that, no matter which metric you choose, you need to discover what’s valuable for your customer and how their values align to your business’ values.
As my coach said, all the measuring and metrics don’t matter if you don’t take corrective actions toward improvement. This is also true for your customer experience.
You can’t expect your customer experience to improve simply because you applied a metric —NPS, customer satisfaction, customer effort score, etc. It’s not the score that’s important; it’s the insights and actions you develop from that feedback that makes a difference in the future. Make sure your functions across the organization own the insights and actions; don’t let them get stuck in departmental silos.
NPS and other metrics that look at the holistic customer relationship uncover the symptoms that are a result of business silos. Ownership and accountability held across the functions ensure that your customers have a seamless, one company experience.
Know the differences between what you’re measuring. One-time, specific events that usually are categorized as transactional might require a different metric. You might receive a low score if you ask someone an NPS question after they’ve had a less-than-great experience. But that score might not be indicative of their overall experience with your company. Know when to use NPS — and why.
As you receive feedback, tailor your actions to your customers. That means you must understand your customers at a level beyond the surface — understand their wants, needs and values. Your promoters will require different actions that recognize their advocacy of your business versus a detractor that needs you to understand their immediate pains to earn back their trust.
Whatever metric you choose, be mindful of timing. In these unprecedented times, it shows great empathy and care from your experience management team if you scale back how you garner customer feedback. Consider how you’re crafting the ask — and make sure you show your genuine care for your customers’ wellbeing.
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