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Businesses are competing on the quality of their customer experience (CX) as much as any other differentiator. A 2021 survey found that 70% of consumers globally said a company is only as good as its service. This shift has brought CX to the forefront as a core competency of every successful business today — across every industry. It means that deeply understanding and continually improving CX is as important as capabilities like product innovation, supply chain management, or sales and marketing strategies.
But CX measurement hasn’t kept up; traditional metrics like customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) offer a narrow view of experience. This leads to frustration and blind spots that signal to the customer you’re not paying attention. Moreover, these metrics leave valuable troves of data unused, denying your employees opportunities to deliver the empathetic experiences your customers expect.
Businesses are rethinking measurement to gain a complete picture of the customer experience and to drive better financial performance. Genesys partnered with Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services to create a new global survey of 438 senior executives worldwide. In the report, “Beyond NPS: CX Measurement Reimagined,” 92% of surveyed respondents said being better able to measure the customer experience would help them deliver better business outcomes.
The Problem with Traditional Metrics
There are several key criticisms of traditional metrics like NPS that are completed after the conclusion of a sale or service interaction. They provide limited insight to the moments where loyalty was won or lost. They don’t often identify root causes of customer frustration. And they’re more business-centric than people-centric. Plus, some 41% of surveyed executives say they can’t explain why CX metrics go up or down.
One of the greatest opportunities identified in the HBR survey is being able to better understand the quality of experiences earlier in the customer journey. Just 28% of executives said their organization has a very good understanding of customer satisfaction across all phases of the customer journey. As the focus on traditional survey-based metrics would suggest, they’re most competent in gathering post-interaction feedback. Moving to a customer journey-based approach is a key priority for 81% of the respondents. And nearly half said their organization plans to increase investments in measuring customer experience.
Keeping Pace with Digitalization
CX has changed tremendously since the start of the pandemic. Digital channels are mainstream; a Genesys survey found that one-third of consumers globally have interacted with chatbots, voicebots and self-service tools in the past year. Satisfaction has increased across nearly all those channels, so shifts in customer engagement will likely be permanent.
Workflows and interactions also are more digitalized than ever before — we can now capture far more information about customers along the entire length of the journey. This includes the continually generated operational and event data — which has been woefully unused for too long. This will also enable companies to look objectively at whether a customer had a positive experience, regardless of how they answered a satisfaction survey.
The report identified a cohort of businesses within the survey sample that’s setting the standard for CX measurement. These businesses, the “Leaders,” had the highest level of proficiency in measuring experience throughout the customer journey — and a clear understanding of the moments that matter to their customers. Like Genesys, these organizations understand it’s the experience of the customer or employee that matters most.
Using Metrics to Drive Change
The Leaders are more likely than other respondents to use customer data management tools, predictive analytics, sentiment analysis and customer success analytics software to measure CX. Leaders are also substantially more likely to benchmark CX metrics against competitors, ensuring that data reaches a wide internal audience so employees know how they’re performing, and have senior leadership buy-in to acting on measurement insights.
Correlating CX metrics with business outcomes is another area where CX Leaders make a considerably greater effort (65% describe themselves as effective in this area compared with 8% of “Laggards”). As such, they have a deeper understanding of customer preferences, can identify new product or service opportunities, will optimize the journey, and use metrics in strategy and planning.
Technology Can Become Your Eyes and Ears
The biggest shift in rethinking CX measurement is how and when companies use these insights. Lagging indicators drawn from post-interaction surveys might still have a place, but the focus on measurement must come earlier and throughout the journey.
And businesses can become much smarter about using the trails of valuable data customers create whenever they interact with their websites, automated channels or employees.
Artificial intelligence brings exciting developments in this area. Tools like speech-to-text analytics provide detailed insights about employee-customer interactions, creating targeted coaching opportunities for managers. Real-time sentiment analysis enables employees to course-correct in the moment. And predictive engagement senses a customer’s intent and directs them to the right content or person, which makes them feel heard and understood.
A technology-enabled, people-centric approach to measurement offers companies a clear view into the moments that matter most to customers. We’re in an experience economy in which that empathetic approach is the only way to create a sustained competitive advantage. That’s why leaders are far more likely to design processes from the customer perspective; 65% of Leaders do this versus 44% of followers and 37% of Laggards.
Reimagining CX measurement is essential for building lasting trust and loyalty — and the reason why Genesys is pioneering new ways of measuring the empathy, efficiency and effectiveness of experiences. We believe these will become the most valuable barometers for brand success today.
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