Magazine article CRM Magazine

Demystifying Customer Experience Quality: To Deliver a Better Experience, You Have to Understand What "Quality" Means for Your Customers

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Demystifying Customer Experience Quality: To Deliver a Better Experience, You Have to Understand What "Quality" Means for Your Customers

Article excerpt

WE'VE ENTERED the age of the customer--a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful companies will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers. To compete successfully in the new consumer-driven era, companies must become customer-obsessed--your firm must have an obsession with understanding, delighting, connecting with, and serving your customers.

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The good news is that a customer-obsessed strategy pays off. As we detailed in the June issue, Watermark Consulting conducted a seven-year stock performance analysis for companies that deliver exceptional customer experiences versus those that deliver poor ones. The results show a 78 percent return for a portfolio of customer experience (CX) leaders, versus a-3 percent return for a portfolio of CX laggards.

The bad news: There are no short cuts to fixing a poor customer experience. It requires discipline, investment, and a repeatable system of measurement. But most companies don't know where to start or how to get better. Forrester found that 11 percent of companies have no CX management program in place, and just 19 percent of firms demonstrate CX maturity.

Companies first need to define metrics that help them measure and manage their customer experience. This will require an honest look at the metrics that hold meaning for their industry and their company. Many start with high-level metrics such as customer satisfaction and/or willingness to recommend, like the Net Promoter Score. But you can't stop there. Highlevel metrics don't offer the detail needed to understand which interactions in a CX are working and which aren't, and how to improve them. Only with a detailed set of CX quality metrics can customer experience professionals diagnose CX issues and build and execute a surgically precise plan for improvement.

But how do you understand what "quality" means for your particular set of customers? Existing data from surveys and qualitative research such as in-depth interviews and focus groups can help, but to truly understand your customers' perspective, you should map the customer journey. …

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