6 fundamental principles for Customer Experience measurement practices

At Hellon, we believe in the power of Customer Experience (CX) to build customer loyalty and achieve business targets. A crucial part of getting value from CX investments comes down to the quality of your Customer Experience measurements.

How to lead using Customer Experience measurements

At Hellon, we believe in the power of Customer Experience (CX) to build customer loyalty and achieve business targets. A crucial part of getting value from CX investments comes down to the quality of your Customer Experience measurements.

Customer Experience Measurement refers to the practice of measuring the customer experience at all touchpoints along the customer journey. It is essential for ensuring that your CX efforts are delivering a return on investment and that you are continuing to meet consumer needs in a changing global marketplace.

In this blog, we will look at best practices in Customer Experience Measurement and we will identify how you can build a customer-centric culture with the right metrics to hand.

Introducing the CX Measurement Maturity Ladder

In an external study for B2B and B2C businesses, Hellon asked decision-makers to identify where they would place their organisations on a ladder of CX Measurement Maturity.

43% of participants said that their organisation’s CX is currently being measured using simple frameworks and tools, like the Net Promoter Score. This would place them on level one of Hellon’s Customer Experience Measurement Ladder, seen below.

35% of participants recognise themselves to be at level two. Only 3% believe they have reached the highest level of the ladder, where advanced analytics can be used to monitor return on investment.

These findings are likely indicative of businesses as a whole. Most organisations have room to optimise and develop when it comes to CX measurements. Below, we will dive into what those best practices should be.

Customer Experience Measurement Ladder

6 fundamental principles for Customer Experience measurement practices

1 - Connect CX and business targets for meaningful insights

NPS was a popular framework among our external study participants. However, tools like NPS feature at a lower level of our CX Measurement maturity ladder. This is because the feedback that is gained from NPS is often broad-brush and lacking in strategic value.

At Hellon, we advise instead that you start with your business targets in mind. Think about your commercial objectives. Once you have defined business targets you can then work backwards. What customer behaviour is needed to achieve these goals and what insights do you need to learn about the CX you offer today?

For example, a common business target is to decrease customer acquisition costs. Working backwards from this goal, you could identify the customer behaviour that correlates with lower acquisition costs (e.g. customer recommendations). If you decide you want to increase customer recommendations, you can then ask the question of what to do or change within the Customer Experience to help make that happen.

Don’t start by thinking, ‘Which frameworks can we use to measure CX?’ but by asking, ‘What do we need CX to help us achieve?’

2 - Measure CX at all levels to build a holistic picture

Hellon’s work is based on three levels of Customer Experience; each of which needs to be measured to achieve your business goals.

  • Top-level CX - At this level, we are looking at your overall Customer Experience — how do customers collectively perceive your brand; what can we learn from Voice of Customer research and customer panel surveys?
  • Journey level - From a bird’s eye view to a journey-level view: how much value does the customer get from a series of activities (or a journey) with your company? What experience do they have when looking to achieve a specific goal?
  • Touchpoint level - Here, we look at individual interactions and how much value an individual customer gets from a specific interaction with your company.

Every stage is important in its own right, but without measuring CX at all three levels, we won’t get the complete picture — nor will we gather insight that helps push your business forward.

3 - Remember that a customer journey is greater than the sum of its parts

Beyond measuring all levels of Customer Experience, we also need to look at the end-to-end customer journey that people have with your organisation.

It can be tempting to invest in certain stages of the journey more than others — acquisition touchpoints, for example, or what’s gone wrong when customers leave your product or service. But if we only look at certain touchpoints, then we risk gathering insights that are skewed or only half-formed.

You might have a very successful customer onboarding process, where you score highly on customer satisfaction and value. But are you neglecting current customers? How much value do they derive from the ongoing Customer Experience?

Don’t be distracted by high points or low points — look at the total journey and make adjustments where needed.

4 - Compare where you are today versus where you want to be in the future

It may sound obvious, but we often see organisations lacking measurements comparing the current Customer Experience versus the future desired state.

The three levels of CX come into play again here, as do the business objectives you set before you began your measurements.

If you can layer your CX metrics over top-level, journey-level and touchpoint-level Customer Experience — and look beyond CX goals only by bringing in business objectives as well — then you’ll create a positive cycle. You’ll know the key drivers you should focus on to provide the CX that supports the desired behaviour that results in the desired business outcome.

5 - Don’t forget to look inwards and monitor your business’s culture and capabilities

Customer-centricity isn’t something you ‘do’. It’s something you become. So while you’re measuring the impact of your CX externally with customers, you should also assess the company’s behaviours and the capabilities you need to develop.

The following behaviours suggest a developing commitment to customer-centric thinking:

  • Cross-team collaboration
  • Investment in design capabilities and design thinking training
  • A culture of innovation where new ideas are piloted.

If you can embrace the correct practices inside the business, you’ll soon see the impact this has on your company’s external performance. Improved collaboration can reduce time to market, for example, and innovation leads to a more significant number of new services launched — and higher revenue as a result.

6 - Adopt data-informed decision making

Once you have done the above, you should have plenty of data to use for CX insights.

Terms such as ‘data-driven business’ are widespread, and there’s no doubting how important data is for Customer Experience design. However, rather than being data-driven, we encourage clients to adopt data-informed decision-making practices.

This slight shift in mindset better acknowledges the value of a business’ or team’s previous knowledge of the customer, and better accounts for contextual nuances of the Customer Experience. We also create space for quantitative data to be supported by qualitative insights — which is essential for your interpretation of the data to be useful and valid.

How to start measuring your CX

Armed with these six best practices, the next step is to implement your Customer Experience Measurement workflow.

Step one will be to measure. Set relevant, concrete, and subjective CX ‘factors’ and Key Performance Indicators, and collect structured data that is useful for your analysis stage.

  • ‘Factors’ describe the characteristics of your service and/or product, These influence how customers move through the customer journey. For example, a customer support team’s average response time could be a CX factor.
  • Key Performance Indicators are tied to business targets and goals. These are worth measuring for obvious reasons, helping you monitor the impact and value your CX efforts deliver commercially.

Step two will be to analyse what you have measured. It’s here that we take measurements and transform them into knowledge. Analyse your CX factors and KPIs together, combining quantitative and qualitative data to ensure a human context.

Hellon is here to help

We appreciate how daunting it can feel to dive into the field of Customer Experience Measurements. That’s why we have shared our insights on Hellon’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@hellonmomentum

Our team has years of experience with quantitative and qualitative Customer Experience Measurement methods. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you to measure and analyse your current state versus your future desired state and start earning customer loyalty and business growth.

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