3 opportunities to get more out of your Customer Experience Programme.
If you adopt an evidence based approach to measuring and analysing your customer experience programme you will find that there are opportunities to really contribute to your business growth by helping to understand profitability, customer accusation, churn and increased recommendation. Executed properly there will also be an added benefit by increasing the success rate of new services and products you develop. To achieve this you need to be measuring more than just how happy your customers are, and what your Net Promoter Score is.
1. Opportunity to identify the true ROI, cost of customer acquisition, direct and indirect costs of churn.
The direct costs of churn are often under measured, there are many things you need to include: Cost of goods supplied to customer i.e. welcome pack, wireless routers, or SIM card costs (some inexpensive in themselves, but you might want to consider and measure the associated costs i.e. the sourcing, logistics, packaging, staff costs, etc). Acquisition costs, such as marketing, advertising and commissions to various sales people/channels. Customer retention costs, i.e. product or service upgrades for customer who none-the-less decides to leave. Even if you feel happy with your measurement of direct costs very often the indirect costs are not measured or can be much higher than imagined. If you include the value of the lost customer you need to focus in on the Customer Lifetime Value (individual profit from a customer over x years in a relationship with you). Once you’ve collect and analysed the data don’t be surprised if you discover that the indirect cost of churn can be 3-5 times higher than the direct costs. By evaluating these in the light of your customer experience measures, you can understand whether you would have made more than your money back with fewer options in your call centre’s AVR, or actually people prefer to use live chat and each of your contact centre employees can run three enquiries simultaneously.
2. Opportunity for all your staff to define the customer experience, not just customer facing colleagues and the marketing department.
A successful business has to unite touch points and channels into a seamless, consistent, continuous customer experience. Customers demand services that are always-on and accessible from a range of channels, including smartphones, tablets, in-store and social media. Across each and every interaction it’s critical that the customer receives the same unified message and that those brand messages and promises are delivered and kept. If an element or activity goes wrong the customer experience breaks down, but worse still if a message is changed or promise is not fulfilled customers will not forgive you and will seek an alternative supplier. So this means your whole company needs to understand the experience you are offering your customers, not just customer-facing staff. A simple example: The guy that designs the screens customers run through at a cash point has to understand the experience the brand is offering. More than just tone of voice, but the options and how they are placed. If customers typically take out large sums, these should be front and centre…
3. Opportunity to truly understand and map your customer journey.
Businesses exist to serve customers and ultimately, everything a business does is geared toward making money from customers in return for giving them something they want. But the real journey to getting what they want often doesn’t stick to your carefully designed map with logical flows and routes can’t always be controlled by the company, the customer invariably creates their own journey. If you consider the experience of having broadband installed you may well have arrived at touch point E only to find you need to contact the call centre again because of technical problems all of a sudden your back to C on your journey. You need to listen to your customers and understand their journey. This fragmented experience highlights a common problem, companies have long emphasised delivering against individual touch points, but measured incorrectly and in isolation it can make customers seem happier than they actually are and divert attention from the bigger, more important issue: the customer’s end-to-end journey. Looking solely at individual touch points or channels makes it hard for companies to identify where to direct improvement efforts, and the high levels of satisfaction on specific metrics can make it hard to motivate employees to change. Typically a customer will not be fed-up with any one phone call, field visit, or other interaction. What reduces satisfaction is often the cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time. It isn’t individual interactions that need to be improved, it’s the experience as a whole.
When you really understand the customer experience and journey you will be able to identify and build on new opportunities.
None of these opportunities will present themselves unless you develop a truly 360 degree customer experience management programme, this will enable you to unify the customer voice for a clear direction and measurement. You need to capture feedback from the whole customer experience, and this feedback needs to be top-down (asking questions on topics you want to understand) and bottom-up (listening to your customers to discover new things).
There is a whole range of feedback that needs to captured, managed and analysed. At Context Consulting we’ve been able to develop an extensive tool box of methods and techniques, here are some general guidelines that you might want to consider.
360 degree programme
Designing great customer experiences requires a deep understanding of needs, both top of mind and latent. Hence the need for a 360 degree programme.
Existing knowledge within the business is critical, just as it is to ask the right questions to customers. Know your stakeholders and get them involved.
Disruption almost always comes from where you’d least expect it – you need to always be listening. It is necessary to capture unsolicited and solicited feedback from both a structured and unstructured environments.
Bringing together a range of sources and complex data in a meaningful way requires a customised, dashboard (tailored to each user and their needs) as well as analysis and reporting expertise. This combination ensures support at the strategic and tactical levels, for marketing, communications, as well as operations.
You need to build a dashboard that displays both real-time, past, and aggregated data for a clear picture of current state, as well as enabling reporting outputs and analysis through simple point-and-click.