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Bulletproof Framework For Measuring Customer Experience

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Bulletproof Framework For Measuring Customer Experience

Let's face it - providing an awesome customer experience is everything these days. Many call it the ‘Trust Recession’ nowadays because there is so much of it lacking.

The brands that deliver exceptional experiences are the ones that build lifelong customer loyalty and see business growth explode as a result. But here's the thing – if you can't measure your customer experience properly, how will you know if it's actually any good?

​See, in my book with Russell Brunson, Magnetic Story Selling, the entire premise is to have customers stick with you for a lifetime. If there is ONE person who is capable of having people stick to his program, and be a private client it's me. I have still to this day private clients who have been with me for 40+ years.

​But the harsh reality is…. Many companies are just guessing about whether their customers are truly happy and satisfied. They might do the occasional survey or read a few reviews, but there's no consistent, systematic approach. And that means they are flying blind when it comes to customer experience.

Without clear metrics and insights, you can't identify problem areas, track improvements over time, or prove the ROI of investing in better experiences. You end up operating based on assumptions rather than data-driven insights. And that's a recipe for lackluster experiences that don't resonate.

I've been there before in my career – a long, long time ago in my career driving a dusty beat-up car, trying to listen to cassette tapes, and trying to improve customer satisfaction without a solid framework in place. It was incredibly frustrating because I had no idea what was actually moving the needle. I was just checking boxes without a clear direction.

The good news is you don't have to make the same mistakes I did. By building a bulletproof measurement framework, you'll gain the visibility you need into how your target customers truly perceive your brand at each touchpoint. That understanding will empower you to create experiences that delight customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates.

In this post, I want to walk through a proven approach for measuring customer experience, including specific metrics to track across the journey. With the right framework in place, you'll no longer be flying blind - you'll have the data-backed insights to optimize experiences and propel your business forward. Let’s dive in.

Start With Clear Goals and KPIs

Start With Clear Goals and KPIs

Where do we start in building this framework? I always recommend beginning with the end in mind – define what you ultimately want to accomplish.

Ask yourself these questions: what are our top-level goals when it comes to customer experience? Do we want to boost satisfaction scores to 90%? Reduce churn by 15% year-over-year? Become the most preferred brand for millennials?

Whatever your objectives, write them down. These will become your key performance indicators, which are the crucial metrics that indicate whether you are hitting your goals.

For example, a retailer might set goals to increase their Net Promoter Score (NPS) to 80, maintain a 4+ star app store rating, and rank in the top 3 for customer satisfaction in their industry.

Meanwhile, a software company could aim for a 95% retention rate, a 50% increase in referral sign-ups, and cutting support call volume by 30%.

See how the goals and KPIs differ based on the business? Yours needs to align with your specific model, customers, and objectives. There's no one-size-fits-all answer.

Pro tip - limit yourself to 2-5 of the most important, high-level KPIs. Tracking too many metrics can dilute the focus. Nail the critical few that indicate customer experience success for your brand.

Once you define those essential KPIs, we can design the measurement strategy to capture the right data to gauge performance on those goals. Without that alignment upfront between goals and metrics, you'll get lost in a sea of meaningless numbers.

So in summary:

  • Identify 2-5 high-level customer experience goals
  • Define associated KPIs to track
  • Ensure the measurement framework ties directly to those key metrics

Following this simple process gives your framework focus and purpose from the start. You'll collect the right CX insights to drive the outcomes that matter most.

Map The Customer Journey

Now that we're aligned on goals and KPIs, the next step is mapping out the full end-to-end customer journey. This gives us the lay of the land we need to identify where to gather feedback.

Walk through the shoes of your target customer – what are all the interactions and touchpoints they have with your company?

It often starts with initial brand awareness and research. Then perhaps joining an email list or following you on social media. Next comes the decision to purchase, checkout experience, receiving the product or service. Don't forget onboarding, initial usage, and reaching back out for support if needed.

The customer journey can vary greatly depending on your business model. A restaurant will have very different phases than a SaaS company, for example.

Make a comprehensive list of every step, from first learning about your brand all the way to becoming a loyal repeat customer. You may be surprised just how many touchpoints stack up.

Then – and this is important – document the desired emotional state you want customers to experience at each phase. During initial research you may want them to feel informed and assured they're making the right choice. At checkout, a sense of confidence and trust and upon receiving the product, sheer delight!

Connecting metrics to emotions is powerful. It ensures we tune into how customers feel, not just what they do. We want to deliver experiences that create the feelings that convert visitors into loyal advocates.

In the end, this customer journey map becomes your blueprint for CX measurement. It shows exactly where you need feedback to confirm you are hitting the right emotional notes. You'll know what metrics and insights to gather at each step based on mapping the experience first.

This upfront work pays huge dividends. You won't have glaring blindspots in your framework once you map the full journey from your customer's perspective. I cannot stress enough how important journey mapping is to bulletproofing your approach. It's the foundation to build upon.

Collect Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Collect Quantitative and Qualitative Data

With the customer journey mapped, you can determine the right mix of quantitative and qualitative data to collect.

Quantitative metrics include numerical data such as customer satisfaction scores, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), churn rates, support ticket volume, etc. This data should be tracked on an ongoing basis across customer touchpoints.

Qualitative feedback provides insights into the reasons and emotions behind the quantitative metrics. Methods for gathering qualitative data include customer interviews, focus groups, social media monitoring, customer surveys with open-ended questions, and analyzing customer service call transcripts with natural language processing.

Aim for a healthy balance of quantitative performance indicators and qualitative insights into the human factors driving the numbers.

Connect Data Across Silos

There are two major categories of data that are crucial to gather: quantitative metrics and qualitative feedback. Each provides unique insights that combine to create a complete picture.

First, quantitative metrics are the numerical data points that act as performance indicators – satisfaction scores, NPS, churn rate, call volume, you name it. You likely already track some of these on an ongoing basis.

The key is tying metrics to each step of the journey, such as satisfaction after onboarding or the churn rate of longtime customers. This shows how you are performing at different touchpoints.

For example, a SaaS company could track trial signup rates, activation rates after signup, feature adoption rates, and of course overall retention and churn. The journey mapping ensures they track metrics relevant to each stage.

Quantitative data is powerful for ongoing performance monitoring and goal setting. But it lacks the human context behind the numbers – that's where qualitative feedback comes in.

Qualitative data reveals what customers are thinking and feeling through open-ended questions, interviews, social media monitoring, and analyzing support conversations.

For example, surveys may show high satisfaction scores but interviews uncover pain points quantitative data missed. Support transcripts point to usability issues causing frustration for customers.

My advice is to give qualitative feedback at least 50% of your data collection. The human insights are absolutely vital to driving growth. Quantitative data alone is not enough.

In summary, lean on quantitative metrics to continuously monitor performance and qualitative feedback to truly understand the "why" behind the numbers. Combining both will give you a complete 360 view of the customer experience.

Automate Data Collection

Automate Data Collection

We've covered what data to collect, but how do we actually go about gathering all of it? This is where automation comes in.

The best CX measurement frameworks bake in automated feedback channels throughout the journey to make gathering insights scalable.

For example, you can automatically trigger surveys via email or in-app messages after key events such as onboarding, purchases, or new feature releases. This lets you pulse-check satisfaction without any manual work.

Or install feedback buttons on your site to pop up simple star ratings or NPS surveys. Visitors can provide quick feedback without leaving their flow.

During the shopping process, send SMS or mobile alerts to gauge satisfaction and gather feedback on pain points.

When customers call support, use interactive voice response or chatbots to collect feedback on call resolution before they get routed to an agent. This provides a CX metric for every single support interaction.

You can even use natural language processing to automatically analyze unstructured data such as support transcripts, chat logs, and online reviews. Surface common themes and sentiments without manual review.

Retargeting surveys are another great option – automatically pop surveys on other sites to re-engage those who left your website without converting.

The point is, with today's tools, we can embed automated feedback collection at every step, not just send the occasional manual survey. This provides an ongoing stream of insights vs. just periodic snapshots.

Automation also removes the burden of manual outreach and data entry, making large-scale CX measurement sustainable. Once set up, these channels run on autopilot in the background – capturing the quantitative and qualitative inputs needed for a bulletproof framework.

The bottom line – take advantage of technology to effortlessly collect rich customer insights across channels. Automated and always-on listening is the recipe for customer experience success.

Centralize Data and Insights

To enable analysis, reporting, and action on the data, you need to centralize it in a single platform. As discussed above, a CDP or BI tool can provide the ability to ingest data from across sources, stitch together customer profiles, visualize metrics, spot trends, share reports, and continuously optimize the customer experience.

The right software also allows you to integrate automated alerts and notifications when customer experience metrics fall below defined thresholds so you can respond quickly. Centralizing data, analysis, and alerts in one platform makes the framework sustainable long-term.

Foster a Customer-Centric Culture

Finally, a bulletproof customer experience framework requires building a strong customer-centric culture across your company. Customer insights need to be shared with employees in all roles and departments. This ensures everyone understands the customer experience's importance and how it impacts relevant metrics.

Consider monthly town hall meetings to share CX reports, trends, and insights. Or have lunch-and-learns where employees can view customer journey maps and qualitative feedback themes. The goal is to get every employee invested in delivering phenomenal experiences. This cultural focus will take your CX metrics and KPIs to the next level.

Last Remarks

We covered a lot, so let's recap the key steps:

  • Be clear about your CX goals and the specific KPIs that will indicate success. Mapping out that ideal end vision keeps your metrics focused.
  • Walk in your customers' shoes to map their journey from start to finish. This reveals where you need feedback to understand their emotional state at each touchpoint.
  • Collect the right mix of quantitative and qualitative data across the journey. Leaning on automation makes large-scale measurement possible.
  • Don't forget to break down internal data silos and centralize insights in one place. This single source of truth powers analysis and action.
  • And at the core, build a customer-centric culture that rallies your team around delivering wow experiences.

We packed a lot into this framework. I recommend taking one step at a time, and with the right foundation of metrics and insights, you'll gain superpowers when it comes to understanding your customers. That understanding ultimately leads to creating experiences that turn strangers into loyal brand advocates who refer customers, clients, or patients.

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