Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Measuring The Customer Experience

Tips for measuring UX ...

"If you’re like me, you run across white papers and articles every day that talk about how you can improve the customer experience. And while many have good concepts and ideas, none of them really talk about how you know when you’ve created an excellent customer experience.

Most of the time when I ask people how they measure customer experience, they talk about customer satisfaction surveys. Okay, that’s part of it, but they’re missing a lot of other information that provides a complete picture of what your customers experience when they deal with your company.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

One key task is to try to accomplish common tasks — what is the customer experience at some key moments of truth? For example, if you work for an airline, make a reservation, check in for your flight, and actually take the flight. Try a number of different channels. Where is the experience positive and where is it lacking? Think like a passenger — is the check-in experience easy and intuitive, are agents and others friendly and helpful, is the flight comfortable? Map each experience and list all the satisfiers and the dissatisfiers.

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Building these customer experience maps helps you understand pain points as well as where you’re doing well. Take the satisfiers and dissatisfiers and score the experience. You can score the total experience, experience by channel, or by customer segment. Weight each element based on your customer interaction strategy. Consider criteria like branding, channel consistency, ease of use, or efficiency.

Other Measures

What else should you measure? Two kinds of measures make up the customer experience: emotional and practical.

Emotional Measures

There are lots of ways to gain insight into what your customers are feeling, including:

* Customer satisfaction — gather it through good old-fashioned surveys or focus groups. Also get feedback from employees who work directly with customers every day — tap into your contact center agents, sales associates, branch employees. Find out what customers are saying to them.
* Complaints and kudos — customers are happy to tell thousands of strangers about a problem, but often won’t tell the company itself. These types of toxic complaints should be monitored and responded to right away. Get a daily feed from a search engine, regularly check sites like complaints.com, criticzone.com, and planetfeedback.com.
* Loyalty — Netpromoter scores are part of this equation, but check on how your customers really perform. What kind of customer turnover rate do you have? Which segments turn over the most? Which cost the most to support? How many and what types of customers actually bring in new business?
* Brand appeal — if you’re lucky enough to work for Apple (News - Alert) or Harley Davidson, brand appeal is easy to see and measure. Others of us can search Facebook, My Space or other networking sites to see if customers have banded together to support the brand."    (Continued via TMCnet, Elaine Cascio)    [Usability Resources]


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