Home > Call centres, CEM, customer experience, Customer service > Measuring the customer experience – not easy but worth it

Measuring the customer experience – not easy but worth it

Measurement is at the heart of management. But what are the vital statistics of a modern service orientated business and how should they be measured? Customer satisfaction is an obvious one and the equally obvious way of doing it is to ask the customers.

Much time and effort is spent on measuring satisfaction but it’s not always particularly profitable and Randy White’s excellent recent discussion on the Silliness of Most Customer Surveys highlights why. The difficulty with measurement is the temptation to go for either the metrics that are the easiest to measure or to measure things that prove your original hypothesis.

Call centres for years have tracked performance on Time to Answer or Average Handling Time because the stats could come straight off the system. Now the wise manager understands it is the quality of the call not its length that’s important. It is important because if you get it right you produce positive emotions.

Things like Time to Answer are what researchers call hygiene factors – do it better but it won’t improve your score, do it badly and watch the score plummet. So why not spend more time measuring the customer experience – the things that make customers go “Wow” – find out what it is you did to deliver that experience and do it again time after time.

I don’t imagine Michelin inspectors go to quality restaurants and score them on the presence of cutlery or chairs and tables (although, of course, they probably would register their absence). It’s the imagination of the menu, the quality of the ingredients and the love that goes into the creation that makes the positive difference – the better customer experience.

So it is the customer’s experience and their emotional, subjective, human response to it that they are effectively measuring. Much more difficult for a customer-orientated business to achieve but ultimately much more rewarding.

  1. March 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Mark, concur, there is so much more to this “measuring”. You can’t fix though what you can’t measure 🙂 But there are things you can now measure that you could not do before. How about the “next gen time and motion” with OpenSpan events. At least monitor “Everything” a user does and it adds one of the missing puzzle peices.

  2. March 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I agree that Randy’s excellent article highlights many of the issues and the reasons that many surveys do not deliver the results, so I hesitate to say more.

    I believe that many surveys ask the questions that can be easily answered by YES or NO or by a numerical rating as that makes them easy to administer by the research organisation.

    That does not mean that the typical NPS question should not be asked, but it should be supplemented by Open-Ended questions where the Customer is encouraged to provide more details on their GOOD & BAD experiences and what the supplier could do better.

    In addition, often the researcher should understand more about the supplier’s products and services in order that they can probe in depth to elicit more details from the customer.

    Although analysing, collating & reporting the findings from open-ended questions is more difficult than simply reporting an Net Promotor Score or Customer Satisfaction Rating the value to the supplier of the results is immensely greater.

    Reporting the findings in a timely manner in order that actions may be taken ASAP is another issue that needs to be addressed. I know of one research organisation that aims to get major findings reported to their clients by 1600 the same day so the managers may take immediate action to resolve an issues – a superb service.

    In order to gain optimum benefit, many organisations would benefit from running a pilot survey to elicit what is important to their customers, rather than relying on their own internal views to frame their questions.

  1. April 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

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