CUS­TOMER EX­PE­RI­ENCE

MAT WYLIE EX­PLAINS THE IM­POR­TANCE OF NOT JUST MEA­SUR­ING CUS­TOMER EX­PE­RI­ENCE, BUT ALSO BENCH­MARK­ING AND SHAR­ING THAT DATA.

NZ Business - - CONTENTS - MAT WYLIE IS CEO OF CUS­TOMER RADAR. FOR MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION ABOUT HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIF­FER­ENCE TO YOUR CUS­TOMER'S EX­PE­RI­ENCE AND BOT­TOM LINE GO TO WWW.CUSTOMERRADAR.COM

“I’M SORRY to hear that, ma’am. If there’s any­thing we can do…” The phone line goes dead. Gath­er­ing your­self, you re­alise that this was the fifth cus­tomer to­day who has called up and be­rated your team about miss­ing an or­der.

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?

Well, nei­ther – it de­pends en­tirely on the con­text.

How many cus­tomers com­plained yes­ter­day? Was it 50, or none? What about your in­dus­try – do your com­peti­tors re­ceive a few com­plaints a year, or hun­dreds per day?

Bench­mark­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence (CX) against your past per­for­mances, and those of your com­peti­tors, is crit­i­cal to mak­ing any sense of cus­tomer feed­back. If you’re seek­ing to thrill your cus­tomers and con­tinue pro­vid­ing them with a stun­ning ex­pe­ri­ence, then you must know where you’ve come from, and where you’re at.

But first, you need to be­gin mea­sur­ing cor­rectly.

IT ALL STARTS WITH MEA­SUR­ING

With­out mea­sur­ing your cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s easy to ig­nore the cus­tomer.

Be­cause cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence is in­tan­gi­ble, it can be dif­fi­cult to see or know what the cus­tomer thinks. Un­like your fi­nan­cials, which are easy to re­port on and mea­sure, there’s no sin­gle stock stan­dard way that ev­ery­one uses to mea­sure cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence yet. The re­sult is, many busi­nesses mea­sure cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence badly – or not at all.

What’s needed is val­i­dated, real-time feed­back. You need to know what your cus­tomers are think­ing right now – not what they thought months ago (as you might get from cus­tomer sur­veys). There’s no use try­ing to bench­mark based on anec­do­tal sto­ries – or old, stale data. En­sure that you’re re­ceiv­ing a con­stant flow of ac­tion­able feed­back from your cus­tomers, and you’re well on your way to be­ing in tune to their needs. In­vest­ing in a mea­sure like Net Pro­moter Score (NPS), which of­fers a tan­gi­ble, val­i­dated mea­sure, is worth­while.

Fact beats opin­ion ev­ery time, so to move your busi­ness to­wards hav­ing the cus­tomer at the core, make sure all bench­mark­ing be­gins with solid, mean­ing­ful data to take the guess­work out of your op­er­a­tions. KNOW WHERE YOU’VE COME FROM, AND WHERE YOU’RE AT Ev­ery­thing is rel­a­tive, and the same goes for cus­tomer feed­back. Once your busi­ness has be­gun to cap­ture the right feed­back, this re­mains ar­bi­trary data un­til it can be made rel­e­vant through bench­mark­ing. There’s no point know­ing how many cus­tomers had good ex­pe­ri­ences to­day, un­less you can wrap a story around that – is it an im­prove­ment on this time last year, or a dip from last month? It’s this in­for­ma­tion which en­ables you to turn cus­tomer data into ac­tion­able in­for­ma­tion, able to drive con­ver­sa­tions with team mem­bers, and act as a cat­a­lyst for pro-cus­tomer change within your or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Set your busi­ness bench­marks, make these vis­i­ble, and track progress against them. Quickly, you’ll no­tice the cul­tural dif­fer­ence, the in­cli­na­tion to­wards im­prove­ment. These should be both in­ter­nal bench­marks – how you’re go­ing ver­sus how you were last month – as well as ex­ter­nal: are you lead­ing your in­dus­try, or drag­ging your feet?

With the tech­nol­ogy avail­able to­day there’s no rea­son to not in­te­grate these bench­marks into your ev­ery­day op­er­a­tions. Sales data can di­rectly link to feed­back data, and your team can have a trans­par­ent un­der­stand­ing of where your busi­ness is at, at any given time.

AN IN­DUS­TRY CHAL­LENG­ING IT­SELF

Busi­nesses like Jucy Ren­tals have been call­ing on the tourism in­dus­try to start mea­sur­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence across the board. They recog­nise that while mea­sur­ing CX is a great com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage for them, mea­sur­ing the in­dus­try as a whole would ben­e­fit the en­tire tourism in­dus­try – and New Zealand tourism will grow as a re­sult.

Per­son­ally, I’d love to see more in­dus­tries work­ing to­gether as they com­pete. En­cour­ag­ing bench­mark­ing and shar­ing data drives ex­cel­lence, mean­ing the cus­tomer re­ceives a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. Not only this, but busi­nesses are able to un­der­stand their own po­si­tions, and act ac­cord­ingly.

“You need to know what your cus­tomers are think­ing right now – not what they thought months ago.”

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