Working on the basics is necessary to keep up, and that includes fixing customer pain points and streamlining processes. But Winners also design experiences to evoke an emotional response.
Rick Parrish, a Principal Analyst at Forrester focused on CX, found in a 2018 consumer study that emotion had a bigger impact than effectiveness or ease. “Elite brands provided about 22 emotionally positive experiences for each negative one; the bottom 5% of brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one.”
A case in point is TurboTax, says Parrish, which found striving to minimize clicks actually hurt consumer experiences and hence loyalty. A more loyalty-building approach features TurboTax adding an extra step to ask “How are you feeling about doing your taxes?” Subsequent dialogs are customized based on whether the answer is “good,” “not so good,” or “don’t ask.”
After filing taxes with TurboTax, customers are left on a high note by receiving a congratulatory message and assurance they are finished with the process. According to Parrish, “traditional designers would balk at that, since it adds pages, clicks, and wait times, but it improves the experience.”
This example illustrates that emotion can be designed into software. But this study, like several others previously conducted by CustomerThink, finds 80% believe human-based interactions are better at creating memorable experiences.
Survey takers supplied these examples of how they attempted to deliver “memorable experiences”:
- We recognise their birthday by a gift data and SMS
- No-hassle refunds/replacements.
- Focus of the majority of our customers is quick order placement and turnaround and supported by solid and pertinent communication at all relevant stages of the order cycle
- Development of standards, processes, mystery shopping, training relating to the handover of the product to the customer
- We make a lot of exceptions for customers which makes them feel “special” in the moment but makes me think that we need to be fine-tuning products, expectations and how we communicate.
- We focus on excellent tech and sales support and quick response times.
- Highly customize product recommendations and quick follow-ups
- We send cards to customers who go through difficult implementations, we travel onsite for training, and we send care packages annually to customers who have been with us for a long time.
- First contact resolution via Contact Centre
- High enthusiasm peak moments during the interactions
Common positive emotions include: appreciated, confident, grateful, happy respectful, and valued, according to Forrester’s research. Brands should design for emotions they want to generate, and not assume that being “easy” is the only thing that matters, nor that every touchpoint requires a “wow.”
Using Customer Metrics to Monitor Progress
If CX Strategy is a plan, then customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics (“customer metrics”) are necessary to monitor progress against that plan. Think of them as “relationship health indicators.” Increases in metrics should ideally indicate that customer perceptions are improving and result in business outcomes like improved retention rates, purchase frequency, size of the shopping cart, etc.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) has been used for decades, of course. Academic research finds it works well as a general-purpose loyalty metric. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is well known as a customer-centric brand that strives to increase a top box score on a simple question about whether customers are “completely satisfied with their last rental experience.”
In 2003, loyalty consultant Fred Reichheld proposed a simple method to measure loyalty, called the Net Promoter® Score. (Note: Net Promoter is a registered trademark of Satmetrix, Bain and Reichheld). Based on responses to a “would you recommend” question on a 0 to 10 scale, the percentage of detractors (0 to 6) are subtracted from promoters (9 or 10) to get a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Prominent brands like Amex, GE and Intuit have embraced this method with the belief that increasing scores will drive revenue growth, although that has been disputed by some studies.
More recently, Customer Effort Score (CES) has gained popularity as a metric aimed at reducing effort especially in customer service or other routine interactions. However, CES hasn’t been established as the best general- purpose metric for all situations.17 The main concern is that while “easy” is a widely desirable attribute, it is not the sole driver of customer loyalty.
Other metrics assessed in this study include likelihood to recommend (which of course underpins NPS), likelihood to buy again, and custom metrics created using a combination of factors.
The big picture is that NPS is most commonly used overall, by 83% of CX initiatives. CSAT isn’t far behind at 69%. On average, each respondent reported their organization used three different metrics, while only 19% of all respondents reported using just one metric – NPS getting the lion’s share.
Figure 9 – Usage of Customer Metrics