You will be aware of the importance of providing excellent customer experiences, but you may be wondering whether an experience can be measured and, if so, how it is done. With an increasingly competitive and global market, the most innovative product at the best price may simply no longer be enough to guarantee business success. However, in measuring what constitutes a positive experience to your customers, you can identify what your business is doing right (or wrong), thus uncovering areas for improvement.

Current estimates suggest satisfied customers are likely to share their experience with up to five people however, dissatisfied customers are likely to spread the word to around 100 people. As such, investing time in improving customer experience is now more important than ever and can ultimately determine the success or failure of a business. The following steps will help you to begin measuring customer experience.

Take a step back to understand the customer

We are not questioning how well a business knows its customers with regards to demographical information however, take a moment and think whether you could answer why a customer spent longer viewing products on a specific page or why their online basket was abandoned at a certain point? The likelihood is no, you probably couldn’t.

Measuring customer/user experience (CX/UX) is one of the most challenging things for an organisation and many business owners are blindsided by their personal views of the company to see things through a customer’s eyes. However, it is essential to take a step back and view things from a customer’s perspective to really begin making improvements.

In taking some time to identify typical questions and problems your customers tend to have, identify problems which occur multiple times and analyse whether their behaviour is changing, this will provide an initial insight into areas of improvement. In dealing with customers, a business must always listen, communicate with personalisation and relevance, offer an end-to-end resolution in sufficient time and be human. Don’t forget, this emotional connection fosters loyalty and ensures customers return.

There are a number of ways you can gain insight into your customers through metric measurement - both emotional and practical metrics. Popular emotional metrics include customer satisfaction (from surveys and focus groups), complaints (via a customer helpdesk portal or a daily feed), loyalty (i.e. which segment turns over the most profit for the business where you can then focus more budget/resource) and brand appeal. Practical metrics which are often measured include whether can they find the information they are looking for with ease, whether they use other channels before or after and quantifiable results.

Contact Point

To effectively measure CX, a business must identify each point of contact with its customers as the experience at each touch point ultimately determines how long the customer is likely to stick around. Touchpoint metrics show how customers behave, interact and engage with your business through a number of channels allowing conclusions to be drawn and future improvements to be made.

Take Action

After gaining an understanding of how customers view your business and at which touch point issues tend to occur, the business is in a better position to begin taking action. When measuring customer service provided to your customers, you may uncover customers are often left waiting for long periods of time, customers are distracted by other content on the page, customers can’t seem to find the information they are looking for, etc, resulting in a negative experience. Similarly you may find a landing page for one of your ads has a significantly higher bounce rate than all others. As such, solutions must be developed to resolve this, i.e. create different landing pages and conduct A/B testing to identify which one is the most effective at improving CX and driving conversions.

Measure the effectiveness

After identifying the main issues affecting CX and taking action to improve the customer experience, it is essential to measure if the solution has actually worked. Known as solution metrics, these work in conjunction with touchpoint metrics to identify if the solution is improving the customer experience positively or having a detrimental impact. In identifying the most effective and ineffective solutions, the business is in a better place to focus budget and resource to see the biggest improvement on CX - think ROI!

When measuring CX, ensure the experience is measured throughout the entire life cycle and not solely on one experience the customer has had with the business and ensure international benchmarks are set allowing you to make comparisons against similar businesses.

Regardless of how it is measured, customer experience arguably should be the highest priority for your business as not only does it mean your customers remain satisfied, it gives the business a competitive edge.

Let us know how you are measuring emotional and practical elements to improve customer experiences. Similarly, we would love to hear from you customers out there - let us know the most important factors of the user experience to you.