CX Metrics Matter, but Understand Your What, Why, and When

Analytics, analytics everywhere! Yes, you must measure to improve customer experience. But it’s crucial that your metrics are aligned with the right goals and strategy. Do you understand which metrics to use, and just as important, why you’re using them? Post 7 in our Seven Steps to CX Nirvana series dives right in.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” the legendary Peter Drucker famously said. And I’d be hard-pressed to disagree with him. No one today could argue against the need for both quantitative and qualitative customer data. Regardless of your industry or product, measurement — and execution — is essential to keeping your customers close.

But just as important, you must understand not only the what of your metrics, but also the why, when, and where. Otherwise, all your careful measurements are unlikely to bring a return on investment. They must be goal-driven, diversified, and understood in context.

Priority One: What’s the Goal?

Would it surprise you to know that many organizations are floundering in mountains of functionally useless customer data? It’s true. Unless you can glean insights from the information, it isn’t worth much in the long run. 

There’s more than one reason for this “drowning in data” problem, but one of the most significant is simply this: They are not always aligned with goals. And not just any goal. For best results, your goal should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

This means that strategy should drive your choice of metrics, not vice versa. Yes, measuring allows you to gauge how well you’re achieving your goal, but the objective must always precede the tool.

And what are the most important goals for your business? There are so many metrics to choose from, but you must employ only the ones that are pinpoint-relevant to you.

If you make the mistake of choosing the easiest or most popular measurement for that reason alone, I’m afraid you’re squandering resources. And you’re doing something even worse: wasting your customer’s precious time.

Because consumers hold so much power and influence today, that’s a mistake you can’t afford to make. If you’re asking them for any kind of feedback, make sure you understand why.

Don’t Rely on a Single Metric

One of the most popular ways to measure customer loyalty (at the moment, anyway) is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). And why not? It’s simple, accessible, and flexible. Because it predicts how likely customers are to recommend your services or products to others, it’s a natural for measuring satisfaction.

But like any other metric, NPS has its drawbacks and limitations. For one thing, it doesn’t tell you the reason for the score — only a number that equates to promoter, passive, or detractor. And even if NPS were perfect, no metric should stand in isolation. They work best when you’re using a variety of measurements across the complete omni channel customer journey. See Post 4 of Series: Connect With Your Customers Wherever (and Whenever) They Are. 

What about assigning each of your customers their own dashboard, where you can view a variety of metrics for each one? Whenever anyone follows up on the customer to monitor CX, they’re looking at a more complete and comprehensive perspective. They’re not limited to one isolated measurement, frozen at one moment in time.

And remember that metrics aren’t necessarily numbers. In fact, some of the most useful and valuable information will be qualitative feedback from your customers. This can not only inform your messaging, but also give you a deeper understanding of their true priorities and motivations.

Understand the Metric in Context

Like any tool or initiative, you’ll only get the results you’re looking for with buy-in from your organization. And that meaningful buy-in only comes if everyone concerned understands the what, why, where, and when of the metric. They must comprehend what you’re measuring and why, how it will be interpreted, and why it matters — to the organization and to their job performance.

Results should be accessible, and accessed often, by everyone concerned. It’s simple enough, after all, to know whether your people are logging in and monitoring these metrics regularly. If it’s a case of “set-it-and-forget-it,” they’ll never make the connection between their duties and customer experience.

Finally, understand that the right metrics can bring many benefits. They can help you make the right decisions, know where to focus your resources, and of course, build the kinds of customer relationships you need to thrive in a hyper-competitive marketplace.

But never forget that the most fundamental purpose of all is learning. If they’re not offering you meaningful, relevant insight that nurtures customer relationships, reevaluate what you’re measuring and why.

For over 20 years, I’ve been helping customer-focused organizations become customer-obsessed. If you’d like to discuss what you’re measuring and why, feel free to contact me.

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