Как научиться улучшать клиентский опыт с помощью контакт-центров

Which of these metrics is best at measuring the overall customer experience?

There is some debate around which of these high-level metrics (or what combination) produces the best results for brands.

According to the research firm Gartner, CES outperforms NPS and CSAT in predicting customer repurchase and increased spending, as seen in the chart below. Keep in mind that Gartner now owns the firm that creates the Customer Effort Score, so their findings may be biased.

Source: iScoop

On the other hand, consulting firm McKinsey had this to say about the importance of customer satisfaction (CSAT):

Each of these metrics has positive and negative attributes. In practice, you’ll probably need to track more than one of these metrics to get a holistic picture of how well your journey is working.

Step 2: Align metrics to the purchase journey

The purchase journey usually includes 4–5 steps, and the metrics you use to measure each will differ. Your journey map might have more or slightly different stages, but this general framework applies to most B2C customer journeys.

The critical question to answer in this step is, “Does each phase of our journey perform its primary goal?”

Source: Created by author

Here are some key questions and measures for each of these phases:

Customer Experience (CX) Definition

There has been a lot of buzz around Customer Experience (CX) emerging as the key differentiator and driver for growth and sustenance in consumer industry. But, what exactly is customer experience and what makes for a great customer experience?

Gartner defines customer experience as “the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.”

Forrester Research defines customer experience as: “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.”

Clearly, the two basic elements of a customer experience definition are perception and interaction.

Customer’s Perception

Customer’s overall perception of a brand can be a result of single or multiple interactions with a brand while seeking any information or support at different phases of the customer life cycle.

Interactions with Brand

Customer’s interaction with a brand refers to the various touchpoints like talking to a customer support agent on call, self-service options, or live chat, etc. across the buyer’s journey.

To simply put Customer Experience (CX) is how a customer perceives the brand through all the interactions across the customer life cycle. In the modern digital era, customers are well-informed and hyper-connected than ever. With a growing number of communication channels, brands are increasingly turning to technology platforms as a way to improve customer experience across channels.

Что такое Everything Customer?

Аналитики Gartner не так давно вывели на рынок новую концепцию, которая называется Everything Customer (устоявшегося перевода в русских источниках она пока не получила, «клиент который хочет все и постоянно в движении»). Ее основная идея состоит в том, что организации тратят много денег, времени и ресурсов, пытаясь точно определить, чего хотят их клиенты. Ответ же, по мнению коллег, прост: они хотят всего и как можно больше, но не всегда в одно и то же время.

Да, в большинстве случаев клиентами движет желание самостоятельно управлять тем, как, когда и откуда они получают нужную информацию. Но иногда они хотят общаться с людьми и (немедленно) получать ответы на свои вопросы, особенно если речь идет о сложном и эмоциональном для них вопросе. Клиенты ожидают при этом, что организации будут соблюдать конфиденциальность и защищать персональные данные, но почему-то очень раздражаются, если компании не используют эти данные для действительно персонализированных предложений. При этом зачастую клиенты требуют общения в мессенджерах, но иногда предпочитают старые добрые телефонные звонки.

Говоря об этом, аналитики Gartner выделяют следующее: клиент хочет многого, и даже если организация все это предоставляет, ждать лояльности не стоит, потому что у потребителей в современном мире слишком много выбора, свободы, гибкости и информации.

В компании Avaya, которую Frost and Sullivan выносят на передовую в контексте CX-идей, придумали специальный термин — «CX Economy» — экономика впечатлений. Фото: ru.depositphotos.com

С точки зрения экономики клиентского опыта, восприятие клиентов и связанные с ними чувства являются результатом как разовых, так и совокупных эффектов всех взаимодействий, которые они имеют с сотрудниками организации, самими точками взаимодействия, интерфейсами, системами или продуктами. Да и сам опыт сотрудников, в принципе, поддерживает CX. Своих работников нужно вовлекать в бизнес-процессы, предоставляя им соответствующие полномочия и гибкость. Тогда они отблагодарят повышением качества обслуживания клиентов и результатами. Получается, что клиентский опыт напрямую зависит от опыта сотрудников.

На основе этой концепции в Gartner разработали дорожную карту, в которую включили наиболее важные с точки зрения улучшения пользовательского опыта составляющие, опирающиеся на конкретные технологии. Речь идет о четырех ключевых элементах на основе искусственного интеллекта и интернета вещей, которые организациям необходимо включить в свои программы улучшения качества взаимодействия с клиентами.

  • Связь с клиентом — сюда входит все, что помогает более эффективным коммуникациям с потребителями любым удобным для него способом;
  • Оркестровка процессов — гарантирует, что у клиентов и сотрудников есть в режиме реального времени все, что им нужно, включая знания и экспертизу. Это позволяет каждому взаимодействию быть легким и позитивным;
  • Управление ресурсами — это расширение прав и возможностей сотрудников, предоставление им всего необходимого и обеспечение положительного опыта. Да, начиная с момента приема на работу и заканчивая его развитием и удержанием;
  • Знание и понимание — они поддерживает высокое качество обслуживания клиентов и базируются на полученных сотрудниками идеях и рекомендациях, которые приводят к улучшению клиентского опыта.

Improve your customer service

Customer service is the backbone of a great customer experience, and can be a powerful differentiator in the eyes of your customers. People don’t just buy from you because your product meets their needs – they buy because they feel confident they’ll get support when they need it. The data show that time and again, customers who experience great service buy more and stay loyal to brands for longer. For instance, American Express found that customers were willing to pay 17% more with a business that offered great customer service.

Delivering great customer service relies on a few different things. Your employees need to be hired, trained, coached, and supported with a view to growing customer service skills and behaviors. Your business culture needs to promote delivering on quality, not just on speed and efficiency. And the infrastructure your business runs on, including CRM tools and experience management platform, needs to be flexible, scalable, and easy to use.

Take action:

Some ways to improve your customer service include:

  • Offering multiple channels for support – part of your omnichannel approach
  • Optimizing wait and response times – which could mean a strategy that mixes digital and in-person support
  • Closing the loop with customers – turning every experience into a positive outcome
  • Using benchmark metrics like CSAT, CES, and NPS to make sure you are continually improving

The measurement framework:

Source: Image created by the author

Step 1: Measure the overall customer journey

Our first task is defining a metric to define success for the customer journey as a whole. This metric will be our ultimate measure of customer experience success.

Our guiding question is this step is, “When taken as a whole, how effective is our customer journey?”

When measuring our experience, it’s better to be journey-led rather than touchpoint-led. After surveying 27,000 consumers, McKinsey found that measuring the overall journey was a better predictor of an effective experience than measuring touchpoints. As they stated:

Examples of commonly used metrics for the overall experience include the Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, and Customer Satisfaction.

Making data-informed decisions

Of course, there’s more to customer experience and service than just keeping tabs on metrics.

Action has to be taken to make sure the insights you get are useful – and that you actually make improvements to your service.

Rather than just focusing on the data, you need to look at metrics as a way to measure your customer relationship health, not as the end of your customer relationship efforts.

Metrics alone will only get you so far. Instead, use these to inform your customer experience program that has action at its heart. And then use these metrics to track the impact of your actions. This is how to get the most out of your customer service metrics. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The , measures how much effort customers have to exert to reach their goals. Whether that’s ordering a product, getting a question answered, an issue resolved, or returning a product.

Source: Kayako

Customer effort has a clear relationship with customer loyalty — the higher the effort, the lower the loyalty. According to research from Gartner, 94% of customers who had low-effort experiences expressed intent to repurchase. Compare that with customers who had a high-effort experience — only 4% expressed intent to buy again.

The Customer Satisfaction score, or CSAT, measures how delighted your customers are with their experience. You can use this metric for single interactions or the overall experience.

Source: Qualtrics

CSAT works better as an “in-the-moment” measure because it has a weaker relationship to long-term customer loyalty than NPS or CES. The benefit of CSAT is its flexibility. It can be broken into individual questions to focus on specific parts of the customer journey.

Examples of digital touchpoint metrics

  • eCommerce website: Uptime, drop-off points, bounce rate, loading speed, mobile page performance, dwell time
  • Online chat support: Length of support interactions, customer satisfaction surveys post-chat, repeat purchase from customer, wait-time, customer sentiment in chat

Specific touchpoint metrics do matter — we need to know where we’re failing to delight customers. But not all touchpoints have equal weight on overall customer satisfaction. Some touchpoints, like posters, may only need one metric to determine if they’re working. Other more critical touchpoints, like websites, may require more than one metric.

How do we know which touchpoints are more important to overall customer satisfaction? The answer lies in a behavioral science principle known as the Peak-end Rule.

What is Customer Experience Management (CEM)?

Customer experience management (CEM) refers to the designing and management of a system for engaging with customers in a way that their expectation is satisfactorily met and affirms the wisdom of their choice.

Until recently, customer-facing functions — marketing, sales, customer service — worked under their own customer experience management mandates. Today, with lines between customer service, sales, and marketing blurring, no customer-facing function can afford to work in silos. The new CX mandate demands a tightly unified ecosystem for managing customer expectations as they move through functions. This way, you always know the context in which your customer’s problems and solutions live.

Customer experience management: value is in the eyes of the beholder

So, the term “customer experience management” (CEM) –literally managing customer experiences – might seem somewhat of a weird term at first sight and maybe even out of touch with a changing reality.

Sure, you can manage many elements that create the conditions for fantastic customer experiences: the quality of your customer service, the response speed of your contact center representatives, the content you create, the quality of the various inbound and outbound interactions (not in a marketing context but a general context of inbound and outbound communications), the brand narrative, the touchpoints where different interactions occur, the overall “ambience” of physical experiences, deep insight into what customers want, the list goes on and will grow.

However, you cannot really “manage” the customer experience as such. And the reason is simply: customers shape their own experiences.

A matter of emotions and (inter)action: customer experience and customer engagement

Individual customers – and people – are individual. In other words: they are all different. As customer experience is really “owned” by the customer (as a highly emotional given), vendors of CEM solutions, marketers and many others have started talking about customer engagement whereby there is (inter)action instead of customer experience (both are not the same).

This complexity, along with the lack of understanding what customer-centricity really means and the fact that in reality it often remains a promise (let alone, siloed effort), has been creating the famous customer experience gap. Of course, customer experience management is about more than what we just mentioned here, we used the ‘management’ part of it to make a point – strictly speaking customer experience management is about “design” for the kind of experiences you (no, wrong: your customers) value and want, from the most obvious low hanging fruit to the more sophisticated parts of the puzzle and always emotional.

Even if customer experience is about emotions and individual parameters, there are many commonalities in the ways people experience things, fulfil a task and value experiences.

Customer experience management and the outside-in view

Tangible benefits of customer experience management – read more

Customer experience management or CEM is not about managing customer experiences as such but a practice that includes the design of customer interactions – and touchpoints – aiming to meet customer expectations and ideally exceed them (when it makes sense), whereby the end-to-end customer experience is taken into account and the mutual value of customer interactions is optimized in a continuous loop of interaction, reaction, pro-action and optimizing satisfaction to go beyond “good enough”. It has to be what it has to be.

Given the many dimensions and elements in the overall customer experience it does require management, transformation and process optimization, involving the customer on various levels, making intensive use of actionable data and information and removing obstacles and silo effects, taking into account – and involving – the customer and increasingly deploying connected technologies. Mind you: it’s not just about data and technology, most certainly not. It’s still about good old but hard to achieve “putting yourself in the shoes of”, “having an outside-in view” and getting out there as customers are more than data and digital feedback, they also walk around and can speak. And remember: emotions!

Considerations for the digital customer experience

Businesses can improve their integration of the digital channel and optimize the brand experience by understanding key digital components. Here’s a few ways to approach digital CX optimization.

Tactical

It’s the less sexy side of digital CX, but understanding page loads and purchase process barriers are crucial to digital conversion. The approach is diagnostic in focus and often will use metrics like customer effort scores (CES). That is, how difficult is it for your customers to use your digital channel effectively and whether they were able to complete their task.

Strategic

Understanding the role your digital channel plays in the overall customer experience (from consideration to purchase) is more difficult – but absolutely crucial. Businesses often look at basket abandonment as a failed conversion. But understanding that a customer is not wholly abandoning, but may actually be mid-purchase can be strategically essential. Particularly in consumer products, customers may go online to review potential purchases but then go into a store to test or experience the specific product. That customer might purchase in store – but their digital experience would have had a significant impact on their purchase behavior.

Channels

Understanding the role each channel plays is crucial to maximizing the overall brand experience. Your customer doesn’t typically think in channels; they want to solve problems and find options. Multiple channel contact may be essential in conversion. Appreciating the different role each channel plays reorients your business to be more customer-centric.

Use tech to create breakthrough customer experiences

AI and machine learning are tailor-made for CX experiences. From chatbots that are there for customers 24/7, to natural language processing that allows you to understand what people mean in free-form text messages, the latest digital technology has made time-to-insights faster and new levels of personalization and service both scalable and affordable.

The value of these technologies are reflected by the increasing numbers of big businesses using them. For example, Dominos lets customers order pizza through the Domino’s Facebook Messenger chatbot, and eBay helps customers search the entire eBay marketplace for the best deals out there just like a personal shopper. There’s no doubt AI and related tech can make life easier for your customers and allow you to get creative with your products.

Take action:

Explore the possibilities with AI and machine learning tools designed for experience management. Take a look at our listening tools and see how digital technology powers contact center performance.

The customer experience gap: enabling better customer experiences

Our inability to approach customers as individuals and lack of understanding what customers really want, along with an underestimation of the emotional reality of the customer, further strengthened the customer experience gap: the gap between how valuable business think the customer experiences they offer/enable are and the value of the customer experience in the eyes of the beholder, the customer.

The customer experience gap has always been and remains huge. You can look up hundreds of pieces of research from at least the last decennial and it will always come back.

The percentage of business respondents claiming they offer (or better: enable) “a good customer experience” is dramatically higher that the percentage of customers saying they experience these…experiences as good (or great for that matter).

In “How to achieve true customer-led growth – Closing the delivery gap”, James Allen, Barney Hamilton, Rob Markey and Frederick F. Reichheld (the latter also author of a paper with a significant impact on brand advocacy in 2003), found that 80% of companies believe they provide a superior proposition with only 8% of customers agreeing.

Truth be told: although the percentages from that Bain & Company paper (click for PDF) keep popping up in various pieces and presentations, the paper was written in 2005 and of course does not cover all industries and companies. But still…

Does this mean you can’t have a strategy to improve customer experience? Does it mean you cannot manage customer experiences to a specific degree? Not at all. There is a whole lot you will ALWAYS be able to do in order to ENABLE great customer experiences.

You probably noticed the words ALWAYS and ENABLE are in capitals. Here is why:

  • The enablement of great/easy customer experiences is never finished. It stretches much further than, for instance, marketers believe. Other reasons: customer expectations change, customer expectations differ, there will always be bad decisions and none of your employees will ever be perfect. Finally, with each new technology, channel, societal evolution, etc., both customer expectations and the factors defining customer experience will continue to change as well (note that we don’t use the word “evolve”).
  • You can and should create the conditions for top customer experience and of course customer service. But you can’t fully control the perceived value of the customer. You can optimize everything you do – and should do it as well, in a prioritized and realistic way – but you will never be able to satisfy everyone. This is where capturing the Voice of the Customer and continuous loops of gathering feedback and data to enhance what you do comes into play, again adding to the ‘always’ aspect.

So, what can you do? How can you put (the) customer experience in the center and should you even care?

A more holistic and connected customer experience approach going beyond marketing and customer service is essential to succeed. But that isn’t enough.

The customer experience and the customer-centric model framework of Accenture – source

Шаг пятый: поговорите с молчащими клиентами

Есть распространенное мнение, что недовольных клиентов всегда видно и слышно. К сожалению, это не так. Клиент, который так и не дал обратную связь, — неограненный алмаз, находка для вдумчивого специалиста

Важно разобраться и в том, что он на самом деле думает, и в том, почему изначально решил не делиться с вами своими эмоциями

На нашем рынке нельзя постоянно расти за счет новых клиентов: это конечная стратегия. Развитие покупателей, установление долгосрочных отношений, глубокая работа с ними, расширение товарных позиций внутри одного чека обходится компании на 5-10% в год дешевле, чем вложения в маркетинг с целью привлечения новых.

Важно понимать, что негативная обратная связь не разрушает, а, наоборот, укрепляет взаимоотношения компании и клиента. Покупатель чувствует себя значимым, нужным и выслушанным

Компания видит свои слабые места и точки роста, над которыми нужно работать.

В результате бизнес совершенствуется, а клиент чувствует свою причастность к тому, что компания стала лучше, испытывает привязанность к конкретному бренду и будет готов повторить взаимодействие, чтобы еще раз протестировать изменения, причиной которых он стал.

То, как часто нужно пересматривать и улучшать клиентский опыт, зависит от множества факторов. На периодичность среди прочего влияют: отрасль, положение компании на рынке, информационный фон, чрезвычайные события, тренды, запуск новых услуг, внутренняя перестройка компании, финансовые показатели. 

The end-to-end customer experience

The definition of a customer has changed. Or at least: we would like you to think differently about the customer. In a connected business reality, everyone in the ecosystem of your business is a customer: from employees and investors to partners, buyers and their networks, including the various players in the value chain from manufacturer to end consumer and back. In other words: all stakeholders.

Customer experience is crucial for the present and future of your business. It always has been but in an era of a more autonomous and ’empowered’ customer who has higher expectations it is even more so.

In their 2005 book, Return on Customer, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers presented customer experience as the single most important factor for business success. We can’t ignore it anymore – we see it each day.

In that famous connected – and increasingly digital – age we live in, the determining factors shaping the experiences we have with businesses are multiplying. We used to only look at face-to-face contacts, interactions across several channels, customer service, products and solutions, the brand as such and other attributes, all close to the business, as being crucial elements of the customer experience – as the sum of all experiences.

In reality, the end-to-end customer experience is defined by much more than that. In fact, the customer experience is shaped by numerous factors that escape the “control” of a business. Think about word-of-mouth, to name just one. At the same time customers don’t always want an experience in the ‘wow’ sense we often give it. Sometimes they just want to come in your shop, get their product, pay and get out asap. They want ease over delight.

The key reason why the customer experience is and will never be ‘in control’ is because customers are individuals and the core element in the customer experience equation is highly emotional, personal, contextual and diverse.