With 90% of CEO’s prioritising Customer Experience as a leading business practice(1), financial scrutiny on performance will only increase to retain board confidence and commitment. However, 90% of programmes are failing to deliver (2) their potential.
How can you be sure Customer Experience investment is correctly prioritised?
Most manuals and professional CX speakers would advise practioners to fix what’s upsetting customers and move on to making a point of distinction on what they rave about. Which should push up satisfaction and recommendation scores.
However, both these customer experience strategies require investment to succeed. What if there is no budget? Can you ‘hedge’ the required investment against incremental sales/profit this focus will deliver? It’s probably not that safe to do so. Evidence shows that only 1% of share of category can be reliably attributed back to these conventional measures (email me if you want more on why this is).
A more linear approach is to show the reduction in ‘bad demand’ operational costs associated with managing activities creating negative feedback on specific touchpoints. This would show an accountable reduction in costs. Albeit costs created by a bad customer experience in the first place. So should they be classed as a win, or an own goal? Either way, it’s a start.
This gives you the two more common strategies for CX growth pursued:
- Improve that which the business is poor at but customer’s value (also known as the ‘Fix’ phase)
- Leverage that which the business is good at and customer’s value (also known as ‘Build’ phase)
The shortfall here is that the hit list for these strategies rely on customer’s feeding back about what’s great and what’s not. But what if customers don’t vex about an issue? And why wouldn’t they – because it’s not on their radar? What if there’s nothing wrong or right about an experience but because it’s not important to customers it never gets raised? With most VoC set ups if you don’t hear about it often it gets considered not worth looking at.
A conventional approach focuses on capturing feedback on customer’s sentiment and intention. But as proved on most voting days, intention and behaviour are often distant relatives. Whereas, understanding actual behaviour caused by Customer Experience is evidence of what customer’s do.
So rather than only asking how satisfied a customer is with an activity or experience, or which activities they are satisfied with or otherwise, understanding how important an activity is to a customer’s share of category commitment brings behavioural based measurement in to CX. Actual behaviour is a significantly more reliable indicator of decision making than intention.
This moves the focus from knowing some of what’s going on, to knowing everything
With fix and build programmes linked to CSAT and NPS inferred scores, there is a read on, ‘what we are good at and what we are not so good at’. By complimenting this with behavioural change insights we are now answering, ‘what customer experiences matters most to a customer’s decision to commit share of category’. This adds the missing commercial dimension to CX performance management and with it reveals two further CX strategies for practioners to pursue. As well as sharpen the purpose of the ‘Improve’ and ‘Leverage’ strategies too:
- Monitor and refine/remove CX which the business is poor at and does not impact customer’s decision to commit to us
- Improve CX which the business is poor at but impacts customer’s decision to commit to us
- Leverage CX which the business is good at impacts customer’s decision to commit to us
- Explore the potential in CX Opportunities which the business is good at but does not impact customer’s decision to commit to us
These are shown in Lexden’s MILO matrix below, which enables prioritisation of CX investment.
The ‘Monitor’ strategy identifies investment which is under-performing and not needed (or as the headline state where a company is ‘wasting money on CX’).
With conventional feedback this insight isn’t unearthed because it’s the customer experience that doesn’t matter to customers, so it rarely gets asked for or feedback provided – whether it’s good or bad. But if this collated less meaningful activity can be refined, reduced or removed and rationalised costs redeployed to the ‘Improve’ and ‘Leverage’ strategies.
Which leaves the ‘Opportunity’ strategy, which provides untapped potential for new areas to consider. These could provide future advantage in a maturing CX-led organisation if reshaped and made important to the customer’s decision making or outcomes fulfilment.
You may be questioning this only works if you know what activities matter in the first place, and their relative degree of importance. If you were starting from scratch that would take longer and cost more to work out than would be of use.
Fortunately, the missing golden insight is already available
Leading CX academic Dr Professor Phil Klaus developed a quality of experience measure which identifies which customer experiences impact customer’s behavioural decisions. In conjunction with Prof Klaus, we work with this leading edge CX insight measure, which means we can now add ‘behavioural change’ insight to existing NPS and CSAT measures to create the missing commercial rigour CX deserves.
With ten years and over 1,000 case studies complete, this award-winning insight informs companies on ‘what matters most’ and ‘what doesn’t matter at all’ when it comes to customer experiences impacting share of category decision making. By identifying the most important 25 customer attributes and experiences (refined from a total of 300), the ‘Experience Quality Measure’ accounts for up to 88% of a customer’s decision making. Making it the most reliable CX measurement available.
Each individual study completed highlights the specific set of activities and their relative importance for that company. No two outcomes are the same making it the unique CX DNA of a company. The principal advantages of this approach are as follows:
- It doesn’t matter which CX measure you have in place already, or which VoC platform you use, we run a one-off separate study alongside what’s already in place.
- The volume of customer contacts engaged to arrive at the experience measure is around 125, so it’s a much smaller study all round, than a VoC programme commitment
- We are now into our third year working with the approach and translating the academic science into a more workable and accessible insight source for clients to prove profitability from CX
- The measurement won’t shift overnight, because it’s based on actual behaviour change, not just opinion. So, we recommend capturing and tracking progress annually
- Competitor data is also captured which means we also know 1) who else has your customer’s share of category and 2) what customer experiences attract your customers to them
- This insight can be identified and the MILO matrix complete within 8 weeks
So, there you have it. The ability to identify what drives share of category rather than just favourable commentary. The confidence to pull out from your plan those activities which matters least. The insight to keep ahead of your competition in CX. Which means CX leaders can demonstrate to budget holders that CX investment isn’t being wasted. In fact, with all four of the MILO strategies pursed it’s driving profitable growth.
If you’d be interested to see how it works with a case study or how easy it is to add this essential CX insight to the CX governance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy and solutions for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience. If you’ve got a CX challenge, see if we can help.