There is a secret to better CX metrics: Journey mapping

There is a way to better identify and share customer experience (CX) metrics. And it is a tool that your company – like many others may already be using… but not for that purpose. I am talking about journey mapping. Recently I have done more and more workshops for our clients on how to use journey mapping for defining CX metrics so I wanted to put that thinking into a new report for all clients to read.

Why journey mapping? It helps overcome some of the key challenges for CX measurement programs: Only if you understand the end-to-end journey your customers take for accomplishing a goal are you likely to have the right metrics in place to judge CX performance. If you don't understand the journeys, you'll rush to judgment with ill-timed surveys, miss important moments of truth and fail to align operational data with customer perceptions. That means you’ll fail to identify ways to improve critical touchpoints. 

So if you, too, are struggling with CX metrics, my new report “How to use journey mapping to improve CX measurement efforts” is the right read for you. It is very practical because it describes a four-step process for how you can use customer journey mapping to improve your customer experience measurement programs – from mapping the customer journey with metrics in mind to identifying gaps, to defining CX metrics that fill those gaps, to building on journey maps to share CX metrics more effectively.

And please - if you have any thought on the report - let me know what you think.

Is your company moving beyond surveys when measuring customer experience? I’d love to include you in my new research

CX professionals rely on surveys a great deal to measure customer experience. That’s because surveys have their advantages but they have limits, too.

If your company has taken steps to move beyond surveys to measure customer experience, I'd love to hear your opinions, experiences and advice for my new research on “CX Measurement – Beyond Surveys”. Goal of this research is to share what companies do to measure customer experience in addition to surveys, which approaches are most promising and which challenges companies face doing that.

Your insights are appreciated, so if you would like to share your story (on or off the record), please contact me at: mschmidt@forrester.com

Looking forward to speaking with you.

Want to Drive Action With Your VoC Program? Cater to Your Internal Customers!

In our latest survey on the state of the art of VoC programs, 71 percent of respondents said their VoC program was not fully or mostly effective in driving actions. That's jarring. No matter how much effort you put into collecting VoC, the insights are still only as good as what stakeholders in the company do with them.

As a VoC program owner, you therefore need to get better at leveraging your internal customers so they drive the action required to improve customer experience and your bottom line. This is what my new report "How To Drive Action In VoC Programs" is all about.

First, you have to figure out your internal audiences. Some are more in tune to the VoC than others. Your audience often falls into three categories:

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The State Of VoC Programs, 2014

Voice of the customer (VoC) programs play a critical role in improving customer experience. They gather data for customer experience (CX) measurement efforts and uncover insights that help improve customer understanding.

To assess the state of VoC programs, we asked companies how long their VoC program has been in place, how valuable the program is to drive CX improvements and deliver financial results, how the program governance works, and if it is supported by VoC consulting and technology vendors. And we asked participants to rate their program’s capabilities on the four key tasks of VoC programs — listen, interpret, react, and monitor.

Here are some highlights of what we found:

  • Most VoC programs have been around for three or more years, are run or coordinated by a central team, and consist of fewer than five full-time employees. Many also turn to outside vendors for help.
  • But VoC programs are still not taken as seriously as other programs in an organization: They improve customer experience but struggle to deliver financial results. And they aren’t embedded enough in the organization. The good news is that many have some executive support, but they lack the resources they need and aren’t fully embraced by employees.
  • For VoC capabilities, we found that VoC programs are still better at listening than at acting on the insights they find.
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Make the Business Case: Better Customer Experience Can Deliver More Than $1 Billion In Revenue Growth

In the age of the customer, you need to be obsessed with your customers. And that obsession can pay off big time — as we have shown over and over again: Years of Forrester data confirm the strong relationship between the quality of a firm's customer experience (CX) and customer loyalty.

And this means revenue growth! Find out how exactly we calculate the revenue upside in the report "The Business Impact Of Customer Experience, 2014." But here are the cliff notes: We built a model that shows how improving customer experience scores from below to above average affects loyalty, which in turn affects revenue in three categories:

  • Repurchase: incremental purchases from existing customers in the same year.
  • Switching: revenue saved by lower churn.
  • Recommendation: new sales driven by word of mouth.

When we looked at the data, this year, we found new and important developments that affect the revenue upside:

  1. “Ok” is the new “poor.” Converging Customer Experience Index (CXi) scores mean that companies cannot rely on average customer experience to prevent churn and get people to buy more.
  2. People talk. Consumers recommend companies more if they had a good experience, and they talk to more people about it — a multiplier in the effect of CX on word of mouth.
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A Mistake To Avoid When Using CX Metrics For Employee Incentives

Do you use your customer experience (CX) metrics to incentivize frontline employees in your company? Here is a cautionary tale I came across in my wireless provider’s store.

While I was chatting with the representative who took care of my problem, I overheard another representative ask a customer for a 9 or 10 on the satisfaction survey. Don’t stop reading — we all know this happens; this is not what this is about. Given that I am a CX analyst with a passion for CX measurement, I asked my service rep what this was all about. What he said about the employee perspective on this blew me away: He said that the company basically said, “Southwest [Airlines] gets nearly only 9’s and 10’s on the survey (meaning the NPS question) so we should be able to do that, too.”

Setting targets for CX metrics requires more than that — benchmarking is a part of it, but it also requires a solid baseline and a realistic stretch target, with realistic being the operative word here. It is probably no surprise to you that the experience those two companies provide is hardly comparable. If you look at Forrester’s 2014 Customer Experience Index (CXi), Southwest Airlines is the industry leader among airlines with a CXi score of 81. And its score is way ahead of the average score for wireless providers of 71 (and also way ahead of my wireless provider’s CXi score).

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Benchmark Your Voice Of The Customer Program: Participate In Forrester’s Upcoming Research On The State Of VoC Programs, 2014

How mature is your company's voice of the customer (VoC) program? Compare yourself against the state of the art and find out: 

  • How VoC programs affect customer experience and business results.
  • How companies integrate and analyze data from different sources.
  • How VoC program owners share customer insight.
  • How they drive action based on their insights.
  • Which vendors they use to support their VoC program.

We'd like to hear from practitioners that can speak about their company's VoC program. As a thank you for completing our 10-minute survey, you will receive the report resulting from this research, "State Of Voice Of Customer Programs, 2014." As additional thanks, you will receive the high-level results after the survey data has been processed.

Sign up for the survey here.

Finding The Right Vendor(s) For Your Voice Of Customer Program: Vendor Landscape, Capabilities, And Go-To-Market Strategies

Are you looking for a vendor or vendors to support your voice of the customer (VoC) program? Or are you reviewing your current VoC vendor(s)?

Selecting the right vendor or vendors can be hard! Why? The VoC vendor landscape is hard to decipher. There are many but relatively small vendors, and they rely on an interconnected network of partners, acquire each other at an impressive rate, and regularly expand into new spaces. And companies often already have a number of vendors they work with. In my recent webinar about VoC, most of the attendees had from three to five vendors that supported their VoC program in some shape or form.

But there are a few beacons to help orient you in your quest:

  • The VoC vendor market is an ecosystem. What vendors are the right “lid” for your “VoC program pot” depends entirely on your internal capabilities and the characteristics of your VoC program. We identified customer feedback management (CFM) platforms and VoC specialist vendors. CFM platforms support VoC programs with a robust set of capabilities that include feedback collection, integration of feedback with other data in a centralized data hub, analysis, reporting, and closed-loop action management. VoC specialists offer a subset of VoC platform vendor capabilities. Their areas of expertise range from surveying customers in order to generate measurement data to mining your unstructured feedback with text analytics, monitoring social media data, and consulting to help establish or evolve a VoC program.
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Peace And Quiet In The Air? Only For A Charge!

I am writing this down now, so in one year or so I can say, "I told you so!"

Here is how you'll experience and pay for flying in the future. It has to do with the use of cell phones. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission is considering allowing cell phone use on flights. And when I traveled to Forrester's Customer Experience Forum in London just this week, my Virgin Atlantic flight already allowed us to use our mobile phones to roam the cell phone skies.

It won't be long, and we'll all be able to use our mobile devices to talk to our friends and colleagues on airplanes — much like we already do on trains. 

In the wake of this, I predict that airlines will introduce quiet zones for passengers who are not interested in hearing their neighors talk on the phone about their latest breakup or job experiences. Just take a look at Singapore Airline's budget brand Scoot. Scoot just introduced quiet zones for kids (or for the passengers without them). 

And  in style   airlines will charge for the advantage: by requiring a separate charge, by charging a fee for seat selection generally like Scoot, or by making the quiet zone part of a higher class, like Economy Plus.

Long live customer experience — just not in the air?

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Workshop — Customer Experience Measurement Essentials — Back By Popular Demand On October 24th

Do you know what the right metrics are to measure your customers' experience? Do you know how to make the best use of the metrics to improve the customer experience?

If you cannot measure the customer experience, you cannot manage it. And that means that you will never move beyond the find-and-fix approach that characterizes the "repair" stage on the path to customer experience maturity.

So join me and your peers in the Forrester Workshop, Customer Experience Measurement Essentials, in Cambridge, Mass., on October 24th.

This workshop is a great opportunity for all CX professionals to:

  • Learn Forrester's framework for measuring the customer experience: how to identify the right metrics to measure CX and how to make the best use of CX metrics.
  • Network with peers.

Find the complete description and agenda here.

If you have any questions, please contact Jon Ellis (jellis@forrester.com), me (mschmidt@forrester.com), or your Forrester account representative.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Maxie