Managing Customer Experience
We help organisations focus on the most critical elements of their customer interactions to increase satisfaction and commitment.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience refers to the perceptions created in the minds of customers as a consequence of interactions that they have instigated.
These represent critical ‘moments of truth’ and the challenge for the business is to maximise its performance in order to win new business, increase customer satisfaction and strengthen the customer loyalty base. Failure to do so negatively impacts customer commitment and retention.
The types of scenarios include:
Enquiries about products and services as part of pre-purchase search
The purchase itself
Post purchase to obtain information about product or service use
Reinforcement of product quality, value or suitability to alleviate buyer dissonance
To lodge a complaint due to failure by the company, or due to the product or service not meeting expectations
How do we help?
We examine performance across all the various attributes relating to the customer interaction and by scrutinising relationships in the data, we are able to determine which ones have the most influence on the outcome, from the customers’ perspective. This enables us to determine improvements that would be valued by customers and how these should be prioritised.
Combining the analysis with tracking of other key indicators, in particular; (1) customer effort, (2) satisfaction post interaction, and (3) customer loyalty, enables management to understand how well improvement strategies are working to improve performance.
What is our approach?
We spend time and effort ‘up front’ to understand all the customer facing elements of the interactions over which the organisation has control, and then incorporate these into a recognised predictive model. This framework enables us to understand the drivers of satisfaction with the interaction experience and the impact that each has on resulting perceptions. Bringing the analysis together, we can determine improvements that will be of most value to customers in terms of increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
The framework used to 'explain' satisfaction with customer generated interactions is strongly influenced by the work of Homburg and Furst in relation to complaint management. While complaints may be more emotive than other interactions, the major elements that influence satisfaction are common across other types of interactions where the customer has an underlying need to be fulfilled. At a high level, customers’ perceptions are influenced by three major drivers: (1) the process that they experienced, (2) the interactions that occurred with company representatives and (3) the outcome achieved, or result of the interaction.
What does the customer experience model look like?
The general model is depicted below, but is tailored to the organisation and to reflect the nature of the customer interactions being measured. Specifically, the sub-level drivers need to reflect the various customer facing processes and deliverables over which the organisation has control.
The relative weight of each of these drivers can be determined through statistical modelling, thereby ensuring companies not only focus on areas of poor performance, but also on those that have the most influence on customers’ satisfaction. To achieve this we establish measures of customers’ perception of performance and service delivery on all elements included within the model, and combining these with the impact weights, it is possible to determine the most appropriate strategies for managing the process. Specifically, areas of high impact but with sub-optimal performance represent the best improvement opportunities.
What other measures do we apply?
These include future purchase behaviour including the proportion of their spending on the service or product that they place with the client organisation. However, we also favour incorporating additional key indicators within studies that measure customer experience.
Overall customer satisfaction after the interaction. This refers to the degree to which the customer perceives the company’s general performance in a business relationship as meeting or exceeding his or her expectations, and therefore is cumulative in nature
Customer loyalty. Customer loyalty after the interaction refers to the degree to which a customer intends to continue the relationship with a company. It includes both: an intention to offer repeat business, and intention to increase the proportion of category spend
Customer effort score. This simply asks: “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” It is scored on a scale from 1 (very low effort) to 5 (very high effort).
Customer effort has been found to be a good predictor of future buying behaviour and is therefore a worthwhile measure to include within both one-off studies and within continuous performance monitors. Potential measures and their relationships over time are depicted in the illustrative example below: