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Customer Experience

Customer Experience on ASQTV™

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Measuring and Quantifying the
Customer Experience

John Goodman explains how customer experience (CE) differs from customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service and shares four strategies for enhancing the bottom line with CE.

Tactical approaches to quality tend to focus on delivering products and services according to specifications. Organizations can often increase the payoff of their efforts, however, when they look beyond meeting specifications and seek to understand and improve the total customer experience.

Enhancing the customer experience means working toward several additional goals beyond basic delivery of products and services:

  • Delivering the right product or service for the customer need
  • Selling the product or service honestly
  • Ensuring ease of use and preventing failures
  • Making it easy for customers to do business with the organization
  • Creating an emotional connection and providing added value when appropriate

What are the keys to providing a great customer experience?

Understanding the full range of causes of customer dissatisfaction is an important first step in enhancing the customer experience. The most common causes of dissatisfaction include: 

  • Organizations, through poorly designed products that fail to meet expectations, sales and marketing messages that do not accurately communicate what customers can expect, and broken manufacturing and delivery processes that result in reduced usability and performance
  • Employees, through failure to follow established processes, projecting a negative or unhelpful attitude, lack of empowerment and flexibility to address issues, and lack of proper training
  • Customers, themselves, through incorrect expectations, failure to read instructions, and user errors

Organizations also need to establish an effective voice of the customer (VOC) process. As the figure below illustrates, customer surveys, customer contact data, internal operations process and quality data, and employee input are all sources of voice of the customer information that can be used to quantify the cost of inaction on customer experience issues.  

(VOC) process

Additionally, customer experience requires dedicating the right resources, in terms of both technology and people, and deploying them strategically.

Technologies that can enhance customer experience efforts include:

  • A customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be used proactively if it is linked to operational data showing transactions, status, and failures
  • An easy-to-navigate website should be any organization’s first line of defense
  • Speech/text analytics can help with intervention and diagnosis of issues
  • Email/chat/texting ideally should be driven by CRM
  • Wireless often enables product or experience monitoring
  • Mobile can serve as a faster channel, especially with voice recognition, while offering the same customer experience
  • Online communities and social media can be used to educate customers and provide some support as well as invite feedback but should not be misunderstood to be primary service channels
  • Gamification can motivate ideas and support

When considering the roles involved in supporting a positive customer experience, organizations may find that transforming more traditional quality improvement departments into customer quality groups can help mobilize staff. Some organizations are also creating roles such as the chief customer officer to provide customer experience management leadership.

The Chief Customer Officer (CCO/CXO)

The seven specific functions of the chief customer officer are:

  • Oversee mapping and analysis of all customer-touching processes
  • Gather unified voice of the customer data regarding how those processes are performing
  • Facilitate identification of key problems, points of pain, and opportunities for value adds
  • Create the economic imperative for action; act as an internal consultant
  • Decide or suggest who should take the lead in addressing problems
  • Measure progress in attacking issues, thereby creating accountability, and ensure that credit for success goes to line management
  • Act as an advocate for customers to top management and deliver any bad news along with quantifying the financial price of not acting

The two functions that the CCO/CXO is not responsible for are:

  • Taking responsibility for satisfaction and loyalty indices
  • Fixing quality and service

Contributed by John Goodman, vice chairman, CCMC.

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