The Ultimate Guide to Customer Experience 2.0

May 2nd, 2021

In this article, we discuss everything from the basic principles of customer experience to the different methodologies available to capture and measure customer feedback. We look at traditional feedback capture tools as well as new generation tools and online solutions. Once you have read this guide, you should have an in-depth understanding of customer experience, how to effectively measure it and how to choose the most appropriate tools based on your business requirements and targets. You should be able to use the information to develop a customer experience strategy for your company, that includes powerful, value-adding actions.

Customer Experience 2.0 is a smarter customer experience (CX) which explores the latest technology solutions for capturing feedback. For businesses that are looking to evolve and drive continued success, monitoring customer experience is pivotal in achieving those business targets.

There are many more options available now compared to a few years ago, so it is important to be aware of the different tools and customer experience software solutions that can now drive businesses forward with the many advantages that they provide. Even if you have a good customer experience strategy in place, you could see significant benefits from adopting the latest technology.


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What is Customer Experience?

In the most basic customer experience definition, customer experience (or CX) is the overall perception that a customer has when dealing with a company. This can be based on a variety of different customer touchpoints, from the initial contact with the company during a telephone conversation, to how a complaint is handled. The customer experience also involves whether the customer is happy with the quality of product or service that they receive.

Being able to effectively measure customer experience enables businesses to identify issues that they may have been unaware of and to introduce improvements to processes or products.

Customer experience vs. customer satisfaction

Customer experience and customer satisfaction are often used in similar contexts but there is a significant difference between the two. The customer experience is based over the whole set of interactions and processes related to buying a product or being a member, for example. With customer satisfaction, this will generally refer to a specific touchpoint in the customer journey and how satisfied the customer was with that.

Customer service is another term that people often confuse with customer experience and while customer service is an element of what the customer experience will be formed around, there are more factors involved, such as the quality of the product. Customer service is the support that is provided by the company and mostly involves how well an employee is able to answer a query or assist with a request.

The customer journey is a term that is used to describe the entire collection of experiences from the beginning to the end of using a company’s product and/or services. CX, customer service and the customer journey are all linked but it is important to understand the differences when you set up the selected monitoring methods.

What does customer experience look like in real life?

This varies across different industries but this retail customer experience gives you an idea:

What good customer experience looks like…

Mr Smith bought a new laptop from ABC Laptops and started the process by visiting the store, where he was cheerfully greeted by George, a cheerful customer service advisor. George asked Mr Smith what he was looking for and what he would mostly be using his laptop for.

Mr Smith explained that he had just started up doing photography as a hobby and that he wanted a laptop that would support his new hobby. George demonstrated great expertise by suggesting three types of laptops that offered a range in budget, so the customer could look at these in more detail.

George showed Mr Smith the three different models and even used photo editing software on each one to demonstrate use. He explained the most important factors for choosing a laptop for editing photos and left Mr Smith to use each laptop to test them out.

Mr Smith decided to opt for the Macbook Pro and George explained that he would be able to find tutorials and customer support services from the manufacturer, Apple but that he could also come back into the store if he had any issues. Mr Smith purchased the laptop and went home to set it up. Just as George had described, the setup was easy and he was able to get started with editing photos.

A few months later, Mr Smith noticed that his laptop had started to run much slower and he decided to take the laptop into the store to see if they could help. One of George’s colleagues, Sarah, asked Mr Smith a few questions about the issue and had a look at the problem. She noticed that the laptop had a large number of image files that were taking up a lot of disk space and suggested that he started saving photos in iCloud or by using an external hard drive. Mr Smith recalled that George had mentioned this initially.

Mr Smith transferred most of his photos onto a hard drive and the laptop began to work faster again. He rang the store to thank Sarah for her advice and he told his family and friends about how great his whole experience of using ABC Laptops was and highly recommended using them.

And the bad customer experience…

Mrs Smith was interested in buying a laptop and had seen a store in her local town, called Top4Laptops. She wanted to use a store rather than ordering online because she felt it would be easier to understand the options and to see which one would be the best one for her to use. She also liked to speak to someone face-to-face about such a big purchase, for a product she had little knowledge about.

Mrs Smith would be using her laptop for a number of activities, including doing her online shopping, video calling her son in Australia and reading and answering emails. She would not need to store many files on her laptop and she would be happy with a basic laptop that was easy to use.

When she walked into the store, nobody approached her and she spent a while looking at the different laptops on display before going over to the service desk. The customer service advisor was texting on his mobile phone, so she waited politely until he noticed her. She explained that she was looking for a laptop and wanted some help, she told him she would only be using it for some basic activities and listed them.

At this point, he said ‘Just wait a minute’ and then walked out to the back of the store before he returned a minute later, yawning loudly as he sat back down. He then said: ‘Oh yeah, what was it you were after again?’

Mrs Smith started to repeat what she had told him and he interjected, as he suddenly remembered. ‘Oh yeah, you want a laptop!’, he said, almost surprised and proud at his own ability to remember part of the conversation. He then walked over to the laptops, Mrs Smith was not sure if that meant to follow him, but she did, just in case.

He reached for one of the laptops, which she noticed was one of the most expensive on the display and priced considerably higher than she had intended to pay. Ted told her that there was a great deal on this one and that she could save a lot of money. He reeled off lots of technical jargon that he was reading from the display, including how it is ideal for gaming and that it had a huge RAM.

Mrs Smith felt a bit overwhelmed by the conversation and did not really know whether the specifications he listed would be of any benefit to her for what she would use it for. Ted explained that the deal would be ending soon and that she should buy it now to avoid missing out on the bargain. Mrs Smith asked if she could get any help to set her laptop up and Ted told her that she could ring the manufacturer if she had any problems.

Mrs Smith said that she needed some time to think about the purchase and that she would come back in a few days. Ted couldn’t hide his clear disappointment that he would miss his sales target bonus this month. Mrs Smith went to a different store the next day, where she spoke to a lovely guy called George who could not have been more helpful in finding a laptop that suited her needs and that was much cheaper than the one that Ted had tried to sell her.

Why is Customer Experience Important for your Business?

These two stories highlight two very different retail customer experience examples for purchasing the same product. In the good example, the advisor uses their knowledge and experience to work out what product would be the best solution based on the user requirements. In the second, the advisor did not even take the time to find this out and tried to sell a laptop that was completely over and above what the customer needed, with a much higher cost because they were trying to hit their sales targets.

In the first example, the customer was so happy with their experience that they told their friends and family about their experience, which resulted in more sales for ABC Laptops. In the second example, the customer told their friends and family what a poor experience they had and they lost out on her sale, as well as a sale from one of her friends who was also looking to buy a laptop in the near future.

When a customer has a good experience, this not only will usually result in a sale and possibly repeat custom, it will also ensure that the customer advocates the business. The customer experience has a powerful impact on revenue and a poor experience can be catastrophic for business reputation.

In the first example, listening to the customer and understanding what they needed was critical to delivering a good experience. The advisor was also immediately available to help and had the knowledge required to advise the customer, without being pushy.

Online Reviews

With online reviews now becoming so frequently left by customers, both for good and bad experiences, customer choice is largely influenced by the review ratings if they are choosing between two similar businesses. In fact, 50% will not engage with a business if it has less than ⅘ stars. Therefore, it is really important for businesses to deliver the best customer experience possible, to generate lots of positive online reviews and to achieve a star rating that is higher than their competitors. This will help them to attract new customers, as well as retaining customers by providing them with great experiences.

Related: How To Respond To Public Reviews

Easy Switching Processes

If you work in an industry where you provide a long-term service, such as providing broadband, for example, customer experience is just as important as it is with one-off product sales, if not even more important. With unlimited consumer choice and easy access to information, a poor customer experience can result in a customer switching to a different provider.

With no switching costs and the whole process smoothly performed by the new provider, you lose a customer who might have stayed with you for many years if they had a better experience. It only takes one incident to damage the relationship you have with a customer, whether that is the broadband service being down when they really needed to use it, or having issues trying to get an engineer out to fix a problem.

Technology Levels the Competitive Playing Field

Traditionally, it was very difficult for small businesses to compete with long-established businesses, as they could not match the resources to be able to provide the same level of quality in terms of products and customer service. However, with the rapidly growing capabilities provided by advanced technology solutions, there is a more even playing field.

The digital customer experience involves everything from digital marketing reaching people across the world, to using an e-commerce site to generate sales, technology gives the smaller companies a better chance of competing, so industries are becoming more competitive. This is why CX is so crucial in the modern business world, helping to get the edge over competitors who offer the same products or services at the same prices.

With data privacy being a prominent concern for consumers, traditional targeted advertising is starting to deliver less ROI. So, rather than responding to targeted email marketing, consumers are increasingly using online reviews from customers to decide which company to choose for what they need. They will do online research to find out which company that want to use.

Social media marketing and SEO can be used effectively by businesses of all sizes, without the requirement for a huge marketing budget, so this is another way that it is becoming easier for smaller companies to compete with the giants, as long as they are providing good CX.

Customer Experience Stats and Trends

We touched upon the importance of understanding a customer’s needs in the good and bad CX examples but some industry stats add some further weight to why you really have to focus on customer experience to give your business the best chance of success.

These are some of the top stats to highlight the importance of good CX:

  • Research shows that 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.

  • Another stat that outlines the importance of CX is that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies who are not.

  • Further studies showed that customers are willing to pay 17% more for a good experience.

  • If you are wondering about the impact that retaining customers has on a business, a survey showed that increasing customer retention rates by 5% was able to drive profits by 25-95%.

How important is CX to companies?

Companies are starting to invest more time and money into their CX, so that they are able to benefit from the profit-generating advantages that this provides them with. Some more stats that show this growing importance of CX for companies:

  • 89% of businesses ‘see customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention’.

  • In Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report, CX ranked higher than content marketing, video marketing and even social media as their key focus, for the majority of companies.

  • A further survey conducted by Deloitte discovered that 88% of companies now prioritize customer experience in their contact centres.

Retaining customers is a key factor in success and the customer experience is integral to being able to keep customers and prevent them from looking for another company to provide them with what they need. Unless customers are locked into a membership or fixed period, it is so easy for customers to switch to a new company with very little effort.

Many companies will do all of the work involved in switching, so that the customer does not need to do anything at all, simply give their permission and everything gets done, so that one bad part of the customer journey could have significant consequences.

You have now seen some of the main reasons why your company cannot afford to miss out on delivering good CX but now we will walk through how you can calculate the ROI of CX.

A Simple Customer Experience ROI Calculation

Here’s an example of how much your business is missing out by not implementing CX, using the Net Promoter Score (NPS):

Calculating CX’s ROI using NPS.

This is how much your best customers, your normal customers, and your detractors spend per year at your business. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep the numbers small.

Average Annual Spend Per Customer Category
Promoters $1,000
Passives $500
Detractors $100


Let’s pretend you conducted a customer satisfaction survey. Here you have your total number of customers for the year, distributed into the three categories (Promoters, Passive, Detractors) based on the answers to the survey.

Number of customers 10,000
Percentage Promoters 70%
Percentage Passives 20%
Percentage Detractors 10%


Applying the NPS calculation formula:

  • Net Promoter Score = % Promoters - % Detractors

We get the following NPS score

  • 60 = 70% - 10%

It is important to note that the Net Promoter Score is not a percentage, even if it is derived from percentages. The Net Promoter Score is a number between -100 and +100.

We multiply the figures in the 2 preceding tables to get how much revenue each type of customer brings. For example: Promoters = $1,000 in yearly revenue * (10,000 customers * 70%).

Estimated Revenue per NPS category
Promoters $7,000,000.00
Passives $1,000,000.00
Detractors $100,000.00
Estimated Total Revenue $8,100,000.00

Now we move to the part where we see the impact of an increase in NPS from 60 to 70

Here’s a table comparing revenue impact with or without CX efforts. We are assuming the company grows its customer base by 1% next year. We also assume the company managed to convince 3% of detractors to become promoters, and 4% of passives to become promoters:

Today

Number of customers
10,000
Customers by NPS
Promoters 70.00%
Passive 20.00%
Detractors 10.00%
NPS 60

Year 1

With CX Without CX
Customer count1 10,100 10,100

Customers by NPS2
Promoters 77.00% 70.00%
Passive 16.00% 20.00%
Detractors 7.00% 10.00%
NPS 70 60


After 1 year, we assume customers haven’t changed how much they spend. By performing the same calculations as above, we get the following numbers.

Today

Number of customers
10,000
Revenue by NPS Group
Promoters $7,000,000.00
Passive 1,000,000.00
Detractors 100,000.00
Total Revenue 8,100,000.00

Year 1

With CX Without CX
Customer count 10,100 10,100

Revenue by NPS Group
Promoters $7,777,000.00 $7,070,000.00
Passive $808,000.00 $1,010,000.00
Detractors $70,700.00 $101,000.00
Total Revenue $8,655,700.00 $8,181,000.00


And now we calculate how much revenue an investment in CX brought in:

We see that without CX, the company would have grown just 1% and brought only 81,000.00 in revenue (8,181,000 - 8,100,000). With CX, this figure jumps to 6.4% (8,100,000 - 8,655,700)!

Subtracting 81,000 from 555,700, a 10-point increase in NPS brings in 474,700 more in revenue. In other words, not implementing CX cost this company 474,700.

Results
Growth without CX 1% $81,000.00
Growth with CX 6.4% $555,700.00
Value of CX $474,000.00


As you can see, the value of CX is a very significant amount, as shown in this simple calculation using an average annual spend, using the Net Promoter Score as the chosen customer feedback measurement method in the calculation.

That was just with a 10-point increase in positive Net Promoter Score. Imagine 15 or even 20.

How to Capture Customer Experience Feedback

In this calculation, we used the NPS to work out the value of CX but there are many different types of methods available to capture CX feedback. As a customer experience manager or business owner, you will need to decide what kind of feedback you want to collect and which method, or combination of methods will enable you to collect it.

Here are some of the most effective ways to analyse the customer experience:

Decide what kind of feedback you want to collect

There are two kinds of feedback you can collect. Specific or general feedback.

Specific feedback for a touchpoint in the customer journey

With this type of feedback, you already have a good idea of what part of the CX is letting you down. You look through the different areas where something is lacking. This could be capturing feedback about:

  • Shopping cart abandonment

Finding out why would-be customers are abandoning their shopping cart before they go through with the purchase, can help to identify a problem with the process. It could be that the shipping costs are putting people off, the checkout procedure is too time-consuming or they do not want to have to create an account. If the numbers of abandonments are increasing, you will need to identify the issue and make the necessary changes.

  • Lack of subscription renewal

Delving into why customers are not renewing a subscription will reveal more information that you can use to improve the customer experience. Do they think they have not had good value for money? Has a competitor launched a similar service that they have switched to because it has more features or is cheaper? You must capture the reasons why customers are deciding not to renew and implement improvements to retain customers.

  • Order cancellation

If customers are cancelling orders, you need to be monitoring why this is happening. A few cancellations may not indicate a big problem with CX but when the numbers start to increase, you must analyse why people are cancelling their orders. Are they unhappy with how long it is taking to get their order delivered? Once a cancellation is made, businesses need to have a method of finding out the cause of the cancellation to prevent further ones for the same reason.

  • Order returns

Capturing information regarding order returns is also very important and many retailers send out a form with the returns label that requests a reason for returning the item, such as it is not the right fit, the product is not as they expected, or they have changed their mind. This information can help you to make changes such as using better photos on the website or providing more details to give customers a better idea of the product before they buy it. There could be an error on the website regarding product details that are leading to high numbers of returns, so you need to capture that customer feedback somehow.

  • Atmosphere in the store

For in-store customer experience feedback, you might want to look more closely at the atmosphere in the store, whether shoppers feel comfortable and whether support was easily available. Did they have to wait long at the checkout desk? Were the staff friendly and helpful? If a customer does not feel comfortable and welcome in store, they are unlikely to shop there again, so this is important data to capture and monitor.

General Sentiment Feedback

If you are not too sure where you want to start with capturing feedback then simply capturing general feedback is a great starting point which can help you to identify problems by looking at the whole operation, instead of one touchpoint.

For example, you are a retailer with 20 locations, and want to have a general overview of people’s experience at your stores. You collect general “How was your visit?” feedback, all that data comes into a central dashboard where you can monitor it. An easy way to collect this type of feedback is by using Smiley pods, so that customers can easily give you instant feedback about their experience.

If you then notice that there are a lot of sad faces coming in from 1PM - 6PM, which corresponds with John Smith’s shift, you can then have a chat with John and see if there are any issues. Having an open conversation with the employee might reveal problems that you never knew existed.

Alternatively, you can observe what is happening during John’s shift, to identify what the main issue appears to be. Maybe this period is busier and requires another member of staff to reduce waiting times, rather than the issue being with John’s customer service skills. Using customer feedback tools such as this is the best way to analyse and identify where improvements can be made, otherwise, you will be making assumptions that could be completely wrong.

Related: How Team Sportia Measures General Sentiment and Tests New Concepts Using General Feedback

Decide what tools you’re going to capture responses with

Using the best available tools for capturing feedback is essential and there is no right or wrong solution, as each business is different. You will need to factor in how much budget is available, how easy it is to use and whether a solution requires more analysts than you currently have available.

These are some of the available tools you can use to capture valuable customer experience feedback:

Old-school options:

  • Comments and suggestions boxes.

Going completely back to basics, a comments/suggestions box is a possible solution. Benefits include that they are cheap to implement and easy for customers to understand. However, it can be difficult to achieve high levels of responses with this type of feedback tool. It also requires manual collection of data and time to collate, analyse and create reports for the data.

  • Professional consultancies (including on-site personnel)

Another option is to use professional consultancies, where a person will physically interview a customer to gain insights into their experience. This helps to get rich, deep responses because it’s an ongoing conversation with someone who is able to ask questions related to a specific issue or answer they have received. This can reveal more information than asking a general set of questions, but it can be costly to pay for this service and it is time-consuming to get answers, which will then need to be collated and reports produced.

  • Email surveys like Surveymonkey or Google Forms or similar.

Using digital forms using tools such as Surveymonkey or Google Forms is another way you can capture feedback regarding the customer feedback. There are a number of benefits to doing this, such as how easy it is to collate the information and reports are auto-generated. This option allows you to collate feedback from customers around the world.

Issues with these old ways:

These are the main drawbacks of using these old school customer feedback methods:

  • Responses are low and getting lower as distracted consumers can’t be bothered spending time filling in long surveys or talking to a researcher.

  • Professional consulting can be very expensive and way beyond what your business needs.

  • You only get responses from biggest fans, angriest detractors, or just people that like to fill out surveys.

  • Your data is all over the place. Different charts, papers, graphs. Did you accidentally throw away the comment cards? You’d probably need to hire someone just to organize everything for you.

  • According to our data, 96% of unhappy experiences get undiscovered because the large majority of people simply don’t want to work with these tools.

Modern options:

With the limitless capabilities of technology, there are so many new and more effective options that are easier to implement and use. These include:

  • Web widgets.

Website widget

These are multi-channel surveys so you can get everyone and not just a fraction of people. They work by being added to a company website and can vary from an on-site poll, to asking for a star rating or a longer online questionnaire. You can ask many types of questions, but these are great for specific feedback, as you can ask open-text questions.

You are also able to adapt website widgets to your customers’ behaviour patterns. One example is to prompt them with a smiley web question while they are browsing the website. The website visitor knows that the feedback will take just seconds to provide and will be more likely to provide the feedback than something that takes longer, or that they need to open in an email, for example. The easier and more straightforward the feedback solution, the higher response rates you will get.

  • QR code/ SMS / Email surveys

QR codes

After someone interacts with your staff at checkout, wouldn’t you like to know their thoughts about their experience? Would you like to capture specific feedback about a shopper’s dining experience at the food court? All this is currently possible.

For capturing post-checkout feedback, you can send an SMS with a quick survey link that the customer opens right on their phone. You could even print a QR code on the purchase receipt, prompting the customer to scan it using their phone.

This type of multi-channel survey is best for when you need to pose follow-up questions and capture more details. With such surveys you could, for example, start with a smiley question such as “How was your shopping experience?” Then, depending on the smiley they press, you follow-up with a series of “positive” or “negative” open-text questions.

Related: Touchless Feedback: 5 trends driving the transition

  • Public review managment tools

Imagine logging into a single application where you can see all public reviews about your organization no matter where they come from. Imagine being able to reply to these reviews without leaving the application, and having the general sentiment of the reviews be quantified into a single score. This is what public review scraping technology can do for you.

These days, 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. And as COVID-19 has pushed more people online, it’s reasonable to expect that even more people will share their opinions about your organization online. With public review scrapers, you don’t need to log into different review services and manually hunt down reviews to respond to. Everything is done automatically for you, and presented in an inbox format. All you have to do is respond to the reviews.

  • Smiley Feedback Terminals.

Smiley terminal

Smiley feedback terminals provide a very quick and easy way to leave feedback, as you literally just need to tap a button. Smiley terminals are ideal for setting up in areas with high footfall, for example, at train stations, airports, in shopping centres or in store entrances/exits. It is a very convenient way to collect feedback and because there is a physical reminder to complete the feedback, the completion rates are higher.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, touching buttons has become a more highlighted hygiene issue and a cause of concern for the possible transmission of infection. Fortunately, you are also able to use smiley pods with touchless customer experience feedback buttons that are used in exactly the same way, just a quick finger hover over a smiley face instead of the push of a button.

Related: How Simple Smiley Feedback Terminals Drive Clarity

Key benefits of using these customer experience feedback methods

One of the great benefits about using these latest digital technology solutions is that they can easily be scaled depending on your business needs. So, if you start off with a few stores and then expand to over 30 stores, the same solution can be used across all stores.

Similarly, if you start off with low numbers of website visitors and then start to generate a lot more leads from marketing campaigns and your visitors increase, the web widgets will still be able to handle the increased numbers.

They also capture responses from indifferent consumers, which helps address the “extremes” bias from other options.

This type of feedback tool will prompt all customers who visit the store or visit the website to leave feedback on the on-site feedback terminals, whereas with the more time-consuming solutions, a customer will usually have strong reasons for spending their time completing the feedback.

Furthermore, it’s easy to have these tools send data to the same place, so you won’t have to waste time on centralizing the data yourself. Pulling data together into spreadsheets and creating tables and graphs requires a lot of time, historically a large data analysis team was required to effectively analyse the traditional methods of collating customer feedback.

With the modern solutions such as the ones provided by OMBEA, they do all of the data collation and number-crunching work for you, saving time and resources. You have access to real-time data about the customer experience, rather than waiting days or even weeks for analysts to get through their work and send reports out to managers.

By the time this is done, it is often too late to put the appropriate action in place to rectify the issue. With digital solutions providing real-time feedback, the customer experience manager can quickly take decisive action to help retain more customers.

Create the right questions that will bring the best results

Once you have decided the type of feedback tool(s) that you want to use, the next step is to determine what sorts of questions you are going to ask to leverage the kind of feedback that you want to receive.

What sorts of questions can you ask?

  • Smiley face sentiment questions.

Smileys

The smiley face sentiment questions are straight to the point, short and snappy, providing a quick overview of how the store is performing. You can ask questions such as How was your experience today? Then the customer simply chooses the face that represents how they feel. There is also the option for the customer to leave more in-depth feedback by scanning the QR code using their smartphone, which will take them to a web form where they can provide more details behind their response.

  • Multiple choice questions.

Multiple choice

With multiple-choice questions, you target a question that will help you to discover an issue that you suspect is a problem for your business. Alternatively, you might want to find out what it is that you are doing right and therefore should not change.

For example:

What is our strength?

  • A Product selection
  • B Store layout
  • C Friendliness
  • D Cleanliness
  • E Checkout waiting time

If one of these answers is not getting any selections, then it is probably holding you back from providing a better customer experience.

Related: The uses of Multiple Choice Questions, Far more than Who Wants to be a Millionaire

  • Likert-type questions.

Likert scale

The Likert Scale is a rating scale typically providing five responses:

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

This type of question enables you to pinpoint a specific area to find out how customers feel about it. One of the key problems is that it can be tempting for people to simply answer ‘neutral’ if they are trying to quickly answer the survey, which will not give you any particularly meaningful data. You can choose text-based on smiley-based scales, whichever you feel will provide you with the information that you are looking for.

Related: How to Easily Understand Your Audience with Likert Questions

  • Open-text questions.

Open text

Open-text questions are the ones that are really going to delve that level deeper and ask more probing questions that will hopefully provide more detailed answers. Rather than simply rating the question, the respondent can describe why they were happy or unhappy with the product or service. This type of question can uncover problems that otherwise might never have been identified. There might be an issue that customers are experiencing that your product development team or management are completely unaware of.

Examples include:

  • Tell us about your experience today
  • Please describe your dining experience with us
  • How did your session today go?

How do you avoid respondent biases in your questions?

Acquiescence bias, or agreement bias, is a common issue with these types of surveys, where the respondent will agree with statements despite their answer not always reflecting what they actually feel. This usually happens in questions where you are offering two opposing answers e.g. yes/no.

Research has shown that people of a lower education level and who are less conservative had a higher tendency towards answering with agreement bias. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you are pitching to the right audience, the questions are clear and that the survey is not too long.

Decide when and where is it optimal to ask for feedback

Another important factor in obtaining quality customer feedback is understanding when the optimal time is to ask for feedback. Ideally, you want this to be as close to the experience as possible, so that they have a clear memory of it and can give more details about the experience.

The longer it is after the feedback, the less worthwhile it is. This is why using a OMBEA feedback terminal positioned at the exit of a store is so effective at catching instant feedback.

Additionally, if you are opting for a website widget, you want to make sure that you choose the right time to ask them for feedback, rather than annoying them when they are trying to shop. Think about the most natural location that makes sense for your business and your customers.

If you are using a widget on an ecommerce store, it might make sense to ask customers to answer the question in the event that they click “back” before clicking on “order” or “checkout.”

How To Measure Customer Experience Feedback

Measuring customer experience feedback can be done in a variety of ways and you will need to choose the best one for your specific requirements. You also need to determine what constitutes “great” CX for your industry or for your specific business. There isn’t a universal KPI that is right for every business.

Once you have an answer, choose the score that best reflects that:

CES (Customer Effort Score)

CES Question

This type of feedback measurement asks the respondent how easy or difficult it was to get what they required from the experience. Usually, this type of survey is sent following an interaction with customer service, for example, at the end of a telephone conversation.

The respondent will be asked to rate on a scale how easy it was to get the issue resolved. Alternatively, it could be used following a purchase, or when they sign up for a free trial, for example. This type of survey is used by a wide range of different industries who provide services or products. This gives you the information regarding one specific interaction, as opposed to the customer’s holistic view of the company.

CES is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who answer ‘easy’ from the percentage that reply ‘difficult’. So, the score will end up being between -100 and 100 and the higher the score, the better your company is performing in terms of customer experience.

Related: A Guide to the Different Methods of Measuring Customer Satisfaction

NPS (Net Promoter Score)

NPS Question

The Net Promoter Score is another very popular customer feedback measurement that is used across a large number of different industries.

The Net Promoter Score is used to measure customer loyalty and is based on the following question:

“On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”

Just like the CES score, the score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to give a score between -100 and 100. The NPS rating is on a scale from 1-10 and customers who provide answers of 1-6 are classed as detractors, while 9 and 10 are promoters and everything in between is classed as passive.

Related: What is the Net Promoter Score® and Why Is It So Important?

CSAT

CSAT Question

The CSAT survey involves a simple question such as ‘How satisfied were you with your recent purchase?’ and they give a rating between 1 – 5, with 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being very satisfied. Or the scale could be between 1-10, there is some flexibility around the scale.

It is possible to add more questions to the CSAT survey if you want to, to get more details from the customer regarding why they chose the rating that they submitted. However, you also need to be mindful that the longer you make the survey, the less completed surveys you will receive.

This type of survey can be done in a mix of ways, including at the end of a telephone conversation, within a chat conversation or by text message.

TTR (Time-to-resolution)

This type of measurement does not focus on customer feedback but rather the resolution time for issues. This will usually be calculated in hours or days and the objective is to reduce the TTR to as low as possible. The idea is that the lower the TTR, the more satisfied the customer will be.

However, it does not always work out that way if the quality of customer service is compromised in order to get the issue quickly resolved. For example, rushing the customer off the phone or writing a very short email response that provides the customer with little information can have the opposite effect on the customer experience. TTR is often used in combination with other methods.

Voice of the Customer

The customer experience management model for most companies will involve more than one way of capturing customer feedback. So, in addition to the feedback surveys listed above, you might also consider the TTR and do some additional work around collating Voice of the Customer feedback.

This often incorporates collating data from social media comments and interactions, with a social media team monitoring and collating comments from customers and sending reports to the relevant team i.e. products or service teams, as well as responding to the comments in the appropriate way.

Related: How to Use Voice of the Customer Tools to Improve Quantity and Quality of Customer Feedback

AVOID ANALYSIS PARALYSIS!

If you are not taking action based on the customer experience data you are collecting, then it is pointless. It is important to benchmark progress with measurement tools and metrics but this alone does not constitute progress.

Creating lots of attractive charts and graphs may give the impression that the CX analysis is working well but in order to leverage the business opportunities, putting actions into place is the only way to create true gains.

If you are not using the comments on feedback cards or using the data collected from the survey consultancies to drive actions, then there is no point in collecting it.

Conversational feedback

For many years, the best way to understand customers and their pain points has been to talk to them and develop a better understanding of how they view your company and what changes they would like to see. While the method of physically talking to customers might not be the most efficient now with the technology options at our fingertips, we can still adopt some conversational feedback approaches that link into the digital interactions.

Conversational feedback can be in a number of different formats, for example, when someone leaves a review, a prompt reply to thank them and strengthen the relationship. Even if they have left a bad review, you can use your reply as an opportunity to show them you are taking action and care about their custom, trying to turn a negative into a positive. You might even be able to arrange a call to talk about the issue.

Another example of conversational feedback could be where someone is struggling to use the e-commerce site and a chat representative is able to talk through the problem to help them.

Building a conversational feedback loop

Step 1: Understand why your promoters love your brand, and why your detractors hate your brand.

How to do it: Open up different feedback channels such as on-site, online and continuously capture feedback.

Step 2: Take immediate action.

How to do it: Whether that’s by opening up a chat window or sending an employee immediately to speak to that person face-to-face, ensure that you’re always engaging customers. 70% of customers still prefer human interaction, after all.

Step 3: Learn from the results and make it company policy.

How to do it: Because you have access to chats and conversations that happened, you can compile a resource where you detail what problem the customer had and how it was resolved (or not). This helps you learn from your mistakes so that they don’t happen again -- at a company-wide level.

Closing Thoughts

Digital interactions have become increasingly popular in recent years with more customers looking to use digital channels to get in touch with companies. Rather than spending time waiting in call centre queues, customers would rather start an online chat, often doing something else while they wait for a response from the customer support team.

For e-commerce companies, web widgets are going to be instrumental in measuring the digital customer experience, as all of the customer touchpoints are most likely to be digital. The customer is not going into the store and may not want to entertain a telephone interview, so the web widgets are the best available solution. They offer convenience for both the customer and the business, as well as immediate results that actions can be taken from.

OMBEA customer experience management software

OMBEA widgets enable companies to embed feedback questions and understand what is important to customers, without disrupting their customer journey. Using detailed research into response times and behaviours, the widget triggers the right question to appear at the right time, to ensure optimal responses in terms of quality and quantity.

The OMBEA surveys are designed to be conversational and friendly, encouraging the website visitor to share their customer experience. By appropriate placement and timing, the widget works seamlessly on a website, pulling vital customer feedback that is then automatically collated and reports generated, without any additional company resource required to collate the data.

It is easy to set up your questions, so that you can change the subject to find areas of your service or product that require improvement. You can then add a different question to obtain more information about what improvements should be made.

Now to develop your customer experience improvement program…

Now you have read this comprehensive guide, you should have a deeper understanding of the importance of a good customer experience and the options for measuring customer experience, as well as how to collate valuable feedback, which you can then use to implement the required improvements.

With both online and offline customer experience management software solutions, OMBEA provides the advanced tools to enable your business to develop an effective customer experience improvement program that will help to drive continual progress.


  1. assuming 1% growth ↩︎

  2. 3% of detractors become promoters, and 4% of passives become promoters ↩︎

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