I typically focus on a three-pronged approach to assessing the customer experience.
- Listen. Don't just ask customers about the experience, listen, as well. There are a lot of different channels (both quantitative and qualitative) for customers to tell you about their needs and desired outcomes and how well you’re performing against their expectations. And don’t forget to ask employees; they are a great source for input into the current state of the customer experience.
- Develop personas. Research your customers. Identify the jobs they are trying to do. Compile key personas that represent the various types of prospects and customers that (might) buy from you or that use your products or services. If you don’t understand who the customer is and what she is trying to do, then you’ll never be able to design an experience that is right for her.
- Map journeys. Walk in your customers' shoes to get a clear understanding of the steps they take to do whatever job it is they are trying to do with your organization. Map their journeys to understand the current state of the experience; there’s no better way to assess the experience!
Additionally, ensure that you’re tracking the right metrics to assess customer experience success for your customers and for your organization. Customer experience success metrics for/about the customer include: customer effort score, expectations met, first call resolution. These signal to me that the experience was easy for the customer. Metrics for the business include: retention, CLV, and share of wallet. These signal that the business has delivered an experience so great that customers come back – regularly.
Annette Franz is CEO of CX Journey Inc, a boutique consulting firm specializing in helping clients ground and frame their customer experience strategies in/via customer understanding. She has 25 years of experience in the CX space and has been recognized as one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and by several other organizations as a top influencer in Customer Experience.