❔"How do I evaluate how well we've done as far as customer experience goes?"❔
This is an amazing question, and a common one... many of the customer experience goals our company leaders set are vague and hard to get solid numbers on. So how do we know how well we did? It's a harder question than it should be.
Thankfully, Jeannie has 5 questions to help you reflect on how well you did on your customer experience goals. You can use these questions anytime you need to evaluate your company CX plan. As always, Jeannie gives her tried and true tips on how to use customer feedback. You're going to want to write these down.
So, how did you do on your Customer Experience Goals?
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Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker. And founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm, helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, set, action.Jeannie Walters:
Hi everyone, I'm Jeannie Walters and welcome to the Experience Action Podcast where I'm answering real questions from you. So don't forget, you can leave me a voicemail. In fact, I got a great voicemail. This is annual planning season. We're all starting to reflect. So listen to this great question from who I'll say is a brave leader.Listener Question:
I'm in charge of our customer experience team, and I'm working on an end of year report. This is a little hard to admit, but I don't really know how to evaluate how we've done as far as CX goes beyond just reporting customer feedback scores. What do you think we should include in our evaluation? Any advice?Jeannie Walters:
Oh my goodness, I think it's so important that sometimes we admit when we just don't know, right? So in this case, I want you to know you're not alone if you're struggling with this right now because it's hard work to actually measure success to understand. How do we know if we got this right? And what I found about customer experience goals specifically, well, frankly, they're not very good. A lot of them are so general that we get to the end of the year and, and like this leader we heard, we're asked to present, how did we do? And that's a harder question than it should be. So I have today for you five questions to help you reflect on how you did with your customer experience goals. This is something you can do at key points, so this might be something you do at the end of the year. We do this with our clients several times throughout the year, maybe quarterly, or based on your fiscal year. But anytime you find yourself needing to reflect and report out on how did we do around this customer experience thing, this is a good place to start. So I'm going to give you five questions to help you reflect. You ready? This is all about action. Here we go. So, number one. What was the top priority for our customer experience goals? And then the sub questions here are, did we meet it, why or why not? So this is interesting because a lot of times when I ask leaders this question, they get a little stumped because these goals either never really existed in the first place or they were vague or not well defined. So sometimes this question alone is simply a wake up call to figure out, Hey, what should our goals be and how do we get this right? So we have lots of tools and information that can help you write these goals on our site at Experience Investigators. But today, I want you to be realistic. Sometimes there are disruptions outside of our usual control. And so, when we look at these things that happen, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, uh, we're still in the time of COVID, all of those things, when that happens, we need to acknowledge what happened, and then we need to ask ourselves if there's a chance it will happen again. And spoiler alert, the answer is usually maybe. So is there anything we can do proactively now to help weather these storms when they arise? This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other leaders to address issues like employee training and retention, because these issues impact everybody. So that first question, what was the top priority for our customer experience goals? If this doesn't roll off your tongue, if you're not really sure. You are not alone, but take a minute and think about what worked, what was successful, what did we prioritize and how did we actually meet those goals or not? Number two, what was the best thing we heard from customers? You don't need to go too far with this usually you can look at your survey results you can ask around sometimes you're in the contact center and you hear these amazing things you get that email forwarded to you, but it's not just about basking in that praise what we want to do is make sure that we are focused on what went right so that we can repeat it. So if you delivered for your customers this year, and if you really did something where a customer told you something fantastic, what you want to ask is, So what was great? What did customers love? And what did they tell you that surprised you about how delighted they were? Now, the other thing that can happen here is when we think about the best things we heard from customers. A lot of times we hear about a specific employee, a specific part of the journey, or a specific process more than others. So this can really shine a light on a specific part of the experience that we actually want to scale to other parts of the journey. So look for the words and emotions expressed from customers and then figure out what can we do. So that these aren't just something that is said about the one employee or the one part of the journey. How can we really make sure that we pull this throughout our customer journey from end to end? And it's a great chance to celebrate. Don't forget to recognize those people. Feel good about creating those emotional wins with customers, especially during challenging times. So if you're reflecting on how you did, make sure you're looking for the things that went well and those specific responses from customers that really tell you what's going well for them. Third question, what was the best business outcome we achieved due to our work in customer experience? Now this is where we're coming back to the idea that customer experience work is not just about making customers happy. CX has to be related to business outcomes. So let's say we're reporting that we had a higher net promoter score. Well, did that lead to an increase in retention? Can we connect those dots? Did a digital experience improvement lead to delivering more customers than last time at this year? Did better customer onboarding materials lead to reduced call center costs? Really start connecting the dots to understand what CX efforts drive business results. And you can do this and gain the buy in of leaders as you report on these things as well. If you find that you cannot connect your CX work to business results, it's time to consider why not. So is there information you don't have access to that would make this easier? Are there leaders who aren't engaged with the work around improving the customer experience who should be engaged? Those are important questions as well and those can be new goals for you next year or for your next set of goals. You can say, you know what we need to do is we need to connect this information, we need to make it visible so that we can really understand the return on the investment of the efforts around customer experience. Number four, here's a tough one, folks. What was the worst thing we heard from customers? How did we earn this criticism? Did we do anything to change this? This is the moment that I say it's about the hard truths. How did we disappoint customers this year? This isn't a, did we? This is a, how did we? Because it happened. We all disappoint customers. So how did that happen? What was the worst they had to say about their experiences? And perhaps more importantly, did we do anything about this? Remember, complaints from customers are a warning flag. So are you paying attention to the warning or just deciding to move on without considering what's really happening? And what about the customers who made these complaints? If changes were made, were the customers thanked for their part in that? How did you close the loop with customers who had issues? When it comes to the worst complaints from customers, do other leaders understand how these issues impact customer loyalty, ratings, or future purchases? It's a good moment to share the hard truths with the rest of the organization. And it's also a good chance to realign your top customer experience efforts to address what's most important to your organizations and to your customers. Alright, we made it to number five! Number five, did we improve or change the customer's journey for the better? If so, what made that happen? And if not, why not? This is the big question, right? It's time to ask what our organization did to make the customer experience better now than it was in the past. So how did we deliver improvements? What did we have to do internally to make that happen? And how are our teams supporting one another's efforts? It's a good chance to reflect on how you decided what to improve. If it was based on ongoing customer feedback, did customers have a say in what improvements were made? If you were doing this based on business results, do you see that connection? Are you starting to see how the improvements in the customer journey are actually turning into business results? Bottom line, folks, customer experience is a team sport, so we need cross functional leadership to make these improvements. This is a great chance to revisit what are the efforts we're putting into our customer experience, what are the returns that we're getting on that investment, and how can we build more cross functional collaboration and get more leadership buy in. By using these five questions that can really help you build those bridges, understand how these efforts are paying off and tell your story to your leadership, to the rest of the organization, to your team, so that everybody understands what this is really about. Now we know that the customer experience work you do is never finished. This is about making sure that we are checking in at key parts of our own journey. So whether that's at the end or the beginning of the calendar year, maybe this is quarterly. Maybe this is something you do a couple times a year, or maybe you just do it based on when you need to really evaluate. All of that is valid. So just review five CX questions to help you reflect here. Number one, what was the top priority for our customer experience goals? Did we meet it? Why or why not? Number two, what was the best thing we heard from customers? Number three, what was the best business outcome we achieved due to our work in customer experience? Number four, what was the worst thing we heard from customers? Don't shy away from this one. Really ask, how did we earn this criticism? And did we do anything to change this? And finally, number five, did we improve or change the customer's journey for the better? If so, what made that happen? And if not, why not? So reflecting on our progress this way can really help us look to the future and make better decisions, prioritize better and get better results on these efforts. Thank you so much for this question. This was such a great question and I hope this helped you. I'm Jeannie Walters. Don't forget that you can leave me a question. You can leave me voicemails at speakpipe. com slash experience action. I can't wait to hear your question and give you the real answer. See you next week. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience, check out free resources at experienceinvestigators. com where you can sign up for our newsletter. Our year of CX program and more. And please follow me, Jeannie Walters on LinkedIn. Thank you so much for joining us today. And don't just talk about customer experience, act on it. See you next week.