Whether you currently have a customer experience measurement program in place today or are considering putting a program in place, it’s critically important to understand one important rule: Measurement is not enough. It doesn’t matter if you have the latest and greatest outcome measure like NPS, WoMI, or CEI. It doesn’t matter if you have a reporting platform with all the bells and whistles, or if you have numerous, innovative ways for your customer to provide feedback to you. What counts is how you use the feedback you receive.
I have had the benefit of working with many world class brands that excel at using the feedback they get from their customers. On the other hand, I also have experienced the frustration of working with brands whose mismanagement of their customer feedback programs obstructs their path to greatness. What differentiates these brands? Here are a few common mistakes that can diminish the value of your customer feedback program.
1. Over-Emphasizing Customer Experience Scores
The benefit of customer experience measurement programs is that they enable you to quantify how well you are satisfying your customers’ expectations. However, if you over-emphasize customer satisfaction scores, improved scores will be viewed as the end goal. Whenever possible, talk about creating better customer experiences rather than getting scores up. Also, keep in mind that if you put in concentrated, coordinated, persistent effort to improve customer experiences, the scores will take care of themselves.
2. Tracking Complicated Metrics on Scorecards
Tracking customer satisfaction results on balanced scorecards is great. But if you combine multiple metrics into a composite score, or if you use complicated weighting schemes, your managers are likely to spend more time worrying about score calculations and less time working to improve the customer experience. Err on the side of simplicity: Choose a single customer experience metric to track.
3. Incenting Customer Experience Improvements
Tying incentive pay to customer experience results can be very motivating. But what behaviors will you drive? Neglect to teach your managers and employees how to deliver the customer experience you desire and you could drive your managers to game the system to improve their paychecks. If you don’t deal swiftly and severely with efforts to game customer satisfaction scores, you will undermine the validity of your program with employees and with customers.
4. Not Holding Managers Accountable
If you’re incenting managers to improve the customer experience, aren’t you holding them accountable? Not necessarily. If you don’t require managers to commit to specific actions to improve the customer experience, they may resort to the ridiculously ineffective, but very common, rally cry of “Let’s get our scores up!” Alternatively, they might try to game the system directly or indirectly. Simply requiring action plans won’t work. If you don’t teach managers how to create effective action plans, they are unlikely to accomplish the goals they include.
5. Mismanaging Poor Customer Experiences
Any decent customer experience feedback program will alert you when a customer indicates they’ve had a bad experience. But will you take advantage of the opportunities presented by this feedback? If you don’t follow-up with the customer promptly and with empathy, the customer’s anger will grow and they’ll be sure to tell others about their poor experience. If you don’t coach the employees involved in the negative experience, they are likely to treat other customers similarly in the future. If you allow repeat offenders to continue to interact with your customers, you are sending a message to all employees that it’s ok to periodically mistreat customers.
Not surprisingly, I believe a customer experience measurement program is a sound investment. However, measuring the customer experience is not enough by itself. In addition to the right measurement and reporting tools, you need the right organizational actions and support to keep from squandering your investment. I hope the ideas above help you avoid some common pitfalls so you can maximize the return on your customer feedback program.