Don’t Make This Customer Experience Metrics Mistake!

Lynn Hunsaker, of ClearAction, talks customer experience metrics

Lynn Hunsaker, of ClearAction, warns of a common customer experience metrics mistake.

Are you sick of having customer service employees beg you to give them a perfect 10 in the follow-up surveys? I kind of feel sorry for them: they tell you that if they don’t get a 10 they’ll be penalized. But in our quest to be more customer-friendly, too many companies make the mistake of focusing on the post-transaction surveys.

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Why Is This A Customer Experience Metrics Mistake?

  • There are many people (like me) who rarely give a perfect 10. For me to give a 10 the service has to have been extraordinary, not just good. When I’m buying shampoo, I’m OK with good. I just want to find what I want and be able to pay and get out quickly. The cashier shouldn’t be punished for that.
  • It gives employees the wrong incentives. They shouldn’t have to be trying to guilt-trip their customers. This may make me feel bad enough that I will rate them a 10, even when it wasn’t great service. So the company isn’t getting accurate information, and the customer feels unpleasantly pressured. Double-negative. (Which does NOT lead to a positive.)
  • It measures the wrong thing. This is what Lynn Hunsaker, of ClearAction, and I discuss in today’s interview. The problem, says Lynn, is that it is a “lagging indicator”. By the time I’m doing that post-sale evaluation, if they’ve screwed up it is probably too late to fix the problem. Instead they should be focusing on “leading indicators”; metrics that will tell them how to prevent problems rather than fix them after-the-fact.

            It’s like with weight loss: instead of focusing on what you want the scale to say, you need to focus on things like diet, portion control and exercise. Get those right and the scale and the fit of your clothes will get where you want them to be.

What Leads Up To That Customer Experience?

When it comes to improving customer experience, you need to figure out what are the elements that go into creating a good (or bad) experience.

If, for instance, many customers are complaining about defective products, don’t blame the poor customer service rep who has to try to pacify the angry customers. Instead, focus on what is the cause of all those defective products.

  • Is there a problem on the production line?
  • Are staff not adequately trained?
  • Do you need to have a final inspection process before the products get packaged?
  • Is the packaging sturdy enough?
  • Is your shipping company not handling them with due care?
  • Are the usage instructions clear?

            Those are the types of “predictive customer experience metrics” that you should be focusing on, says Lynn. Get them right, and the final customer experience will take care of itself.

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