Create Success – The Alphabet Soup of Customer Experience Acronyms-Part 2

In a previous blog post, I defined the various contact center-related measurement acronyms and how they may be ideally combined. I bet you’re wondering, “Well, what do I do with this information?” Don’t worry, I’m going to help you.

First, let’s take another look at the right combinations of measure for your business, reiterating my previous post: Driving customer loyalty is one thing, while driving customer advocacy is another, and operational efficiency is yet again very separate. While you may be able to use some of the same measures, the objectives that you set for these three areas will be vastly different.

CSAT, CES, and VFM often work very well together and they each measure a key piece of the customer journey – your performance (CSAT), the effort from the customer (CES) and the value you provide relative to other options the customer has (VFM).

AHT and FCR each tell a piece of a very important story. If AHT is low and FCR is low, you likely have an upset customer who felt rushed through the process without an acceptable conclusion. If AHT is low and FCR is high, you likely have a very efficient shop with well-trained and highly empowered employees. Measuring these two in relation to each other is get to getting a more well-rounded story of your performance.

CSAT and NPS – remember that these two often measure very different things.  One is a measure of how satisfied the customer was with their interaction, the other is a measure of their willingness to recommend you to a friend or colleague. NPS is a true relationship measurement, and should be applied as such.

Data is Your Key to Success

The ideal next step for you to build success with these metrics is to set data-based objectives. Once you have determined the outcomes you want to drive, and you have selected the CX and Operational Measure you want to use to drive those outcomes, now you need to set performance targets or objectives. As if this process was not challenging enough, this is where things can really get complicated.

Setting the wrong targets can have serious consequences for your customers and your business. Did you set an unrealistically low AHT target? You are practically telling your teams to hurry customers along. Did you set an unrealistically high CSAT target? We have all been asked by someone who is measured on CSAT to “let them know if there is any reason at all we can’t give them a completely satisfied”, often times regardless of the service they provided.

A few tips:

      • Establish your objectives after you establish your measures. This is the most common mistake I see – setting objectives without actual data supporting them. Collect data first – for a few days, a few weeks, a few months depending upon your business – before you set your objectives. This will ensure that you have real data to analyze to understand current performance. This is key to setting realistic objectives.
      • Use statistics to help set your objectives, not your gut. Look at the distribution of your data, not just averages.  One of the next common mistakes I see when setting objectives is to only evaluate the average performance of the measure. Looking at averages – average CSAT, average AHT, average Effort Score – does not tell you the story.  Simply looking at the average and picking a better number does not make the target attainable!  Evaluate the spread of the data – the distribution of customers across the data set, the standard deviation of the data set, and the performance by customer segment before setting your target.
      • Remember that significant increases in performance must be accompanied by associated changes in people, process, or technology. You would not believe the number of companies I have worked with in the past who wanted to drive a double-digit increase in CSAT, NPS, or Loyalty but they did not plan or budget for the accompanying operational changes to deliver those increases.

To be successful, understanding the terms and what they measure is a key foundation to choosing the right metrics. Next, understanding the relationship between the measures is key to ensuring you can determine real performance changes when using multiple metrics. Then, choosing the right measures to drive the right outcomes is a critical step. Finally, setting and consistently measuring data-based, realistic targets for improvement will ensure that your business focuses on the right changes to make to drive your intended goals.

By using these practices, you can assemble a customer experience measurement strategy for your business that blends the science needed to drive results with the art that makes it uniquely yours.