Customer experience is one of the latest and biggest business trends of 2017, meaning it is imperative for businesses to hop on the bandwagon. Customer experience, as the name suggests, puts the customer first or, at the very least, on the same level as the business itself.
Prioritizing the customer is essential because customers no longer blindly trust businesses the way they did in the past. People want faster results and they also want access to the tools they need to fix any problems that inevitably arise themselves, as opposed to sitting on the phone for hours on end, frustrated that no one can offer actual help.
If your business is interested in prioritizing customer experience, there are tons of metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), that can show you where your business currently stands. We’re going to break down ten customer-experience-related KPIs, many from Oracle, that are easy for your business to evaluate and implement.
Important Data for Improving Customer Experience
CRM software makes collecting this data much easier, so if your business still hasn’t committed to making the switch, it will make analyzing these key metrics so much easier. If you don’t use CRM software, these metrics are still possible to calculate.
1. Direct Traffic
Direct Traffic refers to all the visitor traffic a business receives that occurs as a result of a specific action that is intended to increase business interactions. This is important because it will show that your business' actions are not being completely disregarded.
Increasing customer interactions will not happen unless your business is actively pursuing them. The more interactions your business receives, the more likely you will find quality leads that lead to purchases. Customers want businesses to interact with them because they are seeking a more personal connection.
This connection is important because trust is at an all-time-low between customers and businesses. Each action needs to result in some sort of reaction. In this case, that reaction is going to the website. Reactions can come from a number of sources, like advertising, tweets, email campaigns, and direct mail campaigns.
The amount of time spent on the website is also a great measure of customer experience. Buying products online can be much easier than going to the store, but customers still have to go out of their way to go on the website, do research, and decide on whether or not to commit to buying a product.
Time spent on the site can also be an indicator of a negative customer experience, if, let’s say, your business offers self-service options, but they’re unclear or hard to find. In these cases, more time spent could imply more improvement needs to be done. Less time, would imply business is running smoothly.
Ultimately, it depends on what kind of business you manage in order to determine how Time On Site will be beneficial. Make the necessary changes by simplifying the layout, or providing in-depth solutions, to either increase or decrease time spent on the site.
2. Time On Site
- Keep track of the average time spent per customer and determine if more time or less time is a good or bad thing.
A touchpoint is when a buyer and seller come in contact with one another. Multichannel touchpoints are simply multiple ways buyers and sellers can come in contact with each other.
These touchpoints can come in the form of face-to-face interactions, phone calls, emails, live chats, text messages, and social media. Typically, the more options customers have to reach out to your business, the better.
It’s better because customers all have different preferences. Some want to be greeted by a knowledgeable agent; some might find it easier to have an agent walk them through an issue over the phone; some might not want to be bothered talking to people and prefer texting or live chats.
3. Multichannel Touchpoints
- Give customers multiple touchpoints, like face-to-face interactions, phone calls, emails, live chats, text messages, and social media.
Customer Effort Score is how much effort it takes a customer to perform an interaction. This is what customer and user experience is all about. No one wants to sit on the phone for an hour; no one wants to go through endless pages on websites to find what they’re looking for.
It should be quick and easy to find self-help information, to find whatever product or service your business offers, to find out your business’ contact information in case there are inquiries that require an actual agent, and to, most importantly, buy a product.
Tons of people abandon their cart at the last second. It should be a quick and easy process that makes the customer feel confident that they’re making the right decision. If there wasn’t enough information on the website, or customers have to complete a survey or fill out forms beforehand, they might be reluctant to confirm their purchase.
4. Customer Effort Score
- How can this be measured? Customer surveys! Some questions your business can ask your customers are: Did you find everything you were looking for? Did anyone help you? Rate your satisfaction on a scale from one to five, five being the best.
Your business has a social media page, right? If not, now’s the time to set one up. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are all great platforms to advertise and reach out to people of all demographics.
Keeping track of how often your business is mentioned on social media is a great way to evaluate customer experience. Customers turn to social media for self-help options, research, and developing more personalized relationships with businesses.
If your customers are talking positively about your business on social media, you’re clearly doing something right, and you should be actively engaging with those that go out of their way to mention your business. If not, you should be quickly addressing their issues.
The longer your business takes to address customer inquiries, the odds of receiving negative attention will go increase exponentially.
5. Brand Mentions
- Remember: Customers love to complain on social media just as much, if not more, than they like to praise businesses.
Customer Churn Rate is the number of people that cancel their service with your business or fail to make a repeat purchase. This should be easy to grasp: if your business has a high number of service cancellations, something is wrong.
If there’s a high number of customers who fail to make repeat purchases, your business isn’t doing enough to convince the customer to come back. If your business brings in extraordinarily high numbers of customers that only make one purchase, it might not matter, but most businesses profit from a solid foundation of repeat customers.
That foundation is more likely to talk positively about your business on social media and encourage other users to do business with you. If your business only attracts one-time buyers, they won’t be as committed to your success.
6. Customer Churn Rate
- Determine your Customer Churn Rate by dividing the number of lost customers by the total number of active customers over a given period of time. Then make an effort to establish a base on social media or community forum.
Customer Satisfaction is defined as “the mean satisfaction score of customers for a given experience.” This should be one of the more obvious customer metrics and sales KPIs to measure while prioritizing customer experience.
Similarly to what you would do to measure Customer Effort Score, you can give your customers a survey to determine their overall satisfaction.
It’s important to evaluate how satisfied your customers are because that’s what customer experience is based on, unless, of course, your business focuses on people who want their day ruined.
That’s probably not the case, so keep in mind that if your customers are happy and they’re able to navigate your website, they will most likely give your business positive results on the satisfaction survey.
7. Customer Satisfaction
- Oracle suggests asking customers to “rate their satisfaction with X on a defined scale with adjectives that range from ‘Not at all satisfied’ to ‘Very Satisfied’.” Showcase the results to convince other potential customers.
Average Resolution Time is the time it takes to resolve a customer inquiry. The more time your business spends on resolving your customers’ issues, the less happy they will be. It’s important to determine the average resolution time because customers today expect immediate solutions.
If customers aren’t receiving immediate solutions, and your business isn’t doing enough to provide them with self-help options, they will grow frustrated with your business and let it be known to other customers that they didn’t have a positive experience.
Customer experience relies significantly on improving all customer interactions. It’s imperative for your business to prioritize the customer because they ultimately determine how successful your business will be.
8. Average Resolution Time
- The way to determine the Average Resolution Time is to find the mean time, beginning with the customer bringing their issue to attention and ending with the resolution of the problem.
Self-service is a key business trend because customers are more interested in solving problems for themselves rather than being forced to sit and wait on hold over the phone or go out of their way to meet in person.
There are many self-service channels to offer customers, like community forums, social media pages, FAQs, demos, and step-by-step guides. Your business should incorporate as many of these channels as possible to ensure every customer has options.
If your business doesn’t incorporate self-service channels for your customers, it’s time to seriously consider the benefits. Chatbots can help automate simple interactions and direct more complex issues to a customer support agent, freeing you or your team to focus only on the bigger problems.
9. Self-service Rate
- Figuring out what your Self-service Rate is can be a little tricky. Oracle says it can be measured by “the number of customer interactions that were completed without agent assistance and divide by the total number of interactions handled by the organization across all assisted channels.”
Average Handle Time is the average time it takes to handle phone calls, chats, emails, or other interactions. The importance of this has already been implied a number of times, but we cannot stress enough that customers expect faster service.
Technology is steadily evolving to make customer interactions smoother. Mundane tasks can be automated to supply customers with self-service options, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent foolproof. There will always be a need for human interactions.
The technology itself also needs to be set up too. Chatbots, for example, still rely on people to create automated messages that don’t sound too generic. Phone systems can have automated menus, but someone needs to be at the end of the line in case a customer needs to speak to an agent. The way your business handles these interactions counts.
10. Average Handle Time
- Determining your Average Handle Time is similar to determining your Self-service Rate. You’re simply recording the amount of time it takes from the moment a customer calls to the moment the issue is resolved, and divide by the total number of interactions.
The Final Word
These metrics, or KPIs, all can be evaluated without CRM software, but CRM software makes recording and organizing the data significantly easier than using spreadsheets and Excel.
Customer experience is trending for good reason. Businesses, for too long, have been telling customers what they should buy and why, but the average customer is more cautious and not open to blindly trusting businesses. Even social stances play an important role in the decision to shop at certain stores.
Customer experience is not a revolutionary idea by any means. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people want to be treated like people, that we all want our voices heard. Happy customers in our social-media-driven world can make the world of a difference by encouraging others to do business with you by sharing their experiences.
Setting your business up to encourage positive customer and user experience on your website, on the phone, in person, or through other channels will help to establish a solid foundation with plenty of room for growth. These metrics are relatively easy to calculate and are naturally a part of the successful business process.