The 5-Step Universal Customer Experience Improvement Framework

The 5-Step Universal Customer Experience Improvement Framework

These days, it’s common business knowledge that the customer is king. That’s why you’ll find businesses in every industry pouring resources into customer experience (CX) initiatives. The problem is that the term itself — customer experience — is overly broad and somewhat vague. To wit, the customer experience for an eCommerce business barely has anything in common with that of a manufacturer, save for a few analogous customer touchpoints.

That means it’s quite difficult to build a customer experience improvement framework that applies to any industry. It’s difficult, but not impossible. All that’s necessary is to lay out the elements of a customer experience improvement program in the abstract so that individual businesses can overlay their operations to guide their program development. With that in mind, here’s a five-step universal customer experience improvement framework for businesses of all kinds to follow.

1. Set Realistic Program Objectives

Before it’s possible to design a customer experience improvement program, it is first necessary to define the precise goals the program will try to achieve. Ill-defined goals make it impossible to judge the relative success or failure of the initiative. They also make it impossible to know what metrics to use as a measure of success. So, setting clear and realistic objectives at the outset is critical. Examples of such goals include:

  • Improving customer retention by a specific percentage
  • Growing your customer base by a specific amount
  • Improving CSAT scores by a specific average amount
  • Improving NPS metrics by a specific average amount

It’s important to choose realistic objectives that are also reachable within a reasonable amount of time. That will make it far easier to collect the data required to prove a causal connection between the improvement efforts and real-world results.

2. Set up Data Collection and Customer Feedback Channels

With the program’s goals set, the next step is to choose and set up data collection and customer feedback channels. The correct data and channels should correspond to the types of improvement the goals aim to produce. For maximum flexibility, it’s often desirable to use a data aggregator like the SightMill NPS software. It’s a platform that allows businesses to gather multichannel customer feedback ranging from SMS, mail surveys, NPS, and CSAT scores. Having such a solution in place simplifies data collection and provides flexibility to collect different data if future program iteration goals change.

3. Analyse and Digest Data

The next step is to start analysing the data collected to get a baseline measurement of how far you are from the CX goals outlined in step one. For metrics like CSAT, analysis is fairly straightforward. NPS, on the other hand, is a bit more complex due to its volatility and variance. When it comes to less specific data, like direct customer feedback or comments, it’s often helpful to turn to text analytics and sentiment analysis software for help.

It’s also worth pointing out that it’s sometimes necessary to narrow down direct customer feedback sources when conducting textual or sentiment analysis. For example, if you’re trying to gauge the experience of existing customers, feedback about potential customers’ experience isn’t necessary. In that case, you’ll want to turn off comments on Facebook ads and similar advertising channels to remove them from your data set. Conversely, if you want to know how potential customers see your brand before they interact with it, you’d want to include that data and exclude other channels.

4. Extract Insights and Enact Solutions

With your baseline set, the next step is to look for potential CX improvements that could move the needle in the direction you’re aiming for. Most of the time, especially when dealing with customer feedback, specific trends will emerge that suggest what it is the customers want out of their interaction with the business.

For metrics like NPS, however, it’s necessary to delve a little deeper into the data to develop the proper improvement strategy. From there, you’ll need to set a timeframe to enact the suggested changes and collect the data to check the results.

5. Evaluate and Iterate

Once you reach the end of the defined timeframe, it’s time to collect data and measure the results. If your CX improvement plan failed to produce the desired results, look for clues in the data as to why it failed. Then, make changes to the plan and try again.

If the plan had the desired result, however, it still doesn’t mean the program is complete. It means you’ve set another baseline from which to begin again. At that point, you can repeat the process to identify even more areas of potential improvement. That’s the true goal of a customer experience improvement program — to create an improvement loop that continues to refine its approaches for ever-greater results.

The Takeaway

Using the framework laid out above, a business in any industry can develop a high-performance customer experience improvement program. Then they can turn the resulting program into a playbook to run again and again. Doing so should yield a steady stream of improvements to their customer experience and their bottom line — which are both outcomes any business can appreciate.


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