With the business environment becoming increasingly tough, the emphasis is shifting further towards becoming a customer-centric organisation, for all. We have already said, customer experience (CX) is now the primary basis for competition and research carried out by Gartner implies 89% agree with us!
That’s why this article will look at customer excellence, what it is and ways businesses (including us!) are monitoring and measuring it, with best practice examples and advice.
A Simple (but Vital) Concept
Customer excellence is essentially about putting your customer at the core of everything your company does. It is an integral part of your brand and what it represents. With the competition shifts to customer experience, bad customer service isn’t something you want to be remembered for!
Onboarding new customers can be up to 25x more expensive than keeping your current ones loyal and this applies to any industry. So, we think it makes more sense (and saves you money) to pay close attention to the points we have outlined below.
We define 7 key areas to creating a culture of customer excellence:
1. Understanding customer needs
Unless you understand what it is your customer wants, you can’t deliver it to them. Defining customer experience is the needs of the customer. Can you deliver something different that no one else can? It’s key for defining your brand and creating a real belief in it.
2. Adding more value than competitors
Now, customers are less willing to stay loyal to companies they might have previously bought from. Even if it is based on just one bad experience! Figuring out where you can add more value than anyone else on the market is essential for you to deliver an experience that’s unique, or simply better.
3. Motivated and empowered customer-facing staff
Having highly motivated agents and customer service reps certainly helps to cement your customer excellence. As we always say, happy employees translate directly into happy customers! You may achieve this point by ensuring all your agents have appropriate workloads, looking at ways you can easily prioritise and automate manual next actions to leave your humans free to focus on higher value areas.
4. Utilising preferred communication channels
To communicate with your customers effectively and deliver service, you need to be on all the digital channels they are on, it’s not just about having a phone line anymore. It’s about being present on social media, webchat and everything else in between! Proactive communications and engagement is always appreciated by customers. Plus taking the steps to ensure there’s a consistency, whether online or offline throughout the customer journey.
5. Introducing options for self-serve
Digital advancements fuel the demand for instant gratification – wanting an answer right now! Something that self-serve tools like webchat and FAQ pages provide. As expectations rise, so will the demand for more self-serve options.
6. Monitoring and measuring
At the centre of being able to improve your customer service is monitoring and measuring the data. Tools like Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSATs) and real-time dashboards do all this.
7. Having a plan and constantly striving for improvement
Part of the key activities for optimising CX is learning from your staff speaking to customers and the complaints that might be coming in. It is crucial when gathering feedback to see what can be learned from it for improvements to the products, services and CX you provide.
Metrics for Customer Excellence
There are different ways to monitor and measure your customer excellence, but most academics argue it is best to utilise multiple metrics. Since customer journeys have multiple touchpoints at different points in time, it’s difficult to rely on just a single metric.
For instance, CSATs may be completed during one period for the entire year, therefore only providing you with accurate information for that segment of audience for that specific period, or due to the completion of a specific project. They are a snapshot in time.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The NPS calculation is based on one simple question:
On a scale of 1-10, how likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?
Depending on which number the customer selects, they would fall under three different categories.
Promoters: Customers that give a score between 9-10, typically loyal customers who have utilised your company and its products or services for a long time.
Passives: Customers that give a score between 7-8, these people wouldn’t go out their way to refer you and could be liable to moving to a competitor if they provided more value.
Detractors: Customers that give a score between 0-6. Didn’t think your customer experience was up to scratch, they can be harmful to your brand.
Once you have all the scores from your data sample, the final NPS is calculated by working out the difference between the percentage of promoters and the detractors.
There are two key methods for interpreting your NPS score. The absolute method is usually for businesses with a lower score since it means previous customers are likely to warn prospects away from you rather than promote you. From this perspective, you focus on setting a baseline for improvement.
The relative method is about looking at other industry benchmarks to understand how differentiated your CX is. For us, operating largely in the telecommunications and the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry, the averages are 24 (Customer Gauge) and 30 (Retently).
…Meaning our NPS score of 38 is well above average!
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT is another key CX metric that directly measures customer satisfaction levels. It’s usually sent out after an onboarding process has been completed and consists of several survey questions related to your service. (Something we like to call a post-installation survey).
It is an important score for helping to pinpoint the areas your business needs to improve and can be linked with different departments. Unlike the NPS, which just projects results from one question, CSAT is based on a multitude of questions, therefore generating further insight into how your customers are feeling. Also setting these two metrics apart is the fact that CSAT measures customer satisfaction with a product or service, whereas NPS measures the customers’ loyalty to an organisation (Qualtrics).
It’s also crucial to consider how you’re going to maintain your customer excellence levels on a more regular basis than NPS and CSAT. Our DASHBOARD for example taps into key customer experience metrics within the contact centre.
Bringing together all data from your CRM, contact centre and other third-party applications (plus NPS and CSAT scores if you’d like), DASHBOARD is the perfect 360 view. It’s all in real-time and helps to quantify metrics like first-call resolution, digital interaction response times or complaints handled.
Build a Superior Experience
Monitoring and measuring your customer excellence is vital in every industry. With customer experience increasingly becoming the primary basis for competition, you might need to evaluate at your current strategy. As mentioned previously, it is best to not rely on just one single metric so here’s our final parting advice to you; evaluate your current strategy, select a range of CX metrics that matter most to you and work to continually improve the key areas you want to be known for.
You will know when it’s working, but here are some key signs of happy customers:
- They keep coming back for more
- They recommend your products or services to friends and family
- They leave nice reviews
- They follow you on social media channels closely
- They show appreciation
Why not get our DASHBOARD product description today to learn more about how you can track your CX data in real-time?