Customer Engagement

Executing a CEM Strategy

Susan Hash

Most companies agree that ensuring a consistent, high-quality customer experience is essential for building loyalty and growing revenue. In fact, last year, two out of three organiza-tions around the world said that customer experience management (CEM) is important to their business, according to research by global enterprise feedback management firm Vovici and CGA, a UK-based customer experience consultancy, in their Customer Experience IQ Report.

Yet the findings also revealed a significant disconnect between strategy formulation and implementation. “Almost 75% of respondents said that they have a CEM/VOC (voice of the customer) strategy, yet less than half have formal programs and compensation systems in place to implement the strategy,” says Jeffrey Henning, Vovici’s founder and VP of strategy.

“For most organizations, customer experience is an emergent property,” he points out. “It’s what you end up with when you interact with the company’s different departments, groups, products, services and staff. But most organizations haven’t really thought about shaping the customer experience — attempting to design and script the types of experiences your customers should have.”

How Do Companies Measure the Customer Experience?

In fact, many organizations (44%) are not measuring the customer experience against any metrics, according to the Vovici study. Forty-one percent of organizations rely on a standard CEM measure, such as Net Promoter Score, the Apostle Model, Customer Heartbeat, ACSI or other standard metrics, but a quarter said that they were using homegrown measures rather than existing measurements.

“That is unfortunate, since there has been a tremendous amount of research in the past 10 years about customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and customer experience measures,” Henning says. He points to the Forrester CxPi as a measure that has generated a lot of awareness in recent years because it specifically measures customer experience, rather than satisfaction or loyalty (although, he adds that it has a strong correlation to loyalty, which makes it a valuable metric). The CxPi is based on consumer evaluations across three areas: 1) usefulness; 2) ease of use; and 3) enjoyability.

From a contact center standpoint, Henning has noted increased interest in the Customer Effort Score (CES). The CES was developed by the Corporate Executive Board’s Customer Contact Council, and is based on a single question to determine the amount of personal effort that a customer must put into the service experience.

Leveraging Behavioral Data in the Contact Center

Even the most effective measures will not impact the company’s ability to deliver an exceptional experience if the feedback cannot be translated into improvements at the point of contact.

“More institutions and customer service centers are attuned to gathering information, such as NPS,” says Patrick Hughes. “Not just measuring how the customer feels about the experience, but measuring the affinity: Are they going to leave you for a better price or have you built loyalty with them so they will come back again and refer you to their friends or family?”

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