Customer experience: understanding what it means and how brands can measure it

Many marketers talk about the ‘customer experience’ and how brands understand their clients and provide them with a service or product that is well-targeted to them. For a topic that is so frequently discussed, it’s easy for its real meaning to get lost in the noise.  So, can you define what the customer experience actually is?


According to Marketing Week, “Customer experience is observed experience minus the expectation of the customer”. For brands with various touchpoints, each point must add up together to provide the total sum of a customer’s experience, and not be seen as separate actions – it should be a holistic effort.



It is also worth considering the touchpoints you have in place and whether they are actually bringing value to the customer and not just to your brand, and whether the customer is coming away from the experience with a positive perception of your brand and its principles. 


It’s no secret that consumer emotions are connected to consumer behaviours and so, it’s really important to find opportunities for customers to feel connected to your brand, rather than just offer a product that satisfies their need. Naturally, where people seek to connect with a brand, they typically seek a ‘personalised’ experience in order for that to happen, this means that businesses need to take more time in approach their potential customers with knowledge and understanding on who exactly they’re talking to.

 

So how can you measure customer experiences?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that crunching the numbers and collecting the data to reveal the ROI of your efforts is going to determine the success, but taking this approach focuses solely on the needs of the business, and not the customer.

 

Step away from the financial aspects of the customer experience, and start to look at how you can really gain value from your efforts. A simple and effective way of assessing your customer’s experience is to generate a survey that outlines their over experience – you can find out what the likelihood is of them recommending you to their friends. This survey data can be broken down into percentages that can then group their responses into ‘promoters, ‘passives’ or ‘detractors’.