Written by Dr. Bonnie Knutson
Who in your business should be responsible for your customer’s experience? When I ask managers and owners this question, the standard response is, “We all are.” That is true. Everyone in the company has a vital role to play in delivering a top-notch experience to each person who walks in the door, calls on the phone, or visits your website. But who is the experience cheerleader? Who is the chief architect for the totality of that experience? Just as how the definition of experience varies, so does the person responsible for leading the guest strategy.
A report from Prophet (www.Prophet.com) highlights the fact that this responsibility differs from business to business. The most common choice, however, is the Chief Marketing Officer because the “experience is increasingly the primary way in which a brand is made real…across the entire journey.” The report further points out that delivering on a brand’s promise is really about alignment. The vision may come from the top, but it has to be delivered by everyone in the organization across all segments and throughout every layer. So your experience cheerleader has to  make sure that he/she has a clear vision of both the brand and the customer’s value proposition,  be able to identify all the important touch points that people have throughout their customer journey,  have the skills to influence others within the company – either formally or informally – so that everyone and everything is aligned to deliver the brand promise, and  be responsible for collecting and analyzing all customer experience metrics and then connecting them to your overall brand strategy.
Forrester’s Customer Experience Index found that 73% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is a priority, yet only 1% are actually giving that excellent experience. Talk about a disconnect! If this were your company, where would you start improving? The answer is simply to begin by measuring key customer experience metrics. For as the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. It is here, where managing the consumer experience can get tricky. There are so much data available, what metrics will give you the biggest bang for your buck? While the answer to this question will surely vary depending on the size and complexity of each business, there are several basic measures that will give you a good overview of your customer’s experience level. The first is your Ambassador Score. – how many of your customers will recommend your brand to friend or family vs. how many wouldn’t. Second is an Effort Score which measures how easy or difficult it is for the consumer to connect with your business. This score is gaining in importance because convenience is growing as a major factor in purchase behavior. Third is the infamous CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Score, which measure satisfaction with individual experiences. But this score is only a snapshot in time. It assesses one encounter by one person at one time. What you are most interested in, however, is the overall Guest Satisfaction Score, because that is a cumulative measure that evolves over many experiences with your company. While there are a host of metrics that you can have, these four will start you well on your way down Peter Drucker’s path of managing what you can measure.
President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that read ”The buck stops here.” It is the same with your business. The buck for monitoring and managing the customer’s experience has to stop on someone’s desk. While it is true that ensuring that each customer has a great experience is everyone’s business, it still takes a cheerleader to make sure every employee in every level is trained and empowered to make sure each touchpoint is customer-centric.
It is no surprise that businesses that invest in consistently delivering a great experience enjoy greater loyalty, higher revenues, better brand equity/value, more growth, and lower employee turnover. And measuring is the first step to achieving this goal.
Your bottom line will thank you!