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It’s the journey, not the destination - a different approach to calculating the impact of customer experience

Last Modified: 20/12/2017

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The contact center has evolved into a very different creature over the years. Many businesses shifted their focus from traditional retail stores to websites and online stores as more people gained access to the Internet, which made it necessary for contact centers to provide support for online channels. The modern contact center employee no longer exclusively handles voice calls, but also web chats, Facebook posts, tweets and a number of other online communications.

Alongside the evolution of the contact center has been the increased understanding of the importance of customer experience. More and more organisations are beginning to understand that customer experience is a core part of the business and key to its growth, and are investigating or implementing strategies to improve their customer experience.

Unfortunately, while many understand that customer experience is vital from a logic or principle-based point of view, there are few companies who adopt this attitude based on an identifiable commercial return. This needs to change, but how do you go about doing that? One way of achieving this is by changing your company’s approach to understanding customer metrics.

Using customer sentiment in a different way


When it comes to customer sentiment, many companies tend to measure customer satisfaction at the end of customer journeys. Most organisations fail to realise that customers have different emotional goals depending on the task they are trying to complete, or where they are in their customer journey. For example, someone who is signing up for car insurance generally doesn’t need an empathetic approach when engaging with the quotation process. They want to know what coverage they will be provided with and how much it will cost so they can choose the right package and get on with their lives. In this case, speed is the most important factor. 


On the other hand, a customer who has been in an accident and is looking to claim from insurance to repair or replace their car will most likely need a slower, more empathetic approach from customer service. Unfortunately, many companies fail to recognise this critical difference, which undoubtedly has a negative effect on their financial returns.

In order to understand how different customers feel at different points in the customer journey, customer sentiment analysis must be used. There are different ways to perform this kind of sentiment analysis, depending on the type of metric you wish to use. Here are four methods:

  • Verbally - After completing an interaction with a customer, a contact center agent can ask the customer whether they want to take the time to answer a few questions about their customer experience.
  • Using Interactive Voice Response systems - Upon completion of a call, the contact center agent asks if the client would mind completing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey.
  • Emails - An email can be crafted and sent to a client so they can provide written feedback to a number of questions.  
  • Surveys - Customers could also be requested to complete an online survey in order to gather more information about their customer experience.
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The different metrics you can use to calculate customer satisfaction at different stages of the journey include:

  • CES - Customer Effort Score (CES) scores the effort required to complete a task. The higher the CES score, the less likely a customer is to become or remain loyal.
  • CSAT - Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a survey based metric that measures the level of customer satisfaction after an interaction. The lower your score, the unhappier the customer is.
  • NPS - Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that measures customer loyalty. Customers are divided into different categories depending on their NPS. Higher rated customers are seen as positively promoting your company, while lower rated customers might speak negatively about your organisation.

Businesses who connect these metrics and sentiment analysis methods with the correct emotional expectations of each stage of the customer journey, as well as prioritise the correct emotional response during that stage of the journey, will be able to improve customer service, increase brand loyalty and increase revenue.

Understanding and measuring what is important to a customer at different stages of the customer journey is the first step to calculating the commercial impact of improving that specific stage.  Using analytics to understand the correlation between movements of sentiment at specific steps in the customer journey and churn rates, cross-sell/upsell, recommendation levels, etc. allow objective, commercially focused investment decisions to be made.  This approach, over the traditional sentiment analysis approach, will separate the companies that provide good customer experience from those who provide great, memorable customer experience that translates to bottom line benefit.

Merchants is a customer experience provider who can help you understand the different tasks and stages involved in your customer’s journeys. Contact us if you have any queries, or take a look at our Benchmarking ebook below:

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