How to Benchmark Customer Experience | Binary Fountain

July 02, 2020

How to Benchmark Customer Experience

By: Kieran McQuilkin

benchmark-customer-experienceGreat companies find ways to make their customers raving fans of their brand.

If you want to grow your business, you first need to transform your customer experience (CX) to ensure your consumers are not just served, but are treated to transformational experiences with your brand.

But how do you improve your customer experience? What kinds of metrics should you use to benchmark your CX?  How committed does your company have to be to redefining interactions with your customer?

None of these are easy questions to answer, but measuring your customer experience is a sure way to improve your customer retention numbers, and by extension, your customer acquisition.

Benchmarking helps companies understand how their strategies and employees are performing compared to competitors and compared to what customers are actually saying. It can be a hard wake up call, but it can also set your organization up for long-term success.

Another way to benchmark your customer experience is to analyze how your company is doing at an enterprise level. Is one of your locations performing much better than another? Is one of your physicians getting better patient feedback scores than another?

These are all considerations to keep in mind while you analyze your customer experience metrics.

In this article, we’ll break down how to benchmark your customer experience in three simple steps to get you started on improving your relationship with consumers.

Start with KPIs for Benchmarking Customer Experience

In order to start the benchmarking process, you need to know which KPIs to measure over time.

This may look slightly different for every industry or vertical, but the heart of the project remains the same: Which areas are critical to measure against past performance both internally and externally.

Some of these metrics could be:

  • Net promoter score
  • Customer effort score
  • Customer acquisition and retention
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Volume and sentiment of online reviews
  • Average ratings across listing platforms
  • Consumer engagement

All of these are great KPIs to measure as you benchmark your customer experience. If you are coming at this from a reputation management angle, this free webinar may help you better understand what metrics will get the most bang for your buck.

Ask Your Customers and Frontline Staff

The worst possible strategy is thinking your leadership team automatically knows what’s wrong with your customer experience. You need real feedback from customers and your frontline staff.

Engaging directly with your customers helps you identify organizational blind spots and get a better sense of what is not working. One way to do this is by looking at your online reviews and surveys – not just the star rating, but also the overall sentiment and specific pain points mentioned.

One way that you can measure your customer sentiment is to use reputation management software that leverages natural language processing (NLP) to help you analyze customer feedback. It can give you insights into the specific areas that you need to fix to improve your customer experience.

Another way to tackle the problem is through a Voice of the Customer campaign. Voice of the Customer programs are geared towards collecting and analyzing customer insights to identify opportunities for operational or product improvements. The ultimate goal of a Voice of the Customer campaign should be to increase customer acquisition and retention.

After you hear directly from your customers, you should then connect the dots with your frontline staff to see if their own feedback matches what your customers are saying, and to get their perspective on what needs to be improved.

After gathering these data points, you should be able to distill the information down to metrics and trends that identify good, bad and average scores/percentages. After you start your benchmarking program, comparing the most current available scores against these previous scores will help you understand what is and isn’t working with your customer experience.

Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage

Have you ever gotten a customer service experience that was so awful, you swore never to go back to that business again?

If you want to grow a loyal customer base, and keep business away from your competitors, you need to focus on your customer experience. Customer satisfaction is the biggest reason why people will be more likely to refer people they know to one company over another.

When you are benchmarking your company’s performance, take the time to analyze how your competitors are doing. While you may not be able to collect all of the customer data you want, online reviews and social media mentions will give you an idea of how they are performing and what areas they struggle with.

After that analysis, you should be able to identify areas where you can improve your customer experience and answer some of the problems their customers are facing, potentially attracting them to your business.

In your analysis, be careful not to make too many one-to-one comparisons. The goal should be to find areas where they are beating you, where you can make adjustments and how your customer experience compares to the larger market.

Take the First Steps to Improving Your Customer Experience

When you get right down to it, benchmarking and improving the customer experience is an evergreen marketing strategy that will increase ROI long after you put improvements into action. Positive reviews, personal referrals and increased customer loyalty should all lead to compounding interest on your investments.

Identifying the right KPIs, getting customer insights and comparing your results against the industry through benchmarking are just the first steps in making customer focused organizational change.

At Binary Fountain, we help businesses find the actionable insights they need to improve their customer experience. Our platform lets you collect and analyze customer feedback all in one place, including online reviews, social sentiment and even internal surveys.

Check out our case studies or schedule a demo today.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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