Top five things to do after Customer Experience Benchmarking
Keep reaping rewards after you’ve finished benchmarking your Customer Experience
By Amanda Salter
Customer Experience (CX) benchmarking is a quick fire way to spot opportunities for growth and rapidly drive improvements across your business. If you haven’t tried it yet, check out our first article in this series, Benchmark your way to Customer Experience success in three steps, for tips on getting started.
But if you’ve already taken the plunge and unleashed the power of benchmarking, you might be wondering what to do next.
Here are five amazingly beneficial things you can do after benchmarking:
1. Communicate results and get agreement
Benchmarking provides a full end-to-end view of how well (or poorly) your customers’ needs are being met. This is valuable information that is rarely available on such a grand scale. In fact, most businesses never see this big picture – so it’s something you have to share.
Use your benchmarking results as a rallying force to unify the whole company. The insights provide a vision for departments to get behind and the foundations for building customer-centred thinking and support across the organisation. They can also serve to flush out any objections to proposed plans, so these can be dealt with early on before you invest too much time and money.
2. Set out and agree priorities
Your benchmarking results will highlight different opportunities for growth. Obviously it’s not possible to tackle all of these at once, so you need to prioritise. The things you want to focus on are:
a) Fixing current poorly met needs that are negatively affecting the brand
b) Targeting solutions that give the biggest positive impact to the most people
Consider the peak-end rule as it’s been shown to be vital to marketing decisions. According to the peak-end rule, customers judge their interactions by how they felt at the peak (i.e. their most heightened emotion during the experience) and at the end of the experience. The rest of the experience is forgotten as the brain can only retain so much information. Obviously, every marketer wants customers to be satisfied with their experience. But the peak-end rule shows how one magical moment can really make your brand stand out. For example, including complimentary sweets with postal orders. This little touch can become a ‘peak’ in the customers’ perspective. It is what they will remember about the interaction, beyond the more mundane things like the delivery process, order journey etc (as long as they are done right!). On the other hand, a negative ‘peak’ (e.g. convoluted order journey) will stick in someone’s mind even if the rest of the experience was ok.
Find out more about the peak-end rule
3. Focus on designing better ways to solve problems
You need to get the basics right before you can add the sparkle. Fixing problems will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Think of it as a housekeeping exercise. Are all the basic elements of your experience working as well as they should be? For example, your order journey, delivery, in store experience, customer service etc. Use your benchmarking results to flag up problem areas, and quickly identify those that will have the biggest customer and business impact. Fixes don’t need to be expensive. You can choose to address a customer need in an amazing and market leading way, or a quick win, elementary way, and anything in between.
4. Balance out unmet and new needs
Your benchmarking exercise will show unmet customer needs, which require addressing. But the results don’t cover new needs. And, as we saw in point 2, unexpected ‘peaks’ can make a huge difference to your brand’s popularity. So when putting together your list of improvements, include new needs that give unexpected moments of pleasure – and see what a difference it makes to your brand.
5. Build a business case and secure funding
You’ve now got a planned list of prioritised improvements. Your next step is to get funding. Once again your benchmarking exercise can help. It contains the information and insights you need to build a robust business case and secure funding for your future CX work.
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