On June 4 I was at the Qualtrics Experience Management Tour event in Amsterdam. Besides a few sales pitches the agenda included some interesting customer cases from among others Philips and Randstad on how they manage their Customer Experience strategy. In this blog, I’ll focus on my definition of experience management, why and how you would want to “manage” it and what other companies like i.e. Philips and Randstad are doing with this topic.
First of all : what is eXperience Management according to Qualtrics? This is the discipline of using both experience data and operational data to measure and improve the four core experiences of business : customers, employees, products and brands. Interesting to see that Qualtrics is differentiating between those four.
I have defined the following core experiences : customers, brands, products, services, channels and employees. Why I have also specifically identify services and channels? As mentioned in an earlier blog post, product teams need to carefully plan how to spend their money, time and effort when working on the development of websites, mobile apps, chatbots and other (digital) channels. But there are more things to take into account.
Why would you want to focus on eXperience Management? Is it to get insights on the potential of your channels and related services? How these are being utilised and appreciated by your end users? Justify any further investments in the related projects? Maybe you need to find out how likely it is that your customers will recommend your company or products?
So what can we measure and how can we start measuring? General performance data and metrics can be obtained from lots of different sources. Usually we differentiate between operational data and experience data. Important experience metrics are the CSAT- (Customer Satisfaction), CES- ( Customer Effort) or NPS (Net Promoter) scores. NPS is the most popular indicator and measures customer loyalty. Operational data is i.e. the amount of new mortgages processed in the back office.
To start measuring you don’t need to implement a tool like Qualtrics or something similar like i.e. Medallia, InMoment or ClaraBridge. You can start by defining and creating a prototype of an Insights Dashboard and ‘manually’ combine experience- and operational data. Extracting this data can be done with popular BI tools like i.e. Power BI, Tableau or Qlik Sense. Implementing and utilising a tool like Qualtrics can be done at a later stage. More about that later on.
Back to the event. Qualtrics was kicking off with their vision and also explained what the recent acquisition by SAP means for their own organisation and customers. SAP software will most probably get more out-of-the-box functionality related to measuring Experience data throughout the customer journey. In example Apple runs their Appstore on SAP software and would now also be able to plug in Qualtrics functionality as part of their SAP implementation.
Implementation Partners were also mentioned and while the tooling has clearly gained momentum, I didn’t hear about how much work they currently got from implementing CX Management Programs (and related tooling) at their clients.
So why would you implement an experience management tool like Qualtics? It enables you to push your eXperience Insights initiatives to a higher level. On top of extracting operational- and experience data from different sources and presenting them in dashboards, it also allows capturing and analysing feedback, predicting customer actions and tracking changes in metrics. But (as always) implementing a great tool alone will not move the needle. It is all about people taking the insights and ownership to drive improvements.
So how would you do that? From the customer cases I can differentiate severals activities that needs to be embedded into the way of working such as : creating a clear vision on your brand experience, mapping your customer journey(s), measuring the experience(s) both internally and externally and anchoring your KPI’s in clearly defined targets.
I’ll shortly cover the activities with a brief explanation :
- Creating a clear vision on your brand experience: Philips has i.e. defined 8 customer needs which are in the DNA of their product and service development so everyone is aware of them. These are: low effort, speed, human approach, your way, consistent brand experience, proactive, quality and sustainability.
- Mapping the customer journey: Customer Journey Mapping is a common exercise in Phillips. It brings together product-, marketing- and operational teams. Also Randstad confirmed the importance and even mentioned a digital tool named “TheyDo” to share the journeys and personas throughout the organisation. After all you would NOT want all this to end up on ‘hidden’ files servers and in office drawers.
- Measuring the experience both internally and externally: Unsatisfied and unengaged employees will not help you in achieving higher NPS rating so don’t focus your experience management programs on customers only. Your employees are your greatest assets. They have lots of knowledge about the customer (needs) so listen to them and keep them involved. Also, in the case of Philips, take into account cultural aspects and differences per region or country. Never compare NPS ratings over countries and cultures. In some countries, where the competition is more intense and markets are saturated, consumers tend to be more critical in terms of recommending a Brand of Product than others.
- Anchoring your KPI’s in clearly defined targets: Clearly define targets when talking about KPI’s. Measuring NPS and Repurchase rates doesn’t say anything unless if you set a goal to improve per Channel, Service and/or Product. I.e. measure the amount of customers that are referring your company, likely to repurchase your products and find it easy to do business with the goals of achieving increasing sales and growing your market shares.