May 17, 2016 | Jason Veenker

CX Strategy Success 101: Are you speaking the same language?


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CX Methodology

For years, marketing professionals and successful business leaders have come to the conclusion that improving customer experiences requires measuring and understanding that experience. And yet, at the same time we’re all faced with the embarrassing reality that 71 percent of customer experience (CX) programs are failing to do just that. One big reason this is happening? Maybe you aren’t speaking the same language.

More specifically, organizations interested in improving CX are using very different metrics to gage the experience of customers that end up proving about as useful as trying to draw conclusions from a team speaking French and another speaking Chinese without the help of a translator. Are you speaking in terms of improving CX by assessing the page level feedback for find and fix issues? Or transactional NPS vs. brand level NPS? First Call Resolution rates in the contact center? Better usability analytics? Something else? The point being, if you want to improve CX you’ll need a common language, or rather a common methodology, that prioritizes improvements and predicts the results of those improvements before you implement. The lack of a consistent model to measure discrete experiences creates a silo effect within organizations, despite good intentions to “get on the same page.”

Learning from a top electric company

This is still a huge challenge for several organizations. Although ComEd, the largest electricity utility provider in Illinois, gave a very interesting presentation at the 2016 ForeSee Summit about the topic that’s worth highlighting. The company’s renewed strategy in 2014 included the desire to partner with the consumer in their energy use, to reduce costs for the consumers, help preserve the environment, and establish themselves as the industry leader in consumer engagement. But being a utility provider rather than a retailer, ComEd realized it had a different set of parameters it needed to follow. However, the solution for championing customer satisfaction was the same: A common metric.

First, ComEd turned to its market research team to better understand the consumer and one of the places consumers frequently engage with – the online account portal.

By bringing in market research to work with the development team, ComEd’s goal was to create a compelling site that met customer expectations but also drove them to engagement. But these two teams couldn’t achieve their goal without having a common language to speak — a common methodology that not only withstood the rigorous requirements of the market research team, but also translated into a customer experience metric that was easily understood and socialized. Additionally, ComEd had to not only prioritize the improvements, but it also needed to predict what those improvements would deliver in business outcomes.

Leveraging the insight driven through the predictive metric of satisfaction, ComEd successfully deployed its redesigned MyAccount portal, registering an increase of 18 percent to its preference center where customer can sign up for alerts and usage reports. Also, the company’s new preference center registered a whopping 84 percent adoption rate among those visiting the preference center. ComEd attributes this directly to leveraging a model that brought market research and development teams together.

A common metric to assess the health of CX

For leading health insurer Humana, a clear goal from leadership included the need to hear from the customer, as the company explained during a very insightful presentation at this year’s ForeSee Summit. Humana’s stated strategy integrates member experience, consumer insights, and care delivery to encourage engagement (as well as behavior change and the promotion of wellness) for the millions of people the company serves.

The vision had been cast, but the execution had diverged. Multiple departments set out to understand the customer and the experience using multiple surveys with multiple ways of analyzing data that created an increasing silo-ed environment. Each group was off doing its own thing (aka silo-ed).

However, leadership was challenged with bringing to light the voice of the customer (VOC) across the entire organization. This was nigh impossible given the way things were previously run.  Like ComEd, Humana also needed a common language to speak, a way in which to measure all these disparate and discrete experiences on the same yardstick. And it wasn’t until the analytics department began sharing data with the IT department on site performance from the customer’s perspective that the light bulbs began to go off. They finally were speaking the same language by using a common metric.

Humana recently integrated components of the analytics, web, and IT teams to create better efficiencies on the actionable data they were receiving. As a result, the company removed the bureaucracy that was slowing down progress and the C-Suite regularly receives reports on the customer experience to stay informed on the strategic improvements.

ComEd & Humana: A common metric, positive results

Both ComEd and Humana experienced a common challenge in today’s organizations. All agree the customer experience and engaging the consumer was a strategic imperative, but the current approach reflected a gap in the ability to understand how to measure the different experiences. It wasn’t until both adopted a powerful model that delivered a consistent metric across experiences that the silos began to break down and real change began to take effect.

Customer experience should be focused on the customer but we can’t forget it must focus on the organization, too. We must transform ourselves into customer-centric organizations, and to do that we need a common customer language. We need a method of measurement of customer experiences that crosses gaps, breaks down silos, and brings teams together.

ForeSee delivers such a methodology through the lens of satisfaction — one that is proven, predictive, and meets the rigorous demands of market research teams to communicate across their organization (as well as to leadership) the importance of the voice of the customer.

Learn more about our Multichannel Customer Experience Analytics today.

About the Author

Jason Veenker is a passionate advocate for customer experience measurement and serves as a trusted adviser for improving financial customer experiences with ForeSee. He brings over 13 years of partnering with Fortune 500 organizations to help maximize their technology investments. Prior to ForeSee, Jason supported organizations with their strategic business and technology decisions, most recently with Gartner. He earned both his BS in Marketing and MBA through Azusa Pacific University.

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