Customer experience research (CXR) is the process of collecting data regarding the experience customers have with a company (CX). It is a crucial part of a good CX program and can help companies better understand their customers’ needs and desires, so that they can build a customer-centric business model. It gives companies the tools they need to satisfy customers, build customer loyalty, and increase wallet share and promotion, which will in turn create substantial return on investment. Customer experience research is a subset of marketing research, or research done for a specific company and with data collected from its own customer base.
Customer experience audits, often conducted in the form of customer journey maps, can provide valuable insights to company leaders. They are frequently the starting point for further targeted research on customer needs, desires, and demographics. Knowing what the company is doing currently versus where it wants to be can allow company leaders to take action to redesign and support CX goals. This is the basis for implementing cultural change and continuous improvement that will support those actions.
When CX research is done right, the results can create plentiful insights. Knowing what customers think and feel about a company can aid in developing easier ways to acquire customers and engage them. This in turn will increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn. Companies that differentiate themselves with a unique customer experience create a powerful competitive advantage.
In conducting research on customer experience, companies need to establish metrics by which performance can be understood. While there is no silver bullet, these are some helpful metrics to consider.
- Response Time: How long does it take to respond to customers? Most people expect a reply within a week, but a company that wants to differentiate itself from competition will reply within 24 hours.
- Customer Satisfaction: CSAT is perhaps one of the most important metrics because it is so simple. It can be used directly following transactions, and customers give the best feedback while the experience is still fresh in their minds.
- Findability: If customers can’t find what they are looking for, either online or in the store, chances are, they won’t come back. How long does it take them to go through search parameters?
- Visitor intent/Completion: What was the purpose of the customer in coming to the company and were they able to fulfill that purpose?
- Referrals: How many referrals are being received? This is a good way to track loyalty.
There are many research tools that can be utilized to conduct CX research and figure out what customers are thinking. These include tools such as customer journey mapping (CJM), customer satisfaction score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and text analytics. CX professionals and company executives need to work together and determine which metrics will prove the most valuable to their organization. The end goal of customer experience research, after all, is to create insights that will drive action to benefit the company.
MaritzCX believes organizations should be able to see, sense and act on the experiences and desires of every customer, at every touch point, as it happens. We help organizations increase customer retention, conversion and lifetime value by ingraining customer experience intelligence and action systems into the DNA of business operations. MaritzCX is the combination of the Allegiance award-winning CX platform and Maritz Research strategic consulting services.