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Six steps towards successful customer experience management

adesso AG explains the measuring methods that companies can use to manage the customer experience successfully and efficiently for their customers.

In times of ever-more hotly contested market environments, the customer experience is the crucial feature that sets companies apart. If companies want to retain customers and be recommended by them, they have to win them over with their services and offers. This makes customer experience management – measuring and managing the customer’s experience – a decisive control variable for the company’s success.

The customer experience map shows how actual customer experiences deviate from the customer experiences intended (source: adesso).

Conventional methods for measuring customer retention and customer behaviour like the Net Promoter Score and the conversion model fall short of this task. For example, they do not consider all of the relevant touchpoints or sufficiently take into account the customer’s point of view or expectations. The IT service provider adesso therefore recommends a comprehensive approach that takes into account the following parameters:

  • Expectations: What motives, attitudes and questions does the customer have when they make contact with the company?
  • Touchpoints: What touchpoints are there between the customer and the company?
  • Experiences: What kinds of positive or negative experiences does the customer have at each touchpoint?
  • Relevance: What is the significance of the touchpoint in each situation?
  • Retention potential: Would the customer buy from the company again or recommend its services?
  • Ownership: Are the touchpoints controlled by the company itself or by third parties?

These parameters can be measured in a six-step process and the results applied in a targeted way to ensure an optimal customer experience:

1. Developing objectives. The target groups and their most important patterns of making contact with the company are analysed in a customer relationship model. A customer value proposition describes the value that the company promises its customers. This leads to the creation of a target vision that serves as a guide for the measuring process.

2. Taking the customer’s perspective. Customers are accompanied through their customer journey in field studies. This lets companies take the customer’s perspective and develop an understanding of their questions, motives and expectations. The experiences the customer has at each of the touchpoints are recorded in the form of stories.

3. Focussing on what is important. The touchpoints at every stage of the customer journey are identified and analysed together with representatives from the customer group. Customers rate how important a touchpoint is to them on a scale of zero to ten, and say whether they would buy something again at that touchpoint and if they would recommend it. This is how the company ensures that it does not invest in services that are irrelevant to the customer.

4. Structuring experiences. The experiences recorded in the stories are broken down on a five-tier scale ranging from “enthusiastic” to “unfulfilled” for each of the touchpoints. What is referred to as a “customer experience map” is used to clearly show how customers’ actual experiences deviate from the experiences intended by the company. This makes specific optimisation needs readily apparent.

5. Creating decision-making architecture. All of the results are summarised in a touchpoint performance matrix. This matrix maps out which touchpoints are the most relevant, what the customer experience is currently like at those touchpoints and whether the company is currently in a position to manage the touchpoints itself. This leads to the creation of decision-making architecture that reveals prioritised fields of action.

6. Monitoring effectiveness. Customers’ behaviour and expectations are constantly changing. The effectiveness of the solutions that are implemented on the basis of the touchpoint performance matrix therefore has to be monitored again and again. It is crucial that the customer is involved in the feedback process.

“Successful customer experience management requires a certain attitude,” says Michael Kemper, Managing Consultant for digital business architectures and digital transformation at adesso AG. “It means walking in the customer’s shoes every day and creating offers that are relevant from the customer’s point of view.”

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