Collecting and acting on customer feedback is a key part of managing the experience your brand provides.

But converting customer feedback into well defined and actionable improvements that can be delivered by your brand’s operational departments can be challenging.

We’re currently developing methods and technology that will help brands act upon customer feedback in real time and develop the key disciplines needed to construct the most effective transformation portfolios.

At the heart of this work is the simple CX equation that drives everything we do:

  • CX = Quality / Effort

Briefly, the customer experience your brand offers is enhanced by either increasing the quality of the outputs you create or decreasing the effort required by a customer in using those outputs to achieve their desired outcomes.

Most brands already collect metrics such as customer satisfaction, net promoter score. These metrics are great proxies for quality.

And if you also collect customer effort score then it becomes very quick and easy to start mapping your brands interaction types or customer journeys onto a simple 2×2 matrix:

For brands looking to compete on customer experience, any processes that involve a high amount of customer effort or that result in low quality outputs need addressing.

For low quality interaction types or customer journeys, focus on improving one of the four dimensions:

  • personalisation – how specific are they to the individual
  • relevance – how useful they are in getting the customer closer to their desired outcome
  • timeliness – how close they are to being useful or available at the time the customer wants them
  • reward – how much of a buzz or mini-win they give the customer

For high effort interactions, focus on decreasing a combination of these dimensions:

  • physical exertion – any requirement to move locations, or to physically interact with your product
  • mental agility – the need to remember, recall, or perform any kind of calculations
  • specialist knowledge – any special training or tutoring, or interpretation of unique language required
  • perceived delay – any time between deciding to do something and actually being able to do so.

Crucial to being able to use customer feedback to evaluate customer experience and act in this way is making sure the data you collect can be attributed to a specific customer outcome.

This can involve quite a shift in mindset, and potentially in how customers are surveyed in the first place, focusing instead on asking about your brand’s impact on the wider impact they were expecting you to have – the “why” – rather than the outputs your brand creates and sells – the “what”.

But doing so results in feedback presenting itself more from the customer’s perspective than yours, highlighting what’s most important to them, not you, and providing the insight needed to really shift to a brand focused on installing customer experience as a key discipline.