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Your customer analytics metrics are failing you

Richard HammondCo-Founder & CEO3 Dec 2019

You’ve asked customers how to improve your customer experience. Maybe you’ve asked customers why they shop your rivals. They’ve told you it’s about price, choice and convenience. They always tell you that.

You try to be cheaper, offer more choice and be the easiest to shop. You think about friction and pain-points. Your pick-ups with NPS detractors appear to reveal useful insight. Improve delivery, they say, put more staff on, they implore. Always a headline without context.

You do all the things your CSAT, preference, insight and promoter metrics tell you to do and nothing much happens. At best, you’ve maintained a standard, at worst you’ve added cost.

What’s wrong with Voice of the Customer analytics?

Though we know customers lie — customer feedback rarely aligns with customer behaviour — the voice of the customer feels instinctively like it means something significant, so we take it at face value even though it’s warped and lacking context.

I’ve been writing about creating amazing customer experiences for 16 years - my books feature case after case on the best in global retail. One thing ties all of those successes together; an instinctive understanding of their customer. That’s special but incredibly rare, and unsustainable over time. Walmart rises, falls, rises again. M&S rises, falls, rises again, and so on. Relying forever on instinctive brilliance is clearly not the way forward. Celebrate it when you have it but strategically you need a different approach.

I decided there must be a better metric to explain why a customer prefers retailer A over retailer B. Or C, D or E. NPS was the only half-decent option out there, and it’s missing measurable and comparable causality.

What use is a macro metric anyway? A number that describes a catch-all is worse than useless, it obscures the useful highs and the attackable lows.

How to improve customer experience strategy

A better approach to customer experience strategy is to think in terms of individual shopper missions and of your ability/likelihood to win each one. Then look closely at your performance across key missions versus competitors. You’re looking for the specifics of why you are the most attractive option in that mission. You need to know your Relative Attractiveness.

Uncover the contextual specifics of your relative position, and you have a map for delivering strategic improvement; you’ll see if it’s queuing over inspiration, theatre before trust.

"My NPS is high. The market has now changed, customers are reducing spending and my scores are still just as high. I wasn't convinced by them before, now I know they're meaningless." Senior Global Retailer
Retailers are reporting the shortcomings of NPS

Understanding factors influencing consumer behavior

You need to know what CX variables matter, and in what relationship to each other. That’s the missing part of the puzzle; the solution Uncrowd has spent years crafting.

When you know all your customer inputs and your customer outputs and the relative relationships between them, you get a crystal clear picture of which combination of levers delivers the customer experience most likely to put you in a winning position for that shopper mission.

Do that mission by mission to win mission by mission. That’s why the Relative Attractiveness (RA) metric had to exist, because without it, we’ve been running blind. Too much guess, not enough data-driven truth. No more!

Originally published 3rd Dec 2019

Uncrowd is on a mission to improve every customer experience on the planet through a unique combination of CX observation, quantitative measurement and comparative results. Our data is objective, empirical, and always shows your next best action.