Paddy Long    |     +44 (0)7835684851
Customer experience design
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Why and how to measure customer experience

I’m often asked about how to measure customer experience but am rarely asked why we should measure it. People just think it’s a good thing to do and they're right. To me however, it only makes sense to measure customer experience if both the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ can be answered together.

The most common thought process behind measuring customer experience usually goes something like this, "We need to find out if people like our product or not and then we can work out how to improve it. So the obvious way to do this, is to ask customers how satisfied they are during or after they’ve used it, right?" But in actual fact, I don’t really think it works quite like that. If you want customers to have the best experience with your product, then you don’t want to devalue the experience by using up their hard earned time to gather feedback they may or may not wish to give. As a customer, even choosing to opt out of a survey is painful when you’re in a rush to speak to your banker or have a query about your mobile phone bill. And, even if you are willing to take part in a survey, the questions are often prescribed to gauge generic satisfaction without giving customers the opportunity to give their real individual thoughts. Ultimately this approach means customers are inconvenienced and then they’re limited by the responses they can give. You’re putting your business’s effort into convincing your customers that your heart is in the right place even if it annoys them.

You can ask people to tell you how happy they are often with a simple 1 to 5 rating in a text message, but measuring customer satisfaction isn’t really useful if it’s the only thing you’re measuring. You can gauge customer satisfaction by seeing if your bottom line is going up or not. Knowing why people are buying your product or not buying your product is the useful bit because then it has a direct connection to your revenue. However, being able to know why customers do or don’t like your product is best done with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research as sideline activities. Qual interviews can be used to tap into the hearts and minds of customers while quant data can be used to spot recurring patterns in online behaviour. So I don’t think experience measurement is necessarily the best way to discover how you should improve your product either.

The main reason I believe it’s useful to measure if a customer’s experience is going well or not, is so you can respond quickly when things go wrong or when there’s an opportunity to make things even better. Because every single customer has slightly different needs and products don’t always work the way they’re suppose to, you need to monitor people’s experiences with even the most well designed products. By measuring the experience you can make sure as many of your customers as possible end on a good note and come back to use the product again which is great for your bottom line. Moreover these customers will recommend you to their friends.

So how do you capture feedback without disturbing the customer? First of all it’s important to bring structure to your product experience with clearly defined journey stages and touch points mapped. This way you’ll be able to build strategic places where customers can leave you feedback when they choose to. The journey stage and touchpoint where the feedback is captured will give you context around the feedback and help to determine the next best action. Taxi company Uber are masters at this and you’ll also notice they don’t call it ‘feedback’. The “How can we help?” option is available to customers wherever they are in the app. Uber’s response times are also impressively quick. With this approach to experience measurement, you won’t be probing your customers unnecessarily. You will instead be making absolutely sure they know you’re there to listen when they need you. Being open to feedback can manifest itself in friendly as well as open staff behaviours or user friendly design.The more your customers feel uninterrupted but supported at all times, the more likely they’ll spend money on your product time and time again.      |      Telephone:   +971 (0)552 665 794