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Measuring Consumer Experience

Posted On  February 15, 2013

As researchers we often craft experience surveys for our clients, helping them understand how their customers feel about their interactions with the company across different touch-points.  Many of us at LRW also take customer experience surveys to monitor innovation in this particular space of market research.  Sometimes we are impressed when we see a company has woven the core values of their brand into how they measure consumer experience, and sometimes, well…we see missed opportunities.

A customer experience plan should relate to the brand proposition

Customer experience programs often serve as a type of insurance for companies, minimizing risk by making sure aspects of the service delivery model don’t fall below acceptable levels. Identifying weaknesses provides value to the enterprise, but companies can seize the bigger opportunity by measuring their ability to translate the brand’s promise into something tangible in terms of customer experience.

If a fast food company’s core distinguishing brand proposition is fresh, it must deliver on the promise of fresh first, at the core of the product offering:  food quality, preparation, and presentation. Can customers see a bounty of crisp, colorful vegetables? Can they smell the bread?  Are there scraps in the steam bins or is it heaped with food with heat vapors rising?

If a financial services company offers security, should they invest their resources in getting customers to the right phone agent quickly, or training that ensures those phone agents can advocate for customers in disputes?  Now to the person listening to the recorded message about how valuable their call is, we’d guess the answer would depend on how long the wait times are running.  But a quick response with a less “we’ve got your back” stance probably does not lead to greater satisfaction.  Likely the financial services company would need to track both speed and cardholder advocacy, but not build habits around speed unless it could be linked to outcomes that drive loyalty and advocacy.

Customer experience programs can be elevated into something more than a systemized insurance program.  Does your company’s program merely minimize risk and avoid pitfalls, or does it take into account how your core brand promise gets translated customers’ interaction with your company?


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