In the 1940s, Dr. Edwards Deming introduced the world to the wonders of “statistical quality control”, bringing his work to post-World War II Japan in 1950. That time marked the beginning of that country’s rise to manufacturing stardom, which would hit a pinnacle in the 1980s. What became clear to the pioneers of this method for improving manufacturing quality was that measuring the output of a process enables you to improve that process. Armed with the data that enables process tracking or “control”, you can make changes to that process until it yields the desired output.
These quality management and control methods form the conceptual basis for today’s customer experience management and measurement methods. In order to be able to manage the customer experience, you must be able to measure the customer experience. Companies who are managing their customer experiences most effectively are growing their market share by outshining their competitors across the board.
How does one do this? From a big picture perspective, there is a process for customer experience management that is rooted in the clear understanding of 4 critical dimensions:
- What makes an excellent customer experience? This information needs to be defined and gathered from the customer for the attributes that dictate each customer experience:
- Product or service design
- Support systems design
- Brand communication design
- Employee culture design
- What defines performance for products, support systems, brand communications and employee culture? This information needs to be collected from the professionals who know these processes.
- What is the relationship between the customer experience rating (customer satisfaction) and the process performance? Or, how does the customer’s reported experience change as the process performance changes?
- What defines the next generation of customer experiences for products, support systems, brand communications and employee culture?
Customer experience management involves a clear understanding of the Voice of the Customer, the voice of a company’s internal teams who design and deliver the product, support systems, brand communications and employee culture, how they vary when compared to each other, and what should be done to elevate the performance of all processes.
Over the upcoming quarter, we will be exploring the marketing research methods that enable clarity for these dimensions. While the focus on customer experience measurement is a newer phenomenon, the elements of its measurement are not new. With some small modifications driven through experience and the addition of systems designed to gather performance metrics, these methods come together very well to form the basis of a solid customer experience measurement system.