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Customer experience is a subjective term. It’s not necessary that every customer you serve speaks and thinks highly of your value offerings. This subjectivity necessitates the measurement of customer experience in manner that allows the brands to make important strategic decisions based on accurate market information.
There are different perspectives to look at when trying to capture customer mindset. These perspectives are represented by multiple studies each having it’s own approach of encapsulating the customer experience.
A quantitative model of measuring customer satisfaction, CSAT looks at how satisfied the customer is with a brand and its products and services. This is presented in the form of a numerical value which is then used to evaluate what percentage of the total customers are content with what they are getting and how many customers feel that their needs are not being met.
This is obviously subject to the number of customers who participate in the study and so the brand needs to put in an effort to maximize customer response to get a holistic picture and make informed follow up decisions.
(Number of positive responses/Total umber of responses) x 100
CSAT directly questions the customer about their degree of happiness with the product or service offered to them.
CSAT using closed ended questions which make it easy to administer and evaluate. There are pre-defined and limited number of answer choices which leave no room for variability or complexity.
CSAT surveys are short and in that sense do not require any extra effort from the customer. This leads to high response rates and maximum frequency for testing.
CSAT is suitable for long term as well as short term decision making. CSAT questions can test product or service particular experiences along with the long term experience that the customer has shared with the brand.
CSAT quantifies a yes/no responses , star ratings , likert scales and other structured question types in a uniform manner
Being a quantitative model, CSAT answers the “what” regarding customer satisfaction but does not explain “why” do the customers feel the way they do or “how” can the brand improve to make the customer experience seamless. This deprives the brand of qualitative insights that can be used to nudge the brand in the right direction.
It is difficult for a brand to judge whether or not the customer has provided a genuine response. This is because even though the research may want to acquire customer experience based on a single product purchase, customer’s may rate their satisfaction as being good or bad based on their journey with the brand. This reduces the efficacy of strategies that are designed to improve upon singular concepts and ideas.
In CSAT surveys brands ask questions that allow the customers to indicate their degree of contentment and whether or not the brand met their expectation:
NPS uses a one question trick to assess whether or not your customer would be willing to refer your brand to their connections. This satisfies dual purpose: assesses the ability to tap prospective customers using word of mouth and bring to light the experience levels of your current customers.
It’s simple , a customer only recommends those brands with which they are satisfied themselves. This is because the brand’s performance and standards becomes a reflection on the kind of recommendations provided by that particular person.
So if a customer gives a high rating in an NPS question , it means that the customer thinks highly of the brand and so is willing to make extra effort to promote it. A low rating on the other indicates a shortfall and gaps in service that need to be filled.
NPS questions aren’t product, service or transaction specific. These question ask the customer to rate their willingness to promote based on their entire experience with the brand.
NPS uses rating based questions to eliminate the possibility of obtaining vague answers. Respondents rate their likelihood of promotion accurately and brands get to analyse perceived brand image.
The brand learns about their current customer retention capabilities and possibility of accessing an extended customer base using a single NPS survey.
The NPS survey is small and easy to take. This prevents non-response and leads to more qualitative results.
Brands get to know the percentage of promoters in their current customer base but their is no guarantee that these customers put in the effort of recommending the brand. So even though a large percentage may say that they are highly likely to promote the brand, they might not do so, which can lead to false predictions.
Although NPS is a holistic method of assessing customer experience, chances are that customer’s recent interactions with the brand may influence their rating. Customers may have had a recent pleasant or unpleasant customer service , which can make them respond in a manner which does not project an overall feedback.
NPS is a simple one question way of gathering promotional data. The easiest and the most common question used to get the NPS scores is :
CES puts the brand in the customer’s shows to look at how easy or difficult a particular experience with the brand was. This experience could be as simple as trying to get in touch with the customer service personnel or as complex as getting an installation or availing an after sales service.
Based on how they rate their ease in achieving a goal through a service provided by the company, companies can decide on whether or not there is a need to improve upon any particular offering of theirs to make it more customer friendly.
CES focuses only on ease of the customer and so the results provided are actionable such that such that it has legitimate follow up and does not require any additional questions.
This research method puts the customer at the forefront and so the customers may be more willing to respond than NPS or CSAT.
This method is particularly useful for improving customer touchpoints. Customers access touchpoints such as company websites with the hope of achieving certain objectives. CES is used to assess how easy the navigation process was for the customer and make necessary improvements during launch.
Customer ease is just one aspect in the entire customer journey. By restricting to to only one area of assessment, CES becomes a weaker alternative for holistic studies to understand overall customer experience.
Questions are used to see how easily the customer was able to find their solution:
Brands need to decide their method analysing customer experience based on exactly what they are looking to get. The quantitative nature of these studies make them easy to administer and record results.
All of these studies are prone to acquiescence bias such that respondents may rate the brand highly only to be agreeable and reflect themselves in good light. This can harm the quality of the results and skew results in favour of the brand when really that is not the case. So, it is necessary that respondents are selected carefully so as to make sure that the responses collected are genuine and accurate follow ups can be performed through a thorough analysis.