This CX Mini Masterclass explains the importance of measuring digital customer experience and some of the most popular metrics for doing this. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, provides an overview of what metrics and measures are typically captured at various digital touchpoints, ideas on how to use these to understand the journey, and tips on where you might be able to find this data within your organization. If you’re looking for some ideas about how to leverage digital experience metrics and measures to better understand the holistic customer journey, then this episode is for you.
The importance of measuring digital customer experience
So many experiences now happen in the digital realm. Whether that’s through a website, an app or via social media, most customer journeys have become at least somewhat digitized. And it’s probably safe to say this is becoming an even bigger trend with each passing year. Within that context, CX professionals need to understand how to integrate an understanding of experiences through digital touchpoints into the larger understanding of the overall customer journey. These metrics for digital experiences aren’t new, most of them have been around for a while, often used by digital operations, marketing or user experience teams, but it’s high time that CX professionals harness them as well.
There are a LOT digital experience metrics. It would be impossible to cover all of them in a Mini Masterclass. The following includes a curated selection from different digital touchpoints based on both their prevalence and usefulness in the CX context.
Footfall and conversion can be difficult to track for traditional in-person experiences. That’s definitely not the case online. From a web context, the key customer high level engagement measures would be page views, session duration and bounce rate. A bounce is any visitor who lands on a page, but doesn’t take any action. (Note: it’s not always a bad thing). Websites and apps can also track detailed behavior flows, or how customers navigate the different pages or actions. These measures are basically the digital equivalent of footfall and conversion, but the context of digital enables CX professionals to get so much more data about how consumers act and what interests them. Often this data can be tracked back to specific users as a way of measuring digital customer experiences over time.
Because many of these measures relate back to the sales funnel, marketing teams are a helpful first port of call if you are looking for website experience data in your organization.
Email is still relevant
CX professionals should also stay abreast of email marketing metrics, because this touchpoint still plays an important role in customer experience, especially if one is trying to stitch together an entire journey including inbound and outbound communication. Some of the most popular measures include, open rate, which indicates if people are reading the message, unsubscribe rate, sharing or forwarding rate and the click through rate. This last measure highlights if customers are engaging with any calls-to-action within the message.
Some marketing teams put together timelines of customer engagement across email, text, call and other notifications, which can be very helpful for building a comprehensive customer journey. Of these, the digital touchpoints should yield the most readily available data about engagement. Remember that just because someone received a communication doesn’t always mean they engage with it, but it’s helpful for CX professionals to understand these points of interaction so they can be brought into the bigger picture.
Email can feel old school these days, but it’s undeniable that social media is on the rise as a part of many customer’s digital journeys. The great news is that social media has opened up a whole new world opportunities for measuring digital customer experience and understanding new dimensions of the journey. It can be helpful to understand digital social media metrics or measures through two different lenses, a push and a pull.
Marketing teams love to measure success of their curated content through things like Social Share of Voice, or mentions compared to competitors, the engagement rate relative to total followers, and the applaud rate, which tracks approval actions (likes, favorites and whatnot). These provide a glimpse into customer engagement with an organization’s social media presence and outbound messaging. Social media “push” metrics help CX teams understand possible points of interaction with a brand or where consumers might be getting information about products and services.
Increasingly, social media is also being used to provide service support and even to sell to customers. Standard sales and service metrics or measures like conversion rate, response time, resolution time and first contact resolution can all apply to social media touchpoints, as well as email, messenger or wherever sales and support are offered. Advanced text analytics also provide organizations with the ability to evaluate sentiment and conduct topic analysis to understand trends in the nature of engagement through social media and other channels.
Usability testing metrics are especially important if CX professionals are hoping to understand an app-based experience or a web portal where a customer might go to complete one of their jobs to be done, like paying their cell phone bill or checking a credit card statement. These are great for understanding the digital customer journey after the point of conversion.
Usability metrics are all based on a user’s experience completing a specific task, so they are journey-specific and you’ll need to identify what that task is first. Metrics include task completion rate, which is just what it sounds like. The error rate, or how many times a customer made an error or had to repeat an action. Average time to complete a task is also often gathered. Generally speaking, customers want things to be quick, easy and seamless. So CX teams will want to help their organizations work towards digital experiences that enable quick task completion, with minimal errors and low abandon rates. Digital operations teams should be able to pull samples of this information if they don’t already have some of it on hand.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.
Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, voice of customer and culture change) or get in touch via email.