Rethinking CX Measurement in a Digital-First Era

In 2023 alone, I have completed at least 100, if not more, transactions with Banks, Telecom, Insurance, Travel, Retail, and Digital or eCommerce businesses digitally. The vast majority of these transactions were initiated and completed via mobile apps and digital portals, with a small percentage requiring some form of service. Most of these service instances were also handled via self-service options on the mobile app, through forms, emails, bots, or a live chat. In fact, I’ve only had 2 instances in the entire year where I had to call the contact centre – one a Bank and the other a Digital / eCommerce company (personally a good year CX-wise).  

The reality is that I am not alone. Most of us have become digital-first in our interactions. Everything, from the website’s design, the UX of the mobile app, its service option and their accessibility, to quick resolutions to a call (which I would rather not have made), determines a company’s CX today. Hence, they must be complemented by new approaches to stay relevant in today’s digital-first era. 

Achieving this feat requires companies to first rethink how they currently measure Customer Experience (CX). For instance, if my bank measured their CX based solely on how quickly they picked up my phone or how long they made me wait in the call queue, it would reflect only a tiny part of my overall experience with the bank.  

On top of that,  the methods and metrics used to gauge CX are evolving rapidly. While still valuable, traditional metrics and Voice of Customer (VOC) approaches may no longer be sufficient in capturing the full customer experience.

Traditional Metrics: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES) have been widely used for years. These metrics provide valuable insights into overall customer sentiment but tend to show transactional data. At Twimbit, we believe companies must deliver on the 4 key CX pillars – Digital, Service, Brand, and Employee experience.

Voice of Customer (VOC): VOC programs remain vital because of their ability to gather direct customer feedback through surveys, interviews, and feedback forms. However, in the digital age, customers interact with brands through various channels, i.e., social media, online reviews, 3rd party mobile apps and chatbots. Hence, VOC programs must adapt to these new mediums when collecting feedback to provide a more comprehensive view of the customer experience.  

Here’s why traditional metrics fall short:

  • Surveys are slow and biased: Customers are inundated with requests for feedback, leading to low response rates and skewed data. Plus, surveys often miss the emotional undercurrents of the experience.
  • VOC captures opinions, not behaviours: Sentiment analysis might tell you if a customer is happy, but it doesn’t reveal why. Did they struggle with a website? Abandon their cart? These silent signals hold the key to real improvement.
  • Ignoring the digital touchpoints: Today’s journeys encompass websites, apps, social media, and more. Focusing solely on phone calls or emails leaves huge gaps in the customer story.

The Evolution of CX Measurement: To effectively measure CX in a digital-first era, businesses should consider the following approaches:

  1. Map & Refine Customer Journeys: Creating detailed customer journey maps helps identify pain points and areas of improvement across digital touchpoints. This approach allows companies to refine the customer experience.
  1. Benchmark CX across competition & Best-in-class: Delivering great CX implies meeting and exceeding customer expectations, which are being set by not just your competitors but also best-in-class companies across other industries. Benchmarking your CX across digital, service, brand, and employee experience to identify areas of innovation is imperative.  
  1. Omnichannel Measurements: Customers interact with brands through multiple digital and service touchpoints. Measuring CX across all these channels – websites, mobile apps, social media, email, live chat, calls, and more – is essential. Apart from measuring how each channel is performing, companies also need to track and measure how the experience is handled when customers switch from one channel to the other.  
  1. AI/Predictive Analytics on Customer Feedback Data: Leveraging AI and predictive analytics can enable companies to proactively identify trending customer issues, understand customer sentiment, predict customer needs, and personalize interactions even in real-time or near real-time.  

This data-driven approach allows us to:

  • Identify real pain points, not just perceived ones
  • Personalize experiences based on real-time customer behavior
  • Proactively address issues before they impact satisfaction
  • Measure the impact of CX initiatives with tangible outcomes

By embracing these shifts, we move from measuring opinions to understanding behaviors, emotions, and experiences.

The measurement of CX in a digital-first era requires a more holistic approach. While traditional metrics and VOC programs remain relevant, they need to evolve to encompass the broader digital landscape. By mapping customer journeys, benchmarking CX across competition & best-in-class, conducting omnichannel analysis, and incorporating AI-driven insights, companies can stay ahead in the race to deliver exceptional CX.