Agree the collection method
Now you’ve selected your metrics, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to collect your customer feedback. There are four things to consider – what, when, who and how.
What questions are you going to ask your customers? Whatever you ask them in your surveys should relate to the points in the customer journey you want to measure and the metrics you’re using. We find the most effective questions have both a quantitative and qualitative aspect to them.
The quantitative element tells you the “what” – what they think, and whether it’s easy or hard, good or bad etc. The qualitative element tells you the “why” – why they think it’s easy or hard etc.
- What = “On a scale of 1-5, how easy was it for you to do XXX?”
which invites a qualitative follow-up
- Why = “Why did you give this rating?”
Design your surveys with your audience in mind – the aim is to get the biggest response rate you can, so you should make them quick and easy to understand and complete. And the best surveys have a warm, human tone.
Timing is crucial. In general, the sooner you can ask customers for feedback after an interaction, the better. For example, when working with a major supermarket, we sent shoppers who had used their loyalty card an email the same day, to encourage customers to share their experience while it was fresh in their minds.
If you leave it too long, the emotional state the customer was in will have passed, and you won’t get a full and clear reflection of the experience they had.
You should also think about how often you want to ask for feedback – too little, and you risk not getting enough feedback, too much and you might annoy people. No one likes being asked to fill in the same survey again and again.
When defining a sample size – the number of customers you intend to gather data from - the bigger the better. But don’t sweat it if it’s a small sample, as it’s still useful insight.
It’s easy to get obsessed about needing a bigger sample size for your data to be reliable, especially if you usually conduct quantitative research programmes where all samples need to be large.
In our experience, you sometimes need to opt for a smaller sample for practical reasons and, providing you position it correctly, it can be insightful and informative.
And, if you really do need to gather more data, there are ways to build a richer picture with insight from other sources.
Which channels will you use to ask your customers questions? You can conduct surveys in many ways – via email, SMS, social media, websites, phone, etc – but you need to choose the channels that work best for your target customers. And the ones most likely to generate a high response rate.
You can also use insight from other sources to help you better understand the experience. Here are three:
1. Scour existing data
If you go looking, you’ll be amazed what you can find. It’s likely you’ll already have useful information from which you can drive insights, such as customer complaints, or existing research. So dig into your archives and start pulling it together.
2. Visit the front line
Leave your desk and go to the places customers are interacting with you. Watch what happens during face-to-face interactions with your sales teams, listen in to customer calls, review customer emails and look at your social media channels. Customer insight is flooding in every day – you just need to find it and measure it.
3. Speak to your staff
Ask your customer-facing employees what they think. They can usually tell you how happy customers are in general and where the problems are. This could be through a conversation with them while you’re shadowing their work, or in targeted focus groups.
Build your dashboard
You’ve agreed your metrics and before jumping straight in and issuing a load of surveys, you want to take a step back and think about the story you want to tell. We always say you should begin with the end in mind, and measuring your customer experience is no different.
A CX dashboard is a great tool to help you bring the data together to succinctly tell a story about how well you're delivering on your customer experience goals at different stages in the customer journey, and let both you and your leadership team quickly identify what’s going well and what you need to improve.
An example of a dashboard: