Success isn’t just measured by sales rates: Success is also determined by the enthusiastic reception of customers. And to be successful, you want your customers to have a stellar customer experience (CX)—one where they aren’t merely satisfied with your product or service but have a better experience with you than your competitors. This can turn buyers into company advocates…and these advocates will readily recommend your organization to friends, family, and colleagues.
Evaluating your customer experience can be tricky, but with specific business metrics, you can set standards and track the status of specific outcomes.
According to Forrester, companies need a comprehensive customer experience measurement program in order to understand what’s working and what’s broken within their organization. Creating customer experience metrics can be a time-consuming, costly undertaking.
Thankfully, there’s a simple way to implement customer experience metrics today:
Website Bounce Rate
It’s likely that your customer’s first interaction with your organization will be visiting your website. While it’s difficult to measure if your website is optimized, it’s fairly easy to know if customers are learning about your product or services by looking at your bounce rate, that is, how often website visitors only go to one page before leaving your website.
Many website servers now offer analytics ability to help you determine your website’s bounce rate. If yours does not, consider using a free online tool such as Google Analytics.
Once you know your website’s bounce rate, you can take action to improve it. First, make sure your website is easy to load and mobile friendly. (Research shows that if customers have to wait around for more than two to four seconds for the page to load, they are likely to hit the back button.)
Second, make sure your website is visually appealing, useful and connects with the customer. According to studies, the decision to either stay on your webpage or to leave it occurs within seconds. That means you need to give your potential customers something that draws them in and makes them explore the rest of your website.
Quick response time helps make sales, as well as gives customers favorable opinion of your products and services. If your organization doesn’t respond quickly, customers will move on to a company that does.
How quick is quick enough to keep customers satisfied? It depends on the form of communication you are assessing. For phone calls, strive to ensure that customers reach an agent within three minutes. For emails, you need to respond within a day—but be aware that plenty of organizations respond in hours, if not minutes. Finally, when it comes to web chat, customers expect a response time of no longer than one minute.
Assessing your company’s current response time is easier than it sounds. While hiring an outside consulting firm would certainly give you more objective, precise results, you can get a pretty good idea of wait times on your own.
For phone calls, simply have some members of your team call the company with a common customer issue. For emails, check the time code for when messages were received and when responses were sent over the course of a couple of days. For web chat, get some team members to try to connect through chat, ideally through outside servers.
Once you log and calculate averages for waiting times through these three channels, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what your customers are experiencing, and you can take steps to make your company more responsive.
Having millions of unique hits is wonderful, but in the grand scheme of things, what matters is winning customers. That’s why it’s important to know your conversion rate.
Conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who become customers. The definition of “customer” changes between organizations: For companies with online stores, it means the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase. For non-commerce based organizations, like nonprofits, informational websites, or blogs, it means the percentage of online visitors who subscribe to an online mailing list or make a social media share. (For simplicity, we’ll call all of these actions “sales.”)
Calculating a conversation rate is quite easy—you simply divide the number of unique website visitors for a given time period by the number of unique sales in that same period. Google Analytics and others can be quite useful in helping you identify your conversion rate.
Once you have the rate, you can discuss it with your team and create short-term and long-term goals to improve it.
The best way to evaluate and improve your company’s customer experience is to rely on hard data. By examining your bounce rate, response time, and conversion rate, you’ll be taking solid steps towards a data-driven approach and ensuring that your company is providing the best possible experience to its customers.