Proving the Value of a Customer Experience Program

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Understanding of the value of CX research

Here at Delighted, feedback is central to every decision that we make as a team. We use this data to inform our product development team and to design new content. We also use it to understand the factors that influence account health and to track customer retention. The trends in our data show that two factors are almost always present in the most successful programs. They are: 

  • A central program owner (that’s you!)
  • An understanding of the value in customer experience (CX) data

Following the steps in this guide, you will become a stronger program owner as you learn how to quickly identify weak points in a customer journey, pinpoint how CX data can add value to your business, and design a program to address those areas. Whether you’re new to CX or refreshing an existing program, we will run a Proof of Concept study; after all, it’s the foundation for proving value-add in your CX data and overall program.

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What are 'Proof of Concept' studies?

Most brands (even mature ones) struggle to understand how CX data can be beneficial to their organization—they’re misdirected on who to survey and when, and on how to act on the feedback. Oftentimes, they implement their survey touchpoints based on where they think customers are having negative experiences.

Instead, when initially implementing, organizations should be exploring feedback across their customer journey and unearthing pain points that were previously overlooked. This is exactly what a Proof of Concept will help with—with it, companies can quantify negative experiences across their customer journey, build out a strategy to address the most glaring issues, and set the stage for deeper exploration of customer experiences. With this type of study, brands can answer questions like:

  • Which experiences have the largest influence on customer sentiment?
  • How many customers have been involved in these experiences each month?
  • What is the ROI of improving these experiences (churn reduction, growth/repeat purchases, renewal)?
  • Which touchpoint should I start with?

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How can I implement a 'Proof of Concept' project?

Now that we have introduced Proof of Concept studies, let’s dig into the four steps you’ll need to follow:

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Before we get started

To keep things simple, let’s steer away from automation and keep survey sending manual. You should tap in engineers to automate processes only after the Proof of Concept wraps up.

Building a customer list

Pull a sample: Source 5% of your active customers or 350 unique contacts (whichever is larger). For a Proof of Concept, look to cast a wide net. The intent is to get a pulse across your customer base — so, include new leads, recent customers and long term customers in your sample.
Enrich your sample: Layer in simple properties that will add context to the feedback you receive. Include an additional property for how long your customer has been engaged. If your product is software/services this property should be a number of months since signing up. If your product is CPG or hardgoods, this property should be a number of purchases.

CX fun fact

This type of surveying is called a relational NPS study. Many of our brands recur this type of survey on a quarterly basis to aggregate data across their customer journey and paint a full picture of customer experience.

Designing and sending your survey

Fine tune your survey: Delighted’s out-of-the-box projects are perfect for Proof of Concept studies. To err on the side of simplicity, we don’t recommend getting fancy with subject lines, with additional questions or with thank you page redirects. Tack on that functionality only after the Proof of Concept is wrapped up! 

A refresh on how to send

Review our Delighted Core video learning series for a refresher on how to distribute the survey.

Running analysis on the data

Analyze data: This is the most critical part of the Proof of Concept exercise. From the analysis, you will phase towards answering three key questions:
  • Where is there friction in your customer journey?
  • Which customer segments are experiencing that friction?
  • How can you survey around these two insights to introduce a new touchpoint to the CX program?
Focus on feedback: There will definitely be more than one area that you want to dig into right off the bat. As a starting point, our Trends and Pivot Table report can help you get a sense of the themes being mentioned most often.

Whiteboard and strategizing next steps

  • Prioritize next steps: Now that you have a workable data set, it’s time to start exploring a CX roadmap and outlining a phased release of your program. Here are some questions that will help with the first steps of program design:
    • What are customers saying in their comments? Is it product, pricing, support or services specific?
    • Are there common pain points that are being flagged in these comments?
    • Are there any patterns (in both the quantitative and qualitative components of the feedback) based on how long your customer has been engaged?
    • Internally, which stakeholders would be able to action this data?
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    Create organization buy-in: While working through this effort, keep your company’s decision-makers in mind. The intent should be to increase their understanding of CX, to build a business case around the ROI of CX, and to outline your roadmap. The data from your Proof of Concept supports all of these points.

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    What’s next? Designing a scalable CX program

    When standing up a program for the first time or when refreshing one that has fallen out of the limelight, a Proof of Concept is just the first step. The survey will be simple and the data set that you collect will be small, but that doesn’t detract from the importance of what it represents. At the close of this study you’ll have a firm grasp of your brand’s CX landscape and the touchpoints that you can start to build your Delighted program around.

    As you begin to evangelize your CX data internally, refresh yourself on the full capabilities tied to your account via the Trainings & Tutorials section of our Help Center. We're confident that you and the team will benefit from the best practices resources found here.

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