Admin Extras: Designing cost-effective CX programs

In this section:

Harmonizing your goals

First up for any Admin is to design the research program—to organize around a proper plan.  

Brainstorm with your team over coffee, tea, and a few biscuits and suss out your research goals. Outline the intended scope of your program by deciding clearly what you wish to measure. Agreement on these imperatives is well worth a few chai lattes and will make your program more balanced and manageable from the start. 

Publish your goals. Make the specifics of the program clear to your team—like a musical score is clear to an orchestra. 

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Identifying touchpoints in the customer journey

Take a few moments to define the touchpoints in your customer journey. Touchpoints are crucial movements along that journey—the moments where customer needs expand, shift, or change. Afterwards, decide where surveys fit into that.

Refine, focus (and even limit) the scale of your program to match your goals, experience, and resources. Surveys can be orchestrated along the customer journey. Multiple surveys from a single organization should compliment each other, perhaps overlap a bit, but never conflict, overshadow, or drown each other out. 

For an example, let’s look at the Hem & Stitch (H&S) customer journey mapping. At key touchpoints H&S surveys measure potential pain points along their journey. Thoughtful and targeted surveys will find the high notes, the low notes, and the many reverberations in between. 

🎶 Experience attests: If you haven't addressed your Onboarding issues early in the customer journey it may be too late to expect a Renewal at journey’s end. 

How program designs can help Admins

Understanding the goals behind your organization’s research will clarify the Admin-level decisions you’ll need to make. The Delighted Admin Certification course answers critical questions related to your research design:

You get the idea. 

🎶 To set the context for the Modules listed above, consider this use case from the archives of Hem & Stitch.

Hem & Stitch—a simulated custom design clothier since 1942—dissected the customer journey for its B2B retail partners. H&S identified seven touchpoints leading toward annual Renewals.

To avoid popping out of their seams, H&S started small, focusing on four impactful touchpoints to begin their program. Then, they applied a blend of survey types aimed at the unique audiences along their journey. We’ll soon show you how H&S arrived at four specific survey types: CES, CSAT, PMF and NPS.

After you’ve identified the important touchpoints in the customer journey, you can move on to the other steps in the program design process, starting with audience selection.

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Defining audiences and avoiding split audience traps

At each touchpoint along the path, survey just the people in a position to know. If this sounds obvious, no matter; it’s still important. To identify those in the know, capture an understanding of the unique audiences within your panel of respondents.

For example, imagine if Hem & Stitch sends out this recurring CSAT question for a touchpoint survey on B2B onboarding:

“How satisfied were you with the H&S Onboarding experience?”

What information can they expect to gather from:

  • Buyers & Designers?
  • Marketing & Sales team members?
  • Finance & IT professionals?
  • Managers & the CEO?

This example presents a classic split audience trap. There are four (or more) unique audiences in the above list; each with their own perspectives, roles to play, and unique reactions to their onboarding experiences. If they are all lumped together, they generate noise that can negatively impact the validity of the results for any one segment. 

🎶 Surveys stumble when they fall into split audience traps. 

How to avoid this trap? Read on…

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Assigning properties to sort out your audiences

Ironically, a way to solve split audience problems is to split up your audiences with properties. 

🎶Properties in Delighted are predefined attributes or values assigned to individual panel members. 

Before H&S sent its first survey, they labeled four audience subsets (as the table below shows), each with their corresponding property values logged inside their B2B panel. 

Audience Definition
Buyer Product buyers and designers who are making product selections based on quality, style, and price.
Marketer Sales and Marketing team members working with social media, retail promotions, and direct sales opportunities.
Finance/IT Contacts involved with the payment and billing process; Account Owner/Admins, Finance, and IT personnel working to integrate Hem & Stitch into existing systems, including the billing, accounts payable, and ordering systems.
Management Decision makers who give approval to create and renew a partnership with a supplier, like Hem & Stitch.

H&S can include each of these split audience definitions as properties under a header “Audience” in the same CSV or Excel files they are using to organize email and SMS sends. 

🎶 H&S may use any name they like atop their spreadsheet column: Role, Position, Attribute, Team. The name is arbitrary—but Audience seems to work well. 

Whatever the header becomes, this column of attributes automatically turns into a filter on the Delighted dashboard. Filters make it easy to split out and segment each unique group, thereby sliding clear of potential validity and reliability concerns. 

For instance, Ellie, Jack, Jaden, Tyler, and Christian are labeled as Buyers in the Audience column. Their results can now be examined in isolation, not muddied by any dissonance (or noise) coming from the whole of the panel. 

Dive deeper into properties in Module 6 of the Core Certification training found in the Help Center.

Pinpointing the Audience

Audience analysis is easy enough, but few take time to do it. The tried-and-true who, what, when, where, why, and how gambit usually does the trick. (Albeit, we’ve tweaked this effective Journalism strategy to better fit a survey design methodology.)

  • Who will become a part of your panel of survey recipients?
  • Why are they important to survey?
  • What information can they share?
  • When will they most reliably respond (mornings, Mondays, monthly, or end-of-quarter)?
  • Where will they best respond (phone, computer, or tablet/Kiosk)?
  • How does this audience expect to be surveyed (email, Kiosk, website)?

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Refining and pairing questions with corresponding survey types

H&S accepted the premise that they can’t ask everyone every question at every touchpoint, so they isolated the strongest notes—the touchpoints most likely to produce actionable insights and strong B2B contract renewals. 

Choosing the right survey type flowed directly from their audience analysis, the wording of the questions, and the insights they hope to capture. 

🎶 Does your question address what you wish to measure, or does it measure something else entirely? Hitting this mark increases the reliability of a question.

In the following image and table you’ll see the touchpoints that H&S selected, the questions they asked, and the matching survey types they picked.

In summary, H&S focuses on four touchpoints and only targets people in a position to provide actionable information. They are sorting their audience with properties to avoid sending surveys to cohorts that add unnecessary noise, thus saving money by circumventing unnecessary survey sends.

Audience Definition Touchpoint Survey type
Buyer Product designers and buyers make product selections based on quality, style, and price. Research options
Ongoing usage


CES (#1)
PMF (#3)

NPS (#4)

Marketer Sales and Marketing team members working with web and retail promotions. Onboarding
Ongoing usage
PMF (#3)
NPS (#4)
Finance/IT People involved with the ordering, payment, and billing processes; Admins and IT personnel working to integrate H&S with internal systems. Onboarding CSAT(#2)
Management Decision makers giving approval to create and renew the partnership with suppliers. Ongoing usage
PMF (#3)
NPS (#4)

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Matching survey types to questions

Most questions fit naturally into specific survey types—CSAT, CES, NPS, PMF etc. To make a selection, consider a set of questions:

  • What methodology does the question itself suggest?
  • What survey type best spotlights the question?
  • What survey type will surface the desired metrics, reveal trends, and generate insightful reports? 

Let’s look at the table below and see if we can justify the H&S survey type selection

Survey type Scale points Question
CES - Customer Effort Score 5-point scale “We made it easy for you to compare Hem & Stitch clothing and design options.”
CES measures the level of pain people feel when solving problems. H&S has created a website to make ordering decisions as easy as point and click relative to product selection, design alterations, and sizing. They hope to make this site a “pain-free zone,” but a CES survey may reveal otherwise. 
CSAT - Customer Satisfaction 3- or 5-point scales “How satisfied were you with the Hem & Stitch Onboarding experience?”
CSAT is a tried-and-true measure of customer satisfaction. For H&S, the need for Onboarding is vital, particularly as a new B2B partnership unfolds. If this goes well, customers generally renew. If it doesn’t, then months of partnership work can unravel. With the help of Alerts, CSAT results are checked frequently to spot Onboarding missteps early on.
PMF- Product/Market Fit 3-point scale “How would you feel if you could no longer carry Hem & Stitch fashions in your product line?”
PMF surveys, due to their 3-point nature, go for a gut reaction, an honest visceral response around the experience a customer is having. No squishy 5-point scale here! Either a retail partner, “Can’t live without!” the H&S custom clothing line, or H&S products are not a good fit. A dip in this score merits serious attention. 
NPS - Net Promoter Score 11-point scale  b
There’s no better tool to use near the end of a customer journey than a recurring NPS survey with it’s 11-point scale: Promoters: 9-10, Passives: 7-8, and Detractors: 0-6. NPS can provide insights into potential renewals, churn risks, and organizational shifts. NPS is also highly scalable.

Within this program design we find variety, timeliness, specificity, validity, and reliability built into the questions. The questions are well matched to the survey types. 

🎶 You're likely familiar with the Delighted survey types. But if you need a refresher, read more in the Help Center by clicking 2. Survey Types.

eNPS for internal correlations

Don’t leave any projects on the table! Careful planning has left H&S with an extra project under its Premium plan limit…(long contemplative pause) how about capturing feedback from H&S employees who work directly with their B2B retail distribution partners?

Employees are the most important audience to which H&S has access. How do they feel about it all? Would they encourage their best mates to join the B2B team? Here’s the Hem & Stitch eNPS question:

“How likely are you to encourage others to work in our B2B division?”

An assumption behind eNPS is that people are prone to give high marks (even if they are lukewarm about an experience) so as not to hurt feelings, to avoid negativity, and to be perceived as a team player. That’s why eNPS surveys are anonymous by default, to make sure respondents are comfortable being honest. And with up to ten Additional Questions to play with, H&S can get to the roots of what their B2B team is truly thinking and experiencing. They can run this internal data against their external results to correlate a broader analysis into the health of their B2B interactions.

🎶 Working within plan limits is the primary emphasis of Module 4: Administering Plan Limits & Billing.

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Selecting effective distribution platforms and integrations

Pick a platform that is familiar and comfortable to your customers. To help, revisit these related questions: 

  • How does this audience expect to be surveyed (email, Kiosk, website)?
  • Where will they best respond (phone, office computer, public tablet-Kiosk)?
  • When will they most reliably respond (8:00am, immediately, Mondays, weekly, monthly)? 

This should help make your distribution platform selection easier.  Which of the following fits is your best play?

  • Email
  • Web
  • Links
  • Kiosks
  • SDK
  • Familiar integrations

You can use multiple platforms. It may prove that several platforms, working in harmony, will produce the best results. Surveys can also be integrated to your existing tech stack for even better performance. 

One way to hone in on the best platforms is to ask a few trusted customers their preferences. Reaching out can't hurt. However, don't take early advice as absolute! Later, as results start to flow in, use the Delighted Metrics reports to analyze which platforms are actually delivering the highest return rates and make adjustments accordingly. If it’s not working, make a change! 

🎶 Soon, results will start rolling in. At this moment, the entire process shifts from creation and distribution to analysis.  Here again, Admins have a special role to play.

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Next steps

For this final movement, we recommend a Delighted Blog post which outlines five keys to “skimmable” surveys. Skimmability simply suggests that respondents should see certain attributes in a survey— and see them at a glance: 

  1. A clear, unambiguous question
  2. A driving purpose
  3. An ask
  4. A trusted source (e.g. your brand)
  5. An easy way to respond

If we’re being honest, many people simply skim-read surveys. The question is, can these five points be captured by someone who is skimming? Absolutely—with a bit of creativity, careful editing, and the help of the customization options found in Delighted.  This eye-popping clarity is what makes Delighted surveys so effective, as seen in this final image.

So you’ve created your research plan! Share these details with your team and challenge them to use these methods when considering program improvements. And remember, “if the plan doesn’t work out, change the plan, not the goal!”

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