Customer Experience is an integral part of every business right now. According to Forbes, 81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator, yet many of them offer a sub-par experience that puts a dent on customer retention. Most brands still rely on traditional methods to gauge customer experience (CX) and the challenges posed by them are manifold.
Metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) are quite popular, but they fail to explain why a customer would recommend the brand or do not take into account consumer demographics. Brands relying on these metrics are in danger of ending up with an inaccurate read of their customers’ experiences. Most brands fail to monitor experiences at multiple moments in the customer journey and end up with invalid conclusions.
For instance, after placing an order for a product from a retailer, Mr. Doe was asked, “On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the recent experience?” As he didn’t face any issues while placing the order, he scored it a 5. The product was delivered to Mr. Doe a week later, but due to some quality issues, he wanted to return the product. He followed up with customer support, but no attempt was made to fulfill his request. Suppose the retailer now asks the same question to Mr. Doe, he would have provided a lower score.
User Testing Platforms is the way to go
It’s crucial for brands to capture CX data in real-time in order for it to be actionable – this is where user testing platforms come into play. CX platforms like UserTesting, Teston, UserExperior, Usersnap, and Usabilityhub use sophisticated capabilities that automate the data gathering process based on consumer demographics and make it easier for brands to track and benchmark relevant experiences over time.
The process is quite simple: As a part of the study, brands first determine the objectives (e.g. measuring the experience of user registration) and the target audiences (e.g. new users between age-group 18-35 from New York). Brands design relevant tasks and construct task-related verbal, written or rating-based questions to evaluate the experiences. Metrics like NPS, CSAT, etc. can be tracked for each of the tasks. Brands can then launch the study on the platform and observe in real-time the actions that targeted users take while performing the tasks, the ideas they express, and the concerns they voice using live video recordings. Default KPIs like task completion rate, time per task, CX metrics like NPS or CSAT, and other scale-based rating questions quantify the experience. Observed customer behavior along with verbal and/or written customer feedback provide additional qualitative data on the customer’s experience.
Meaningful and actionable insights are captured via User Testing Platforms
An Australian grocery retailer wanted to investigate the reasons for poor conversion rate on desktops. The retailer observed a significant drop in order placement, even though a considerable number of users were adding products to the cart. The retailer leveraged user testing platform to identify the friction areas from the “add to cart” to the payment part of the journey. The task encouraged users to add products to the cart and proceed to checkout until they reached the payment page. They were asked to highlight aspects of the journey they liked, disliked, and wished to see. The videos emphasized 4 key problem areas that impacted CX:
- Minimum cart amount was not displayed upfront, hence users had to go back and forth to add products to the cart in order to meet the criteria
- Number of steps to checkout was quite high vs. the industry average
- Checkout progress tracker was absent
- Order summary didn’t allow any product edits, hence users had to go back in the journey to add/remove products
Similarly, another retailer wanted to examine the reasons behind fewer registrations for their loyalty program. As part of the task, users were prompted to search for the retailer’s loyalty program, learn about the benefits and process of joining the program and then answer if they are interested in being a part of the program. From the study, the retailer observed that:
- Loyalty programs were not promoted on the Home Page and link to learn more about the program was only available on the footer of the Home Page
- The process of joining the program was too verbose whereas users wanted it to be more interactive
- Users wished to have a calculator to calculate benefits in terms of future savings
User testing platforms highlight CX friction points that brands may otherwise have been unable to uncover. Furthermore, brands can leverage those insights to make CX changes that address customer pain points and conduct additional CX studies at a later stage to check the effectiveness of the changes made.
Using the right tool to analyze CX
It’s time for brands to retire the use of traditional methods to measure CX and replace it with sophisticated analytical tools that automate the data gathering process and capture meaningful and relevant customer data in real-time. By leveraging user testing platforms, brands can make intelligent use of the captured data to implement business changes that impact customer experiences in a positive way. By embracing these new agile techniques, brands can use CX to their competitive advantage and stay ahead of the game.