Determining the return on investment (ROI) of customer experience initiatives is important, as discussed in the first instalment of this blog series: ‘Can you put an ROI on customer experience?’. We found that investing in customer experience has become a necessity to boost customer retention, and ultimately improve the bottom line. But, are there methods to measuring customer satisfaction and where along the customer journey should measurements be taken?

Customer satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS) are good ways to gauge how well a service provider is doing in meeting its customers’ expectations. While this can be as simple as asking the customer ‘would you recommend this service provider?’, a more sophisticated approach is to measure customer satisfaction at certain distinct milestones of the customer journey – including well known churn points.

For example, proactively taking the pulse of a customer that just reached their first 90 days into a new contract. This enables you to see if the customer is happy and to ask if any improvements can be made to make their relationship with you more satisfying. Service providers then have the opportunity to fine tune the way they communicate with the customer, as well as modify the services they deliver. The minimal cost associated with such an initiative more than delivers on ROI. Your customers will feel that you took a vested interest in them, inspiring trust and many times additional spend. This can turn lukewarm customers into brand advocates, which has an ongoing positive effect on cost to serve and profitability.

Here are three simple steps every service provider can take to improve the customer experience in ways that not only make a difference to customers, but also to your bottom line:

  • Identify obvious factors that contribute to a bad customer experience, such as unhelpful call center staff, unclear communications, or badly represented billing data.
  • Change how you do these things and test improvements and new initiatives on your customers to identify what they respond to best. For example, by using a standard marketing analysis method, such as A/B testing, with variations of a better-designed monthly invoice.
  • Monitor your changes on an ongoing basis, learn from your mistakes and continually make enhancements.

The greatest success comes from identifying white spaces and ensuring that you meet changing customer needs even before they arise. Service providers should always be thinking about what’s next. In doing so, they will stay one step ahead of the competition and capture the lion’s share of available consumers.