Yes, you read right – sexy. How can Customer Experience (CX) be sexy?

If you are a startup providing B2B or B2C products or services, CX can be sexy when you implement a simple framework enabling you to “build-measure-learn” from your customers. Taking an “outside-in approach” to how you design and enhance your service offering will not only retain your customer base, but through the power of “voice of the customer” – word of mouth referrals – means your company’s customer base will grow.

You may be thinking, “How can I do CX? I am a startup. I am not a large corporate company that has a dedicated CX insights and design team”! If you have the courage to ask for customer feedback and do something about it, then you can do CX. Here are some basic principles and tips that can assist you.

How do I get customer feedback?

You can get feedback in a variety of ways. It depends on what you want to know and what works best for your type of product/service. Remember, you don’t have to stick to one method. Pick at least 1-2 methods and incorporate them at different points of your customer’s lifecycle, as each method has its benefits and limitations.

Also, the other bonus is that you don’t have to spend much $$$ at all to get feedback from using the methods below. Most of it is time 🙂

Some methods I use are:

  • Surveys (e.g. Typeform, SurveyMonkey)
  • Interviews (informal or structured)
  • Round table discussions (with a few customers)
  • Observational (watching customers interact with the product or service)

Surveys are good, especially if you want to ask questions with quantitative answers. Some examples include “Overall, how satisfied are you with X?”, asking people to rate something or questions that prompt Yes/No answers. Typeform’s section on surveys this explains in more detail – you can read more at https://www.typeform.com/examples/surveys.

In an interview, try not to ask metric related questions in an interview.  People tend be overly nice, or might be shy to tell you the truth, which may lead to an inflated rating.

I do find surveys a little restrictive when you are seeking deeper commentary or explanations – making it difficult to understand context or the “WHY” behind the rating. Therefore I try to mix up surveys with a few qualitative questions (see below). Another way to get around this restriction is to contact the customer in the survey if you need to do a “deep-dive” on some of their responses. Remember, people are time-poor and don’t have time to elaborate much in surveys, so try keep the survey no longer than 5 minutes.

Personally, I like to talk to customers. I either give them a call or I invite them out to a coffee (a small investment for a great return). I have a few questions I ask and let these flow organically in the conversation. Sometimes you find the customer will just tell you everything without much probing, and all you have to do is listen. You can get many rich insights by just talking to customers in a non-threatening casual environment. The downside to this is sometimes you can get information overload and time is needed to digest, uncover and work through all the feedback.

This is also the case with round table discussions. It helps to have a scribe or record the conversation as listening, questioning and writing at the same time is challenging!  Observational methods work best when you are looking to get feedback on things like website UX or seeing how customers undertake a transaction on a platform or app. There is a temptation here to “want” the customer to use it in a certain way (especially if you’re the same person who built it). You need to take a step back. Just observe or give them a scenario to work through. After this, then you can ask questions like WHY they clicked where they did.

What CX metrics should you use?

1. Customer Satisfaction

Regardless of the method you use to get feedback, there are a few different metrics you can use. It all depends on what you want to measure and why.  At minimum, you should be measuring customer satisfaction “C-SAT”.

For example: “On a scale of 1-10, overall how satisfied are you with ….“  Then follow it up with a question like “Can you explain WHY you gave this score”.

2. Net Promoter Score

Another metric is net promoter score (NPS). You have probably been asked a question like “On on a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to recommend —- to family or a friend”. NPS measures how much customer are advocates for your brand. This is indicative of customer loyalty. If you think about it, how often do you speak about a brand or experience at a mate’s BBQ?

To build loyalty, you first have to have trust. Trust is build over time and through the customer having a consistent positive experience when interacting with your business. Therefore, I would only use NPS if you have been delivering a product/service consistently to a customer for a minimum of three months.

3. Net Easy Score

Another metric is the Net Easy Score (calculated similarly to Net Promoter Score). NES measures how easy it is for a customer to interact with a business. A sample question could be “on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being extremely easy and 7 being extremely difficult), how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?”. As most startups do not have a contact centre (yet), I like to tweak this question and apply to more of a UX based question. For example, “How easy was it for you to enter experiments in our Startup Science App?”.

4. Qualitative Insights

The last metric is qualitative insights. Whether it’s a survey or a customer interview, open ended qualitative questions enable you to dig deeper and uncover some hidden truths – they may be pleasant or ugly!

Here are some questions you can use:

“What do you like most about ….”

“What could we do differently”

“How does this add value to you”

“What should we do more of”

“What should we do less of”

“What features do you like and why”

“Why features don’t you use and why”

“What was your biggest learning today”

“What would you like to learn more of”

To make CX even more sexy – keep these things in mind:

  • Only get feedback on things you can directly influence
  • Don’t ask for customer feedback if you are not going to do anything about it (build-measure-learn is a continuous cycle)
  • Always get feedback from a sample mix of customers to ensure your feedback is balanced and unbiased (i.e. the challenging ones, the passive ones and the ones that are happy with you)
  • Be aware that customer feedback is a give and take relationship. you can consider a give. Consider something like a discount on next purchase, a period of free subscription, a downloadable guide on a relevant topic or some kind of added value to delight your customer. This can also help boost your response rates!

Last tip – share your customer insights with everyone in your business – no matter what their role is. Creating a great experience is the responsibility of everyone in the business, as they all impact the customer either directly or indirectly. Good luck!

Angie Antzoulatos

Angie Antzoulatos

Project Manager & Customer Success

Angie has over 14 years experience implementing projects at the operational and strategic levels in areas such as customer experience, client engagement, risk management and policy in both the private and public sector.

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