THE METRICS MINEFIELD

Which is right for your VOC program?

By Watermelon | 23 February 2017

When embarking on a Voice of the Customer (VOC) program, or refreshing a program that isn't delivering, one of the key questions is what metric or metrics should be used? Our response is always the same - it depends on the business and the objectives it is working towards.There is no one-size-fits-all approach, every metric has a purpose and dependent on the sector you operate in, they can deliver something different.

Here are some of the key metrics that are filling the VOC world:

1. NPS or Net Promoter Score

NPS is a metric that has had a real increase in usage again over the last five years, with financial and telecommunications companies putting a focus on NPS as their key metric. Why? Because it is a proven metric that has stood the test of time. The NPS system seeks to measure not just the customer's level of loyalty, but it also gauges whether customers like your company so much that they would tell their friends about it. It is a metric that is used effectively across a wide range of sectors, including B2B.

2. Loyalty Index

A loyalty index can be created by taking an average (weighted or unweighted) across a number of questions such as 'overall satisfaction', 'likelihood to recommend', 'likelihood to continue to do business' and 'likelihood to expand their business'. It is mainly used in the retail sector and can be a useful tool in tracking customer loyalty over a period of time.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT measures a customer’s satisfaction with the service received. A metric that has been around for many years, it provides rich analysis and the metric is still widely used across many surveys. A key strength is its versatile nature, as the wording can be tailored to gather feedback around a specific transaction.

4. Customer Effort Score (CES)

A relatively new metric that measures how much effort your customers have to put in getting their issues solved. The underlying thought is that service organisations create loyal customers by reducing customer effort. This is fast becoming the most common metric, particularly when thinking about specific transactions as it allows you to easily pin point actionable service improvement areas.

Other key things to consider alongside metrics are any additional requirements of the program, for example if brand perception is important we'd recommend a separate brand tracking study or key driver tracker to monitor this. For event driven studies it is important to focus on the event and not dilute the survey with too many additional questions.

Overall, it isn't a matter of one metric, as they all serve a purpose. All metrics measure different things, so a holistic approach is favourable as it allows us to access the customer's true feeling of their interaction. NPS is a great way to benchmark against competitors but CES enables you to focus on opportunities for change and drive improvements.

Even with all this emphasis on metrics, it is important to remember that however data is collected that the key success factor is how that data is used to drive positive change within the business.


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Watermelon are our partners in the Voice of Customer space, offering a range of off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions to help you improve your customer experience.

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