December 14, 2021
Why Run a Customer Experience Audit
Plenty of attention is given these days to acquiring website traffic via organic, paid, and social channels.
However, since nurturing customers into brand loyalists is also a critical part of growing your business, an equal amount of attention should be focused on converting this traffic and convincing visitors to take the actions you want them to.
But what if they’re encountering problems along their journey? And is there a way you can spot those issues early on?
Rather than relying on guesswork and gut feelings, a customer experience audit can help you identify specific pain points real customers are experiencing.
This article will discuss why CX audits are crucial to the CX strategy and what it entails.
What is a Customer Experience Audit?
A CX audit is a comprehensive assessment of customers’ interactions, as well as their perceptions of your brand during every touchpoint of the customer journey. It offers a structured view of the entire customer experience from start to finish and can help pinpoint issues with products, services, websites, and much more.
Because customers evaluate experience on a holistic level, a customer experience audit is an essential step in understanding where your strategy stands and what steps you need to take to start driving improvements. This means implementing mechanisms to obtain timely and effective customer feedback as much as possible.
Steps to Audit the Customer Journey
Because customer experience is complex and multi-faceted, it’s a good idea to keep track of certain metrics and compare them over time. Here are a few KPIs you can leverage to identify potential situations that might require modifications to improve the CX:
Want to know how likely your customers are to recommend you to others and buy from you in the future? The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer loyalty and customer advocacy that uses a 0-10 survey scale in which 0 would be extremely unlikely, and 10 would be extremely likely. Based on their score, participants are categorized as promoters (people who love your product), detractors (people who dislike your product), or passives (people who are indifferent about your product).
Neglecting post-purchase experience is a huge missed opportunity. Testimonials regarding their pre- and post- buying experience can help determine why a customer likes or dislikes your product. Typically, they’ll leave reviews if they’re very satisfied or very unsatisfied with your brand.
To make the feedback collection process easier, ask the customer for a review via phone, email, or social media.
From blog comments to offline conversations, it’s hard to keep track of all the channels where a customer can publicly talk about your brand. However, the way you track and execute against that information can make or break your company.
Looking at how frequently you receive favorable comments will help you understand what’s driving customers toward or away from your business.
Annual recurring revenue (ARR) is a critical part of the CX audit that shows how much recurring revenue you can expect based on annual subscriptions. ARR is also the yearly version of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Revenue churn is the percentage of lost revenue within a certain period.
Each of these metrics highlights the momentum at which your company can grow. The predictability of recurring revenue means the lifetime value can be much greater over the long term. It also makes it easier to analyze reasons for the churn and identify gaps.
In the event that you notice any big changes in traffic, take a look at Google Analytics and compare different time periods month over month and/or year over year.
From there, you can check the different channels (organic, direct, referrals, paid, social, email) and identify any negative trends among those conversions.
Some of the most common friction points in the customer journey involve poor customer service, unclear delivery information, multi-page checkout, or slow site performance.
In many cases, friction can be more complex, involving poor handoffs between sales and the operations team or a lack of internal processes that hinders consistency from one project to the next.
To proactively identify friction points, map out your customer journey from the first interaction with your business to the numerous touchpoints post-purchase.
Customer Support SLAs
A service level agreement (SLA) is an acknowledged agreement between a service provider and a customer that lays out both the services required and the expected level of service. This agreement usually varies between vendors, services, and industries.
Key components of a good SLA include information that clearly defines the client and service providers’ expectations—an agreement summary, description of services provided, response and resolution times, and performance metrics.
During a CX audit, these SLAs help to establish expectations and responsibilities and five your organization a competitive edge in the marketplace.
You can’t satisfy your customers unless you understand them. You want your customers to be transparent with you so that you can ensure you’re providing a service that meets or exceeds expectations.
By offering excellent helpdesk support, customers will be compelled to leave positive feedback, which, in turn, can be used to reassure existing and potential customers through their buying journey. The best customer support teams follow up with their customers, anticipate customer needs before they arise, and diffuse a customer’s anger by acknowledging their frustration.
Social Media Empathy
Customers want to do business with brands that genuinely care about their interests and demonstrate the same values that they practice. Social media can help bridge that empathy gap in the customer experience.
And if you want to put empathy at the core of your CX, you need to have someone internally dedicated solely to your customers.
With each audit, you want to make sure your company is staying ahead of the curve.
All of the above are indicators you can use to identify if the customer experience is being perceived as positive or negative. These metrics help provide wider context about where to find the root cause of a positive or negative trend in terms of CX perception.
Your customer experience audit should help you develop an action plan and pave the way towards the steps you will take to improve CX in your business.
And when you do decide to take action, make sure your customers are made aware of the changes that were made and, most importantly, communicate that those improvements were a direct result of the feedback they shared with you.
That’s where authentic customer relationships and long-term loyalty are built.
To learn more about how 3Pillar Global helps its clients improve the overall customer experience, contact an expert today.
Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.
FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.