At PENCIL42, we don’t just aim to create qualitative digital products but to design experiences with the customer in mind. It’s easy to make this claim if we never validate if we succeeded in this purpose.

So how do you measure if the service you designed delivers the experience the customer expects? One way is extensive interview and surveys. In this article, however, I want to introduce you to three simple techniques to gain insights into your customer’s experience:

  • Net Promoter Score,
  • Customer Effort Score &
  • Customer Experience Index.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Today we see many companies using the Net Promoter Score as a technique to measure the customer experience. Net Promoter Score is a measurement technique based on a straightforward question: “Would you recommend us to someone else?”. The surveyed gives a score from 1 (no, I’m not going to recommend you) to 10 (yes, wow, because I’m delighted with you).

The Net Promoter Score is calculated by reducing the percentage of ‘Promoters’ (those who scored 9 or 10) by the percentage of ‘Detractors’ (those who scored 6 or less). We do not take into account the people who score 7 or 8. They are considered neutral.

Net Promoter Score

The result is a number between -1 and +1, which reflects the power of our experience. A positive number means that more people recommend us than they dissuade us from doing so, which means that we are doing a good job.

NPS scores the quality of our services but does not explain the result.  If you get a negative NPS score, then the search can start to find out what is going wrong.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The Harvard Business Review shared findings of the CEB’s (now Gartner) research into the links between customer service and loyalty:

“Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does.”

This is where the Customer Effort Score comes into play. Instead of asking, ‘Would you recommend us?’, we ask ‘How easy was it to reach your goal today?’.

Customer Effort Score

Whereas NPS is mainly used to look at the overall relationship with a company, CES is used to look at the success of one particular journey.
If it is easy for a customer to buy a product (CES=7 on a scale from 1 to 7), but not to get a technician to repair it (CES=4), you get insights into where within the organisation you need to adjust your services.

The Customer Effort Score can be calculated by dividing the total number of respondents who at least somewhat agree (5 or above) by the total number of respondents.

Customer Experience Index

With the Customer Effort Score, we get an insight into how easy it is to use our service. But we could use a little more detail to understand our customer’s needs and wishes. The book Outside-In introduces a helpful Forrester tool: the Customer Experience Index (CXi).

The CXi is based on the Customer Experience Pyramid:

Customer Experience Pyramid (Forrester)

To determine the CXi, we ask the consumers three questions, corresponding with the three levels of the pyramid:

  • How well did the service meet their needs? (Meets needs)
  • How easy was the service to work with? (Easy)
  • How enjoyable was the service to work with? (Enjoyable)
Customer Experience Index (Forrester)

By answering these three questions, you get even more detailed insights into the quality of your service.

The following example would not add up to a positive experience:

  • a customer’s heating is repaired (Meets Needs = 10)
  • but he had to wait a week (Easy = 4)
  • in the middle of the winter (Enjoy = 2)

To calculate the CXi, % detractors are also deducted from the % of promoters.

Timing is everything

You now have more insights into some of the different metrics you can use. The next step is using them at the right moment in time.

I strongly believe in the power of the moment. You are more likely to give feedback just after an interaction than two days later, let alone six months. So don’t hesitate and use these techniques close to the moment of interaction.

Furthermore, it is crucial to use these techniques throughout the customer’s journey. A customer might be delighted at one time with your service, but very much displeased in another. So make sure you capture their experience at every interaction.