Engage the field by tying cx data to familiar metrics

Krystal Montague | Aug 26, 2016 Krystal Montague 08/26/16

Everyone knows a best-in-class customer experience (CX) measurement program has to deliver cutting edge technology and world class insights—but technology and insights have little impact if field teams and front-line employees aren’t using the program to drive action. That’s why we recently partnered with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) to present a webinar on how to drive field engagement—a crucial, but often overlooked, component of any successful program.

While we covered several tips in the webinar, I wanted to expound on one I think is especially important: tying your CX data to familiar metrics. Part of the reason field engagement falls off the radar for so many organizations is that it can sometimes be a hard metric to quantify. This problem is especially pronounced for brands that are data-driven (which tends to be the case if they’re investing in CX).

But just because you can’t always assign a number to how engaged your field is doesn’t mean it’s not something you should be tracking. After all, if your CX program is seldom used by the front lines, you can rest assured it’s soon to be scrutinized by the higher-ups.

Don’t worry—there are several ways you can engage the field by making the data come alive.

Align CX data with established KPIs to prove the data is accurate

This is especially critical in the early days of your CX program. If your front line doubts the data, there’s no way they’ll use it to drive action. While having an effective data integrity initiative is the most important thing you can do to prove the data is accurate, you can work to make that accuracy more tangible for your employees.

Your CX program probably isn’t the first metric you’ve used to track front-line performance. If that’s the case, use those existing measures to demonstrate the value of your CX program—and vice versa.

For example, let’s say you’re a grocery store brand that knows the importance of a speedy checkout experience, so you’ve started tracking items per minute (IPM) at the register. An effective CX program should be able to confirm that Speed of Checkout is a key driver of Overall Satisfaction, which helps legitimize an emphasis on IPM as an employee metric, since it goes from being a corporate initiative to a customer-centric initiative. Moreover, by pairing the CX data with your internal numbers, you can show that as the items per minute increase, so do Speed of Checkout scores (and thus, Overall Satisfaction scores).

Link the data to financial results to demonstrate program value

In an ideal world, every employee feels personally invested in the organization’s long-term health. But even in the real world, most—if not all—employees realize the benefit of putting sincere effort into something that impacts financial outcomes.

If you’re looking for the quickest, most effective way to show why the CX program has quickly become an important part of the job, look no further than the bottom line. Do a transaction-level analysis and chances are you’ll see that highly satisfied customers spend more on average—so it should be no surprise that you’re doing everything you can to make customers highly satisfied.

But it doesn’t have to be just about the company. For example, let’s say your restaurant just introduced a new service standard of recommending an appetizer or dessert to dine-in guests. After looking at the transaction-level data, it becomes clear that when servers execute, the average ticket goes up. But taking it one step further, you also see that the average tip goes up even more significantly.

Once you’ve shared the insight that customers actually appreciate getting a recommendation—and they express their appreciation with higher tips—it won’t take long for the service standard (and CX program) to catch on.

Time your insights strategically to showcase front-line benefits

There’s no question a good CX program is an invaluable tool that helps you take more targeted action—but we often see them misused as hammers for punishing low-performers. Be sure to look for opportunities to demonstrate that the program isn’t just for the company’s benefit—it’s also a way for the company to do a better job supporting the front line.

For example, many of our retail clients see scores like Availability of Assistance dip around peak holiday seasons, so they come to us with specific research questions aimed at helping them mitigate the impact of seasonal spikes in traffic. Countless times, this kind of data has been used to justify making operational improvements—like adding staff or even creating a new seasonal management position—which not only benefits the customers, but also make employees’ jobs a little easier during these typically stressful times.

An effective CX program really should be a winning situation for everyone involved—after all, you’re helping your employees make operational improvements that make their jobs easier and benefit the customer, which keeps them highly satisfied and more likely to return and recommend your brand to others. Tying your CX data to your brand’s other familiar metrics makes that symbiosis more visible, and that engages the field teams.

If you’d like to learn more about how to spark field engagement in your CX program, check out the full webinar here.

Krystal Montague | VP, Client Insights
Customer Experience Update