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It’s not about finding the weakest link. It’s about seeing the linkage.

Jacqui Mueller | Jan 10, 2018 Jacqui Mueller 01/10/18

No single location can make or break your business, but each makes an impact on your overall performance. Take an amusement park that has a mix of thrilling rides and ho-hum ones. Most people will return to the adrenaline-pumping attractions and avoid the others. (And they’re bound to tell friends about their experiences.)

Similarly, the customer experience (CX) you create across all of your locations makes an impression—and an impact. Some locations perform better than others, but all influence the bottom line.

The way we see it, there are three levels of linkage between your CX performance and your financial results. These links show how your CX program is improving the business, chipping away at your competitors’ visit share, and growing revenues:

  1. Location-level linkage
  2. Transaction-level linkage
  3. Company-level linkage

Location-level linkage
Proving your program leads to location-level growth
No matter how big your business grows, it lives at the local level. It’s important to understand how CX scores relate to and influence each location’s sales. A correlation analysis ties location-level comp sales growth to measures like Overall Satisfaction, Likelihood to Return, and Likelihood to Recommend. That linkage helps prove the relationship between your CX survey responses and your business results.

You can also take the location linkage a step further by supplementing correlation analyses with multivariate regression analyses, which factor in additional location characteristics. The multivariate regression model explains how much sales growth varies according to location-specific variables like:

  • Age of the location/recent remodels
  • Number of nearby competitors
  • Regional unemployment rates

Transaction-level linkage
Proving the impact of great service on each purchase
Great service makes an impact on every customer and every transaction. Think about your favorite retail store. You probably remember not only the T-shirt you bought, but also the employee who helped you. The way the store looked. How long you waited at the register. Every experience matters, especially when you consider the fact that “Highly Satisfied” customers are two to three times more likely to return and recommend you to their friends.

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The most direct way to quantify the financial impact of your CX program is to match individual survey results to the amount spent by the respondent. Transaction-level analyses show, once again, that better experiences drive business results. But they go a step further. They allow you to examine the impact of things like promotions, front-line service standards, and problem resolution processes.

Company-level linkage
Proving the ROI by showing the company-wide impact
To get buy-in for your CX program, you need to prove the program’s impact on the entire organization. It takes time to see this link. Customers need to have better experiences that prompt them to change their behavior (visit more often, recommend to their friends more frequently, etc.). Only then do sales climb and reflect the ultimate benefit of your program.

A time series analysis reveals how customer satisfaction and loyalty scores correlate to financial performance at the company level. Being able to see the long-term impact can help you predict the results of the CX improvements you make. You’ll also be better equipped to make a case for continued (and increased) investment in your CX program.

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Bottom line:

Just about everybody believes CX programs are worthwhile investments these days—but you still need tangible evidence that your program actually pays off. Showing these three levels of linkage between program performance and financial results clearly demonstrates the value of not just measuring the customer experience, but finding innovate ways to improve it.

To learn more about proving program ROI, check out our best practice guide.

Jacqui Mueller
VP, Client Insights