Narrow CX Measurements May Be Blinding You

Image credit: iStockphoto/SIphotography

When Gerda Swinkels-Legierse took up her position at Dutch company Grodan in 2018, the company only measured customer complaints and did an NPS survey on an annual basis.

Grodan, which produces innovative composite slabs for growers in Hollands’s precision agriculture industry, had done a customer experience and customer journey survey in 2017. It gave some insights which — Swinkels-Legierse said — “really shocked the organization.”

As a result, Swinkels-Legierse — whose previous experience had been in business processes — joined Grodan as the head of customer experience with a mandate to understand and improve the customer experience. A task first requires rigorous measurement.

Finding out the baseline

Swinkels-Legierse outlined Grodan’s CX journey to an Asia Pacific audience at Forrester’s recent CX APAC 2021 online event. It began with her arrival at the company and creating a “baseline” position using the survey results and follow-up work.

“I realized that what we measured was quite narrow if we wanted to get a sense of the full experience, and that is why I started to investigate transactional measurements,” she told the CX APAC 2021.

In starting the CX strategy, Swinkels-Legierssaid said there are several fundamental areas to understand.

“It all starts with understanding the customer and what motivates them, their pain and their gain and what is beneath that,” she said.

“What is the job they need to get done? And that also gives you some insight and helps you realize you need to organize things to support their experience. But in the end, it comes down to company culture — how we act towards each other but mainly towards the customer.”

The three action points of the CX strategy were to “act, understand, and organize/support.” It also involved some change management within Grodan as the customer experience became better understood.

Measurement was a crucial part of the process. Swinkels-Legierse notes transactional and relational feedback through the customer journey, but these measurements were pointless unless they were acted upon and provided the impetus for change.

It was necessary to understand “what you want to know and why, and what you will do with the feedback and how?”

From this came an understanding of the correct methodology. For example, it allowed Gordan to make decisions around survey question length, timing, and whether the questions were quantitative or qualitative. 

Why measuring shouldn’t be the end goal

“CX is a part of your learning loop,” said Swinkels-Legierse. “And that creates a rhythm of making things better for you and for the customer.”

“But change does not happen by measurement alone. You can measure and measure, but then nothing happens, and the customer will get a sense of that as well and won’t see the importance of measurement, and that will affect your response rates,” she added.

The lesson was to act and be seen to be taking action on the measures. 

In terms of measuring, Swinkels-Legierse talked about “moments of truth” along the customer journey, which needed to be understood to excel.

“When it comes to CX measurement, you want to ask questions at the right time and for the right things,” she said. “You also do not want to ask them at every contact moment because you can over question the customer, and that can be counterproductive.”

“And do not ask customers what you already know from your systems, because the customers will say ‘why are you asking this when you already know,’” she remarked. 

Swinkels-Legierse also distinguished between transactional measurements and relational measures. The latter is more about emotional areas such as the strength of the relationship and feelings of loyalty.

Creating change through self-realization

Good results came from this measurement process when the results helped Grodan’s people “identify themselves and their departments” and how this impacted customers.

“People will recognize themselves; they will be triggered to look in the mirror, and this is important in stimulating change,” said Swinkels-Legierse.

From this flowed internal organizational change, which was truly customer-centric. In some cases, it could identify where the company was sitting on a “burning platform,” which drove urgency around the change. 

To conclude, Swinkels-Legierse used a favorite quote from Walt Disney that she believes is relevant to CX: “You can design and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

There is no CX without the customer, and without CX, there will be no organization. So, you better get the CX right because the implications could be terminal.

Lachlan Colquhoun is the Australia and New Zealand correspondent for CDOTrends and HR&DigitalTrends, and the editor of NextGen Connectivity. His fascination is with how businesses are reinventing themselves through digital technology and collaborate with others to become completely new organizations. You can reach him at [email protected].

Image credit: iStockphoto/SIphotography