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Don’t reinvent the wheel to measure the customer experience

MironMizrahi

Several years ago, while on a project with a client, I was trying to convince an application support manager about the merits of understanding the customers’ experience with their applications. His view was that “if users are not calling, there is no problem.” In this day and age, it is probably the exact opposite. App ratings, review sites and social media are all brimming with your users telling the world what their experience with your app, site or service was like.

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Great customer experience is crucial and can often be what defines success or failure. To deliver the best experience, you must know what resonates with users: what they think, like and respond to. This is sometimes known as the “Voice of the Customer.” At the heart of it lies what is essentially a Big Data problem: collecting and analyzing vast amounts of different types of data about the behavior of your users. You may think that if this is indeed a Big Data problem, you would need a Big Data solution. And you would be right. What I want to show you in this blog is that you may already be on your way without realizing it. You may already have some of the pieces, and if so, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

IT is your friend

Back to my customer story … the context at the time was monitoring as part of IT Operations. These days, most IT organizations have the capability to gather information on the customer experience. Previously, this information was used only to alert IT if performance/availability degrades below some predefined threshold so IT Operations can investigate and fix the problem.

But this capability allows IT at large to collect this data all the time, and you can use it to gain deeper insight, such as:

  • What is the quality of the customer experience?
  • How do changes made to the application impact the experience?
  • Are there any trends in customer behavior (e.g. seasonality)?
  • Are there any specific events in time which impacted the customer experience?

You likely already have data and analytics capabilities in your organization to start forming answers to some of these questions. But it gets better …

IT is your partner

The prevalence of mobile devices and apps has been a game changer for your organization. Many IT departments have extended their monitoring capabilities to mobile devices. As previously stated, this capability enables continuous data collection of the experience over the multitude of connected devices and carrier networks used by your customers. This gives you the scaffolding for data collection from every device, and you can now extend it to collect all sorts of data in your organization. This is extremely useful for getting deeper levels of insight into your customers’ experience, like:

  • What features they are and are not using?
  • What was the last thing they did before abandoning the app?
  • What sequence of steps do they take to accomplish a specific task?
  • Are there any circumstances (e.g. location, time of day) which drive use of certain features?

Learn together

When building your applications you should always think about how you can do it in a way that allows to you gain knowledge of how it is used by the customer. For example, you may want to develop multiple versions of your app, randomize the way users get the features and see how they respond by working with your IT team to use their data collection and analysis capabilities, with the singular vision of improving the experience of your customer. If you do that, you will know – empirically – what resonates with your users and you will be much better equipped to deliver a winning customer experience.

For more information, see how you could take an outside-in view of your customer experience as they interact with your business through social, mobile, analytics and cloud.

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MironMizrahi

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