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Building the Ideal CX Dashboard

Improving your customer experience (CX) requires more than just listening to your customers. You must understand your data and what is behind the numbers before you can take action to optimize the customer experience.

Customer Experience Dashboard

In a 2016 study conducted by Forrester, 39% of respondents admitted that they don't regularly ask customers about their interactions. Worse, 77% don't regularly track the drivers of CX in their organization. Without measuring customer experience, companies can't know what customers care about and where the customer experience can be improved.

Yet, even when companies are paying attention to metrics, they are doing nothing with the data. In the same survey, Forrester reported that 79% of respondents don't act on CX metrics or share them with all employees regularly. That means leadership and staff don't know what is broken and what to do to make improvements.

What are companies to do?

A CX dashboard provides a snapshot of your customer experience at a particular moment in time. A CX dashboard is a great tool to make sense of all your data in an easy-to-understand way. It uses the data to tell the story in a visually appealing manner, to illustrate what is going on with your customer experience. This visibility into your customer experience serves as an alert, identifying potential fixes that can help improve the customer experience.

The main goal for CX leaders is to transform customers into lifetime brand advocates. Thinking of a CX dashboard in those terms will help you focus on what's important.

So, what are the best practices for building the ideal CX Dashboard?

1.    Begin with the end in mind.

What does CX success look like? What business and customer outcomes do you want? Knowing the results you want will help you determine the inputs and outputs you need to achieve them.

Make sure your dashboard is relevant and actionable.

Also, make sure you are regularly monitoring the performance of your dashboard. Look at trends and fully understand what is behind the numbers, so you know why numbers are improving or declining. Without this intelligence, you will not know how to improve the customer experience.

2.    Get stakeholder buy-in.

A CX dashboard is a great way to align with a unified CX vision across the organization. This will require understanding and working with key stakeholders to define the KPIs that will determine success and the metrics to include in the CX dashboard.

A CX dashboard can also help improve employee engagement. Creating and using a CX dashboard as a guideline will enable employees to take ownership and accountability for ensuring CX success.

3.    Align metrics with customer and business outcomes.

Research Forrester conducted in 2015 found that only 21% of respondents aligned their CX metrics with business outcomes.

This has been a tough nut to crack for CX practitioners. In a recent Harvard Busines Review Analytic Services study, 45% of respondents said they found it very difficult to tie CX investments to business outcomes.

As Claire Sporton, SVP CX Innovation at Confirmit notes: "Many businesses are able to provide anecdotal evidence or use key metrics to measure CX program success, but very few are able to link the CX program with financial results. Without the ability to demonstrate ROI, it is much harder to gain support of the C-suite, set the right goals for the business and secure the desired improvements and culture change across the business."

Leading-edge companies realize this is a challenge but devote the resources to create a cohesive CX ecosystem. They understand the business, processes, metrics, and the customer. Companies who research and monitor the metrics that drive outcomes will enable better CX linkage to outcomes.

4.    Align the dashboard to the customer journey.

Key stakeholders need to know what customers are experiencing and how they are feeling about these experiences at every point of their journey. Therefore, it is vital to include metrics that cover every stage of your customer journey to measure these experiences and perceptions of the experiences accurately. These metrics should capture what customers are actually experiencing and feeling. Thus, regularly taking the CX pulse will help you identify gaps in the journey where you can improve.

Organizing metrics by segment will enable you to drive different strategies and help you make better decisions regarding what to give to your customers to improve their experience. You might even want to break down your CX dashboard by journey stages.

5.    Include the metrics that matter.

According to Forrester, a CX dashboard should include three types of measurements: (1) Perception metrics, (2) Descriptive metrics, and (3) Outcome metrics. Perception metrics reveal what the customer's experience was and how they felt about it. Metrics such as NPS, CES, and CSAT would be included here. Descriptive metrics represent observable events that happened. This would consist of metrics such as first call resolution, average handle time, and clicks it took to complete a transaction. Outcome metrics are metrics that demonstrate what action(s) a customer took as a result of their perceptions. This might include items like renewing a contract, consuming a piece of content, viewing a demo, or making an additional purchase.

Avoid cramming a bunch of metrics into your dashboard. You should only include those metrics that are relevant and will drive success for you.

6.    Make sure your CX dashboard is functional.

Remember, you want your CX dashboard to tell a story so that you can act on it to improve the customer experience. Thus, functionality is your primary concern. Make sure the content (i.e., data) you do include is of the highest quality. Accentuate the information that is most important. And, make sure only to include supporting documentation that is relevant. Secondary to function is design. Keep font choices and colors to a minimum, so your dashboard maintains its appeal.

Keep your dashboard simple. Overcomplicating it will impede your ability to identify and act on insights.

A CX dashboard won't solve all of your problems. But being able to take the pulse of your customer experience by monitoring key metrics regularly is essential to helping you drive CX performance and excellence.