Customer experience benchmarking provides businesses with valuable insight into how customer expectations are being met across the customer journey. By using benchmark analysis to compare performance across your own business or industry, you can track progress and use the valuable insight to tailor you CX in a more targeted and insightful way.
There is a range of ways you can benchmark CX performance internally, and all of it can help you to identify where the strongest and weakest links can be found in your business.
If your business has multiple locations or multiple departments, you should be examining what is driving performance at the top and driving customers away at the bottom. In your analysis, you can always control for factors such as team size or customer demographics which may affect performance metrics. Contact centres in particular benefit from internal CX benchmarking. Setting goals for team members on metrics like first contact resolution (FCR) or service quality can really improve satisfaction scores across the board. It motivates teams and individuals to get to the top of the charts and perform to a higher standard and has been proven to increase productivity and bring a significant return on investment (ROI). Use tact when benchmarking individuals though as this can inspire low morale and infighting amongst employees. Keeping it to teams, departments or locations though will inspire healthy competition and improved performance.
It is wise to benchmark to a standard of performance, ideally the top quartile of performers, setting an achievable goal for your average or below-average performers and creating a competition amongst the existing top performers to be the absolute best!
While many companies benchmark their CX performance internally, it’s difficult to get your hands on the correct data to conduct analysis externally. You want to compare apples to apples and this applies to metrics that you use to benchmark and also the companies that you elect to benchmark your performance against.
It makes little sense, for example, to compare NPS performance against CSAT. Similarly, it is wise to ensure that you are benchmarking against an offering whose brand promise is similar to yours. For example, it makes little sense for a luxury department store to compare shopping experience they offer against the experience offered by a discount retailer, however it would make perfect sense for a contact utility company to benchmark their performance at handling billing queries against another utility company. For accurate benchmarking, the analysis should be ongoing, over throughout a sustained period. It shouldn’t be a case of sticking your finger in the air at a given point in time to gauge the direction of the wind.
General ROI from benchmarking
While it is wise to conduct benchmarking against competitors, external benchmarking has also been used to show the relationship between CX and financial outcomes. Over the last decade, Watermark Consulting has conducted analyses of the relationship between CX and stock market performance and have found that the stock prices of CX leaders has grown on average by 184% over the last decade, whilst in the same period, the stock price of CX laggards has grown by 63%.
With nearly a 3X differential in terms of performance over a decade, it is strongly advised to maintain a watchful eye on this. We know in business, if it’s not measured, it’s not managed and it follows that it will be difficult to become a leader in this arena if you are not keeping track of your score.