Report: The Customer Journeys That Matter The Most

Few organizations deliver outstanding experiences to their customers. In fact, only 6% of companies earned an “excellent” score in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings. To better understand which types of interactions are most likely to affect the customer’s perception of an organization, we asked customers to identify the most problematic journeys across 19 different industries. In this report, we:

  • Examine feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers about their journeys with 318 companies across 19 industries.
  • Identify which customer journeys consumers think most need improvement and look at how those responses differ across age groups.
  • Evaluate how different customer journeys impact five loyalty behaviors: likelihood to recommend the company, likelihood to repurchase from the company, likelihood to forgive the company if it makes a mistake, likelihood to trust the company, and likelihood of trying new offerings from the company.
  • One of the key findings across industries is that journeys that touch customer service are often the most prevalent and the most impactful on customer loyalty.

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Here’s the first figure in the report, which has a total of 58 figures (three detailed graphics for each of the industries):

Most Problematic Customer Journeys Across Industries

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Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2018

To understand how the quality of a customer’s experience – whether it was good or bad – affects their behavior, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with more than 300 companies across 20 industries. We then compared results with similar studies we’ve conducted over the previous seven years.

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Here are some highlights:

  • Purchase and download Temkin Group report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2018About 18% of the customers who interacted with TV & Internet service providers reported having a bad experience – a considerably higher percentage than in other industries. Of the companies we evaluated, 21st Century, Comcast, Cox Communications, and New York Life deliver bad experiences most frequently.
  • We created a Sales at Risk Index for all 20 industries by combining the percentage of customers in an industry who reported having a bad experience with the percentage who said they decreased their spending after a bad experience. According to this Index, TV & Internet service providers stand to lose the most revenue (6.4%) from delivering bad experiences, while utilities stand to lose the least (1.4%).
  • When it comes to recovering from delivering a bad experience, Investment firms are the most effective and TV & Internet service providers are the least effective.
  • After customers have a very bad or very good experience with a company, they are more likely to give feedback directly to the company than they are to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or third party rating sites. Customers are also more likely to share positive feedback through online surveys and share negative feedback through emails.
  • Compared to previous years, customers are less likely to share feedback across almost all channels, with a particularly large drop in the percentage who post on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Across almost all age groups, consumers are most likely to share their feedback directly with the company. Consumers between 18 and 34 years old are the most likely to share their good and bad experiences on Facebook, while older consumers tend to use 3rd party ratings sites more than Facebook or Twitter.

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Here is one of the 12 graphics in the report:

The Future of VoC: Insight & Action, Not Feedback

The vendor market for Voice of the Customer (VoC) products and services has been heating up, with numerous acquisitions and mergers. All of this is happening as companies are trying to figure out how to run successful VoC programs. It appears that we on the verge of the next stage in evolution for VoC. So I decided to step back and look at the overall market.

VoC Programs Need To Grow Up

Our research shows that nearly three-quarters of large companies rate their voice of the customer (VoC) programs as being successful (only 8% say that they’ve been unsuccessful). That’s great—infusing almost any type of customer insights into a business can add value. 

Level of Maturity for Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs in Large Enterprises

However, companies aren’t close to reaching their full potential. Only 14% of companies have reached the the two highest levels of Temkin Group’s VoC Maturity Model.

One of the reasons for this immaturity is a simple fact: creating and managing great VoC programs isn’t easy. They take significant leadership commitment and a  variety of expertise. In many cases, however, companies don’t redesign their approach to customer insights, they simply end up updating and automating many of their historical practices.

The big change for VoC programs is that they must focus more on enabling action across their organization. We found that only 24% of large firms think they are good at making changes to the business based on the insights. For VoC programs to fully mature, they need to become hyper-focused on generating insights in the right form at the right time to help people across their organizations make better, more informed decisions.

As if that’s not enough to work on, companies will need to address Six Customer Insight Trends that will reshape VoC programs: 1) Deep Empathy, Not Stacks of Metrics; 2) Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies; 3) Customer Journeys, Not Isolated Interactions; 4) Useful Prescriptions, Not Past Descriptions; 5) Enterprise Intelligence, Not Customer Feedback; and 6) Mobile First, Not Mobile Responsive.

VoC Vendors Need To Grow Up

In 2010, I rejected the label “Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM)” that was being used to describe vendors that provided technology and services for VoC programs. Instead of EFM, I labeled them as Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms and here’s why:

To some degree, surveying functionality is becoming a commodity. Organizations are recognizing that feedback is not valuable on its own; it only becomes valuable when it’s used as an input to insights which drive some type of action. So the focus is no longer on feedback, but on insight and action. Hence, Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms.

Fast forward to 2018 and I think that CIA Platforms is still the correct name for these offerings (from vendors such as Confimit, InMoment, MaritzCX, Medallia, and Qualtrics). They continue to evolve towards this description I used in 2010:

CIA Platforms need to support closed-loop voice of the customer (VoC) programs that are going beyond structured, solicited feedback (traditional surveys). With the maturing of text analytics and the rise of social media, companies are increasingly mining insights from unstructured, unsolicited feedback like customer comments on surveys, notes and verbatims from contact center conversations, inbound emails, online chats, social media sites, customer feedback comments, etc

But new channels of feedback (also called “listening posts”) are not the only element that distinguishes CIA Platforms from their predecessors. These applications also provide actionable insights by:

  • Incorporating non-feedback data like customer profiles and transactional history
  • Distributing tailored, contextual insights across an organization
  • Providing alerts based on specific criteria
  • Supporting workflow associated with taking action based on the insights
  • Integrating with other applications like CRM and workforce management

Next Generation CIA Platforms

Okay, so we got that right eight years ago. What’s next? Here’s where I think the market is heading for enterprise CIA Platforms:

  • Advanced analytics. We’ll see a considerable increase in the use of predictive analytics and the use of speech analytics to unlock insights from invaluable contact center conversations.
  • and way smarter analytics. The current set of analytics are mostly designed for analysts to uncover insights, but we’ll see more “packaged” analytics that mask complexity to provide tailored recommendations that improve high-impact decisions across the enterprise.
  • More focus on casual users.The days of generic metrics and dashboards will hopefully be a thing of the past. The information provided to people will be specific to their roles, and will proactively highlight the information that they need to know. It may take the form of highly customized dashboards, but it could also be a monthly infographic that can be posted in the lunchroom for hourly workers.
  • Less surveys, but more data. We already see in our research that organizations are becoming less reliant on surveys. This feedback will become less about understanding what’s being said by individual customers, and more about using the insights in predictive models to extrapolate what it might mean across entire segments of customers. This will require companies to integrate feedback with lots of customer data from other systems.
  • More selective, targeted feedback. Companies will get better at strategic sampling. What is this? Being smarter about who they get feedback from and when they get that feedback. The current approach of trying to hear from as many customers a possible in as many places as possible is conceptually attractive, but it’s an inefficient use of internal resources, and it puts a strain on an even more important commodity—customers’ time and attention.
  • Easier to use, but less “self-service.” In many cases, large enterprises lack the internal skills and know how to create and sustain a strong VoC program. While the technology platforms will continue to become easier for companies to administer and use without vendor support, strong VoC programs will increasingly recognize the need to tap into externally provided support across a number of areas, including:
    • Program setup
    • Data management
    • Sampling strategies
    • Dashboard design
    • Analytics
    • Insight distribution
    • Operational redesign

The bottom line: VoC programs and vendors need a makeover.

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

Download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Award – AARP, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Century Support Services, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Reliant, and Sage. This report:

  • Highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses.
  • Describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness.
  • Includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …

Report: State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017

State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017We just published a Temkin Group report, State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017. Here’s the executive summary:

For the seventh straight year, Temkin Group has benchmarked the competency and maturity levels of voice of the customer (VoC) programs within large organizations. This year we surveyed close to 200 large companies and asked them to complete Temkin Group’s VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment, which evaluates their capabilities across what we call the “Six Ds:” Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. This report also includes data from these companies’ responses to help you benchmark your own company’s VoC efforts. We compared this year’s results with those from previous years and found that:

  • While most companies think that their VoC efforts are successful, less than one-quarter of companies consider themselves good at making changes to the business based on the insights.
  • Companies find their VoC programs to be most valuable for “identifying and fixing quick-hit operational issues” and least valuable for “identifying innovative product and service ideas.”
  • Companies expect technology will continue to heavily impact their VoC programs in the future, especially for integrating survey data with CRM and operational data.
  • In the future, companies expect the most important source of insights to be customer interaction history and the least important source to be multiple-choice questions.
  • The most common activity for VoC teams is defining customer experience metrics for their companies, and this activity became even more popular over the past year.
  • Only 14% of companies have reached the two highest levels of VoC maturity (out of six levels), while 46% remain in the bottom two levels.
  • When we compared higher-scoring VoC programs with lower-scoring programs, we found that companies with mature programs are more successful, technology-focused, and mobile-oriented and have more full-time staff and more involved senior executives.
  • Companies with more mature VoC programs identified “integration across systems” as the most common obstacle they face, while less mature VoC programs struggle the most with “cooperation across the organization.”

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Here’s the VoC competency & maturity levels, which is one of 29 graphics in the report:

Voice of the customer competency and maturity levels

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Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2017

Net Promoter score benchmark study, 2017We published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2017. This is the sixth year of this study that includes Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 299 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Here’s the executive summary:

Many large companies use Net Promoter® Score (NPS) to evaluate their customers’ loyalty. To compare scores across organizations and industries, Temkin Group measured the NPS of almost 300 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here are the highlights from this benchmark:

  • With an NPS of 66, USAA’s insurance business earned the highest score in the study for the fifth year in a row.
  • Comcast received the lowest NPS for the third year in a row with a score of -9.
  • The industry average for NPS ranged from a high of 43 for auto dealers down to a low of 9 for TV & Internet service providers.
  • Citibank, whose NPS lagged 35 points behind the banking average, fell the farthest behind its peers.
  • All industries saw their average NPS decline over the past year, though Utilities dropped the most.
  • 18- to 24-year-old consumers give companies the lowest NPS (with an average score of 17 across industries), while consumers 65 and older give the highest NPS (with an average score of 38 across industries).
  • NPS is highly correlated with customer experience. On average, customer experience leaders enjoy an NPS over 18 points higher than customer experience laggards.

See the NPS Benchmark Studies from 2012, 201320142015, and 2016.

Here’s a list of companies included in this study (.pdf).

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Here are the NPS scores across 20 industries:
range of net promoter scores across industries

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If you want to know what data is included in this report and dataset, download this sample Excel dataset file.download Net promoter score study data sets

If you’re looking to create a strong NPS program, check out our VoC/NPS Resource Page.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2017 (B2B)

tech vendor NPS benchmark studyWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2017. The research examines Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) and the link to loyalty for 58 tech vendors based on feedback from 800 IT decision makers in large North American organizations. We also compared overall results to our benchmarks from the previous five years. Here’s the executive summary:

For the sixth year in a row, we looked at the correlation between NPS and loyalty for technology vendors. To examine this link, we surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from large North American firms, asking about their relationships with their technology providers. Through this research, we found that:

  • Across the 58 tech vendors we examined, NPS ranged from +43 to -22.
  • Microsoft, SAS, Google, and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Accenture consulting, ACS, Autodesk, and Fujitsu received the lowest.
  • Overall, the average NPS for the tech vendor industry decreased by more than eight points from last year, down from 29.9 to 21.4 – the lowest level of any year we’ve studied.
  • Our analysis shows that NPS is correlated to customers’ willingness to spend more with tech vendors, try their new products and services, forgive them after a bad experience, and act as a reference for them with prospective clients.
  • When it comes to loyalty, IT decision-makers are most likely to purchase more from Microsoft and HP, try new offerings from Microsoft and Google, forgive SAS and Microsoft if they make a mistake, and act as a reference for Apple and IBM SPSS.

The report includes graphics with data for NPS, likelihood to repurchase, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likely to try new offerings).. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 58 companies as well as summary data for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2016.

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As you can see in the chart below, the NPS ranges from a high of 43 for Microsoft servers down to  a low of -22 for Fujitsu.the Net promoter score of 58 tech vendors

The industry average NPS decreased from 29.9 last year to 21.4 this year this year.

the average net promoter score for tech vendors

Report details: The report includes graphics with data for NPS, likelihood to repurchase, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likely to try new offerings).. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 58 companies as well as summary data for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2016.

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Note: See our 2016 NPS benchmark2015 NPS benchmark2014 NPS benchmark2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: Renovating Your Voice of the Customer Program

renovating your voice of the customer programWe just published a Temkin Group report, Renovating Your Voice of the Customer Program.

Here’s the executive summary:

Voice of the customer (VoC) programs are essential to any customer experience effort. In recent years, VoC efforts have continued to expand and support their organizations; however, going forward they will need to adapt to significant changes in data sources, technology, operational pressures, and consumer behavior. In this report, Temkin Group details how companies can propel their VoC programs into the future by:

  • Identifying Six Customer Insight Trends that will reshape VoC programs: 1) Deep Empathy, Not Stacks of Metrics; 2) Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies; 3) Customer Journeys, Not Isolated Interactions; 4) Useful Prescriptions, Not Past Descriptions; 5) Enterprise Intelligence, Not Customer Feedback; and 6) Mobile First, Not Mobile Responsive.
  • Sharing 30 examples that exemplify innovative VoC practices across each of the trends.
  • Helping companies lay the groundwork for VoC innovation with a description of how to drive change through three distinct stages.

For this report, we received submissions of innovative VoC practices from Confirmit, InMoment, Rant & Rave, Qualtrics, Verint, and Walker.

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Here are the best practices described in the report:

Innovative voice of the customer practices

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CX Competency: Customer Connectedness (Video)

Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.

This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Customer Connectedness, where the goal is to infuse customer insight across the organization.

Here Are Four Strategies For Customer Connectedness:

Customer Connectedness


CX Sparks: Guides For Stimulating Customer Experience DiscussionsThis video is a great introduction to a discussion with your team. That’s why we’ve created a CX Sparks guide that you can download and use to lead a stimulating discussion.

Report: The Shift To Customer Journey Insights

THe shift to customer journey insights reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, The Shift To Customer Journey Insights. Here’s the executive summary:

Customer insights are critical to customer experience programs. However, current insights’ efforts tend to focus on individual interactions rather than on a customer’s entire journey, and as a result, they often fail to provide a complete picture of a customer’s experience with the company. This report helps companies shift their insights efforts from concentrating narrowly on single transactions to focusing broadly on customers’ journeys.

Here are some highlights :

  • We developed an approach to help companies create a comprehensive view of journeys called Customer Journey Insights (CJI), which is made up of five strategies: Internal Journey Alignment, Journey Data Farming, Journey Performance Tracking, Journey Visualization, and Journey Prioritization.
  • We share 20 examples of best practices from companies that are applying these strategies to develop a more complete understanding of their customers’ journeys.
  • To help companies master these strategies, we have identified three stages organizations proceed through on their path to enabling customer journeys: 1) Customer Journey Orientation, 2) Customer Journey Enablement, and 3) Customer Journey Mastery.

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Here are the best practices focused around five strategies for shifting towards customer journey insights:

  1. Internal Journey Alignment. Shift the company’s mindset away from siloed interaction success to customer goal facilitation.
  2. Journey Data Farming. Tap into adjacent data sources and make linkages across channels.
  3. Journey Performance Tracking. Overhaul metrics to measure performance across customer journeys.
  4. Journey Visualization. Create mechanisms for communicating insights in a way that reinforces the centrality of customer journeys.
  5. Journey Prioritization. Focus on the journeys, customer segments, and channels that are strategic business priorities.

Customer journey insights best practices

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Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2017

what happens after a good or bad experience reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2017. This is our annual analysis of which companies deliver the most and least bad experiences, how consumers respond after those experience (in terms of sharing those experiences and changing their purchase behaviors), and the effect of service recovery (see last year’s report).

Here’s the executive summary:

To understand how good and bad experiences effect customer behavior, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with more than 300 companies across 20 industries. We then compared results with similar studies we’ve conducted over the previous six years. Here are some highlights:

  • About 19% of the customers who interacted with Internet service providers and TV service providers reported having a bad experience – a considerably higher percentage than in other industries. Of the companies we evaluated, 21st Century, Spirit Airlines, and HSBC deliver bad experiences most frequently.
  • We looked at the percentage of customers in an industry had a bad experience and combined that number with the percentage of customers who said they decreased their spending after a bad experience and then used this data to create a Sales at Risk Index for all 20 industries. Rental car agencies stand to lose the most revenue (6.7%) from delivering bad experiences, while retailers stand to lose the least (1%).
  • Investment firms are most effective at recovering after a bad experience, whereas TV service providers are the least effective.
  • After customers have a very bad or very good experience with a company, they are more likely to give feedback directly to the company than they are to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or third party rating sites. Customers are also more likely to share positive feedback through online surveys and share negative feedback through emails.
  • Compared to previous years, customers are more likely to share feedback over Facebook and Twitter, and these channels are most popular with consumers who are between 25- and 44-years-old.
  • Of all the companies we evaluated, The Hartford is the most likely to receive negatively biased feedback directly from its customers, while Chubb is likely to receive the most positively biased feedback.

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Here are excerpted versions of 3 (out of 19) graphics in the report:
Read More …

Data Snapshot: Media Use Benchmark, 2017

We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Media Use Benchmark, 2017. This is our annual analysis of how much time consumers spend using different media channels (see last year’s data snapshot).

Here’s the data snapshot description:

In January 2017, we surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers about their media usage patterns and compared the results to similar data we collected in January 2016, January 2015, January 2014, January 2013, and January 2012. Our analysis examines the amount of time consumers spend every day watching television, browsing the Internet (for both work and leisure), reading books (both print and electronic), reading newspapers (both print and electronic), listening to the radio, reading a print magazine, and using a mobile phone. This data snapshot breaks down the results by income level, education level, and, most expansively, by age.

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Here’s a portion of the first figure from the data snapshot that contains 13 data-rich charts. As you can see:

  • Time spent over the last six years with mobile web/apps has increased the most, followed by using the Internet at work and reading a book online.
  • Across all of the media activities we track except for using the Internet at work, consumers spent more time doing them in 2017 than in 2016.
  • Consumers increased their time reading paper books and magazines by 30% over last year, the largest increase of any activities.
  • While consumers increased their reading of newspapers, they also had a jump of 27% in the amount of time they spent reading the news online.

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Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017

1701_lessonsincxexcellence_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2016 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has 62 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This year, we named five organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2016 Customer Experience Excellence Award – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Century Support Services, Crowe Horwath, Oxford Properties, and VCA. This report highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses, describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. it includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …

State of Voice of the Customer (Infographic)

Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are a central part of most customer experience efforts. Here’s some interesting data snippets from the recent report, State of VoC Programs, 2016.

For additional info, check out our VoC resource page.

voc-infographic-01

You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:

Report: The State of CX Metrics, 2016

1612_stateofcxmetrics2016_coverWe published a Temkin Group report, The State of CX Metrics, 2016. This is the sixth year of this study that examines the CX metrics efforts within large companies. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group surveyed 183 companies to learn about how they use customer experience (CX) metrics and then compared their answers with similar studies we’ve conducted every year since 2011. We found that the most commonly used metrics continue to be likelihood-to-recommend and satisfaction, while the most successful metric is transactional interaction satisfaction. Only 10% of companies regularly consider the effect of CX metrics when they make day-to-day decisions. The top two problems companies face are limited visibility of CX metrics and the lack of taking action on metrics. Companies are best at measuring customer service and phone-based experiences and are worst at measuring the experiences of prospects and customers who defect. We also had companies complete Temkin Group’s CX Metrics Program Assessment, which examines four characteristics of a metrics program: consistent (does the company use common CX metrics across the organization?), impactful (do the CX metrics inform important decisions?), integrated (are trade-offs made between CX and financial metrics?), and continuous (do leaders regularly examine the CX metrics?). Only 11% of respondents received at least a “good” overall rating in this assessment, and companies earned the lowest average rating in integrated. Companies with stronger CX metrics programs deliver better customer experience and use more effort and likelihood-to-repurchase metrics.

See the State of CX Metrics studies from 2011, 201220132014, and 2015.

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Here are the results form our CX Metrics Competency & Maturity Assessment (one of 22 graphics in the report):

1612_cxmetricsmaturity

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