I have been asking all the Customer experience Directors that I meet whether they benchmark their customer experience against the past or their main competitors and the answer is more often than not - No!! When I ask why this is the usual answer is that this is just too hard and difficult to do. So I thought I would write about benchmarking and how valuable it can be.
With customer experience and satisfaction being a key success factor and often a business differentiator it is critical to know how good your customer experience is compared to that of the past and that of your main competitors. Benchmarking provides the business with a reality check against the perception the business has about how good its customer experience is compared to what your customers and the customers of your competitors really think – the reality of your customer experience. Knowing how you perform compared to your competitors ensures that you can make decisions to improve your customer service when there is a risk of losing customers to a better customer service. Despite collecting vast volumes of customer feedback data very few businesses benchmark their customer experience against their competitors but in a globally competitive market this could be a major oversight.
Benchmarking can for many businesses be an extremely complex process with benchmarks agreed, peer competitors identified, measurement tools identified and research strategies implemented and reports compiled and presented. Without the right tools in place this can be a complicated and resource hungry process. In addition benchmarking needs to be a continuous process and not just a one-time task so can tie up precious resources on an on-going basis.
To make life a bit easier for some businesses, there are a number of externally published annual reports that measure customer satisfaction and compare top brands across a sector (e.g. in Mobile telecoms) but these reports are typically delivered annually or at best quarterly. Also how many touch points do these consider, most often they will only look at one or two major channels but are unlikely to cover the complete channel experience across all the touch points in a customer journey. As a business you need to be able to answer the following questions:-
- How does my customer journey experience really measure up to my competitors on a regular basis?
- How does our customer experience today measure up to the past, is it improving?
- Can I easily see where on our customer journey we compare well to our competitors and where do we compare badly?
- Do we have real-time visibility of major issues with your customer journey and how our competitors are dealing with them that might be better than us?
- Where do we perform well compared to our competitors and why?
Having this benchmark information to hand on a daily basis specifically for your business and compared to your sector and aligned to your customer touch points gives you really good insight. Not only that but it provides you with a really good measure from which to improve and to continue improving. Being able to see how your main competitors compare at each stage of the customer journey arms better decision-making for your people.
We at SentiSum provide a platform that completely simplifies the process of customer experience competitor benchmarking. We deliver all external customer feedback information from across your sector into one place so that you can see exactly how your customer experience compares to your customers experience on a continuous basis. Knowing how you are performing against your competitors gives you the opportunity to act on it and SentiSum uses some clever AI to identify where you can improve to get the best results so not only giving you the analysis but also the ammunition to do something about it. If you aren't doing any benchmarking of your customer experience today using SentiSum will enable you to do this and a whole lot more around customer experience and feedback management so talk to us today.