Why We Need a Customer Experience (CX) Score.

Author: Matthias Kern | Mittwoch, 20. März 2024
Category: User Experience

Why We Need a Customer Experience (CX) Score.


Life is digital. Every day, we all use digital services, whether for direct communication, information gathering, or entertainment. Yet, few know how to effectively optimize them for both sides. With our expertise, PIA UDG steps in precisely there: We build digital products to function best for users. When analyzing websites, online shops, or apps, we usually focus on data first. Everyone in our industry knows terms like "dwell time," "conversion rate," or "bounce rate" but few can draw the right conclusions.

With our in-house PIA UDG UX Check, various tools from our PIA siblings, our technology partners, and external analysis programs, we can measure digital touchpoints down to the smallest detail. From these performance data, conclusions can be drawn, and action areas identified where the implementation of various measures can presumably lead to improved results. Using analytics data, A/B tests, and user surveys, we can already measure successes in increasing the conversion rate today. But what if that alone is no longer enough?

How Users Make Their Decisions

The real question we need to answer is: How do users decide what they want to buy, where they want to buy it, and what digital services they use for it? Often, the answer to this question focuses on the user journey, leading to a series of touchpoints that people pass through on their way to purchase. While such lists offer valuable insights and optimization potential at the touchpoints where people linger during their customer journey, they cannot answer the equally important question of why someone ultimately made the decision they did. We know more about advertising performance than ever before and can measure its results with astonishing accuracy. And yet, understanding consumer decision-making is more difficult than ever.

As many purchases are still made offline, while the media and information influencing these purchases are increasingly online, the complexity of decision paths has significantly increased. If we do not update our thinking about consumer behavior to account for this enormous expansion of choice and the associated complexity, we will continue to try to measure 21st-century behavior with 20th-century models.

Understanding Customer Expectations

At the beginning of an online purchase journey, we see ourselves as buyers browsing an endless shopping street, effortlessly moving between providers until something catches our eye that matches our search. If what we see appeals to us upon closer inspection, we can go to checkout immediately - but if not, it hardly matters: there are many other stores we can visit on the shopping street. This sequence of product search and options assessment corresponds to two different modes of thought: exploration and evaluation. During exploration, we add brands, products, and information about categories to mental portfolios or "considerations"; it is an expansive activity. Evaluation, on the other hand, narrows down our selection and reduces the "considerations". These are cognitively different phases with different reward systems. Therefore, different tactics are required to engage with users. Sending the wrong signal at the wrong time could prove extremely disruptive, resulting in the complained-about brand or product being removed from the buyer's "considerations".

Welcome to the Attention Economy

On the way from "consideration" to purchase decision, customers consider various factors. Competition is stronger than ever, and customer expectations are higher than ever. To succeed, you need a compelling customer experience strategy. We live in a time where money alone is no longer the only relevant currency. Regardless of the industry, every company today competes with every other company in the world for the time and attention of potential customers. Attention is becoming scarcer as advertisers around the world inundate people with messages. But when a company captures a customer's attention, that attention cannot be given to any other company. Time is limited too; everyone can only spend so much time experiencing something. But if someone spends their time with a brand, they are not spending it with another brand. 

Creating Engaging Customer Experiences

With the transition to the experience economy, the main criterion by which people decide what to buy and where to buy it is also changing. Regardless of whether it is a product, a service, or an experience, customers will judge the offering based on whether they perceive it as authentic and whether it matches their own self-image. While this criterion is primary, it will not trump quality that does not meet customer standards, costs that do not fit the budget, or lack of temporal or spatial availability to meet customer needs. However, companies should become better at managing customers' perception of the authenticity of their offerings, their touchpoints, and their company so that they do not devalue themselves in the eyes of customers as fake, artificial, insincere, or inauthentic. The experience is the marketing. The best way to generate demand for an offering in today's experience economy is an experience that is so engaging that customers cannot help but pay attention to and buy that offering. 

A New Unit of Measure: The "PIA UDG CX Score"

So, if we acknowledge that experience is the new primary criterion, we must also adjust our metrics to be able to evaluate and optimize experiences. It is no longer sufficient to measure individual activities at individual touchpoints. We must make the entire experience comparable. But in what unit can experiences be measured? We must now develop a score that reflects a holistic and qualitative opinion of our digital products and the brand behind them, providing insight into the big picture: How satisfied are our customers? To know how satisfied customers are with an experience, interactions must be documented in continuous surveys across all touchpoints. Therefore, PIA UDG is currently working on a Customer Experience Score that consolidates the collected data, from analytics to tracking to surveys, into a single, comparable value.

This will enable us not only to evaluate and continuously and flexibly optimize user interactions at individual touchpoints but also to finally understand and influence user decisions.

In the second part – Measuring Customer Experience (CX) – we will provide an overview of traditional metrics for measuring CX, the effectiveness of measures already implemented, and highlight areas for optimization. In the concluding third part – Making Your Customer Experience Measurable: The PIA UDG CX Score – we will focus on the new PIA UDG CX Score and provide insight into how it works.