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How to run a customer experience audit

The purpose of a customer experience audit is to establish that you are performing satisfactorily in the eyes of customers and to show if improvements are needed and how they can be made.

What is “satisfactorily”? Most companies rely on some sort of customer experience score such as customer satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 10 or the Net Promoter Score. This begs the question as to what are reasonable scores for these metrics. Our experience in B2B markets suggests the following:

Let’s assume that you are like 80% of B2B companies and have an average customer satisfaction score of between 7.5 and 8.5 out of 10 and a Net Promoter Score of 30. You will need a customer experience audit to find out where the improvements should take place.

It is worthwhile saying at this point that there will be plenty of clues staring you in the face as to what needs doing. Customers could be complaining about your delivery times. Maybe not all your deliveries are on time and in full (OTIF). People could be telling you that some of your products are defective. The sales team may be reporting that your prices are out of line with the competition. These anecdotal comments are important but they are random pointers as to what needs improving. In addition you may have some formal metrics that tell you there are delivery problems, quality problems or price problems. These give you customer satisfaction scores and benchmarks but they don’t give you the information you need to make improvements. For this you need an audit.

The tool we recommend for carrying out a customer experience audit is a customer journey workshop. A customer journey workshop is best attended by a cross-section of people from the company. The responsibility of delivering great customer experience is not the sole responsibility of customer facing teams. Production, finance, credit control, and HR departments all contribute in their own way.

Choose the customer segment you wish to focus on. The audit is now carried out by the workshop team through a number of steps.

The output from the workshop will be a customer journey map in which the moments of truth with customers will all be identified together with their strengths and weaknesses (pleasure and pain points). The cross functional nature of the workshop should mean that recommendations can be made and agreement can be reached as to how the pain points can be fixed.

The customer journey map will have started as Post-It notes stuck under the spine headings. This output from the workshop can be tidied up and made into a good-looking poster. The poster can then be shared around the company so that everyone can see how and where customer experience can be improved.

Don’t forget to return to the original metrics on customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score. You must agree on what would be reasonable targets for improvements bearing in mind the actions that will be taking place. And now, over the next 6 to 12 months, keep a check on these metrics to make sure that they are moving in the right direction.

If customer experience audits interest you and you want to know more about customer journey mapping, take a look at this subject on our sister website, . Here you can find examples of CJMs together with PowerPoint charts that will take you through each step of the audit.


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