Key Driver Analysis: Drive Your Core Customer Experience Objectives

Mystery shopping not in pursuit of an overall customer experience objective may be interesting, it may be successful in motivating certain service behaviors, but ultimately will fail in maximizing return on investment.

Consider the following proposition:

“Every time a customer interacts with a brand, the customer learns something about the brand, and based on what they learn, adjust their behavior in either profitable or unprofitable ways.”

These behavioral adjustments could be profitable: positive word of mouth, complain less, less expensive channel use, increased wallet share, loyalty, or purchase intent, etc..  Or…these adjustments could be unprofitable: negative word of mouth, more complaints, decreased wallet share, purchase intent or loyalty, etc.

There is power in this proposition.  Understanding it is the key to managing the customer experience in a profitable way.  Unlocking this power gives managers a clear objective for the customer experience in terms of what you want the customer to learn from it and react to it.  Ultimately, it becomes a guidepost for all aspects of customer experience management – including customer experience measurement.

In designing customer experience measurement tools, ask yourself:

  • What is the overall objective of the customer experience?
  • How do you want the customer to feel as a result of the experience?
  • How do you want the customer to act as a result of the experience?

For example:

  • Do you want the customer to have increased purchase intent?
  • Do you want the customer to have increased return intent?
  • Do you want the customer to have increased loyalty?

The answer to the above series of questions will become the guideposts for designing a customer experience which will achieve your objectives.

The answers to the above questions will serve as a basis for evaluating the customer experience against your objectives.   In research terms, the answer to this question or questions will become the dependent variable(s) of your customer experience research – the variables influenced or dependent on the specific attributes of the customer experience.

For example, let’s assume your objective of the customer experience is increased return intent.  As part of a mystery shopping program, ask a question designed to capture return intent – a question like, “Had this been an actual visit, how did the experience during this shop influence your intent to return for another transaction?”  This is the dependent variable.

The next step is to determine the relationship between every service behavior or attribute and the dependent variable (return intent).  The strength of this relationship is a measure of the importance of each behavior or attribute in terms of driving return intent.  It provides a basis from which to make informed decisions as to which behaviors or attributes deserve more investment in terms of training, incentives, and rewards.

This is what Kinesis calls Key Driver Analysis, an analysis technique designed to identify service behaviors and attributes which are key drivers of your key objectives of the customer experience.   In the end, providing an informed basis for which to make decisions about investments in the customer experience.
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About Eric Larse

Eric Larse is co-founder of Seattle-based Kinesis CEM, LLC, which helps clients plan and execute their customer experience strategies through the intelligent use of customer satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping, linked with training and incentive programs. Visit Kinesis at: www.kinesis-cem.com

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