Thought Leadership

Common Traps of Top-performing Customer Experience Programs

October 30, 2018
Common CX Traps

You’ve achieved your customer experience (CX) goals! Congratulations! … Now what?

When our clients’ organizations commit to their CX measurement goals (CSAT, NPS), internalize the key drivers of performance improvement and integrate them with operational priorities, they often succeed in hitting their CX outcome measure goals.

While this is always good news, it can create new challenges—“happy problems,” as we’re told to see them. Here are some common CX program traps to avoid after you hit your CX goals:

1. House of cards syndrome. “Okay, we did it! Now nobody move a muscle.”

In this scenario, fear of the trend line dipping takes over. Stakeholders don’t want to make changes to the survey program, wary that any change could rock the boat. Key opportunities, such as adding tactical survey modules or leveraging new data collection options, are passed by in favor of maintaining current performance. Sure, changing the instrument or improving sampling techniques always has the potential to introduce volatility, but with clear design and analytic planning, you’ll know what is responsible for any variability caused by program design changes. Don’t pass up opportunities to improve and evolve in deference to the trend line.

2. Resting on those laurels. “Well, that’s done!”

Once a steady state of CX performance is achieved, attention is often turned elsewhere as long as performance doesn’t start to drop. It makes sense—there are always competing strategic and operational objectives. However, a comprehensive CX program’s key benefit is in its actionability, or its ability to highlight areas of that need attention. Continued attention to the program, even when everything is going well, will allow you to pick up on—and promptly correct—servicing, operational and employee deficiencies.

3. Bar-raising junkies. “If achieving 85% Overall Satisfaction is good, getting to 90% will be better. (or moving that NPS of 45 to 50 or improving the Customer Effort score from 65% to 70%).”

Maybe, but probably not. There’s that pesky law of diminishing returns. The investment needed to improve a stellar CX metric by five points is exponentially more than the investment needed to improve a mediocre CX metric by five points. Further, through integrated operational and drivers analysis, we can help you identify the point at which you’ll stop gaining ground on customer retention and cross-sell potential. There is a point where your CX performance is “high enough.”

4. Forest gazing. “Trend line is strong and steady—all is well.”

With a strong CX metric trend comes the opportunity to make sure resources are being deployed as effectively as possible. We have to look at the trees, not just the forest. Who are you delighting? Is your trend line being bolstered by strong performance with low-profit customers while a key segment of highly profitable customers is suffering? Which customer segments do we have the greatest growth potential with? What key drivers should we focus on to maintain or improve those CX results?

If you’ve built your CX program with a trusted, proven partner, it’s more durable than you might think. A good CX program has the potential to drive strategic and operational decisions far beyond the monthly trend line. Our strongest CX programs never sit still; we’re constantly adapting to evolve with organizational evolutions in leadership, strategy, operations and market challenges. We work closely with clients to ensure they are getting the most out of their CX programs, and deploying CX research resources with purpose. You don’t just want high performance in CX management, you need purposeful CX management.


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Loribeth McCann
Loribeth McCann
Senior Vice President, Financial Services

Loribeth McCann is a senior vice president in the Financial Services Research division at Escalent. Key areas of focus in Loribeth’s research portfolio include product development, brand research, segmentation and customer experience. Loribeth has managed several large-scale customer experience programs, through the stages of adoption from a prior vendor, redesign, historical data integration, implementation and portal development. Her ultimate goal is always to get the day-to-day running smoothly and efficiently, allowing the project and client teams to focus on areas of continued improvement and insight from the research. Loribeth holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Wayne State University, and a bachelor’s of science in psychology from the University of Central Florida.