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  • Writer's pictureKerri Williams

A Step in the Right Direction: Success Measures & Analytics

As you set out on this journey, you need to have an idea where you’re going but even more importantly, you should know why you’re going there. You are likely to shift course at times, or take some detours along the way but before you embark on the path to integrated customer platforms, it’s best to understand your success measures and how you’ll monitor and measure.

While dreams of frictionless experiences and reduction of pain points for customers are admirable goals, you’ll want to align to business outcomes and/or strategic growth initiatives of the broader organization in order to get proper buy-in. This type of project is often a large investment over a long period of time so without having measurable outcomes, you’re unlikely to get the support you need.

These success measures will also be key in guiding your strategic prioritization — if you hope to improve customer satisfaction for a specific customer segment that is most important to your success, then you may want to make sure development items related to those activities are weighted more heavily than others. You’ll also want to make sure you have the right tooling in place for a consistent mechanism to gather this information. Maybe it’s a company survey you can integrate digital experience questions into, or maybe you have a survey tool you can embed in the experience to get ongoing feedback — lots more on tools below!

If it’s your onboarding initiatives that aren’t driving adoption, then you’ll want to consider specifics to that journey and how you intend to monitor the impact. Work with your product team to benchmark key adoption metrics they are already measuring. For instance, you might want to look to understand the sold, not implemented metrics and ensure you’ve provided some solutions to help with that lift throughout the experience, whether its documentation, customer events or other methods.

Admittedly, there will be times when these metrics are more likely to be correlation based rather than caution, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful in providing directional feedback. If you can select certain metrics and align them to business data like account values, lifetime value, annual recurring revenue etc, there’s potential to have a very compelling story to tell about the impacts of the digital experience on your business.
Once you’ve determined what your success measures will be, the next steps will be around determining what your tech stack looks like, where the gaps are and then also how you will share out the data and to whom. Ideally you want to make things as democratic as possible but of course there are limits in most organizations around date privacy etc. So you’ll also want to engage your legal and privacy teams early as well to ensure your plans align with the overall direction of those groups.

A few thoughts to get you started around analytics tech stacks: There are a TON of tools out there who do lots of things that others do, and some who do very specific things. If you’re just starting out on this journey, it’s likely that your easiest path will be to look across the organization at what is already in place.

Tools like Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics are almost ubiquitous now for tracking digital behaviors, as are CRM systems you’ll want to connect to like Salesforce or Hubspot, so someone in IT can likely get you set up there depending on the size of your organization.
Reach out to your friends in Support for Knowledge Base tools like Zendesk which may have analytics, or Feedback/Digital Assistant capabilities. Check with your UX team about product feedback and adoption tools like Pendo or HotJar. If you’re able to get really fancy and lucky enough to have an advanced Voice of Customer organization, maybe you have access to tools like Medallia or Qualtrics to help you get deep on qualitative analysis and overall journey sentiment.

One last thought on these — again, try to align these up front before you begin to build. It’s often difficult to bolt these on as needed throughout the process, and will serve you better if they are built into your requirements from the beginning.

Once you’ve identified all your sources, you’ll also need to figure out how to efficiently synthesize the data and share insights with the teams who will be most interested. In most cases, if you’re only sharing generic trend data, you can integrate the data points via a tool like Google Data Studio or if you have advanced visual data teams using Tableau or the like, you might be able to tap them for support. Work with your cross-functional stakeholders to understand what data would be valuable to them and how you can create reporting that will be accessible and insightful.

*A note on insights — this is actually incredibly key but often is done poorly in many organizations. Insights should be a combination of data points and impacts that are not easily observed. They are not statements of data, so notes like “Logins decreased X% in July” is not an insight, however, “Logins decreased X% in July however, this is expected user behavior based on previous years trends suggesting Summer holidays are likely to be impacting user time on site,” — a very basic example, but to much more useful to a person who may not have access to previous years data.

There are so many options for measurement that it just strengthens the need to be sure that you are deliberate in your success measures from the start. Stick to them with everything you have. Do not attempt to change horses mid-stream because you heard an executive suggest it would be neat if…You started this journey with a purpose, and while there will be lots of applications and benefits as you grow and iterate, you’ll need to hold back the distracts as much as you can in order to deliver a positive experience for your customers in a timely manner.

Has anyone set up an advanced analytics stack for their cross platform customer experience? Would love to hear more about how you implemented and are reporting!
This is part two of an ongoing series I’m working on called A Journey of 1,000 Miles — A path to Digital Customer Experience Integration. More to come!
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