In the two months since I published "The Customer Experience Index, 2012," the number of companies requesting a deeper look at the data has been quite high. Many have asked me to suggest ways to use the information that’s available, so I thought I’d share the analyses I've found most interesting so far:

  1. Compare Customer Experience Index (CXi) respondents to your company’s target customer profile. As part of the CXi survey, we collect a range of demographic data including age, gender, marital status, household income, employment status, parental status, and location. Clients find it helpful to see if differences between our scores and their internal data stem from the fact that we’re surveying different populations. They’re also using it to think through why scores on a given criteria are what they are — for example, if most respondents for a TV service provider have small kids, the firm’s parental controls may have a bigger impact on the “meets needs” score than they would if most respondents had grown children.
  2. Segment your CXi scores based on key industry variables. In addition to basic demographics, we added several questions this year to help us classify respondents into categories that matter to certain industries like travel, health insurance, and investing. For example, investment firms with enough respondents can find out if high-net-worth individuals give them a better or worse score than those with less than $100,000 to invest. Many firms differentiate the experience based a customer's value to the firm, so this is a great way to confirm whether or not those strategies are paying off. Similarly, health insurance plans can see how scores differ among people with chronic medical conditions given that those folks tend to have more (and more complex) interactions with their plan than healthy people.
  3. Understand where the change in your score came from. Last week, I found that a particular client’s score dropped 10 points on the “easy” question this year. When I looked more closely, I saw that wasn’t because more people were having really bad experiences. In fact, the percentage of customers who gave the firm a 1 or a 2 on our five-point scale was exactly the same as it was in 2011. What changed was the percentage of customers who gave the company a 4 or a 5. The good news is that things probably haven’t gotten dramatically worse. But it does suggest that consumers have a higher standard for excellence, so the company is going to have to go further to maintain high scores in the future.

Any company looking to do a deep dive into the CXi data should consider these cuts as part of that process. But I'm sure that there are more analyses out there that can yield interesting results. Have you done any? If so, tell us about them in the comments so that we can add to our collective knowledge about how to get the most from this powerful data set.