A question that I frequently hear from customer experience (CX) pros is how to correctly set goals for the customer experience metrics that they report. Despite diligently working to ensure the quality of their voice-of-the-customer (VoC) programs, they need help to set targets and communicate expectations effectively to their executives. I often faced this same challenge as a CX leader. Every year, there was a cycle of trying to maintain quantitative discipline while being pressured to meet arbitrary expectations. Ultimately, the goals usually ended up being more of a negotiation than a reflection of the customers’ experiences. New research from Forrester will help CX pros develop more effective methods for setting CX goals.

The Challenge Of Goal-Setting

When we ask CX leaders how they handle goal-setting, we find a broad spectrum of approaches, many of which aren’t very effective. These processes include everything from the senior executive picking an impressive number to noting current scores and adding an arbitrary improvement. We have documented five specific challenges that CX pros should avoid when setting goals. Two of the most common include:

  • Arbitrary top-down mandates. It’s unfortunately common for leaders to choose a score/target based on opinion instead of leveraging additional inputs to calculate their expected performance.
  • Improper comparisons or benchmarks. Many CX programs also set goals for internally generated scores based on benchmarks that they source externally. Realistically, controlling methodology well enough to make these comparisons valid is impossible.

A Quantitative Solution

After assessing the situation, we knew that there had to be a better way to set CX goals. So in a new report, How To Set CX Metrics Goals, we lay out a four-step process to apply five techniques, depending on the program’s maturity, to generate quantitatively defensible CX metrics targets. The most important aspect of this process is maintaining the relationship between scores and experiences so that any changes in CX scores are based on real customer experience changes. Two key steps include:

  • Forecasting future performance. Historical data is modeled to predict what scores will be if nothing else changes.
  • Calculating the lift from experience improvements. The forecasted trend is adjusted to account for experience improvements being implemented by the business.

We even created a tool with which CX leaders can input their historical scores for common CX metrics, combine them with the predicted impacts of CX improvement efforts, and develop a performance forecast.

Next Steps

Commit to a more disciplined approach to setting CX metrics goals this year. Doing so creates a formal process that you can use to defend customer-focused targets and help deflect arbitrary mandates.

Forrester clients: Read the report How To Set CX Metrics Goals, and try The Forrester CX Metrics Goal-Setting Tool. Contact Forrester to request analyst assistance with your next goal-setting cycle. We can customize tools and advice for your specific circumstances.