All too often I see organization attempting to measure customer satisfaction, trying to assess customer needs, and creating metrics to capture the 360 degree perspective of the customer. Well intentioned efforts, but these are all positioned around the periphery of the customer experience.
At the end of the day, organizations need to determine which question they are trying to assess:
Is the customer satisfied ?
Are we delighting the customer ?
Have we exceeded the customer's expectations ?
Do we understand the customer's pain points with our products & services ?
If we step back and take a pragmatic look at these questions, we may arrive at a better place in terms of what we are trying to measure. By examining each of these questions there is a common thread of distilled information that is at the core of answering each of these questions. When we see phrases like "delight" or "exceed", these are really an effort at closing the gap between what customers have come to expect versus what they really want. If organizations are going to be successful with new products & services then they need to deliver exactly what customers want (not less & not more). IF you deliver more than the customer wants, they you drive the costs up (we see this in the explosion of features in mature products all the time). IF you deliver less then the customer wants, then you are either focused on disruption in the market through a lower price model or customers will jump to another product that better meets their needs.
What If ... we measure the desired outcomes that customers wish to achieve ? Then we can map them back to the abstract concepts of experience, emotion, and perception that are often captured in an effort to "measure" customer satisfaction. Yes, there is a need for a consistent approach and measurement system. Unfortunately, there is no unifying discipline across the myriad of professions to share, build, and consolidate a federated repository of these metrics across domains and functional job executors. There are some approaches that do work, but they require a longer conversation that is practical in this thread. More on the topic of "experience" in future threads...