How To Measure Customer Satisfaction Based On The Entire Customer Journey (3 Steps)

McKinsey & Company research says STOP measuring customer satisfaction on each individual interaction.

“Measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30 percent more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction,” states Alfonso Pulido, Dorian Stone, and John Strevel from research firm, McKinsey & Company.

In their most recent customer-experience survey of 27,000 American consumers across 14 different industries, McKinsey & Company found that a customer’s entire journey with a company is what you should be measuring your customer satisfaction on. In others words, you should measure overall customer satisfaction.

It’s not enough to make customers happy with each individual interaction. – Alfonso Pulido, Dorian Stone, and John Strevel

Instead of measuring satisfaction on each individual interaction a customer has with you, the study found that measuring satisfaction on the entire journey is 30 percent more predictive of overall satisfaction.

Maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20 percent but also to lift revenue by up to 15 percent while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20 percent. – Three C’s of Customer Satisfaction, McKinsey & Company

So if the study tells us we need to focus on measuring satisfaction across the whole journey, how can we adapt our existing processes and systems to this new way of thinking?

There are three steps I propose you follow:

  • Rethink your metrics – start measuring satisfaction over the entire customer journey
  • Create teams that are responsible for the end-to-end customer journey
  • Eliminate negative experiences


1. Rethink your metrics – start measuring satisfaction over the entire customer journey

First off, you’re going to need to look at how you measure satisfaction.

No longer will you be running one-off surveys after specific interactions with customers. You need a tool that can help measure satisfaction holistically – a tool that takes into consideration the customer’s entire experience with your company.

I recommend measuring every three or six month. By tracking satisfaction from one period to the next, you’ll be able to see if the initiatives and improvements you have been making have had a positive or negative affect.

Related: 8 Customer Satisfaction Tools – reviewed and compared.


2. Create teams that are responsible for the end-to-end customer journey

This is one of the recommendations that came out of the McKinsey & Company report. The authors suggested that companies need to adapt and ‘rewire’ themselves to create teams that can give them more control over the complete customer journey.

Since customers touch multiple people inside your organization –sales, customer service, account management, support – you’ll need to develop systems that can keep control of the entire journey. If you can do this, you can create consistent customer experience.

Related: Adam Feigenbaum suggest these four tips to creating a consistent customer experience.

Who will be responsible for tracking and monitoring the journey? Is it the account manager? Does he or she have complete access to the entire customer journey?

These are the questions you need to be asking. Once you’ve established the process you want to take, the next thing you need to do is find a customer satisfaction tool that can help you track progress, effectiveness and predict opportunities.

You may need to retool both metrics and analytics to report on journeys, not just touchpoint insights. – Alfonso Pulido, Dorian Stone, and John Strevel


3. Eliminate negative experiences

“Single negative experience has four to five times greater relative impact than a positive one — companies should focus on reducing poor customer experiences, especially in those areas in which customers come into contact with the organization most often.” – Alfonso Pulido, Dorian Stone, and John Strevel

Now that you are tracking customer satisfaction across the entire customer journey, you can focus on ensuring all experiences are consistent and positive.

Eliminating negative experiences is the quickest way to get your whole customer experience strategy in order. You should pull your team together and come up with 10 negative experiences that you think might be having a negative impact on your customers

These might be small things, or they might be other things that you have no control over. Either way, you need to look at how you can eliminate these bad experiences.

For example, if you get specific problems emailed to your support line multiple times a week, chances are – there is room to improve the process. It might be as simple as creating a FAQ knowledge base, or adding better instructions, or looking at the underlining processes and making some changes.

Every company’s customer experience is different. You will need to take the information provided here and identify areas to improve.

Will you change the way you measure customer satisfaction?

How important is each individual piece of customer feedback to you?

Would you prefer to hear immediate feedback based on an event, or overall customer feedback based across the entire experience a customer has had with you?

McKinsey research shows that when predicting how happy your customers are, and how likely they are to continue to do business with you, measuring satisfaction across the entire journey is a more accurate approach.

Net Promoter System (NPS) is also a firm believer in this approach. Using the NPS, company’s measure “how likely a customer is to recommend their business”. This form of measurement is based on the customer’s entire journey.

Related: Learn more about Net Promoter Score.

Next step?

Evaluate these eight customer satisfaction tools and find one that can help your measure satisfaction across the entire customer journey.

Gordon Tan

Gordon Tan is an entrepreneur based in Australia who has started and sold multiple technology companies with a combined value of $150m. This included a client satisfaction benchmarking platform which gave him first hand insight into the best practices of over 6,000 businesses. After retiring at 35 he is now a recognised thought leader on winning and retaining clients - His two passions: making clients the heartbeat of a business no matter what the product or service and this blog.

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