How To Understand, Measure, and Manage Customer Experience

on 05.03.2020 by Markus Gahler

At our last “Wissensdurst” on the 19th of November 2019 we aimed to tackle topics mainly in the “marketing controlling” area.

When it comes to measuring marketing success, a variety of metrics are used nowadays, including branding and performance, conversion and customer life time value, as well as customer experience (CX), which is a topic everyone is talking about these days. Therefore, we had the honor of having Markus Gahler from the University of Augsburg over at FELD M to present a CX measure which he developed together with his colleagues.

As a follow up of his talk at the “Wissensdurst” Markus Gahler summarizes the four steps you need to consider when you want to understand, measure, and manage the CX.

1.You need to understand what CX is

Nowadays, CX is often mistakenly understood as a buzzword for customer satisfaction or loyalty. Both are important consequences of your interactions with your customers at various touchpoints along the customer journey. However, they do not allow you to understand how the customer really perceives each interaction with your company. CX is purely subjective – it covers the customer’s individual mental responses, such as feelings and thoughts, at each touchpoint with your company. You can only understand the CX of your customers, when taking the customers’ perspective along the entire customer journey. Using a measurement scale at relevant touchpoints is suitable to understand the CX from the customer’s perspective.

2. You need to measure CX directly

Today, many companies measure CX indirectly, using indicators such as the customer effort, net promoter, or customer satisfaction score that quantify the experiences’ drivers (e.g., effort) or outcomes (e.g., satisfaction). You should not only rely on these measures, as they neither quantify how the customers perceives the interaction with your company nor they can be applied to a variety of customer touchpoints. Instead, you should use a scale that measures CX directly – that is, how your customers perceive the interactions with your company. To provide such a direct CX measure, Markus Gahler developed an icon-based CX scale in a research project with colleagues from the University of Augsburg and Tilburg University. The CX scale was validated in various studies across different industries and is very efficient in measuring CX, as customers can respond to it in about 30 seconds on mobile devices. The scale can be implemented at a variety of today’s touchpoints. It can be downloaded here.

3. Your need to measure CX along the entire customer journey

In today’s omnichannel environment, your customers come in contact with your company at an enormous variety of touchpoints – before, while, and after purchasing a product or using a service of your company. At each of the touchpoints with your company, a customer is having an individual CX. All these individual experiences contribute to your customers’ overall satisfaction with your company and determine if they remain loyal to your company or not. To get a complete picture of your company’s CX performance along the entire customer journey, you need to measure the CX at all relevant customer touchpoints. The CX scale can be used with different kinds of experience partners (brands, personnel, other customers), touchpoints (online, offline) and customer journey stages (pre-purchase, purchase, post-purchase). As such, the CX scale is particularly suited for applications in today’s complex omnichannel environments and allows you to identify at which touchpoint you need to improve your CX performance.

4. You need to manage CX for each customer touchpoint

To manage CX efficiently, you should include CX as a key metric in your marketing dashboards and combine it with transactional and operational data (e.g., with machine learning). Only if you visualize the CX performance for all relevant touchpoints of the customer journey, the responsible managers (e.g., brand, campaign, or touchpoint managers) can identify CX shortcomings and develop targeted strategies for CX improvement. When monitoring, benchmarking, and improving your CX performance constantly, important outcomes such as customer satisfaction and loyalty will increase.


Have fun with measuring and optimizing the CX! If you want to be informed concerning our upcoming “Wissensdurst” events, please subscribe here.

And, last but not least, thanks to Katrin Mäntele  for her amazing sketch beautifully summarizing the night!


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