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The consumer-focused metric: How to improve ‘return on experience’

In a follow up to our piece on the 10th annual Global Consumer Insights Survey, which highlighted the importance of customer experience, Digital Pulse looks at how businesses can improve their score when it comes to providing superior service.

The rules of customer experience are changing, and customers are the ones writing them. This year’s Global Consumer Insights Survey (GCIS) highlighted that technology is reshaping people’s expectations when it comes to making purchases, from the devices they use, to the amount of friction they are willing to endure throughout the process.

Given that a good customer experience can keep buyers coming back, and increase the amount that they spend, a company’s success relies on what we call ‘return on experience’, or ROX. This measurement will allow leaders to understand the return they are getting on investments into the parts of the business directly related to how people interact with its brand, both customers and employees.

ROX involves looking at behaviours: how they are implemented, where they need bolstering, and understanding how they affect profit. In this way it is different from its resource-focused cousin, ROI. In use, a ROX framework can help identify customer touchpoints that need help, and align resources with the things a company does especially well.

Building ROX

Building ROX metrics reinforces a virtuous cycle and amplifies value. Source: PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019.

A recent piece by strategy+business elaborates on the process of measuring ROX, for those looking for more detail on how to get started. Once the framework is in place to measure it, though, how does a company improve its ROX? Here are six concrete actions to take:

1. Fuse CX and EX

Employee experience (EX) affects customer experience (CX) and there’s no way to improve ROX without considering it. Knowing that employees are proud brand ambassadors who embody the behaviours that will improve customer interaction, as well as being able to see the value from the customer’s point of view, is critical to improving ROX. Map the connections between culture, these critical few behaviours and business outcomes to find the places that need attention.

2. Use mobile and social to build communities with a purpose

Do your customers like your brand? Do your employees? If both groups are on the same page it’s much easier to fuse EX and CX. Finding out what both groups care about, and ensuring the business shares those values will go a long way to motivating positive association. Use social and mobile communities to understand motivations and bolster engagement with both groups.

3. Build on discrete moments along the customer journey

Customer loyalty is fleeting and consumers allow for very few disappointing moments before moving on to a competitor. It’s important to give customers “magic moments” that they can remember later on, both increasing their brand loyalty and margin for forgiveness in light of any bumps down the road. To track this loyalty, and ensure your experiences are having the desired effect, make sure you have corresponding ROX measurements in place.

4. Understand your customers based on their behaviours

Defining your customer segments by demographic data alone won’t allow for the level of personalisation needed by today’s brands. Behavioural and attitudinal attributes will tell you how, when, where and why consumers shop — allowing you to deliver tailored, seamless, end-to-end experiences at the right time and place.

5. Treat customer’s data with respect, and deliver value in exchange for it

It should go without saying that customer data needs to be protected. While consumers are willing to give data to brands they trust, they expect to get relevant value in exchange. Think carefully about what data you’re using and why  (is it necessary? does it provide value to your customers? are you using it in ways they would expect?) and clearly communicate policies and benefits. Transparency is the name of the game.

6. Win the trip

To be successful, businesses need to ‘win the trip’. With more options than ever before available to consumers in every industry, from retail to health, it’s necessary to provide the best experience to win the customer’s hard-earned money. Knowing what kind of experience consumers want and making it easy for them to get it — be that by price, quality, exclusivity or ease — will deepen loyalty and win the purchase.

Focusing on these six areas will help a business shift its attention from ROI to ROX and acknowledge the digital realities of today’s consumers and what they want.

For all the insights, including further detail on the concept of Return on Experience (ROX), download the Global Consumer Insights Survey.