It’s no secret customer-centric companies have much better financial outcomes than businesses that don’t prioritize customer experiences. Brands with superior customer experience, for instance, bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience, reports Forbes.
We also know for organizations across industries like healthcare, financial services, and retail, customer engagement touchpoints are increasingly digital-only experiences. Naturally, marketing and digital strategy leaders are under pressure to demonstrate a return on digital experiences and customer experiences or ROX. It’s easy to make changes to an app or website because we feel it’s the right thing to do, like make a feature more visually appealing. But these forms of changes are just table stakes. If you make significant changes (not necessarily costly) to the digital experience, you’ll want to see business results. And so will your organization’s leadership.
This article shares a framework for how you can track digital experiences’ financial impact. And how you can look at features and experiences you build digitally and trace the return of value.
A framework for measuring return on digital experience (ROX)
While technologies that trace website clicks and scroll movement might provide insights into behavior, they don’t offer a complete picture without ROI data.
To effectively measure the impact of digital experience changes, we follow a common causal association model that’s typically used in epidemiology. In this model, there are five criteria we track that determine whether the change we made in a digital experience has an impact on ROI or not. The five criteria are strength, consistency, specificity, temporality and plausibility:
If you make a small change to your digital experience, you should see a slight change in the results. The more significant the change you make within the product or features, the more likely you’ll see a substantial difference in results.
For instance, when working with a consumer goods and services client, we identified and fixed a website problem that had been significantly hurting their customers’ digital experience. Customers became stuck or frustrated on the log-in screen when their email address wasn’t identified by the system—either through a typing error or other reason. Instead of automatically prompting the customer to create an account, a “try again” option was added. This simple improvement increased the site’s sign-in success rate by more than 20%. What’s more, the website’s account completion rate increased by more than 20%.
If you make a change across a specific location, all of those results for that location should have a similar change effect. Therefore, different people in different places with different samples should have a consistent impact.
If you wanted to target a specific demographic within your customer base—young mothers, for instance — any change must only apply to that particular audience segment. In other words, the change needs to be specific to the population that you’re impacting.
If you make any changes to the digital experience, it stands to reason you can’t take credit for any improvements that took place before your feature or product enhancements. The results must be measured and captured at a time following the changes.
To measure the revenue impact of changes to a healthcare provider’s button design changes, for instance, we knew what appointments were made through the website button. By comparing appointment activity before and after changes are implemented, we can measure appointment types booked and their associated margins.
If you change the way your customers make a purchase, it’s plausible the resulting increase in purchases is due to that change in the digital experience.
For the same client noted above, the website’s original shopping cart order summary offered little information. We added a feature that helped customers see what spending level qualified the order for free shipping ($49.99 or more). This enhancement increased the average online order value by more than 2.5%.
The key is to break down these steps into three components:
Prioritize digital experiences
You can achieve significant business improvements by prioritizing customer experiences and corresponding digital experiences. Your returns will justify investments. By establishing a structured framework to measure changes to your customers’ digital experiences, you’ll be able to make incremental improvements, which, over time, will improve your business and financial results.