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How to Measure and Improve Your Customer Experience (CX)

Martha Brooke on How to Measure and Improve Your Customer Experience (CX)

What is the best way to improve your customer experience?

Shep Hyken interviews the Chief Customer Experience Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics, Martha Brooke, who says she thinks about customer experiences differently. “Experiences can be measured,” Martha says, “and measuring is how you improve—but only if your measurement is sufficiently nuanced.”

First Up:

Shep Hyken’s opening comments focus on a CX Solutions (formerly TARP Worldwide) study which showed that only 4% of customers that were “wronged” by a business will actually complain to that company. The important point is not that the other 96% of the customers don’t complain; they do, but they instead send that unhappy message on to family members, friends, and colleagues at work. But perhaps what is now even more damaging to a business, is they use social media channels to broadcast their dissatisfaction… to the world.

Featured Interview:

Shep begins his interview by stating that customer experiences can be measured, and that measuring is the first step in how you improve your interactions with the customer. One way to measure is through the use of the Net Promoter Score® (“On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend our business?”). But Martha Brooke asserts that the Net Promoter Score® doesn’t really get into what is going on with the experience. It doesn’t answer the why behind the score, nor does it explain what you as the business could do to improve your Net Promoter Score®. The score simply does not get into sufficient depth to be actionable. It’s critical that you understand what is going on with the customer, so that you can make precise changes to the customer experience you deliver.

Shep and Martha continue the interview by discussing the “voice of the customer.” The best voice of the customer programs presents both accurate facts and actionable facts that can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers.

Martha concluded the interview by explaining her recent Customer Listening Study. Working off the National Retail Association’s list of top retailers, she and her team chose the top 50, went in and took their surveys, then recorded the information and evaluated it. Based on 15 points of objective criteria, they wanted to determine how good the surveys were. Were these retailers collecting accurate data, and were they engaging their customers? What they found was ‘no’ and ‘no.’

At 23 questions on average, the surveys were excessively long, sometimes taking longer than the original transaction itself!

Martha and her team also wanted to know, did the questions avoid any bias or lead-in wording? 32% of all questions were actually leading customers to give the answers the companies wanted to hear.

Top Takeaways:

  • The best time to have a customer take a survey: as soon as the interaction is completed.
  • Most companies are asking their customers the wrong questions, and even if they are asking the right questions, they are asking them in the wrong way.
  • Customer experience really matters. The best way to make efficient changes to the customer experience is with actionable, accurate and objective data.


Martha Brooke is the Chief Customer Experience Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics and is certified in Black Belt Six Sigma. Prior to Interaction Metrics, Martha worked for two dot-coms ( and Now, in addition to overseeing client programs, Martha leads top-rated workshops and sessions for many professional associations.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, best-selling author and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

“So many of these surveys are written as though all the customer does is think about you. They really don’t.” -Martha Brooke

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This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions… and more:

  1. When should a customer receive a customer satisfaction survey?
  2. What are the best customer service metrics?
  3. How can you get a better customer satisfaction survey?
  4. What are the pros and cons of the Net Promoter Score?
  5. How do I understand the voice of the customer?
  6. What are the best customer experience metrics?
  7. Why are customer interviews invaluable?




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