Return on Experience (ROX) is still a relatively new Key Performance Indicator (KPI). It offers insight into why it‘s worth investing in customer experience (CX). Failing to do so can lead to revenue loss or even reputation damage. ROX refers to the quality of the experience between the customer and the company at every touchpoint.
The Return on Experience - The new success metric
You may be familiar with Return on Investment (ROI). It determines how well an investment has performed. ROX is used similarly to evaluate the value organizations get on investments in customer experience (CX). However, ROX doesn’t consist of a single metric; it’s a holistic approach to understanding efforts that are primarily aimed at making customers happy and ensuring their loyalty. Among other things, these efforts are designed to:
- Reduce costs for the customer (e.g., for orders and returns)
- Save customers’ time (e.g., through faster processes and less manual effort)
- Increase convenience (e.g., through a user-friendly tool or website)
- Create added value (e.g., in the form of discounts, gifts and exclusive information)
Delivering a positive, valuable and differentiated customer experience at every touchpoint is crucial for any business. The result: the Return on Experience increases.
Mastering customer experience
But before you delve into ROX, you must first target your customers. To encourage positive customer experiences, you must understand what your customers expect, what bothers them and what excites them. For example, about one-third of online buyers dislike creating a customer account to place an order or when product information, shipping costs and delivery times are incomplete or inaccurate.
Such factors lead to one-fifth of customers buying less, never buying from a company again or even abandoning a purchase process in the middle. Understanding your customers is the key to anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations.
How positive customer experiences work
Satisfied customers that’ll stick with you over the long term. That’s the dream for any business, right? But to turn it into reality, companies need to close the gap between customer expectations and the actual customer experience. Customers expect their buying journey to be seamless from purchase to delivery and they want easy access to product information.
For example, if someone orders a cross trainer, they’ll want to know about the device’s features, how it’s packaged and shipped and how long will it take to arrive. If these expectations are met, the customer is more likely to buy other sports equipment from the same retailer or manufacturer.
How to calculate Return on Experience (ROX)
To calculate ROX, you’ll need to consider the profit generated divided by the capital employed to create a particular customer experience:
Return on Experience (ROX) = profit generated / cost of CX efforts
Profit is calculated based on sales minus the cost of CX efforts to increase customer satisfaction.
ROX = revenue (net) - cost of CX efforts / cost of CX efforts
If, for example, the delivery time of a cross trainer (see example above) is a criterion for a positive customer experience, the Return on Experience is calculated based on the revenue and the cost of delivery on the desired date.
ROX = Revenue from the cross trainer (net) – cost of delivery on the desired date /
cost of delivery on the desired date
ROX should ideally be higher than 0 so that CX efforts - in this case, the preferred delivery date - can pay off. However, a ROX of 0 would indicate that CX efforts improved customer satisfaction but did not bring any immediate revenue to the company. At this point, you can compare sales before and after enabling the user to pick the delivery date.
What role does product information play in ROX?
CX initiatives often include dealing with technical data and content - especially in ecommerce. Unlike a traditional retail store where customers can try and test the product in person, ecommerce doesn't have that option. Therefore, the product information you provide can significantly impact the customer experience and your ROX. This is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system comes to the rescue.
A PIM system helps you increase the Return on Experience because...
- ... better product data creates more transparency for the customer, reduces the rate of returns and saves costs.
- ... better product data ensures that fewer shopping carts are abandoned. As a result, companies not only secure the sales they would otherwise lose but also boost their business.
- ... providing complete, accurate and personalized product information positively influences the customer experience and ensures more sales.
- ... it stores, organizes and manages information that helps nudge a customer towards a buying decision – including product specifications, retailer and manufacturer information, product availability, warranty, shipping and customer reviews.
- it can store, organize and manage product reviews which improve the customer experience and accelerate purchase decisions.
The Return on Experience – the impact of product information
Product returns entail additional costs for companies; items must be collected, organized and repackaged or put away. These processes involve costs that could be avoided if customers were provided with accurate and complete product information about the purchased item.
The example below illustrates the role that product information plays in achieving an excellent ROX.
Conclusion: Become a ROXstar!
Whether you’re targeting B2B or B2C clients, delivering superior digital customer experiences is the key to customer success, retention and business growth. Return on Experience (ROX) may seem an insufficient metric to quantify business success. But if you consider the advantages of investing in customer satisfaction, you can quickly conclude the following: CX and retention go together. After all, happy customers stick around, and positive interactions develop loyalty — and loyalty can hardly be quantified in monetary terms!