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If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you’ll be familiar with our passion for Voice of Customer and our belief in the value of metrics generated through opt-in feedback processes. If we had our way, these feedback-sourced metrics would be the ones receiving top billing in company reports and shareholder calls; in our world, companies would publish their task completion scores alongside their sales revenues and gross margins.

But as passionate as we are about VoC and the metrics that emerge from it, we also recognize and have an appreciation for the value of behavioral metrics. Sometimes companies have to crossover into the behavioral world to pull in metrics which, when meshed with VoC insights into the customer experience, provided that they are utilized in tandem with a robust VoC program. These behavioral metrics shed additional light on a company’s ability to reach, engage, and build loyalty with its customers.

The first phase starts with a brand’s ability to find a connection. In the case of companies connecting with consumers, they may find that their reach extends through ever-expanding branches of consumer touch-points. This extension, handled online, is typically obtained using both paid and organic search techniques—with specific metrics around each—that let companies know how they are connecting, and if the consumer is ready to start that relationship.

Metrics within search should include:

  • SEM
    • Share of clicks
    • Click through rate
    • Cost per click
  • Organic
    • Impressions
    • Click through rate
    • Average keyword rank
    • Traffic from organic search
    • % of traffic from organic search
    • # of keywords driving search traffic

The second phase of the relationship, we might call the first date. This is where companies have to engage consumers to move them forward—to choose and test compatibility. It’s difficult to be all things to all people all of the time, but successful companies use their marketing tools to personalize their attempts to entice consumers. This is where social media truly helps companies understand if they are going to get a second date.

Metrics within the engage category should include:

  • Facebook / Twitter
    • Sentiment
    • Share of voice
    • Engagement rate
    • Content sharing
  • Blog / Community
    • Registrations
    • Pages viewed per visit
    • Comment
    • Thread
    • Print
    • Share to social

The final phase of relationship building is to establish a bond that will be a longstanding. This is considered the maintenance phase—we are past the wooing and pageantry, but now we are settling down to trust one another. Companies can monitor and measure this stability through eCRm programs and web analytics.

Metrics within the bonding category should include:

  • eCRM
    • Open rate
    • Click through rate
    • Opt in
    • Opt out
    • Content sharing
  • Web analytics
    • Bounce rate
    • Time on site
    • New vs. returning visitor
    • Page views
    • Number of pages viewed by visitor
    • Voice of customer

Ultimately, as in all relationships, if companies aren’t listening to their customer-partners, their customer-partners will find someone else to listen to them (their Facebook friends, their Twitter buddies and ultimately other companies). Relationship tools for the web help to keep the dialog open, engaged and fluid. Not all tools solve all problems (and not all customers are worth keeping), but understanding what tools are available and which to use—and when to use them—is like telling your customer-partners that they are listening and they important to you.

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