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ROX: The Hidden Metric

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ROX stands for Return on Experience. It’s a relatively new term, one that explains why some companies thrive while others, even those who offer a good product or service, simply don’t grow. ROX measures the value of investments in customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and leadership experience (LX) and calls it “an innovative way to rethink and redesign the dynamic impact that all three elements have on one another and on your brand. And it’s one of the most effective and scalable ways to shape your company’s future.”The magic of ROX is how you quantify the qualitative experience of your customers. Taking your customer’s emotional experience, and turning it into data. Taking the emotion out of it is what will unlock your ability to improve your business. Get ROX right, and your business will see immediate benefits in returning customers, increase in value over customer lifetime, and referrals. Improving your ROX is the key to your company’s growth.
“But we already give great customer service – our customers love us!” Return on Experience is MORE than great customer service; the first part of the equation focuses on investing in every step of the customer experience (CX). Return on Experience is more than great customer service. It’s investing in every step of the customer experience, from the moment they find you on the web; understanding options and pricing, placing an order, wait times for delivery, shipping, packaging, delivery, follow up, and fixing problems when things go wrong. You may have a great product, but if the process of purchasing, paying, or figuring out how to use it is painful, you’re taking away from the customer experience. And just as important, you are taking away from your own margin without knowing it.
John Scully was president of PepsiCo when Steve Jobs recruited him to Apple in the early 80s. He wanted Scully to teach him how he helped Pepsi surpass Coke in national market share with only a modest marketing budget. Scully told him that the secret was focusing on selling customers the experience, not the product. Jobs was a fast learner; he adopted that rule immediately, and Apple became laser-focused on customer experience. It’s not about the technology; everything, he said, starts with the customer experience.
Jobs famously hired designer Jony Ive to make Apple products as beautiful as they were functional – even down to the packaging. Ive is quoted in Steve Jobs (book) as saying: “Steve and I spent a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.” It’s not enough that your product performs well and is reasonably priced; you’ve got to make the customer feel good about buying it to create loyalty, return business, and word-of-mouth referrals. Now the “unboxing” experience is something every consumer product marketer considers; mattress company Casper actually asks customers to video their unboxing and tag the company.
“I am not saying you have to change everything about your business, I am saying you need to change the way you look at your business and how you evaluate the feedback you receive on it. Customers have choices about where and when they spend their money, in good times and uncertain times. You’re not only competing with your industry for customers; you’re also competing with all the other choices they have to invest their time and money. Customer experience can tilt the decision in your favor. It’s tricky because customers’ expectations and reactions can be very subjective. An NPS (Net Promoter Score) give you a snapshot of whether they are likely to promote your brand or actively detract from it, but it isn’t going to help you understand why your customer loves doing business with you or doesn’t.
Of course, Return on Experience, like Return on Investment, requires you to identify where your attention and money will create the most value. Creating customer delight is a great goal, but you must also calculate whether the added cost to the product or service is going to be sustainable and return value for the company.
The first step to optimizing ROX is a deep dive into your customer’s experience at every stage of their interaction with your company. In the next article, we’ll show you how your team can map your processes and ask customers for feedback and insight.

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