A great Customer Experience dashboard is so much more than just pretty charts.
CX dashboards are about delivering the right data, in the right format, to the right user, at the right time. They should be tailored to the user and their business needs, and help them quickly discover insights with minimal effort. More importantly, they should give users the story behind the numbers.
Most of all, CX dashboards should be a tool to help you make better, more customer-centric decisions so you can improve the Customer Experience (CX).
In this post, we will look at six things to consider when creating your next CX dashboard.
Note: Screenshots included in this post are examples of Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards generated by iperceptions' BI experts using Tableau®. Learn more about our BI services here.
What is a Customer Experience Dashboard?
A Customer Experience dashboard helps users easily visualize and interact with data about their customers and their experiences with a brand. CX dashboards should contain any data and customer experience metrics that gives insight into your customers and their experiences.
These data sources include, but not are not limited to:
1. Behavioral data (web analytics)
2. Customer feedback (Voice of the Customer)
3. Transactional / point-of-sale data
A CX dashboard can come in many shapes and sizes, as we will see in this post. However, a successful dashboard should make it easy and accessible for you to monitor, interact and understand your customer data, and give you the ability to dig deep to find insights you can act on to improve Customer Experience (CX).
Now, let’s look at six key ingredients that make up a successful CX dashboard.
1. Know your user
Who will use the dashboard? Is it a busy executive who needs a high-level view of the KPI performance? A seasoned CX analyst tasked with an in-depth analysis of your Voice of the Customer (VoC) data? Maybe a member of another team who needs access to some of your data to improve their knowledge of customer pain points?
Knowing who will use the CX dashboard, why they need it, and what they are looking to accomplish with it should be your starting point. Take some time to speak with the end-users, understand the questions they are trying to answer, what KPIs they use to track their performance, and also their level of expertise with the data and dashboards.
Users of CX Dashboards at BIG BRAND RETAIL, and why?
|Type of audience||Roles||Types of insights||Main objectives|
|Strategic||C-Suite, VPs, Directors||High-level KPIs||Flag immediate needs|
|Tactical||Mid-level, Analysts, Brand managers||Granular insights / deep-diving capabilities||Discover crucial insights|
|Operational||Website managers, CRM support teams, store managers||Website/visitor analytics and performance||Easily-shareable insights|
Placing the user at the center of your CX dashboard design, and aligning every component to their objectives, will ensure high satisfaction and adoption. In other words, designing according to the user's requirements can be the difference between a highly successful dashboard and one that collects (virtual) dust.
Tell a story through data visualization
You now know who will use the CX dashboard, and why. The next step is figuring out how to populate the CX dashboards with the right information, to best help the user in their everyday tasks.
A clear hierarchy to the information displayed is critical to understanding the data and getting the most out of the Customer Experience dashboard.
For instance, let’s say you want to keep an eye on the touchpoints where your customers experience the most friction along their customer journey, and the causes of this friction.
A general example of a multi-page CX dashboard could look like this:
1. A comprehensive view that includes high-level KPIs across each stage of the customer journey. This view would help you get familiar with the situation and identify the key moments of the journey where customers appear to be experiencing pain points.
2. An additional, more in-depth view that allows you to investigate further into a specific stage of the customer journey to identify specific types of issues customers may be experiencing.
3. A third view to help you dig down to the personal experience of one user.
This storytelling, context-driven approach creates a visual funnel and a full narrative that helps the user understand the data and, consequently, identify opportunities to improve the Customer Experience at key stages of the customer journey.
RELATED READING: 4 Great TED Talks on the Power of Context in Data Analysis
Design your dashboard for the right format
Along the lines of the first point (Know Your Users), you must also consider the medium your audience will be using to view the dashboards.
For example, some busy executives might rarely sit behind a screen, and would prefer to consult their reports on a mobile phone. On the other hand, a larger dashboard may do the trick for analysts who work full-time behind a desk, but not so much for analysts who typically work with smaller laptops, which would translate to a terrible experience.
After all, who wants to scroll and zoom endlessly through a dashboard, if you don’t have to?
Customer Experience Dashboard Examples - Desktop (left) vs. Mobile (right)
Knowing the devices your internal stakeholders typically use to visualize their data, and formatting the CX dashboard accordingly, will help you:
1. Ensure a better user experience
2. Design for optimal display
3. Reduce the amount of unnecessary scrolling
Make actionable info stand out
What’s the biggest difference between a standard spreadsheet and a successful CX dashboard? The ability to understand your data and find key insights at a glance.
CX dashboards may contain a lot of data points. But those 'key insights' – what you want users to take away from their dashboards – should be easily visible with minimal effort on their part.
Creating visual cues will quickly draw the attention of the user to the right place. Whether it be adding a color signal next to the underperforming KPIs or a discrete upward or downward pointing arrow next to the monthly results to highlight your month-over-month progress, the idea is to add eye-catching signals to draw the user’s attention to the elements that need the most attention.
Example of using visual cues and color signals to highlight key insights.
What’s considered a ‘significant finding’ might change from user to user, and so it's also essential to determine what those thresholds are with your users and adjust the dashboard accordingly.
Another way to help make actionable insights stand out is to avoid putting all the information in a single dashboard, and keep it to what your audience needs the most.
Which leads us to our next best practice…
Maximize the Data-Ink Ratio
The data-ink ratio is a notion that first appeared in Edward Tufte’s 1983 book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Essentially, it states that you should aim to display the maximum amount of information, with the least amount of ink (or pixels, nowadays). Here’s a great post that dives a bit deeper into the data-ink ratio.
Knowing that, once you have created your dashboard to display the information crucial to the stakeholder’s needs, have a second look at it and ask yourself:
1. Are all the elements adding value?
2. Are the visuals chosen the most effective to convey the information?
3. Are there superfluous elements that could be removed, whether it be gridlines or repeated labeling?
Don’t be shy about removing elements that are not critical to telling the story you want to tell in the CX dashboard. Leverage white space to create some breathing room between elements. Use colors wisely. Make it visually appealing. The last thing you want is for your CX dashboards to overwhelm your audience.
Democratize the data
Customer Experience is an organization-wide initiative. As such, any data or insights on your customers’ experiences should be shared.
Remove data silos. Share your CX dashboards with others. For any organization that places Customer Experience as a top priority, a culture that celebrates sharing data and CX dashboards should be the norm. It can only help others in your organization to make better and more customer-centric decisions.
Several people in your company can most likely benefit from the insights gleaned from your CX dashboards. Whether it’s to improve customer journey maps, close the feedback loop with your clients quicker, or develop your overall CX strategy, democratizing your CX dashboards is a critical component that can’t be overlooked.
Successful CX Dashboards are critical to successful CX Management
A lot goes into making a CX dashboard that users are more likely to adopt and use every day. However, these dashboards are not set-it-and-forget-it.
There should be processes in place to ensure that data quality, integrity and coherence are always maintained. Also, your dashboards should evolve with the audience they are meant to support, and their ever-changing business objectives.
Putting in place this governance structure will help make sure your CX dashboards remain pertinent over time and help you figure out from users:
1. What insights are missing
2. What is no longer relevant to them
3. Any shifts in their business objectives
Creating, tailoring and maintaining CX dashboards can be a very time-consuming, but critical part of any organizations’ CX efforts. At iperceptions, Business Intelligence (BI) experts like myself do this heavy lifting for stakeholders throughout our clients’ organization so they can focus their time on what’s important: getting key insights and act on them.
All-in-all, everyone has different business needs for a CX dashboard. As such, no two dashboards will be the same, nor is there a single way to display information. However, the tips in this post provide the ingredients that help make a CX dashboard successful, empower your organization align internally more quickly and deliver amazing Customer Experience across the customer journey.
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