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What Is an Experience Audit and When Do You Need One?

How an Experience Audit Balances Your Customer Relationship Books

A process to spot shortfalls, inconsistencies and ways to improve your customer experience

People today want more than just a product or a low price — they want emotional connections. And positive, engaging customer experiences drive these connections.

But many brands aren’t doing everything they can to improve customer experiences. According to the “Customer Experience Benchmark Report 2020” from Dimension Data, 81.6% of organizations believe their customer experience gives them a competitive edge. Yet, only 14.4% of those organizations say they have integrated it in a crucial way as part of their organizational strategy.

When you’re not sure how to improve your customer experience, or you want to roll out change/innovation without impacting the existing experience, an experience audit is the best way to find those answers.

What is an experience audit?

An experience audit helps you identify customer experience strengths and weaknesses. Where are you making people feel good, and where are you losing them? Where is the experience hard and where is it easy? Where is friction causing customers to jump off the path to purchase or hesitate to return to it?

These questions call for a deep dive into the processes you’re currently using that impact the customer experience. Many of these may be happening under the radar in departments that are not typically thought of as customer-facing.

An audit evaluates each one of these touchpoints to shed light on what your customers are really experiencing. It’s critical to gather a 360-degree view of the current state. Using specialized customer surveys/interviews, monitoring techniques and conversations with people inside and outside the business, we identify:

  • Current State - What does the customer lifecycle look like?

  • Pain Points - What issues are people experiencing?

  • Important Touchpoints - What kind of weight does each touchpoint have on the customer experience?

  • Opportunities for Improvement - What can an improved future-state experience look like?

But just as important as evaluating the direct experience, we also assess whether every aspect of your business is aligned and focused on the same goals and outcomes.

When would you need an experience audit?

The customer experience is perhaps the most important part of brand loyalty. When it’s time to set or reset your strategic direction, an experience audit should be part of the self-evaluation process that goes into that.

A more pressing reason to do an experience audit is when you’re finding it challenging to connect with customers. Maybe you’ve noticed a drop in customer retention or a rise in churn rate? These are red flags that there are stutter steps in your customer experience.

You may not be sure where to start addressing these issues because you don’t know which touchpoint or department is the cause. Or, you may not have the tools required or processes in place to improve customer relationships. An experience audit will identify the underlying problems and the best ways to solve them.

If your company has planned disruptions coming up or changes that could affect relationships with your customers, an experience audit can help you prepare for it. These audits provide the emotional information you need to keep both customers and employees engaged through the disruption.

According to the PwC report “Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right,” 63% of U.S. consumers said they would provide more information if a company offers a great experience, and 73% said the customer experience is an important factor when they’re making a purchase decision. Yet, over half of them (54%) said most companies need to improve their customer experience.

There is clearly a need for more brands to step up. It’s never the wrong time to focus on making better connections and providing more engaging experiences for your customers.

Balance your customer experience books

Experience audits help brands understand how customer relationships are related to every part of the business. Where the audit finds your processes and mission don’t add up, that’s an opportunity to take purposeful action to improve the experiences people are having with your business.

You can’t fix what you don’t measure. Part of being successful is knowing where you are now and where to focus your efforts. Experience audits give you a 360-degree look at what customer experiences look like from inside and outside of your business.

The audit process is enlightening. It’s an opportunity to engage in conversations with your people and observe how your brand communicates internally and externally. Our experience with these audits allows us to customize an approach to your specific needs.

Every part of your business talks, and customers are paying attention. The LIVE 8 principles guide the work we do to help businesses improve brand culture, implement changes throughout the business and create better, longer-lasting customer relationships.

This is what becoming an ExperienceBuilt brand is all about — making better connections. Allow us to help you explore the areas where your business can make the most meaningful improvement.

We also created an ExperienceBuilt Brand Index Study, which surveyed people about brand interactions across over 70 brands and 5 industries. Download the Index for free and see where your business fits in.


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