What is all the fuss about Customer Experience Management (CEM)? According to recent research, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The customer experience is no longer just a buzzword, it’s an opportunity to give your company a competitive advantage. In this exciting new world, customer experience management paves the way to growth.
First thing’s first: What is Customer Experience (CX)?
The Customer Experience is the sum-totality of how customers engage with a brand and boils down to two fundamental elements: perception and interaction. Every company provides a customer experience, regardless of size, industry, or even the intention to do so consciously. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about your company and its offerings and can drive profits and loyalty.
What is Customer Experience Management (CEM)?
Customer Experience Management is a systematic process that allows you to design, monitor, measure, and improve the customer experience. The goal for customer experience management is to meet and exceed customer expectations across different touchpoints in the customer journey.
Why should you care?
Customer experience management is important because when properly implemented it creates favorable outcomes for your business. Successful customer experience management:
- Impacts loyalty and advocacy
- Results in increased revenue streams
- Shrinks churn rates
- Establishes brand preference and creates positive brand associations
Where to start with CEM?
With so many different factors affecting the customer experience it can be challenging to figure out where to start. Here is a list with four steps to kick start successful customer experience management.
Use technology to your advantage
Customer experience management heavily relies on data to deliver insights and achieve organizational goals. There are a lot of tools out there, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, specifically designed to help with managing the customer experience. Take advantage of their functionalities to create the necessary infrastructure for successful CEM.
Pro tip: Make sure the CEM tools you use integrate with each other. This will save you time, effort and money.
Ask for feedback
To create an elevated customer experience, you need to understand your customers. To exceed customer expectations, you first need to know what those expectations are. The more you know about your customers and how they perceive their experience with your brand the bigger are the chances that the steps you are taking towards improving the customer experience will be in the right direction. Getting customer feedback is no longer a recommendation it is a necessity.
Pro tip: Incorporate the Voice of the Customer into your CEM to get the most of customer feedback.
Get information to the right people, at the right time
Customer experience management will provide you with insights that enable you to deliver the most value to your customers across the customer journey. To do so, direct CEM insights to the right person, at the right time. This allows for customer-centric driven decision making which creates opportunities to improve the experience or correct mistakes before they negatively affect your business.
Pro tip: Get everybody on the same page. Successful CEM is a company-wide undertaking. Dashboards are great tool to showcase where you currently stand with the customer experience and where you expect to get in the future.
Start tracking metrics (but don’t overdo it)
Customer experience management is a process and as such it takes time to produce results. It is important to keep track of your performance and reassess your CX strategy if you are not getting the desired outcomes. Decide which metrics make sense to track according to your overall business goals.
Pro tip: Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of customer experience metrics? Get started with these 10 CX KPIs.