Customer experience management is a process of managing the collection of interactions or experiences of the customer while buying the product or availing of the service from the customer’s point of view. It could be a reaction or feeling – conscious or subconscious – of the customer to the product or promotion or anything which is related to the buying process.
The customer experience starts right from the promotion of a product or service by the company to the buying process and after-sales service. A good customer experience can be evaluated by repeat buying or repeat sales. Companies have rated customer experience as one of the most important criteria for customer satisfaction, and goodwill and to increase brand equity in the market.
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What is Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM)?
Customer Experience Management is the process of handling customer interactions with a company to ensure a positive experience from start to finish. This helps build relationships and loyalty between the company and customers. A customer experience management strategy uses customer data to improve the customer journey and optimize customer engagement.
An example of customer experience management is a company creating a user-friendly website experience where customers can easily view and purchase products, receive help when needed, and leave feedback. This type of customer experience management strategy helps ensure that the customer has an enjoyable shopping journey and will likely return in the future.
While Customer Relationship Management uses quantitative data to acquire customers, Customer Experience Management on the other hand looks at qualitative data from all the customer interaction points. CEM is more comprehensive than CRM. Customer experience management is overseeing the process of processing and executing the reactions to the customer reactions. This would be carried out either to meet or exceed the expectations of the customer and thereby increase customer satisfaction.
It is not a one-time strategy to execute rather it is a continuously developing process based on inputs provided by customers and experiences. Customer experience can never attain a level of completeness and saturation because it can always be improved. Customer experience is something that is measured relative to other companies and no company can provide a perfect customer experience.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience (CX) is the overall impression of a customer about an organization. It is determined by all the interactions that a customer has with the said organization – both direct and indirect.
Your company’s reputation is based on the overall customer experience. This can be gauged by analyzing the experiential metrics which measure the public perception of your business. It takes into consideration the –
- Customer Experience (CX) is the lasting impression customers get from interacting with a brand’s product or service, composed of emotions, reactions, and thoughts.
- Employee Experience (EX) involves the feelings, views, and ideas that come from being part of an organization as either a current or former employee. It reflects the overall experience of working within a company.
- Brand Experience (BX) involves creating positive emotions and perceptions through interactions with brands, which could influence future buying decisions.
Example of Customer Experience Management
Amazon’s 1-Click ordering feature is an excellent example of how CEM works.
It gives customers the advantage of conveniently purchasing items without having to enter their payment information every time. This saves time and makes the checkout process more efficient.
Amazon strives to make the customer experience as smooth and convenient as possible. This includes providing product recommendations tailored to each individual’s previous purchases, as well as making the checkout process simpler so customers can quickly finish their orders.
Why is Customer Experience Management Important?
Some of the reasons behind the importance of customer –
- Reiterates the branding to promote Brand Recall via a variety of experiences – A successful customer experience management helps in building and developing brands in the minds of the customer, which ultimately helps in the long-term association of the customers and the company.
- Increases profits by enhanced sales from a cocktail of new and existing customers – A better customer experience is a sure way of getting sales and it can be from new or existing customers. A satisfied customer will always bring repeat sales and act as word-of-mouth
- Customer experience management helps to improve Brand loyalty with the help of better and positive customer interactions, customer satisfaction, and customer goodwill. In the long run, these are assets for any company to grow and build its future upon.
- Propagates word-of-mouth about the customer experience thereby pulling in new customers
- Inculcate the internal staff with better values and the importance of Good customer experience thereby improving the process of customer experience management
How to Manage Customer Experience?
Customer experience management can be done with a good customer experience strategy, which differs from company to company and is largely based on the nature of products or services and the nature of the industry. However, the following are the factors that can be managed which in turn manage a positive outcome of customer journey experience:
1) Training and Education
The customer service and Sales teams are the first points of contact for customers. Training should be provided to both teams emphasizing the importance of providing a better experience. Since they are the face of the company to the customers, a standard protocol should be devised for customers to maintain consumer experience standards. It doesn’t stop at simply training but it also continues with overseeing the application of the same by the staff to the customers.
The customer experience teams should be trained to greet each customer personally with a personal welcome gesture. Every interaction during the customer journey should be personal to bring a unique feel to the customer experience.
Being just a sales or customer representative with standard texts, although a proper approach, would never excel in customer experience. Instead of being a solution provider, suggesting to close the sale, if necessary, are a few things that can be followed. For this understanding correct customer touchpoints are necessary.
For example, it wouldn’t be correct to promote a new product to a customer who has a complaint about an existing product. Rather proactively promoting a product to a customer when he is walking in front of the store would be the right approach.
3) Understand the Customer’s Profile
The importance of knowing the customer profile cannot be emphasized enough. The company should know everything there is to know about their customers when it comes to buying it. Using customer journey maps can help you in understanding your customers.
Personalization can only be done effectively if you know your customer. There are several ways to obtain data such as market research, sales team, competitor data, etc. The involvement of social media has made it even easier to access such data.
For example, Facebook pages give Customer insights that have detailed reports of data like customer age group distribution, geography, gender, number of clicks, number of likes, dislikes, time at which maximum users are online, etc. This gives a detailed insight into understanding the customer and customizing the promotion accordingly to manage the customer experience more effectively.
4) Effective Teams
A part of customer experience is dealing with customer service and sales teams. It is very important that the sales pitching should be realistic rather than unrealistic. For this process, monitoring is important on the company’s part.
One wrong message from the sales team can geometrically amplify customer expectations and if they are not met, it results in a bad customer experience, hence monitoring the sales team is important. The next entity in this process is the customer service team. Effective and fast customer service can save the business and ensure customer loyalty.
Industries like the aviation sector, hotel industry, and hospitals rely solely on providing a top-notch customer experience. One dissatisfied customer can spread negative word of mouth and the company could lose ten potential prospects based on customer service. Hence it is very important to monitor Sales and Customer service teams to manage customer experiences.
5) Better product or service
This is one of the necessities for excellent customer experience management – to ensure a unique and best-in-the-market product or service. Customers avail of a service or buy a product based on their needs and if the need is not properly fulfilled, chances are the customer experience will turn negative. An excellent product can always make customers loyal to the brand and it also is an important step to providing an excellent customer experience.
For example, iPad is undoubtedly the market leader in the tablet market. If the customer buys any other tablet based on economic price, chances are he won’t be satisfied and later return to buying iPad because although costly, Apple has ensured that the standards are the best in the market and once the customer is satisfied with the product, price and other factors would not be a hindrance.
For years, people have Southwest Airlines as best owing to its service. The idea of management is to focus on internal stakeholders which are employees. They say that we ensure that our employees are satisfied with their job since they are the ones who represent us to customers and a satisfied employee will always be responsible for a better customer experience by providing better service.
Similarly, Starbucks focuses on employee training excessively. The training and development focus on not only developing them as better employees but also as better humans. People don’t pay for an expensive coffee, rather they pay for the experience. One has to ensure that the product or service is of superior quality to excel at customer experience.
6) Ethics and Transparency
Effective customer experience management finally comes down to the work culture, business ethics of the company, and transparency and trust of the customer over the company. No customer would interact with a company if the state of the employees is not good or where there is no transparency in operations. To develop trust, transparency is essential.
For example, people won’t trust a burger joint that has cheap meat burgers but the process of procuring the meat is shady. If the company is not willing to disclose the process of buying meat to the customers, there would be no trust and customers would move on to another smaller burger joint even if it’s not famous but the processes are crystal clear.
One of the main reasons McDonald’s was able to grow exponentially throughout the world was the standardization of their outlets. One can walk into any Mcdonald’s in the world and get the same feeling everywhere.
Differences include only terms of menu options which are customized as per different geographies. This standardization adds to the customer experience and managing it is very important. Following its footsteps, others have joined the league like KFC, Burger King, Subway, etc.
Using customer experience management software can be quite effective in alleviating these processes and optimizing the implementation of customer experience management strategies.
Challenges Marketers Face in CEM
- Consistent brand experience across all channels – Customers prefer a consistent brand experience across all channels, regardless of the level of service they receive.
- Integration of channel and brand experiences – Integrating channel and brand experiences is desirable, but difficult due to technological, organizational, and other barriers.
- Unifying data to offer a single view – A single view of the customer can improve communication by bringing together data from multiple sources and across different channels. Silos, fragmented data, and inconsistent processes make it hard to achieve consistent success.
How to Create a Good Customer Experience
Some of the steps that can help you create a good customer experience are –
- Create a Customer Experience Vision – Your goal should be to ensure that your customers have a pleasant, personalized, and effortless experience when engaging with your business. You should strive to give them a feeling of value and make a positive impression in every interaction.
- Know your customers – It is essential to build a comprehensive understanding of your customers. This should consist of more than just basic demographics and sales information – it should also include gaining insights into their needs, emotions & behaviors.
- Create a positive feeling about your brand & build a connection – Customers like to feel a personal connection when making purchases, which is especially true for repeat customers. Building an emotional bond with a brand can incredibly benefit businesses and help them secure customer loyalty.
- Pay heed to constructive communication – Companies are engaging with their customers more to gain better insights into the customer experience. This helps them understand how their services have been received and make necessary changes where needed.
- Have a well-trained team and measure ROI – It’s essential to ensure everybody in the team is contributing to excellent customer experience. Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) is an important step to celebrating your successes. Having a customer experience management mindset across the whole organization is important for ensuring seamless customer experience.
How Is CXM Different From CRM?
Some of the differences between customer experience management and customer relationship management –
|CXM is customer experience management, which centers on understanding customers' needs and wants, as well as creating a positive experience for them.||CRM, on the other hand, is customer relationship management and focuses on managing interactions with customers as they progress through their buyer's journey.|
|CXM puts the customer first.||CRM often focuses on increasing sales and profitability.|
|CXM is proactive in that it seeks to anticipate customers' needs and provide personalized experiences.||CRM is reactive, responding to customer inquiries as they arise.|
|CXM involves more than just gathering data. It's about leveraging that data to create meaningful customer experiences.||CRM, however, is more focused on tracking customer behavior and providing valuable insights for sales teams.|
Benefits of Customer Experience Management
1. A better understanding of customer expectations
Customer Experience Management (CEM) helps organizations gain a better understanding of their customer’s needs, behaviors, and preferences. By collecting customer feedback and analyzing it, companies can identify the areas where they need to improve customer experience and adjust their strategies accordingly.
2. Improved customer loyalty
CEM enables businesses to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty over time. This allows them to analyze customer opinions and address any dissatisfaction. This in turn leads to improved customer loyalty, as customers will be more likely to return if they feel their needs are being addressed.
3. Increased revenue
By improving the overall customer experience, CEM can directly lead to increased sales and revenue for a business. Customers who have positive experiences with a brand are more likely to buy from it, so CEM helps foster relationships with customers which can lead to increased revenue.
4. Cost savings
CEM can also help businesses save money by identifying areas where they need to improve customer service and reducing the cost of customer support. This allows them to focus their resources on initiatives that will provide the greatest benefit. Additionally, gathering customer feedback through CEM can provide valuable insights into customer needs and behaviors, allowing businesses to adjust their strategies accordingly.
5. Improved customer service
CEM helps companies understand how customers feel about their products and services, which in turn allows them to identify areas of improvement in their customer service. By using CEM to measure customer satisfaction, companies can adjust their processes to improve customer service and ensure that customers have a positive experience.
Above was the complete description of Customer experience management, its importance, and how to manage the customer experience in your organization.
In the end, we hope that you would have understood what is customer experience management strategy and how good customer experience management plays a crucial role in –
- Optimizing customer relationships by knowing how customers interact
- Improving customer lifecycle through customer journey mapping
- Enhancing customer retention through personalized customer experiences
- Streamlining customer conversations across multiple channels
- Advancing the entire customer journey by understanding customer sentiment
- Decreasing customer churn by paying attention to customer feedback, etc
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