We’ve all heard the saying, ‘the customer is king’, and with good reason. Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is an integral component of any successful organisation. An organisation is nothing without its customers, therefore, managing and exceeding customer expectations is vital.
A common mistake that many people make is that they fail to differentiate between customer service and customer experience. The two go hand in hand, however, the former refers to a one-dimensional interaction with your organisation whereas the latter focuses on the range of emotions experienced during the entirety of your customer’s journey with the brand.
Once you nail your customer experience, you increase brand loyalty and retain happy customers, which, in turn, results in higher earnings. It’s easy to note the importance of customer experience management, but how can you ensure your CXM strategy is delivering palpable results?
In this blog, we will touch upon several aspects of customer experience management. More specifically, we will cover:
- What is customer experience management?
- The difference between customer relationship management and customer experience management
- The importance of customer experience management
- Ways to improve your customer experience management
- Why you should invest in a multichannel communication platform
What is customer experience management?
It’s not as simple as measuring customer satisfaction with a survey. Whilst many of you will probably know what it is, the customer experience management definition is much broader and is always good to explain as a reminder.
Customer experience management is a business strategy that analyses the relationship between the customer and the organisation as a whole. It focuses on all customer interactions with the business, from the beginning of the customer lifecycle until the end.
It’s more about getting to know your customers inside and out, deciphering the conscious, and subconscious perceptions they have of your brand, and creating a management program that corrects these impressions. Ultimately, the purpose behind customer experience management is to drive customer loyalty, advocacy, and fulfilment.
Part of this strategy should include customer communications management (CCM), which ultimately connects a business to its customers and vice versa through clear and personalised communication. CCM is successful if it delivers a great customer experience, increasing customer engagement, profitability and loyalty. So you can see how they both work together.
Customer relationship management vs. customer experience management
Managing customer experience and relationships involves analysing the constant interactions between both parties and trying to create more optimised procedures. They both focus on the relationship between the organisation and the customer from start to finish.
However, the most significant difference between customer experience management vs customer relationship management is the contrast in perspectives.
Customer relationship management focuses on sales and how the organisation perceives the customer. It’s a method that collects customer information and tries to drive customer acquisition and purchases.
Customer relationship management is concerned with transactional metrics and learning how the relationship is built, for example, how long does the average customer spend on your website.
On the other hand, managing online customer experience focuses on how the customer perceives the company. This method is customer-centric and aims to increase brand loyalty by creating an impeccable experience.
Customer and brand experience management is focused on monitoring the experience of the customer and finding ways to improve this, for example, was your product or service easy to use?
The importance of customer experience management
Customer experience management strategy has become a necessity for any organisation looking to survive in a cut-throat and competitive market.
With a simple click of a button, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of organisations offering similar services. However, only the organisations that are customer facing and with the best practices in customer experience management are the ones that stand out.
The benefits of good customer experience management are widespread; a solid strategy encourages loyal customers to endorse your organisation and your services, strengthens the reputation of your brand, boosts revenues via incremental sales from existing customers, and brings in new sales from word of mouth.
There’s no better way to advertise your brand than by delivering an outstanding service or experience. Unfortunately, you can’t buy customer loyalty, but you can absolutely improve your customers’ experience, leading to a greater number of brand advocates.
Not only this but managing the online customer experience allows companies to cut down on costs. Customer acquisition costs are typicallyhigher than customer retention costs, and a loyal customer is willing to spend much more than a new one, so keeping your clients happy helps lower costs and drive sales.
How to improve customer experience management
There are many ways to bolster your existing CXM strategy and below are just a few of our favourite methods.
1. Understand your customer and their journey
You can’t improve your customer’s experience unless you understand who they are. Define your customer persona and recognise your target market in real-time. What are their goals? What are their values?
Once you understand your customer, you’ll be able to create a robust and accurate customer journey map, which will help you understand how to deliver the best customer experience for them.
2. Create a clear customer experience vision
Make sure your brand has a set of core values and embed these throughout your organisation’s culture. For example, if you preach sustainability, you must practice it as well.
3. Use customer data, insight, and sentiment
If you’re not sure how your customers perceive you, simply ask. Use follow-up emails, satisfaction surveys, and live chat tools to gain a real understanding of your customer’s sentiments. Once you’ve gathered this information, don’t forget to use the customer feedback to make tangible improvements.
4. Develop an emotional connection
In an increasingly digitised world, emotional connection surpasses all other feelings. Tell authentic stories, operate with transparency, and create personalised experiences to truly develop this connection.
5. Build a customer-centric culture
If you’re going to invest in customer experience management, you need to ensure your company culture is customer-centric. Hire people that understand the value of your clients and facilitate direct interaction between employees and customers.
6. Optimise your existing customer journey
Focus on the experience of your customer from start to finish. Identify any issues or queries they may have along the way and improve these problem areas to enhance your customer’s journey.
7. Personalise every stage of a customer journey
This ties in with knowing your customer. Make sure to offer useful content at the right time and in the right format. For example, holidays like Father’s or Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for certain customers, so ask if they would prefer to opt-out from receiving relevant newsletters or offers. Some customers may also love using social media, so make sure you get your brand in front of them there.
8. Leverage the power of automation
If you want to enhance your digital customer experience management strategy, you should embrace and leverage the power of automation. Automation technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence, can be used to track customer experience management metrics and provide valuable insight.
9. Invest in customer loyalty programs
Once you’ve acquired your customers, you can incentivise them to stick with you by investing in customer loyalty programs. For example, providing discounts when they make a certain number of purchases.
10. Empower your employees
The satisfaction levels between employees and customers are easily correlated. An empowered and motivated employee will approach their work with more liveliness, which in turn, results in a better customer experience.
11. Evaluate the success and downfalls of each touchpoint
Evaluate which areas your customer experience excels in, and which touchpoints are lacking. Embrace the critique that you receive and make changes based on this feedback. After all, this is the best way to improve your product or service and your customer’s experience.
Invest in a multichannel communication platform
If you want your business to thrive, you’ll need to accept that the customer comes first. Whether you’re just beginning to create a customer experience strategy, or you’re simply looking to improve the one you already have, a multichannel communication platform will help you achieve many of your customer experience goals.
Using one of these document management platforms, such as Aceni, is an easy way to keep track of your communication strategy. With Aceni, you can automate, control, and deliver your outbound customer documents and achieve digital transformation in just a matter of weeks, not months. If you haven’t got a consistent and reliable stream of communication with customers, a multichannel platform is the best way to expedite the process.
Investing in a multichannel communication platform allows companies to create a heightened customer experience by offering strategic insight about customers. It lets you consolidate all communication components into a single perspective and allows you to manage your customer experience metrics as a whole.
Furthermore, you only need to pay for the service as you use it – there’s no need for license or user fees. As well as complying with all UK data processing regulations, you’ll also witness a rapid return on your investment and start reaping the benefits of customer experience management as soon as you start to manage your outbound communications.
Overall, we can agree that all successful organisations place an important emphasis on their customers and their experience. We’ve noted the similarities of customer relationship management vs customer experience management, as well as the stark contrast in perspectives.
At the end of the day, a happy customer equals a better reputation, increased sales, and more brand advocates. If you are an organisation that hopes to bolster customer loyalty, endorsement, and fulfilment, you should consider investing in a well-developed customer experience management strategy.
A multichannel communication system is the easiest way to consolidate all your outbound communications and create a harmonious customer experience. If you’re interested in learning more about Datagraphic’s services in this field or need some further advice with regards to Aceni, please don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo.