The esteemed Connecticut-based international research firm, Gartner defines Customer Experience Management (CEM) as, “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”
Effective customer experience management allows your company take control of customer interactions by developing a complete holistic view of your customers that enables the delivery of personalized experiences. These experiences result in positive Word of Mouth from customers who are delighted because of their exceptional customer experience with your brand.
Positive Word of Mouth is highly coveted but hard to get. Think about it for a minute…
An experience with a company of brand that was so awesome it resulted in unsolicited testimony from one person to another because they felt compelled to share the information.
When’s the last time you had a positive experience that moved you to tell a family member, friend, or business associate?
Achieving a deep level of knowledge about your customers requires a lot of effort and requires obtaining insight from all the touch points and channels throughout your whole enterprise. Then, extracting heaps of data from digital and traditional channels to glean useful insights from all of that data so it can be utilized precisely.
The Importance of Customer Experience Management
Gartner’s studies indicate 89% of companies are now competing primarily on the basis of customer experience. This has changed the game and made customer experiences a key differentiator. Brands that dismiss this concept do so at their own peril.
Let’s face the facts.
Upset customers hit the ‘eject’ button very quickly and discourage potential new customers with the negative comments they post online.
Conversely, delighted customers drive revenue growth, and spend more money during their more frequent transactions. Their positive online posts generate favorable brand perceptions in the minds of potential new customers, which encourage consideration, evaluation, and purchases of your offerings.
Exceptional customer experiences can create a lively environment for your brand that increases loyalty and earnings.
Since it’s many times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones, reducing customer churn makes good business sense.
Thorough Understandings are Required to Personalize
Before you can manage customer experiences, you need to understand your customers and their characteristics of their experiences.
A crucial component is creating Voice of Customer (VoC) mechanisms purposefully designed to generate ongoing meaningful dialogues to obtain the relevant insights required to deliver the personal experiences customers enjoy.
These insights should be shared to the proper people across your organization so all parties involved in providing customer experiences have information that’s germane. In addition, all the personnel involved in these processes need to be empowered so they can take action to enhance personalized experiences whenever possible.
Since B2B customer experiences are typically spread across departments, it’s necessary to define who owns the customer experience, and how ‘handoffs’ are managed internally. What’s more, it’s wise to predict where these handoffs will be ambiguous, and how they’ll be controlled so customer experiences are not endangered.
These customer-centric processes help ensure consistent brand interactions for customers, whether their dealings are online, with your call center, or at a bricks-and-mortar location; in spite of the separate dedicated groups that manage these different channels. Customers are interested in themselves; not why your organization is structured the way it is.
While all the stages of customers’ life cycle are important and present opportunities to enrich your customers’ experiences, be mindful of their experiences after their purchases. This part of the life cycle provides openings to engage in direct dialogues to obtain important insights to incorporate into your personalization processes as you move forward.