A report released by Forrester found a link between good CXM and rising stocks in the top-performing CXM brands. Another study by the Temkin Group found that if companies that earn $1 billion annually invest in customer experience, they can expect to earn an additional $700 million within 3 years.
This is because successful customer experience strategies achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, increased revenue, and reduced customer churn.
But would your customers pay for better CX?
Yes, according to research by American Express, which revealed that 60% of customers would be willing to pay more for a better experience.
Customer experience management – what is it exactly?
So CXM is good for business, but what is it exactly?
Customer experience (which also goes by the infinitely cooler “CX”) consists of all the physical and digital interactions between an organization and customer throughout the business relationship. This includes discovery, awareness, cultivation, purchases, service, and advocacy.
CX is an essential part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) because we all know that a customer who has a positive experience with your business is likely to buy again and become brand loyal. So, if you want your customers to stay loyal, invest in their experience!
CXM is effectively the using of behavioral data, customer insights, and marketing technology to understand and optimize each step of the customer journey. Several brands have intermixed CXM with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help manage customer data and predict their future interactions.
6 best practices to follow to enhance customer experience management
Below are six guiding principles to follow when looking to enhance your customer experience.
1. Put your customers first by creating a customer-centric culture
When looking to improve customer experience, you need to also think about how you can improve employee experience because, after all, happy employees lead to happy customers. To do this, first and foremost, you must shift your focus from profit-centric to more people-centric. Then, examine the company culture.
What exactly is culture?
“Culture is what people do when no one is looking”, Gerard Seijts and Herbert Kelleher say.
In other words, culture is made up of core values and behaviors. When a business has clearly defined core values and guiding principles, the right behavior is easy to identify. That said, your organization’s values should provide a clear outline of what behaviors support a people-first mindset entail.
Next, tackle the mission, vision, and purpose. When each employee sees the vision and understands the objectives of the company, they feel included in the bigger picture. Once a company has laid the foundation with clearly communicated, people-first values, mission, vision, and purpose, you’ve got the right ingredients for a customer-centric culture.
2. Map your customer journey
Illustrating your customer journey in the form of a map can shed light on gaps between customer expectations and their actual experience at each stage along their journey. Customer journey maps should include context, touchpoints, outcomes, and personas.
If you’re new to customer journey mapping, be sure to carefully outline your customer’s objectives. Then identify the processes and specific customers (i.e. build your personas) that will be targeted in the customer journey. For each key customer segment, complete a new customer journey map.
Once you’re an expert customer journey mapper, begin to map your customer experience. Customer experience maps go one step further in examining the entire customer experience with a brand by analyzing behavior and interactions across channels and touchpoints. These maps show the process of interactions between each customer segment and your brand.
They also show potential points of interaction throughout the entire buying journey.
Experience maps are essential for understanding why customers may not be having the best experience with your brand – especially if you’re unsure of where the disconnect is happening.
3. Integrate your customer support channels
When looking for a CXM system, opt for a vendor that offers an integrated platform and has a commitment to customer success. An integrated marketing platform is key for agility when working with customers.
Rather than managing each customer interaction independently, it’s also advisable to connect your client’s contacts with your company for the duration of their entire journey. This means tracking their interactions through mobile, desktop, and customer service channels.
Allow your customers to have access to support via chat or a call from the website, both for desktop and mobile. This creates an easy multi-channel experience.
4. Define activities which can be automated
Automating certain repetitive tasks can help with efficiencies while enabling you to collect data and learn more about your customer. However, be careful when identifying which activities to automate. Over-automating can result in managing your customer journey rather than optimizing it.
5. Make sure that customer problems are dealt with personally
Do you need to personalize your customers’ experience? Yes – research has shown that customers expect highly personalized experiences and custom-tailored service. Businesses that don’t deliver these personalized expectations suffer for it; 7% of customers felt some level of frustration when their experience was impersonal.
However, you can’t personalize your customer experience if you don’t know your customers. So, to get to know your customers, we suggest using an innovative customer data platform to listen to customers, gather data about your interactions with them, and learn from their behavior. Once you know your customers a little better, you can target their unique interests and meet their demands, which in turn is good for business as personalization leads to happier impulse buyers and fewer returns.
6. Measure customer satisfaction (trust in data)
Once you’ve implemented your CXM strategy, make sure to track your results and the response from your customers. A quick survey can help you gather feedback from customers to understand how the changes may have impacted their experience and satisfaction levels. Then use this information to make it even better.
Customer experience management is a key factor in the success of any business and can be improved by addressing business culture, understanding your customers’ needs and expectations, personalization, and by using a combination of software, research, analytics, and data-management systems.