Customer experience can be defined as a collection of interactions or experiences of the customer while buying the product or availing the service from the customers' point of view. For example, it could be the customer's reaction or feeling – conscious or subconscious – to the product or promotion or anything related to the buying process.
The customer experience starts right from the company's promotion of product or service until 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, goodwill and increased brand equity in the market.
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 customer's expectations 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 measured relative to other companies, and no company can provide a perfect customer experience.
Key Components of CRM
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one perfect example. It is a technical strategy that learns more about the needs and behaviours of customers for building relations—as such, communicating with consumers is more of a philosophy in business than a technological solution.
To help you answer that, below are the key tools and components of CRM vital to your business;
In CRM implementations, simultaneous processes run at once. This requires efficient cost reduction as well as streamlining procedures. Workflow Automation is the practice of doing so.
Not only does it reduce unnecessary costs, but it also stops people from doing repetitive tasks.
For instance, documentation and filling out forms are some steps needed in the business process. Yet, these two processes usually get wasted as avoidable tasks.
With CRM workflow automation, time-loss and unnecessary excess efforts are prevented.
Marketing and sales are two processes that wouldn't benefit a business if they ate on their own. Your CRM software handles these two complementary processes for you. If marketing and salesforce integration is achieved, the marketing department can move leads directly to sales.
In the same manner, sales teams analyze campaign results and access them from customer responses. Doing so enables the Organization to determine what information is served to the customers.
Furthermore, sales automation is an integral component that includes sales forecasting, processing, recording, and tracking.
It sets out the potential for increasing revenue and helps in evaluating sales as well as results.
Human Resource Management
This vital component of CRM involves utilizing human resources effectively and accurately. HR management ensures that the professionals' capabilities and intellectual levels match the tasks. What makes it an essential CRM component for your business?
First is, it's not only for large-scale corporate interests but also for the medium-scale industries. Second, it includes the application of an efficient solution for people and skill development.
Secondly, the workforce's growth and development are considered in crafting strategies to succeed with HR management.
Lead Management in CRM implementation is used to keep track of the prospects and their dispersion.
This component is extensively used in sales, marketing, and customer service processes. It includes anything from effective campaign management to customized forms and even communications. It also studies customers' buying behaviours to identify potential sales leads.
Ensure that the CRM software you use will help you easily run through a listing of all of your marketing leads. Moreover, it provides links to vital information like the prospect's details, successful conversions, website activities, etc.
Additionally, a reliable CRM software allows you to contact, email, chat or make appointments with your prospective clients all in one place. Therefore, a CRM program that can not gather as much information regarding the potential leads is practicably futile.
Before investing in your business' products or services, a client goes through several processes. Following every client through these steps of their journey towards buying what you offer is imperative.
That is, to ensure that they consider taking your desired action. CRM software's pipeline management component will classify your customers based on their purchasing journey stage. This facility provides the chance to reach out to the best offers— or best hasten the deal to a close.
Marketing is Customer Relationship Management's most crucial component. It pertains to promotional activities that a company takes to advertise its products. This same process could be aimed at a specific or general audience.
CRM helps throughout the marketing strategy by enhancing the usefulness of advertising strategies. This is achieved by observing and studying the behaviours of prospective customers.
Furthermore, marketing is a component that further brings with it diverse subcomponents. For example, campaign management, activity and document management, etc., to name a few. However, the use of these sub-components varies with each business.
Customer service functions to collect information from consumers, pieces of information, such as their buying habits and other relevant data. This information helps businesses expand their understanding of customer needs and complaints.
Your relationship with customers isn't cut short upon closing the deal. There are order fulfilments, questions to be answered, and sometimes complaints to be addressed.
For your customers to be satisfied with your product or services, you need CRM software. It will handle both customer service and case management for your business.
With excellent customer service in place, your product or services would instantly please the customer.
It can also cut costs, improve employee engagement, boost efficiency, maximize profit, and manage upsells better.
CRM systems are responsible for the provision of various business records. It can create multiple reports that are precise and accurate. Not only that CRM systems produce reports, but it also exports business reports to interconnected networks.
One specific report that comes with CRM systems is customer service reports. Such analysis helps the company's executives gain insight into their day-to-day operations and management. This helps them to realize the company's exact position with regard to their goals. In addition, CRM provides business updates, which makes reporting a component that plays an important role.
Analytics is essential in every business as it analyses and reflects data to keep track of market trends.
However, in achieving a thorough understanding and analysis of trends, data must be easy to interpret.
This is possible by presenting data in graphical representations— diagrams, histograms, or graphs. These representations make use of both previous and current data.
8 Elements of Successful CRM Implementation
A CRM system will only be effective if people in the Organization use it diligently. That is why executive support is very important. CRM is for everyone in the Organization with various degrees of privileges. So, Involvement is required at every level. Since the top management drives the opinions and culture in the Organization, their support sends a positive ripple.
As mentioned earlier, a detailed plan needs to be formulated which reflects the Company values, mission, and vision.
You must account for each and every aspect of the plan, including a contingency plan. During the planning stage, you need to identify stakeholders and collect information about your exact requirements.
Then, you need to create a prioritized list of initiatives and their corresponding actions to determine the implications and the project timeline.
The right technology is very important for any CRM Implementation. Evaluating your current status and assessing the compatibility of the new system are basic groundwork that needs to be done.
Right CRM Implementation
Once you have chosen the sales CRM system you want to opt for and the one that suits your business the best, the next step is the actual implementation. CRM Implementation involves a lot of changes, so you can think about executing in phases so that you can manage one thing at a time and then integrate.
Migration from your current state to an automated one often becomes tedious, but you need to plan ahead. A dedicated and specialized team can be pre-trained to handle things better. Then, you can announce the launch with a bang so that everyone feels excited about it.
After CRM Implementation, the first thing is educating your workforce about it and training them to use it. It is not just to teach them how to use the system but also to urge them to set best practices. If you have opted for a specific vendor, you can organize specialized training sessions for different levels.
Both theoretical and practical aspects need to be explained through training. Ensure you assign a good project manager who can handle the end-to-end process. The sales reps need to understand the system thoroughly and get motivated to use it. Make sure there are proper training manuals which can help them later.
From a strategic perspective, CRM implementation has an organization-wide influence. Different functions and departments need to be integrated and connected to support a smooth, streamlined flow of information. They need to accept the system such that everyone gets the right information.
Direct and indirect Involvement of customers in CRM Implementation can strengthen the system. This will help the Organization to analyze the customer relationship life cycle and find the areas of problems that CRM can manage.
Setting guidelines and CRM strategy
Finally, you need to teach a CRM philosophy. The internal usage guidelines need to be laid down. People can be the main factor for both the success and failure of a CRM Implementation. A CRM system helps you to develop and maintain a strong relationship with customers. It helps you to build a customer-centred business model.
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 experience:
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 customer experience. Since they are the company's face to the customers, a standard protocol should be devised for customers to maintain customer experience standards. It doesn't stop at simply training, but it also oversees 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. In addition, every interaction with the customer 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 complained 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.
Understand the Customer
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. Generation of need preferred buying medium, time, occasion, tastes, age distribution, and such things that help in proper positioning and targeting the product to the right set of customers is crucial.
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 effectively manage the customer experience.
A part of customer experience in dealing with customer service and sales team. 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 and 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.
However, 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 in order to manage customer experiences.
Better product or service
One of the basic necessities for excellent customer experience management is to ensure a unique and best in the market product or service. Customers avail a service or buy a product based on their need, and if the need is not properly fulfilled, chances are the customer experience will turn negative. On the other hand, an excellent product can always make customers loyal to the brand, and it also is an important step to provide an excellent customer experience.
For example, the iPad is undoubtedly the market leader in the tablet market. Suppose the customer buys any other tablet based on economical price. In that case, chances are he won't be satisfied and later return to buying an iPad because, although costly, Apple has ensured that the standards are the best in the market. Once the customer is satisfied with the product, price and other factors would not be a hindrance.
For years, people have had 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 a 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. Therefore, one has to ensure that product or service is of superior quality in order to excel at customer experience.
Ethics and Transparency
Effective customer experience management finally comes down to the company's work culture, business ethics, 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 with 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 grew exponentially throughout the world was the standardization of their outlets. One can walk in any McDonalds in the world and get the same feeling everywhere. Differences include only in 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.
Above was the complete description of Customer experience management, its importance and how to manage the customer experience in your Organization. I hope the article helps you in my business/organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
A great customer experience is easy and fast. But it's also built with empathy in mind and reflects customers' values. In fact, 65 percent of customers want to buy from companies that offer quick and easy online transactions, and 54 percent want to buy from companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities and workplaces, according to our Trends Report.
The role of a customer experience team is to ensure the company meets customers' needs and expectations. This might include sharing customer feedback that the customer service team collects across the organization to solve pain points.
Good customer experience management can: Strengthen brand preference through differentiated experiences. Improve customer loyalty (and create advocates) through valued and memorable customer interactions. Lower costs by reducing customer churn.