What Is Customer Experience Management

What Is Customer Experience Management

Customer experience management is a process that helps you better understand the needs of your customers and provide them with the best possible service. 

It's an important component in every business, because customer satisfaction can make or break your company. The blog post will help you learn more about this topic by discussing how it relates to marketing and where you should start if you want to improve customer experience.    

Customer experience management is about more than serving your online customers. It's about more than knowing where customers shop and what brand of dog food they buy. 

It's about knowing your customers so completely that you can create and deliver personalized experiences that will entice them to not only remain loyal to you but also to evangelize to others about you – and that's the most valuable form of advertising there is.

Gaining this depth of knowledge about customers isn't something that just happens. It comes from extracting customer insight from all touchpoints and channels across your entire organization. 

It's about harnessing mountains of customer data from online channels and beyond and extracting valuable insight from that data with speed and precision.

The concept of customer experience may sound idealistic or touchy-feely, but anyone who dismisses it as such is woefully out of touch. 

In fact, customer experience has become a critical differentiator in today's hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace. There's tangible business value in managing the customer experience effectively. Good customer experience management can:

  • Strengthen brand preference through differentiated experiences.
  • Boost revenue with incremental sales from existing customers and new sales from word of mouth.
  • Improve customer loyalty (and create advocates) through valued and memorable customer interactions.
  • Lower costs by reducing customer churn.

What Are Types Of CRM

CRM solutions — and more importantly, their capabilities and benefits — often fall into one of the three types of CRMs listed below. Each comes with their own set of common capabilities and advantages, so it's good to get an overview of what they do and who they're best for.

Operational

This first type of CRM, as the name implies, is all about facilitating your operations. More specifically, your operations surrounding customers. Every interaction your brand has with current and potential customers is possible with an operational CRM.

It specifically covers three core areas — sales, marketing and service — to streamline tasks and enable your teams to deliver top-notch experiences to customers. In that sense, it's the most across-the-board option.

SalesForce Automation

First up, an operational CRM has tools that address the many aspects of the sales process. For example, it can distribute leads to sales reps and give them visibility into which leads are most worth pursuing via lead scoring.

It also handles the time-consuming task of creating records for each new contract, freeing sales reps to spend time selling. And along those lines, an operational CRM will have a content repository for storing and reusing commonly used documents such as proposals.

Finally, operational CRMs help improve processes and workflows by automating routine tasks.

This includes everything from scheduling meetings to transitioning leads through the pipeline to generating those valuable sales reports.

Marketing Automation

Even though they can serve as standalone solutions, marketing automation tools are often incorporated in CRMs. As a result, they form another core part of operational CRMs.

Marketing teams have a lot on their plates — run campaigns to generate new leads, nurture current leads till they're sales-ready, keep current customers coming back for more. Automating those processes means they can be more efficient and productive.

An operational CRM will let you set up complex email campaign sequences. Once the campaign is built, everything runs on autopilot. 

This is possible thanks to event-based marketing, where each new event in a lead or customer's journey triggers a reaction from the system.

You've probably interacted with such a campaign. For example, if you buy a new book to download to your Kindle, you might get a follow-up email with recommendations of books that are similar. That's event-based marketing at work.

These sequences can be as simple as a welcome email for new customers or as complex as a multi-stage nurturing sequence with dozens of potential paths based on how the lead reacts (or doesn't) to each new message.

Service Automation

An operational CRM also helps you automate customer service. One of the main ways it does this is by giving your customers self-service options

This covers things like setting up online autopay or scheduling an appointment from their phone.

Pretty standard stuff and something people have come to expect. But, it's only possible if you have an operational CRM in place.

You can also automate service by setting up a help centre or knowledgebase where customers can turn first to get their questions answered. Chatbots are also becoming more prevalent and serve as the first line of contact in your customer service process.

Benefits: How It Helps

With an operational CRM, you can:

  • Track critical information — everything from leads to sales KPIs
  • Gain insights to boost sales and revenue (e.g., finding the best opportunities to cross-sell and upsell)
  • Automate recurring activities, such as sending meeting reminders and assigning leads to the right sales reps
  • Manage a range of different marketing campaigns
  • Give customers a self-service option
  • Compare Top CRM Software Leaders

Analytical

A CRM, at its core, is nothing more than a database filled with reams of data from all over your business. For example, where leads come from, who's in the pipeline, tickets currently open, number of purchases for each product or service and on and on.

Storing that data is great. But it's not enough. It won't do you any good if you can't put that information to work to enhance your business. That's like owning Fort Knox but not having a way through the door to access the wealth inside.

An analytical CRM is a key by which you can unlock the vast amounts of data you've collected. Only then can you delve into the story the data's telling to continue doing what's successful and optimize what's not.

Data Mining

Data mining comes into play once you have a set of data you want to analyze.

Data mining is a bit complex, but the simple version is that it's a process you can use to make sense of your data and turn it from raw information into useful insights. It has a number of techniques, such as association, classification and anomaly detection, that let you find patterns and assign meaning to the data.

For example, you could use classification to create customer segments based on shared attributes. This could be anything from their age or which product they bought to how they found your company (Facebook ad, Google search, etc.).

Mothernode Analytics

One example of how to segment opportunities for greater insight.

As you can see, data mining is a powerful tool that can make your marketing smarter.

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

According to the official definition, "OLAP is a powerful technology for data discovery, including capabilities for limitless report viewing, complex analytical calculations, and predictive 'what if' scenario (budget, forecast) planning."

It forms the foundation of business intelligence tools, which let you slice and dice data sets, so you have the knowledge needed to take action. It's basically the difference between being a detective in a mystery novel, putting everything together one isolated clue at a time, and being the writer who knows the big picture and sees how all the pieces fit together.

A central part of OLAP is forecasting capabilities. The ability to run different scenarios and predict future demand has a ripple effect across your business. Instead of relying on guesswork, you can make data-driven decisions.

Benefits: How It Helps

If you use an analytical CRM, it will give you insights so rich it'll feel like you do own Fort Knox. At a practical level, this means you can:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Know the best times and customers to cross-sell or upsell
  • Boost those customer retention rates
  • Target prospects, leads and customers with relevant content
  • Grow revenue by analyzing what sells and what doesn't
  • Identify your weak spots and work to improve them
  • Create detailed customer journeys and buyer personas
  • Optimize marketing campaigns

Collaborative

Once again, the name is a dead giveaway. This CRM type (also referred to as strategic CRMs) is all about making communication and collaboration more efficient across your teams.

Techopedia defines it as a "CRM approach in which the customer interaction data of an organization is integrated and synchronously shared to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty for maximized profitability and revenue."

As you can see, collaborative CRM (also called CCRM) isn't merely — or even mainly — for internal purposes. The entire goal is to better serve your customers. The means to that end is by giving your teams access to critical information.

Interaction Management

Here, the focus is on interactions between your company and customers. This feature allows you to log all the touchpoints a customer or prospect has with your brand to create a 360-degree view.

Once you have this visibility, you can map each individual's customer journey and understand how, why and where they're interacting with your company. From there, you can make improvements and base decisions on facts instead of guesses. For example, if you find out customers keep coming to you with the same problem, you can highlight that in your marketing content.

Within interaction management, there are tools that let you group contacts based on various criteria, map behaviours to improve interactions, filter results for more precise views and more.

Channel Management

Customers have a plethora of channels they can choose to connect on — social media, email and phone, to name a few.

Your goal is to meet them on whichever channels they prefer. Channel management makes that possible at every stage, whether it's a prospect reaching out for more info or a customer calling the help desk with an issue.

Benefits: How It Helps

Collaborative CRM leads to benefits such as:

  • Improved cross-team communication
  • Integrated data for a complete view of your customers
  • Consistent support for customers across their channels of choice
  • Data-driven interactions with customers
  • A holistic approach to managing the entire customer journey
  • Messaging based on real pain points

The Benefits of CRM

Collecting and organizing actionable customer data is a full-time job, and one that isn't very forgiving of mistakes—as such, investing in a high-quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is a must for any business that wants to take customer satisfaction to the next level. CRM offers a number of advantages that will help you identify, understand, and assist your clients so that you'll never have to worry about losing revenue due to incomplete data. 

Here are six benefits of CRM software that can help your company find success.

Improved Informational Organization

The more you know about your customers, the better you'll be able to provide them with the kind of positive experience that pays off. Everything they do and every interaction they have with your organization needs to be identified, documented, and recorded. 

To do this, you need to move beyond the sticky notes and disorganized filing cabinets and start utilizing advanced organizational technology that can accurately quantify and categorize data for easy future reference and make that data available across departments. Thanks to CRM, this all becomes a possibility. It allows you to store a vast list of customers and any important information regarding them. 

Access to their file is even more convenient than before due to the cloud, so they'll have the same actionable data instantly available no matter who it is helping the customer in question. This will result in less wasted time for clients and employees.

CRM for Enhanced Communication

As mentioned above, CRM makes it possible for any employee to provide the same high level of service by accessing the same customer data. 

After all, even if your customers have a single, main point of contact, there's a good chance that at some point that contact may not be available, and the client will be forced to have to work with someone new. 

When that happens, many customers face the unhappy prospect of 'start fresh' with someone who doesn't understand their unique preferences and issues. 

CRM does away with this concern by making detailed customer information communicable to whoever might need it. As such, it won't matter who is currently assisting the client because they'll be working from the same information. 

And given that CRM is cloud-based and accessible from any device with an internet connection, the communication benefits of mobile CRM are not limited to the office.

CRM Improves Your Customer Service

Your time is valuable, but so is your customers' time. And, should your customers experience a problem that needs resolution, they will be unhappy unless that problem can be taken care of quickly. 

With CRM, as soon as a customer contacts your company, your representatives will be able to retrieve all available activity concerning past purchases, preferences, and anything else that might assist them in finding a solution. In many cases, your more experienced representatives, armed with past information and history, will be able to locate a solution within the first few minutes, thanks to an accessible database of potential issues. 

And, should a solution not be readily apparent, then bringing in other representatives, or even crowdsourcing for answers through customer portals is a simple matter. With CRM, customer support becomes a walk in the park.

Automation of Everyday Tasks

Completing a sale is never as easy as just getting a customer to agree to commit. Along with the surface details of any sale, there are hundreds of smaller tasks that must be completed in order for everything to function properly. 

Forms need to be filled out, reports need to be sent, legal issues need to be addressed—these ancillary chores are a time consuming yet vital aspect of the sales process. The best CRM systems are designed to take the burden of many of these tasks from off the shoulders of your employees, thanks to the magic of automation. 

This means that your representatives will be able to focus more of their efforts on closing leads and resolving customer pain points while the automated CRM system takes care of the details.

Greater efficiency for multiple teams

Automatically stored communication allows you to view emails, calendars and phone call details in one easily accessible place. Add that to the ability for multiple teams to access the same information. It simply skyrockets the amount of achievable progress. 

Sales, marketing, and customer service teams can share valuable information about clients to continue to funnel them down the pipeline to get the desired result of closing a sale, knowledge of new products, or excellent customer service. 

Every department can now tag a team to get the right information to the right individual. With this newfound ease, teams can seamlessly work together to improve the bottom line.

Improved Analytical Data and Reporting

Miscalculated data should not be the reason you cannot succeed, with CRM this is no longer a possibility. CRM systems store information in one place which leads to improved analysis of the data as a whole. 

Easily integrated with different tools or plugins, you have the ability to generate automatic reports to maximize your time. 

Personalize your dashboard views to quickly locate information needed, such as customer information, sales goals, and performance reports to reach untapped opportunities. 

With better reporting data you can make resourceful and effective decisions to reap the rewards in customer loyalty and long run profitability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is the collection of processes a company uses to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle.

Good customer experience management can: Strengthen brand preference through differentiated experiences. Boost revenue with incremental sales from existing customers and new sales from word of mouth. Improve customer loyalty (and create advocates) through valued and memorable customer interactions.

The CX manager's role is conclusively to meet the customer's needs to ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction, both online and in store. A CX manager is responsible for bridging the gap between customers and the brand to ensure that the touchpoints across the customers' journey are engaging, efficient and effective.

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