Excellence through Customer Experience Management

The Customer’s Point of View

How often do we contact
customer support thinking that our problems/frustrations are going to be
solved only to realize it has only just begun? We’ve all been there.
When we call support we want to be heard, understood and we want our
problems solved quickly and easily. This is what we expect from customer
service. If we found a company that offered it, our loyalty would be
gladly given and we may even become their evangelists. But do we give
our customers the kind of support that we ourselves expect? The type of
customer experience that offers more than customer satisfaction? How can
we increase our sales, reduce our costs AND offer our customers an
experience that will make us heroes?

Creating a superior customer experience requires that we understand
the customer’s point of view, states Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D
in Rules to Break and Laws to Follow. “What’s it really like to be your
customer? What is the day-in, day-out ‘customer experience’ your
company is delivering? How does it feel to wait on hold on the phone? To
open a package and not be certain how to follow the poorly translated
instructions? To stand in line, be charged a fee, wait for a service
call that was promised two hours ago, come back to an online shopping
cart that’s no longer there an hour later? Or what’s it like to be
remembered? To receive helpful suggestions? To get everything exactly as
it was promised? To be confident that the answers you get are the best
ones for you?” 

Customer Experience Management is a business strategy that focuses
and redefines the business from the customer’s view point.  It is not
about managing the customer but about managing the experiences that the
customer has with our business.  CEM must be embraced by the entire
organization to be successful.  Just like CRM, it is a culture that must
live and breathe from inside and outside our business. To achieve
maximum ROI, it is imperative that business silos are eliminated,business processes are developed,customer expectations are clearly
defined and that key metrics are tracked.  Only then will the foundation
be set to offer our customer excellence through CEM.

Why is CEM important to my business and my customers? 

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) receive, on average, 21.5% of
overall corporate profit from their service operations making customers
pivotal to a successful organization2.  But surprisingly,
many companies feel that they are not doing enough to ensure that they
achieve this or capture additional sales from their customers. 

Best-in-Class service organizations have achieved 89% current
customer retention, 28% current service profitability and 17%
improvement in productivity by implementing CEM and improving
performance efficiencies within the organization.  But, this success
could not have been achieved without tracking and reporting customer
facing metrics.  In fact, 76% if these organizations stated it was
integral to this success.3

How do I go about developing a CEM to meet my business needs?

There are 5 key steps to developing a strong CEM platform.  They

  1. What’s in it for you and what’s in it for the customer?  Come up
    with key objectives that are attainable.
  2. If you are currently using a good CRM application, it should offer
    you the means to develop and implement your CEM strategy.
  3. Don’t think you need to do this?  Think again. If you and your team
    don’t have a process, how will customers know what to expect?  
    Consistency due to good customer-focused processes will bring great
  4. It is the acid test on how successfully you are meeting objectives
    and can let you know what your ROI is.
  5. Get customer feedback – How will you ever know if you are
    successfully meeting your objectives, improving customer satisfaction or
    if you have achieved customer experience excellence without the voice
    of the customer?  Not sure where to go next with CEM?  I am sure your
    customer will have some ideas. 

The Last Word on Customer Experience Management

Our customers are busy.  They want to do things quickly and
painlessly.  Make sure they can engage with you the way they want to be
engaged but also give them a unique experience.  It tells them that you
know they are important.  Leverage customer portals so they can access a
knowledge base, create service cases, view invoices and place orders
on-line.  Personalize this experience by adding their logo to their
portal or creating personalized messages with helpful tips. 

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The voice of the customer is everywhere due to the internet and
social media.  Don’t just stick with questionnaires to get feedback. 
Use LinkedIn groups, Twitter, Facebook, newsletters and blogs to
strengthen your relationships, generate ideas and make it easier to
communicate with your customer they way they want to communicate.

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