As part of its Best Practice Series, CRM Magazine recently published a white paper entitled, Customer Experience Management: How to deliver great customer experiences and create loyal customers. In this document, a variety of companies with ties to the customer service and support industry share their views on customer experience management.
While much of the content is oriented toward selling specific products, CRM also points a few overarching themes:
- Customers have access to multiple channels and, ultimately, make their own choice. As such, companies must deliver a consistent experience from one channel to the next.
- Adequate customer service does not equate to a great customer experience. Personalization is the key to getting away from â€œmeets expectationsâ€ customer service.
- The mobile channel is exploding and companies need to plan accordingly.
- Mobile as a customer support channel continues growing, and is definitely here to stay. Companies must adapt to this trend.
- To truly understand customer needs and perceptions, the consistent and honest use of analytics is imperative.
- Change is the only constant. Be prepared for the new channels to suddenly appear and gain traction, just as social and mobile have done over the past several years.
While these themes aren’t breaking news, they do succinctly outline what’s important in customer experience management today. What, then, are the big ideas helping companies continue improving the customer experience?
Cloud-based contact center
Perhaps the greatest impact of the trend toward cloud-based contact centers is the availability of advanced contact center tools for smaller businesses. Whereas top-end workforce management, call routing, and quality monitoring tools were once the exclusive domain of only the biggest companies; companies of any size can now quickly scale operations on their own state-of-the-art contact center.
With cloud-based contact center solutions, you can 1uickly add new functionality, scale your workforce with greater agility, route customer contacts intelligently, provide real-time cross-channel support,
The customer hub approach
Since the first caveman called to activate the warranty for his new club, context retention and service consistency have been ongoing thorns in the side of customer support. Essentially, people get tired of repeating themselves, and find confusion in their disparate experience from one channel to the next. The customer hub approach calls for the consolidation of â€œall customer interactions, knowledge, rules, workflow, and analyticsâ€ into a single platform, or hub.
In doing so, case histories retain context and customer interactions are focused into a single experience.
Turning customers into fans
Customer fans, or customer advocates, or evangelists, or whatever you want to call them are an invaluable tool in building trust with the greater consumer public. Gaining fans requires more than â€œsatisfactionâ€ and â€œmeets expectations.â€ It requires a customer experience strategy cognizant of the total customer experience. As noted in the CRM white paper, Clicktools maps six points on the customer journey: 1) Have a great product or service, 2) be easy to do business with, 3) be nice to do business with, 4) manage your reputation, 5) engage your customers, 6) offer the best value for the money.
By paying attention to these key points, a revitalized customer experience will help create new customer fans, which can only mean good things for your business.
In addition the ideas discussed above, the CRM white paper covers a number of other topics: The Art & Science of Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences; Moving from Customer Service to Customer-Inspired Excellence; Six Ways to Manage Customer Experiences in the Digital Age, and several more.
Boiled down the very bare essentials, customer experience management requires willingness to adapt and change, sustained effort, and most importantly, the desire to truly delight your customers. The tools and methodologies are all there, it’s now just a matter of getting it done.