Ways to Manage Your Customer Experience
Customer Experience Management(CEM) focuses on creating a differentiated experience at touchpoints that customers choose to interact with the company. By gaining insights on needs, preferences, and behavior, customer journeys can be optimized at critical touchpoints. Having a strategy based on CEM helps service delivery capabilities align and adapt to behavioral shifts of the target audience. Loyal customers buy more and share their experiences with friends and family.
Rapid innovation and fierce competition make it harder for companies to compete with each other on a product basis alone. New features can be quickly copied by the rivals, what differentiates good companies from the rest is quality advanced Customer Experience Management. Although some organizations feel that managing customer experience is a hard task to do, but what they don’t realize is once you give a positive customer experience, the momentum builds on its own. The “Ecosystem of Goodwill” costs relatively low to maintain, but can deliver more loyal customers.
Given the importance of CEM, many media companies have either started setting up systems or are in the process of setting up a proper CEM chain. They are rethinking their strategies, assigning leadership and defining governance for the CEM, to not only understand their customer needs and behaviors but to translate the insights into better, more tailored, service. Below are the 5 key strategies that companies need to follow for the proper execution of Customer Experience Management.
1. Understanding the needs wants and preferences of your target audience:
Preference research, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative studies, can help organizations help gain insights on the various parameters of customer experiences. This critical initial step is not to create a new segment of the product but to instead focus on:
- How prospects heard about your company/product/service.
- The factors that influence who, what and where they choose a product/service.
- Onboarding needs and expectations.
- How they like to get help when issues arise.
- What price points they prefer new technology or service is being offered.
These key points help organizations establish the understanding, that how do they need to set up processes in their organization and where do they need to target their services.
2. Track Customer Behavior and Distill patterns:
According to International Data Corporation(IDC), there exists a total of 5 gigabytes of data for every person that exists on this planet. Extracting relevant information and turning data into actionable insights, is the business intelligence challenge. But doing this the crude way is not the solution as organizations need to understand that customer behavior is not linear. The predictive analytics model although it has improved significantly, many propensity models are still developed by reverse engineering outcomes like purchase and churn events to identify leading indicators. Behavioral analysis in recent years is being seen as a better approach that enables organizations to spot and sort new patterns by association. So, in contrast, to reverse engineering an outcome, behavioral analytics allows you to identify and start understanding key drivers behind emerging trends sooner. Some of the specific applications of Behavioral analytics include market basket and loyalty analysis, merchandising and marketing optimization, and online analytics.
3. Have a customer Management Plan for your target audience:
Strong customer engagement programs are built around insights/needs and preferred contract preferences. For instance, a customer has downloaded a report/whitepaper from your website but hasn’t bought the product, this means that the prospective customer is still contemplating whether to buy the product or not. The organization needs to set up processes, where they can drive prospective clients to buyers and then through CEM a loyalist of the brand. It’s important to define a structured plan for different stages to get quality advanced customer experience. Customer management plans can be developed to address the events that occur during the service and customer life cycle. Knowing the average time, the customer engages with the product/service and the typical progression of trigger events can help marketing managers gauge the effectiveness of current campaign strategy and refine accordingly.
4. Customer-centric information architecture:
Designing and deploying a customer-centric information architecture involves understanding the entity type, creating the entity-relationship structure, linking events to the structure, and then populating the entity structure with relevant data over time. Another reason to create a customer-centric architecture is that customer-facing applications demand it. So organizations to make a shift from just focusing on product-centric to customer-centric. For most media and communications companies, the move to customer-centric information involves managing customer databases, data warehouses, knowledge bases, search technologies, mobile applications, online portals, online communities and social media, marketing campaign management and many more. The change process is recursive and iterative and many activities can take place in parallel.
5. Optimizing the touchpoints by having a Customer Experience Map:
The customer experience map charts the journey from the first contact with the product or company to the entire customer relationship life cycle. The goal of the companies should to align processes, policy and technology with the needs and preferences of the target audience. A map can help define functional requirements to support the launch of a new product or service and can also help identify gaps in the existing processes. Organizations often develop multiple experience maps covering customer-facing touchpoint categories, such as the first point of contact, onboarding, bill payment and many more. But what matters is creating the right customer experience map that measures their experience and their behaviors in a more appropriate way. Using accurate customer experience maps, organizations can design and coordinate experiences across each touchpoint to deliver consistent messaging and calls to action.