Customer Experience Management (CEM)

While a CRM is an indispensable tool for businesses to capture and report data for improved business processes, it is limited in delivering the right customer data at the right place. This is critical for decision making at the frontline and improves customer experience. CX platforms solve this problem to support a holistic customer-centric strategy and deliver relevant, personal and superior customer service in order to achieve competitive advantage and to deliver consistent customer experiences that delight customers. CRM software can serve as a repository that captures, churns and delivers the data that is needed to support CX initiatives and further integrate or compliment CX applications that focus on collaboration, communication, personalization and specific customer interaction outcomes.
While Customer journey mapping is a widely-accepted way to visualize the customer experience and how they interact with your business, the approach is complex and time-consuming. A more agile approach to designing the CEM program is building an interactive map, which is a view of the different kinds of interactions possible across the overall customer journey. This approach does not need a comprehensive customer journey map. The two components below will suffice:
  • An indicative view of the different stages in the customer journey.
  • The touchpoints relevant for the respective journey stage.
Once you have both these elements, you can explore the different combinations of journey and touchpoints and identify the criticality of each touchpoint on the overall experience.
There are many touchpoints for customers to experience your brand. But, it is important to identify touchpoints which are significant. Not all touchpoints and journey stages are equally critical to the customer experience. We recommend the following approach:
  • Conduct a survey at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.
  • Provide an impact rating to every touchpoint interaction.
  • This impact rating is a measure of the importance of each touchpoint and will help understand the important touchpoints.
Knowing your touchpoints is only half the battle. To improve customer experience, you need to have contextual conversations with your customers across touchpoints that make an impact.
Social media has swiftly become one of the prime customer touch-points, which makes it imperative for every brand to enhance their social media engagement.
  • Social media is both a research tool for understanding the problems in the customer journey and a channel for improving CX.
  • The volume of conversations on social media allows the data to be turned into a research opportunity, highlighting customer pain points and allowing you to improve the overall experience.
  • Active listening on social media platforms can turn online conversations into actionable customer insights, helping you understand insights from different segments that make your customer base.
Yes. B2B firms are moving from “just selling” to customer success management and for most of them, the pathway to growth is through CEM. The path to long-term profitability is not through acquiring new customers but by retaining existing customers and building value for them. The way to do this is through a CEM platform to track client experience across the lifecycle and take pre-emptive actions to resolve issues.
Customer journeys of today are highly complex. Businesses are drowning in a deluge of data due to the high volume, velocity and variety of customer interactions. To find patterns in the “big data” is where AI and ML come in. AI-enabled customer journey analytics finds every single relationship in the data that exists and can predict the likelihood of future behaviour with high accuracy. All of this while simultaneously finding the key drivers of customer experience. The end-state of a successful AI integration is a transformed fast and hassle-free customer experience, where AI algorithms can automate the issue resolution process for increases speed and efficiency.
ROI of CX platforms can be quantified in the following ways:
  • Reduced in cost of new customer acquisition by engaging existing customers through CEM programs, thereby allowing businesses to identify their most loyal customers and single them out for loyalty rewards and promotional offers. The ROI of these actions translates into future visits and more money spent.
  • Reduced staff turnover and cost of hiring by using CEM programs to measure satisfaction and engagement among employees, and taking steps to improve if necessary.
  • Reduced cost of customer and employee feedback infrastructure by switching from a traditional CSAT program to a technology-enabled real-time CEM program.
B2B Organizations have fewer, and more significant, customers and their customer support issues tend to be more complex and take longer to resolve than their B2C counterparts. Business Continuity, Productivity and Security are top requirements in B2B CEM, unlike the B2C scenario. B2B also has a longer sales cycle and longer-term relationships overall, giving more opportunities to build customer knowledge. Providing exceptional experience in B2B, therefore, means retaining valued customers longer.
Measuring CX of non-buyers is equally important as measuring it for customers, especially in a retail scenario, where 80% of your in-store visitors typically do not end up buying. The difference with a non-customer survey is that you are likely to learn a ton of new insights because it is data you likely do not have. Non-buyer feedback can be collected at an instore level, through a kiosk or inbound channels such as a missed call number or QR code.
The response rates typically depend on the industry. In general, for industries handling high transaction volume, even a 4% response rate would result in a high volume of responses and can be used as a base for insights. However, for industries with low transaction volume (B2B for example) it is important to get as high response rates as possible.
It is inevitable that customers who are dissatisfied with the experience will complain. However, brands can alleviate the customers by providing him or her a channel to provide their feedback. In the absence of (or a lack of response from) such a channel, customers will end up resorting to social media, leading to a negative brand image. Having said that, while customers do provide complaints on feedback channels, they also provide praises for an experience well delivered and constructive suggestions for improvement. Some customers go further to naming the frontline staff responsible for their great experience.
It isn’t necessary to respond to all customers manually. Businesses can use an automated rule-based engine that provides templated replies based on defined rules to your promoters and passives, while they can only focus on detractors and respond individually.
The data that comes from a comprehensive CX implementation can be categorized as below:
  • Customer transaction data - Data pertaining to the transaction itself (bill value/product purchased/touchpoint of interaction etc.).
  • Profiling information - Customer profile along with different demographics/geographic variables.
  • Experience metrics - Customer responses to the conversation.
The experience metrics can be segmented along transaction and profiling variables to identify pockets of high score and low score. Alternatively, transaction and profiling variables with the highest impact on NPS can also be ascertained through statistical techniques.
Internal benchmarking is comparing the customer experience provided by your own business over time. It serves as the base for the continuous improvement journey by providing businesses with an inside-out view of their own strengths and weaknesses. One way to do internal benchmarking is through the use of touchpoint leaderboards to foster competition and improve overall touchpoint performance over time. However, care must be taken that the scores attained by the touchpoints are representative of the population.
Quintile analysis can be used to assess the relative impact of individual touchpoint performance on the overall NPS of the company. Quintile analysis basically divides the set of touchpoints into 5 quintiles. The 1st quintile contains the touchpoints that rank among the top 20% of all touchpoints, the 2nd quintile contains the touchpoints that rank among the next 20% of all touchpoints and so on. The average NPS for each quintile group is computed and reported. Inferences can be drawn in the following manner:
  • If there is a large difference between the top 20% and bottom 20% of touchpoints, one needs to focus on the bottom 20% touchpoints to improve the score.
  • However, if there is a small difference between the top 20% and bottom 20%, then it means that the score is more affected by systemic issues within the business processes than individual touchpoint performance. One then needs to look deeper at the business to identify areas of focus.
Individual touchpoints can also be benchmarked with the average NPS reported by the top 20% of touchpoints to drive improvement.
If you move to a digital medium from a phone medium, chances are you would see a lower score than what you’ve measured through the phone medium. The reasons for those are given below:
  • Phone NPS is based on agents asking customers to provide the rating. Customers, being human, are more likely to give a higher rating when asked for it than they would give on a survey.
  • Agent bias can also creep into the responses leading to a higher score than that measured through a standard web survey.
Moreover, the quality of insights gained through customer verbatim for phone NPS is suspect, as customer comments are collected by the agent, who might interpret the comment differently.
Yes, you can, and in fact this is how most websites collect feedback. Even mobile apps, apart from Google reviews, have a separate link for users to provide feedback. However the context for this feedback mechanism is restricted to the website/app usage itself. Through pop-up based conversations, it is possible to cover a wider range of interactions. For example, in an e-commerce scenario, the pop-up can be triggered on-site exit or when a user leaves having to add items in the shopping cart but not buying (Cart drop-off).
If you have a high score, then focus on maintaining the current business processes and look for variations in CX metrics. Beyond a point, improving business processes leads to diminishing returns and it may not make sense to put business processes in place to drive marginal improvements. It would be more efficient to use CX to maintain the current process and keep an eye out for changing business scenarios. One might also look at ways to monetize promoters through referral programs or contextual campaigns.
The most important objective of a CX program is to build customer loyalty and Engagement. The level of loyalty and engagement a customer has with the brand impacts other key business goals, such as Customer Lifetime Value, revenue and retention of customers. Ensuring that your customers repurchase or renew their relationship with you is often cheaper than new customer acquisition, and thus increasing lifetime value can be an easy strategy for increasing revenue. Alongside retention, this is a powerful measure that can be addressed in your CX with customer service and communications.
The main purpose of a CX program is to instil and inspect customer engagement and brand loyalty. This helps in customer retention which is often cheaper than new customer acquisition, and thus increases customer lifetime value which helps in increasing revenue.
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