CRM List — Customer Experience (CX)

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The CRM List—The Next Phase of CRM is CXM

CRM software solutions focus on sales, marketing and support from the company's perspective. Customer Experience Management (CXM) has emerged to focus on the customer relationship from the customer's perspective. CXM solutions integrate strategy, processes and technology to optimize each customer experience across all customer channels. The increased alignment delivers increased customer activity, advocacy, referrals, revenue and customer share.

Customer experience (CX) programs remedy the business problem of commoditization. When companies are asked for discounts, it's normally a sign that the customer doesn't see sufficient value. To show increased value, companies can invest in greater cost of sales, or invest in innovation and delighting their customers.

Customer experience management includes both the individual experience in a single transaction as well as the sum of all experiences between a customer and a supplier over the duration of their relationship. A customer's perception of an organization is built as a result of their interactions across multiple-channels and different areas of the organization.

Another key customer experience measurement factor is customer memory. For example, for each customer interaction, did the provider create a 10 year memory or a 10 second memory in the mind of the customer. Only the former will create customer loyalty, continued purchases and little or no consideration of competitor solutions.

Companies that succeed in delivering consistently positive CEM experiences enjoy increased customer loyalty, customer share, repeat business and vocal advocates promoting the company in online and offline channels.

To kick off a customer experience program, and make the transition from customer focus as a tag line or inspirational statement to a disciplined program that can be measured and refined, begin by calculating the cost of doing nothing. When organizations understand this cost, and how much value they are leaving on the table, they can then determine the right amount of investment. Then consider the organizational change required to transform from a product-focused company to a customer-focused company. Change must address compensation, staff education, new measurement metrics, breaking down silos and learning from customers which touch points actually build loyalty and which don't. Finally, identify those business processes that are holding back employees from delivering exceptional customer service.

Common mistakes when implementing a customer experience program include putting software technology ahead of strategy, under-resourcing the program, falsely believing you are already delivering strong customer experiences, failing to measure the emotional customer attributes in addition to customer transactions, making only superficial changes or rolling out new branding instead of changes to business processes, and celebrating improvements to what customers view as table stakes (such as fixing processes that never should have been broken in the first place).

 

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