Delivering an impactful customer experience today means communicating with consumers across multiple touchpoints (e.g., online, email, video, mobile, print, social and in-store). And beyond the traditional model of providing customer service, a true, strategic customer experience involves tailored tech touchpoints, personalized interactions and convenience for those consumers who are always on.
Take Adobe, which has made a number of moves to expand its presence in the customer experience management market. It’s clear this is a “new growth segment” for them [source 1]. Proof point: its largest-ever acquisition of Marketo, a leader in cloud-based B2B marketing engagement [source 2].
But what exactly is customer experience management (CXM)? Here’s how Gartner defines it:
The practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. It is a strategy that requires process change and many technologies to accomplish [source 3].
Through effective CXM, targeted customer experience strategies will deliver positive outcomes. Effective CXM, however, will require the following four pillars for successful execution.
4 pillars of customer experience management
Customer profile data
To be successful at CXM, all data must be in one place and available in real-time. For example, a customer might add a product to an online shopping cart and then abandon it. Next, they call a customer support line with an inquiry, which results in using online chat help.
All of that data about their interactions needs to be in one location under a single profile so it can travel with the customer through their journey. This way, the sales associate has all of the customer’s information and can even send automated communications to move the experience forward. That could be an email offer with a discount for the item they abandoned in the shopping cart, or a link to a help article addressing the topic they inquired about.
Everyone has had experiences with brands where they have had to supply the same information with every interaction. It’s repetitive, redundant — and frustrating to the customer. The outcome is a bad experience. However, with a single customer view, you can leverage all of the data that has already been gathered and use it to make decisions on what to present next.
Intelligence programs are key to understanding your customers’ needs and how you fare against competition. Acquiring customer data is the first step — getting the raw material. Analysis of that data comes next. The key here is gathering insight to understand how customers behave so you can adapt and help them achieve their goals.
Conduct market research to learn more about the customers you’re reaching. Find out how customers’ rate an experience with your company vs. the competition. By understanding customers’ expectations before you design a customer journey, you can create experiences that meet their needs. Use the information you gather from market research to craft engaging marketing campaigns that will grow your accounts and earn customer loyalty.
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help to identify customers’ patterns — which messages they open, what triggers a response, and so on. By investing in predictive analysis, you can determine customers’ key drivers and proactively address their issues (in real-time) and enhance their experience at every touchpoint.
A marketing plan is only effective if it can be seamlessly executed. How are you leveraging technology to deploy content efficiently and cost-effectively?
For one, creative and production teams should collaborate by using project management, soft-proofing and asset management tools to facilitate the workflow. These tools streamline communications, save time and reduce cost.
If you are having challenges with content velocity or aren’t in a position to fund investments in new technology to assist your in-house creative team, consider looking outside for help. A digital agency can help you achieve high-velocity content needs, and assist with customer journey mapping and technology.
When a customer isn’t responsive to one message or one channel, what’s your next move? A new relevant message via a different channel might make the difference.
Experience orchestration is a coordinated series of personalized marketing communications that are sent across channels. The goal is to create a unique customer experience. The communications are designed to work together. They’re shaped, targeted and timed based on earlier customer interactions.
Is your brand part of the 97%?
Only 3% of companies worldwide agree delivering personalized customer experiences is a “low priority” [source 4]. Customer experience is the modern, multichannel way to deliver customer service, and it requires a targeted strategy that maps out an end-to-end journey and leverages personalized, engaging interactions at every touchpoint.
To recap, businesses can succeed in customer experience management by ensuring the following:
- Necessary customer data is collected to understand how and why customers make decisions.
- Market research is conducted to reveal greater insight into the customer experience you’re providing versus competitors.
- High-velocity content demands are met without fail — achieving this may require outside support.
- Tailored content with timed/orchestrated distribution provides information customers need in the moment.
Today, customers are seeking more than a transaction from the brands they rely on. They want an experience that’s rewarding, uncomplicated, and personal. CXM can help you achieve this, with loyalty, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and a growing band of brand ambassadors not far behind.
Meredith Konin is Director of Product Management for RRD Marketing Solutions.