Customer experience management: 11 tips for success
What is customer experience management?
Customer experience management (CEM / CXM) means optimising interactions between your customers and your business at each point of the customer journey. That may include:
simplifying your e-commerce checkout process
providing quicker responses to customer enquiries
sending discount offers to repeat customers.
The point of customer experience management is to minimise friction for customers and demonstrate that you value them.
What’s the difference between customer experience management and customer service?
The difference between customer experience management and customer service is simple: Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey while customer experience management applies to all of the interactions a customer has with the brand.
Customer service is what happens when something in the customer experience has some sort of breakdown. For example, receiving the wrong order or damaged goods could prompt your customers to contact your customer service team.
How can businesses improve the customer experience?
1. Provide self-serve resources
Streamlining the customer experience is one of the most effective customer experience management techniques. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the information they need throughout their buying journey and post-sale, as required.
Since customers often prefer to resolve basic questions or issues themselves rather than reach out to a customer support representative, offering self-serve options can mean happier customers and less demand on your support team.
Self-service options may include:
chatbots that provide quick answers to commonly-asked questions
help desk support articles
FAQ section on your site
2. Create a single customer view (SCV)
A single customer view (SCV) — also sometimes called a “unified customer view” or a “360-degree customer view” — involves bringing together all the data you have about your leads and customers on a single platform or database so you can view their entire interaction history with your business in one place.
SCVs enable you to set up omnichannel personalisation, so you can connect with customers across multiple touchpoints and devices to deliver relevant messaging, offers and recommendations. As you send the right messages at the right time, customers benefit and their overall experience improves significantly.
For example, a retailer could send text messages to loyal customers to let them know about a flash sale — and include a discount code!
3. Personalise interactions
Personalisation can include:
sending customers emails or SMS messages that address them by name
showing recommendations based on the customer’s past purchase history
creating personalised offers based on actions, like abandoned cart campaigns.
Personalisation demonstrates to your customers that you value them, and a recent study by Accenture found that 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that offers personalised interactions.
4. Optimise the digital experience
Digital experience optimisation is the process of improving the customer’s experience across all digital touchpoints, including website, mobile exchanges, email and apps.
This optimisation process may include:
ensuring that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly
placing widgets on your site to make personalised recommendations
sending autoresponder marketing campaigns based on user activity
offering search filters on your site so it’s easy for users to find what they’re looking for
offering online live chat for customer support.
5. Automate email marketing
We’ve mentioned email marketing a few times already, and that’s because it’s a core part of the customer experience: 81% of small businesses rely on email as the primary communication between their brand and customers.
Email automation is the easiest way to deliver personalised emails to each customer based on where they are in their customer journey. You can set up email distribution based on customer actions. When they sign up for your newsletter, for example, they may receive a series of 3 emails over a week-long period introducing them to your brand. Additionally, if they add an item to their cart, they could get a discount incentivising them to purchase.
6. Be responsive on social media
Social media is one of the first places where customers may interact with your brand.
One study found that as many as 80% of customers will engage with brands on social media, so it’s important to show up where your customers are engaging. This strategy is particularly important since 72% of millennials said they’re more loyal to brands that respond to them on social media.
Engagement on social media includes:
responding to questions in comments
sharing user-generated content (UGC) with permission
answering questions through private chat.
Quick tip: Always address both positive and negative interactions. Customers notice if you delete or ignore negative comments, which can negatively impact the customer experience — and your brand reputation.
7. Drive followers to your owned channels
Owned channels are any platforms that you own, like your website, email newsletter or social media accounts. You want to send your leads to owned channels so you can capture their details in your systems, rather than relying on third parties for this data.
Therefore, create campaigns and messaging that drive users to your website, blog, email newsletter and social media accounts — destinations where you can control the messaging and the customer journey. You can draw users to your owned channels with exclusive content, better discounts or other loyalty perks.
8. Expand payment options
Providing flexible payment options is an important part of customer experience management. You don’t want customers to become frustrated with the purchase experience, or even worse, fail to complete it due to a lack of payment options.
Whether you have B2B customers that pay through invoice or e-commerce customers completing online checkout processes, offer multiple payment options to create a better experience.
9. Be proactive
You don’t always want to wait for your customers to come to you; some may disengage entirely if you do so. Create segments of inactive subscribers — including those that haven’t opened emails recently or who haven’t purchased for a certain length of time — and target them with re-engagement campaigns through social media, email and SMS messaging.
10. Ask for feedback
It only makes sense that asking customers for feedback will improve their experience. They know where the bumpy parts of the customer journey lie, and they can share insights that can help you improve their experience.
There are plenty of options for collecting feedback, including surveys and engaging customers over the phone or face to face. You can always test different methods and see what works best.
11. Analyse your data
As you’re running your business, you’ll accumulate plenty of data from your online analytics, tools and the customers themselves. You can look for problem areas — like website pages with high bounce rates, products with a long list of negative reviews or issues that your customers raise time and time again — and focus on resolving them once and for all.
Keep track of what’s helping your business and what’s hurting it, and optimise where required to improve the customer experience.
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Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.