In the last blog post, Kevin pointed out that superior customer service is no longer the differentiator; rather it is simply expected. So how do business owners make sure to meet that expectation? To answer the question, I’d like to talk about a closely related topic – customer experience management.
In today’s business world, customers interact with a business through many channels such as website, social media, phone, face-to-face, and marketing messages. Each of these channels makes an impression on the customer and complements each other to contribute to the overall customer experience. The goal of customer experience management is to provide customers with great experiences, improve their satisfaction and loyalty, and do this in the most cost-effective way.
The first thing in customer experience management is mapping the entire customer experience. See things through the eyes of customers, and figure out how different customer segments interact with your business. What are their reasons for contact (service or sales)? What channels do they use and how often? It’s worth noting that experiences that have lasting impact are the ones customers remember, and these are the areas businesses should focus on. How to improve those interactions to enhance the experience and lower costs? Here are 4 key elements for great customer experience management:
1. Customer experience should reflect the brand promise; it needs to be an executive priority and a significant factor in decision-making.
2. Use a good CRM system to bring information together from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to give one holistic view of each customer in real time.
3. Ensure that employees understand why customer experience is important, and their performance and compensation are linked to customer experience. Non-customer facing employees understand their role in supporting customer experience; customer facing employees are trained and empowered to handle customer requests and complaints, which best to be handled at the lowest level possible.
4. Make sure that customer experience delivery and economics are measured; metrics such as customer lifetime value, share of wallet, products per customer, and net promoter score are well-understood and acted upon in a timely manner for delivering great customer experience.