When we speak about Customer Experience (CXe, CX), what do we talk about? Customer Experience can be defined as meeting the expectations during all points of contacts with the customer. This includes marketing activities, direct contact, selling, and delivering the goods and/or services – thus the Customer Experience consists of the contacts with the customer from attracting to post-delivery activities. Customer Experience is far wider term than the “good old CRM” which focuses on managing the customer relationship and optimizing the customership with the company. Quite often the customer experience is referring to individual customers (B2C), but actually it could and should be used also in business to business (B2B) relationships and indirect consumer business (B2B2C) as well. The key point is to manage the Customer Experience – how to tune the organization into exceeding the customer expectations delivering superior value to each customer.
Customer Experience Management is a customer-centric approach rather than process oriented way in serving and communicating with the customers. The CRM approach is quite often the latter one – how do we tune our processes to manage the customers while Customer Experience Management tunes the individuals and channels to serve the customers’ needs. By managing the customer experience, the organization needs to make
- Strategic choices – some key questions: what is our target customer group? How do we serve them? How do they see u? How do we differ from the competition from the customers point of view?
- Analytical approach to understand the customers – some key questions: how to understand the customers’ individual needs? How to communicate with the customer using the different channels and media? How to meet the expectations of each and every customer? How to deliver the value to the customers?
- Set up Governance procedures to ensure we deliver what the customer expects – some key questions: how do we perform? How do we react to the customers expectations? how to exceed the expectation? How to anticipate the customers needs?
- Measuring the customer experience – some key questions: how we did we succeed? How to identify the points for improvement? How to enhance the multi-channel experience?
The success factor is to increase the customer loyalty and promote cross/up-selling opportunities within the existing customer base, to extend the customer base with referrals, and to attract more customers with superior individual ways of communicating with the customers.
Role of Analytics
In order to exceed the customer expectations, we need to have an insight of our clients – we need to have a clear understanding of the clients and know what do they do expect in all aspects of communications. To understand our clients, we need to be able to use advanced analytics and deliver the results into business language to ensure the captivation of the business benefits in our client serving processes. The analytics need to be tightly woven into our processes.
In order to be able to improve our ways for managing the customer experience, we need to set up metrics and procedures for measuring the activities and constantly learn from the results deploying refined processes into the client serving activities.
Must haves / Enablers: In order to succeed, you need
- Strategy – customer-centric approach and customer strategy stating the company’s goal in exceeding the customer expectations.
- Organization and Culture – readiness to meet the challenge of serving the customers above expectations. Every interaction. Constant Improvement.
- Analytics – to understand and predict the customer expectations and changes in behavior. And procedures to deploy the results into the business process.
Issues / Barriers:
- Strategy – process oriented strategy where the goods and services are offered to the customers rather than customer demand driving the strategy.
- Organization and Culture – this is the greatest hinder in delivering the customer expectations or managing them. No strategy or analytics, however good they are, can deliver the value for the customers unless our organization is ready for customer centricity.
- Technology – regrettably often the technology forces our processes into inflexible format barring us to deliver the customer experience. This is very true when we talk about digitalization and use of web or mobile channels.
I wish you the best of luck in entering the customer-centric world enabling you to manage the Customer Expectation!