Customer experience management(CEM) drives a company’s focus towards delivering a personalized experience. The importance of CEM goes well beyond customer satisfaction. Research has shown that it costs over seven times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

Customers’ desires are varied and change according to where they are in their customer journey. A customer experience strategy can be successful only when rooted in customer data.

 

The bane of digitization

The digital revolution has made managing customer experience more difficult. Never before has customer behavior undergone such drastic changes. Customers are empowered and consume information in newer ways. This is a direct result of innovative technology and digitization.

Every interaction a customer has with the brand influences his loyalty. Right from the ads he sees to post-sale support, everything influences his brand perception.

Across all these channels, customers expect seamless engagement.

 

Losing focus of the customer

There is a need to recognize the importance of a long-term relationship with the consumer.  This requires brands to stay on top of ever-changing needs of the consumer.  To be able to do this, brands need to build their strategy from actionable insights. They also need to focus on an omnichannel approach. Companies need to put customers at the heart of their strategy. The emphasis should move from sales to influence, recommendation and loyalty-building.

The best customer experience is one where a long-term relationship is forged between the customer and the brand. Though easy to advocate, this is very difficult to attain. There are several challenges that companies face in doing this.

 

Challenges in Tracking

Although most companies have systems to track customer data and satisfaction, only a few have a holistic view of customer experience. Different departments handle different stages of the customer journey. Collating this fragmented data is the first big challenge most companies face. The next big challenge is to draw meaningful analysis from this data. These issues become more serious as companies grow and adopt newer systems. More often than not, processes are only partially integrated.

There are several online customer survey solutions but only a few of these record accurate responses. A true customer experience survey would analyze even the minutest of issues. Customer experience surveys can use analytical tools towards this end. An intelligent analytical tool that provides real-time insights into customers preferences is required. Companies will then have to feed these insights into the whole customer journey and company’s processes. From an operational point of view for the company, this means –

  • Identifying the customer and leveraging their interaction data,
  • Assessing the potential of this information and the relevance of the data, and
  • Adapting the company’s strategy to changes in the environment and the customers.

The quality of a company’s customer experience has a strong positive correlation to sales, profits, growth, market position etc. Changes in how data is captured and shared across touchpoints and tools that give insights, are very much the need of the hour. There is also a growing urgency to introduce structural changes in how departments interact with each other. A customer-centric attitude needs to trickle down from the top level down to the frontline.

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