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Great customer experience leads to increased loyalty, lower churn, more referrals and positive word of mouth, and higher-value customers.
It’s no surprise that in recent years, customer experience management has emerged as a key strategy for organizations across a wide variety of industries. Marketers and executives worldwide have also embraced various approaches to measuring, analyzing, and improving the customer experience (CX).
- According to research firm eMarketer, 88 percent of business executives believe that improving customer experiences is fundamental to future success, as well as improved brand reputation.
- Findings from Onestop’s “Customer Service Survey” revealed that nearly half of digital buyers in the U.S. are unlikely to make another purchase if they had a bad customer experience.
- According to Marketo, loyal customers who have positive experiences are worth 10 times more than first-time purchasers, and returning customers spend 67 percent more than first-time customers.
In today’s customer-driven market realities, CX isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a key competitive differentiator.
Getting started with your own customer experience management program? Here are 6 keys to help you get it right.
6 Keys to a Successful Customer Experience Management Program
Get your key decision-makers involved
While marketing departments and customer-facing support teams are typically the ones to take ownership of customer experience management programs, it’s critical that key decision-makers in other departments and across all levels of the organization are also actively involved.
After all, every single person in your organization will have a direct or indirect effect on the customer experience. By involving decision-makers from every department, you can break down organizational silos and foster a better understanding of the customer experience from the perspectives of both the business and the customer.
Map the customer journey
Before you can measure, analyze, and improve the customer experience, you have to be able to understand where and how these experiences are taking place.
Know who your customers are, identify all the touch points at which customers come into contact with your brand (including pre- and post-transactional situations), and map the entire customer journey — from first contact and awareness, through research and choice reduction, all the way to purchase and product and service delivery.
The idea is to gain a better understanding of where exactly in the journey you can introduce improvements — and to determine what kind of impact these improvements will have on the customer experience.
Identify and monitor sources of feedback and Voice-of-the-Customer data
Majority of companies with customer experience management programs design their own surveys in order to capture the voice of the customer. But it’s important to capture unsolicited feedback, too.
Social media, online review sites, and other third-party channels outside of your company’s control happen to be extremely valuable sources of customer feedback and VoC data, giving you a more accurate and complete view of the customer.
Remember: you can’t fix problems you don’t know you have. By having a strong customer feedback system in place, you gain a bigger, more meaningful picture of the customer experience.
Measure the customer experience, quantitatively and qualitatively
For your program to succeed, make sure that you are measuring the customer experience and making feedback data part of the regular flow of information that drives action and business decisions. Have a mix of both quantitative and qualitative measures, so you can interpret VoC data and explore all possible topics and issues that matter to customers.
For example, when you’re looking at customer reviews, star ratings and satisfaction scores are (pretty obvious) quantitative measures that you can start with. But you can also dive into the entire anatomy of these reviews and use analytical techniques in order to determine and understand qualitative information like customer sentiment, emotion, and mood.
Report the right information to the right people at the right time
The most successful customer experience management programs also involve effective reporting: communicating the right insights and information to the right people at the right time.
Avoid sharing meaningless, non-actionable data to your end recipients. Reporting needs to be role-based, and the information you share should be tailored according to the department and level of the recipient.
Act on insights and respond
Once you have gained insights into issues affecting the customer experience, empower everyone in your company — from the C-suite to the frontline — to respond fast and address opportunities. Act on the information you have to recover detractors, move passives, and activate promoters. Strive to always close the loop with customers, and engage meaningfully in cases where the customer experience is negative.
If your data tells you that there are high-impact issues causing customers to walk away from your brand, act quickly and make the necessary process or policy improvements.
A customer experience management program keeps the customer front and center across your entire organization. Do it right and keep in mind the above keys to success; with a great customer experience, you can differentiate your brand from the competition and make a positive impact on your bottom line.