Nobody likes the thought that they’re being managed, which can make the term “customer experience management” feel a bit creepy, at least to the layman. Instead of slapping an acronym (SEM) on this concept, nesting it in corporate jargon and calling it good, we’d like to take a fresh look at customer success management, and customer experience management software, and how it can help bring great companies together with great customers.
Essentially, customer experience management is the act of creating a system that enables customers to have the best experience possible with your company and product or service. The means to that end goal include creating buyer personas for each category of the customer, using information gathered by marketing, sales and customer service departments on their needs, preferences, pain points, and behaviors.
Using this wealth of information, systems are put in place to improve each company-to-customer interaction, ensuring customers get what they want and need to be successful with your product.
In industry jargon, this might read as “Customer journeys can be optimized at critical touch points by creating differentiated experiences that help service delivery capabilities.”
But, if we said it that way, your experience as a reader would be worse for it. Right?
Customer experience isn’t just a system handed down from the C-Level to customer service. It’s a customer-centric way of doing business that places value on the individual person and should inform every word, image, ad, and product you produce. Sure, individual people have significant characteristics in common, which is why we can create buyer personas. Yet even when dealing with customers en masse, the purpose of customer experience management remains the same: To elevate customer experience by catering to individual needs and wants.
It’s what today’s customers expect and demand.
And, if they don’t receive personalized attention, they’ll find a competitor willing to treat them like the valuable clients they are.
How do you manage each of your interactions with customers? It likely depends on which department is involved, right? Marketing might manage social media interactions; sales handles prospects with the help of automated email sequences; customer service and/or customer success have their own protocols. Customer experience management is how you bring these disparate parts together into a cohesive strategy for improving, and even directing, how customers feel about your company. Too often, each department is left on its own without a set of company-wide guiding principles, forming its own conclusions like the blind men and the elephant.
When you’re laying out your strategy for customer experience, focus first on your buyer personas. Who are they? Age? Gender? Role? Demographic information can help you target your messaging, choose your tone (Fun? Professional? Friendly?), and find the best media with which to reach your target audience.
Customer experience management is frequently paired down to technological solutions, but it should also include customer service protocol, customer success strategies, decisions on the tone of public copy and private responses, how prospects and customers are nurtured, and the ways in which companies seek to grow these relationships.
Creating a plan around interactions allows your company to scale with consistent customer service. And, fortunately, a wide selection of customer experience management software has evolved to help companies deliver the one-on-one service customers crave. Just be sure to treat the technological parts as extensions of your overall customer experience philosophy.
– Freshdesk: A helpdesk solution that lets you manage all customer conversations in one place (whether they come through on email, phone call or social media), so you can offer support (personally or with automated responses) without monitoring every platform all the time.
– Customer Lifecycle Marketing: Created for SaaS companies, this solution helps businesses identify their most promising prospects and develop relationship nurturing campaigns to attract, convert, and turn them into brand advocates.
– Satsum: As their website says “(Almost) everyone collects feedback. But what gets you customer love is how you act upon it.” Satsum not only streamlines the feedback process by delivering feedback from various sources to one location, they also track and analyze data from that feedback so you can see how your customer experience improves or degrades over time, and identify opportunities to deliver even better service and create meaningful relationships.
– Wootric: Customer experience is an amorphous term – it could mean so many things. What we mean by customer experience is how your customers feel about your company, their relationship with your company, and their feelings of success or failure with your product. Wootric likes to sum this up in one magic survey question: “How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?” Wootric assigns numbers to customer responses, so you can track how well your customer experience management systems are performing. It’s the next best thing to asking each of your customers, individually, “so, how well is our product working for you?”
Scaling customer service, not to mention customer success, is never easy. Growing businesses often begin with client-centered approaches, only to be baffled by the manpower required to maintain the “personal touch” during expansion. Acronyms and jargon aside, customer experience management grew out of the need to deliver personalized experiences that help individuals meet their goals, no matter how many customers there are.
Looking for a tool that can support your customers contextually in real-time? I urge you to try Whatfix out.