Customer experience management describes the strategies, technologies, and processes for creating and supporting a customer-centric business culture.
Throughout most of history, organizations have taken a self-centric approach to customers, asking first and foremost “What is good for the business?” Everything revolved around products, distribution, and manufacturing, and the customer was hardly even a consideration. But with the advent and subsequent proliferation of digital information technologies, this attitude has shifted dramatically. Today’s buyers are no longer content to sit back and be acted upon; they want a more strategic and commanding position in the organizations they choose to do business with, and they have the social platforms to publicize their negative feedback when they don’t get it.
In other words, we are in the middle of a customer revolution, where control of the success or failure of entire industries is falling out of the hands of corporations, and squarely into the hands of clients. Savvy businesses are now realigning their focus to ask, “What is good for the customer?” Customer experience management (CXM) solutions help organizations of all sizes answer this question by placing their customers at the center of their business, prioritizing the end-to-end customer experience over everything else.
There are many metrics used to evaluate success in business, but nearly all of them come down to the single, all-encompassing success metric that drives everything else: revenue.
Customer experience management is no different. As previously mentioned, modern customers want to take a more active role; they’re well informed and technologically experienced, and they have the tools at their disposal to make their needs known. Businesses that ignore these vocal, invested customer elements do so at their own peril—the state of their customer experience directly impacts the revenue they generate. This is because the customer experience is built on the relationships between buyers and sellers. CXM technology supports a digital transformation in which smart technologies enhance customer service, engagement, and satisfaction. Every customer touchpoint can be personalized to meet the needs of every individual buyer in real time, regardless of scale or channel. In other words, CXM makes the success of each individual buyer the top priority of the business. This allows organizations to accomplish the following:
There are few things more valuable to a business than a loyal, excited customer. Customer loyalty breeds brand evangelists who not only continue to increase in terms of lifetime value, but also spread their enthusiasm to their friends and associates. The personalized experiences presented through effective customer experience management create a seamless and highly satisfying customer journey further enhanced by customer service software, customer lifecycle management, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, automation, and other related technologies.
By providing intelligent, personal support, product recommendations, simplified feedback options, and more, CXM helps guide leads and new customers towards a future built on consistently positive experiences and repeat business.
Knowing how to provide an exceptional customer experience depends heavily on knowing the customer. CXM solutions are extremely effective at capturing customer data from customer behaviors across every touchpoint. This makes it possible for businesses to improve their analytical capabilities and develop a more complete picture of who their buyers are and what they want. On a more personal level, it also allows organizations to create highly detailed customer segments that dial in on the success of customers as individuals.
Going hand in hand with capturing and analyzing customer data, CXM empowers companies with the capability to further gather and interpret vast quantities of operational information. This has the potential to improve every aspect of a business, but is particularly important for measuring the success of customer-facing initiatives. With CXM analytics, businesses can evaluate their engagement efforts in real time and make course-corrections without having to wait for quarterly reports.
Customer experience management is a holistic process that extends from the very beginning of the buying journey to long after a customer has interacted with an organization’s brand or products. When designing a CXM strategy, it’s important to focus on the four areas of customer experience management.
Although different businesses may take different approaches to CXM, they each share these four essential pillars in providing a personalized experience for their buyers:
Probably the most influential variable in customer experience management, having the right team on hand will help ensure that initiatives come together properly and that everyone is working to meet their designated goals. Without a fully customer-focused team, the other pillars of CXM are unlikely to hold up.
Tools make it possible to turn the elevated ideals of customer-centricity into reality. CXM relies heavily on automation, AI, and other digital advancements to extend the reach and capabilities of customer-service and support agents.
No business starts with a complete idea of what they need to do to find success with customer experience management. In-depth planning, mapping, playbook creation, and other related tasks are essential to developing the right customer-experience processes. Just as important is ongoing documentation—keeping a detailed record of what worked, what did not, and any other important learnings makes it possible for businesses to ‘reload’ earlier stages when their initiatives fail and replicate positive outcomes when the initiatives succeed.
Finally, opening up channels to solicit customer feedback is one of the major factors that makes CXM so powerful. Customer experience management allows for more direct interaction with buyers, so companies can continue to refine their products, services, and approaches to better meet the needs of the people who keep them in business.
Customer experience management is an umbrella term that relates to all the different elements that go into making customer experience the primary focus of a business. Customer experience management software is a set of tools that brands can use to further support this approach.
CXM software allows businesses to measure and improve the way they interact with customers across different channels. These tools are designed to help businesses better understand how customers are interacting with their websites, mobile apps, voice assistants, chatbots, and more. They also help businesses identify opportunities to improve the customer journey, streamline processes, and make data-driven decisions.
Some of the most common ways organizations may use CXM software are to gather feedback from customers, build consistent experiences across channels, collect and analyze data, and create guides and manuals to help simplify the customer journey.
Essentially, CXM software empowers companies to take greater control over how they interact with their current and potential customers to improve their overall experience while gaining a complete, fully transparent view into every interaction and touchpoint.
CXM software exists to support all other aspects of CXM strategy. As such, the benefits and advantages it brings to the table closely mirror many of those listed above. More specifically, CXM software helps businesses improve their customer-facing performance in the following ways:
Effective CXM software is a platform for customer feedback, allowing businesses to easily gather and analyze insights directly from their buyers. And while this feedback is invaluable in creating a data foundation for informed decision-making, it carries with it another benefit: When customers know that a business is dedicated to hearing and acting upon customer feedback, they’re more willing to share that positive experience with others and come back to do business again and again.
At the core of CXM are AI and ML capabilities that allow the system to process copious amounts of interconnected data to create an intelligent, personalized experience for each individual customer at scale. These technologies make it possible for the systems to understand customer intent and preferences, without the need for a human agent to interpret the data for them.
When customer interactions depend entirely on customer-service agents, the level of service can fluctuate wildly from touchpoint to touchpoint. This is an ineffective way to interact with customers and can result in lost sales and costly reputation damage. CXM places a single software solution at the heart of these interactions, so that businesses won’t have to worry about inconsistent customer service negatively impacting the customer experience.
Perhaps the most important benefit of CXM software is its ability to personalize the customer experience. Simply put, CXM tools offer the insight organizations need to tailor every customer journey to the specific needs of each individual buyer. With fully personalized interactions, organizations have the resources they need to make positive, customized customer experiences the rule, rather than the exception.
Although there is some overlap between CXM and CRM in terms of functionality, these two types of platforms are quite different.
Customer relationship management describes systems and processes used to manage relationships with customers, but with a focus on the sales and marketing needs of the business. CRM does not provide a complete end-to-end solution and is a more reactive approach to customer management. Alternatively, CXM—as part of a larger customer service management (CSM) strategy—brings together all sales, marketing, and support teams and provides a unified platform for coordinating customer-experience efforts across an entire organization and through every channel. CSM with CXM offers a truly customer-centric approach, rather than just using customer-relationship capabilities to improve sales efforts.
Still, many of the systems and processes used by brands to implement CRM solutions can also be used to improve customer experience. That’s why many brands use both terms to describe their efforts to improve the customer experience.
A customer experience management platform is a set of tools that brands can use to collect, organize, and analyze data about every touch point between a company and its customers. It also allows companies to manage and automate repetitive tasks across their various touch points, such as websites and mobile apps. The capabilities of a CXM platform vary by vendor, but the most powerful options will include:
Omnichannel customer engagement
Live Chat, Messaging, Social media marketing
Visitor tracking and analytics
AI-powered chatbot and automation capabilities
What is good for your customers? Personalized experiences that provide effective solutions to their individual needs. Providing these experiences demands powerful CXM solutions. And when it comes to managing customer experience at scale, the most powerful solution is ServiceNow Customer Service Management.
Built on the award-winning Now Platform®, Customer Service Management combines advanced customer support and engagement capabilities to help businesses better understand their customers and improve their customer journey across all channels. Collect data and feedback from customers across channels, automate repetitive tasks, create consistent experiences, and measure the performance of all digital initiatives aimed at reducing costs while delivering seamless customer experiences. And through it all, grow your customer base while treating every buyer as though they are the only customer that matters.
Learn more about Customer Service Management from ServiceNow; demo CSM today and make customer experience management a driving force for ongoing success in your business.
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