What is Customer Experience Management?

Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a popular topic presently and people have used many different words in an attempt to define Customer Experience (CX). After much debate, Forrester research reached a consensus to define it as the way customers perceive their interactions with a company

  1. CEM strives to treat the customer as a valuable asset. According to ARAMAK Education, CEM can be broadly defined as the process of managing all personal interactions and events making up a customer’s experience
  2. Customer Experience Management helps to determine the customers’ experience through the management of ‘touchpoints’ or interactions with everyone who comes in contact with customers. It does not look at customers in general but focuses on the needs of individual customers.

Importance of Customer Experience Management

According to Forrester’s Bruce D. Temkin, customer service is a very hot topic because of 3 primary reasons. It is:

  • Important: Executives generally agree that CX is crucial for their businesses and studies have shown that good CX is highly associated with customer loyalty.
  • Complex: In spite of its importance, only 12% have established clear strategies that cut across their organizations.
  • Broken: Studies show that many customers are not satisfied with the experience they get from many businesses. Forrester’s 2007 Customer Experience Index showed only 10% companies received an excellent rating (3).

Some of the benefits of a good customer experience include:

  • Building Customer Loyalty: For any business to grow, it must not rely on one-time customers who never come back. Repeat customers are what make a business really profitable. For example, about 80% of Starbuck’s revenue is generated from loyal customers who make an average of eighteen monthly visits to the company’s stores.
  • Better Pricing: Satisfied customers will be prepared to pay higher prices for a company’s products or services. The products the customers receive must be functional and the customers’ experience must be emotionally rewarding.

Implementing CEM

Businesses need to focus on 3 things when implementing CEM.

  • Focus on customer needs instead of product features.
  • Reinforce brand with each interaction.
  • Take each customer experience to be a competence instead of a function.

Challenges of CEM

In spite of its centrality to the success of businesses, implementing Customer Experience Management has its own challenges. One of the major challenges businesses face is lack of a unifying platform to manage customer interactions across all functional areas.

In addition, it has not been easy to create personalized and dynamic user interfaces because of technical limitations.

Customer Experience Solutions

Different customer experience solutions have been created to overcome these challenges. The solutions help in providing relevant process models, information technology and strategies necessary for designing, managing and optimizing and all-round customer experience process.

A good CEM system can manage multi-channel interactions to address cross-touchpoint, cross-lifecycle and cross-channel processes. Creating an effective end-to-end customer experience requires the integration of external and internal innovations.

In a nutshell, a good CEM system helps firms to look at their operations from their customer’s point of view. They give the customers the opportunity to create their experience.

Further reading:

1. Harley Manning. Customer Experience Defined. Extracted on October 24, 2011 from http://blogs.forrester.com/harley_manning/10-11-23-Customer_experience-defined
2. ARAMAK Education. Customer Experience Management. Extracted on October 24, 2011 from http://www.aramakhighered.com/assets/
3. Bruce D. Temkin. The Customer Experience Journey.

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