In the past ten years, new media have changed the relationship between companies and customers more than anything before, forcing today's marketing approaches to be customer-oriented by aligning the entire organization to the needs of target groups.

Future growth will only be possible if all points of contact are handled successfully creating a positive and above all consistent experience to the customer. For this reason, companies are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and to obligate their customers long-term.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) deals with the strategic and tactical analysis and interpretation of consulting, ordering, and purchasing situations from a customer perspective. This observation from the outside allows identifying the real expectations of customers' ideas and insights into how the client's prospects can be satisfied. Thus, CEM is a wise advancement of the customer relationship strategy, as it is:

  1. Strategically taking into account the overall objectives of the company and its CRM strategy by developing an overall concept of customer relations. This includes analyzing and aligning the existing business processes to the requirements of the customer.
  2. Tactical-operational by the use of analysis and optimization of the touch points that play a crucial role in the daily contact with customers to provide the best possible compelling and consistent customer experience.

How to deliver exceptional Customer Experiences in Practice

The Internet and the global marketplace have given customers unprecedented choice over whom to do business with, due to increased access to a sea of information at their fingertips, causing a disruptive force in business. Reduced switching costs and easier access to products and services are empowering customers to raise their expectations, which means a good product or a low price will not necessarily guarantee competitive advantage or customer loyalty. Today's customers expect great customer experiences or simply switch to another company, so you may consider your strategies, initiatives and programs to improve customer experience.

The key to driving superior customer experiences is knowledge and a good strategy that must be designed to deliver the right knowledge to the right audiences through the right channel at the right time to drive the right desired outcomes. This requires an effective orchestration of strategy and execution to understand who your customer segments are, what the segments are demanding from you, what you want the experiences of these segments to be, and deciding how you are going to provide it to them. In other words, you need to develop an experience management strategy around each segment, to deliver a customer experience tailored for that segment, based upon the role that customer segment plays in your customer segment portfolio. This requires aligning your business's processes, policies, systems, organization, and even culture to achieve those goals. Once you've achieved this, you can successfully deliver superior customer experiences to your customer segments.

Optimize your business from the customer's perspective, by taking the following into account:

  1. Establish a shared customer knowledge foundation throughout your company and use it to drive customer interactions including self-help, agent-assisted or through any communication channel;
  2. Solicit and immediately act upon customer feedback;
  3. Ensure customer experiences are delivered transparently among departments or people;
  4. Engage customers proactively with relevant, personalized, and timely communications;
  5. Measure how well you deliver customer experiences with the goal of improving them continuously

Since delivering superior experiences throughout the customer lifecycle is the critical factor for driving sustainable competitive advantage, customer loyalty and business success, you should always work on how to drive best customers' experiences.

By Daniela La Marca