The reasons to embrace Customer Experience Management can be various, but the common truth is that businesses now find it hard to resist jumping on the bandwagon too as the age of the customer is finally and irrevocably here.
But this ‘everyone does it’ stance can be quite deceptive. Picturing your competitors on the imaginary CXM maturity graph, be sure that the majority of them will never go beyond customer service automation. And this, my friend, is not CXM.
If the pressure of keeping up with the demands of your industry has started to take its toll but you are frustrated by the amount of time and money such a commitment can eat away, here’s your starter kit that includes one CRM solution, one collaborative team and a few bits of sound advice.
Your CXM Starter Kit
Instead of languishing in conference rooms for days, you can take the first stab now and get a CRM solution on board. This is where it starts, laying the solid foundation for gradual development of a fully-fledged CXM in the months to come.
Before that, however, you have to win your internal C-level stakeholders over to make sure your company’s top management (and budget allocators) are all on the same page sharing common expectations and goals.
But should you actually hire CX managers from the start? Most probably not. Unless you deal with hundreds of distributed touchpoints, look at your marketing and sales departments – this is where your CXM supervisors are at. For example, in B2B customer experience management, there is quite a moderate scale of customers (obviously, not B2C-ish millions and millions), so delegating this mission to sales or account managers won’t seem odd. However, supplying critical data and responding to customer issues should be on everyone’s shoulders, so cross-departmental collaboration is essential.
Now down to tech. The research by Clarabridge shows that customer experience management rests on four pillars of customer feedback, analytics, actions and dynamic measurement of customer satisfaction. With this in mind, make sure to tick off the following boxes with the must-have CRM functions that are to enable CXM:
- contact management
- marketing automation (think customer journey mapping and personalized content marketing)
- ‘voice of the customer’ programs (proactive monitoring of customer feedback across touchpoints plus regular customer satisfaction surveys)
- CRM integration with customer support applications (call center, live chat, etc.), ERP and other relevant enterprise systems that can supply data on customer interactions
- customizable reports based on customer feedback metrics to reveal issues, customer service mistakes, instances of poor customer experience as well as drill down to their root causes
- custom CRM workflows with trackable progress for addressing customer issues/dealing with customer complaints
But is it expensive?
We knew you’ve been dying to ask this question. Sure, you can’t do without budgeting out your CXM investments. Still we believe that, as a customer-oriented company, you are most likely to have (or plan to have in the future) a CRM solution anyway. Making it your CXM tool as well is a great way to leverage your investments and kill at least a few birds with one stone. More cost-cutting points? No need to build a custom IT solution from scratch with such a variety of packaged, SaaS CRMs on the market.
But is it time-consuming?
This approach, which we’ve refined during the past 8 years of our CRM consulting practice, tells that CXM is closer than you think. On average, CRM customization and integration takes from 2 to 4 months. The rest is a matter of how hard your staff tries, since despite heavy software automation, the greatest deal of CXM actually happens in your sales reps’ and account managers’ heads.
As you can see, embarking on a CXM journey can be less painful if you know where to start.
About the Author
Denis Zhinko is Head of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Department at ScienceSoft with 12+ years in software consulting. Denis has managed projects on CRM, Portals, System Integration and Connectivity for businesses in Healthcare, Retail, Telecom and Banking, including CRM solutions for 7+ mln bank clients and 5+ mln media subscribers. In his spare time, Denis is a keen motorcyclist, tennis player and volunteer. Find out more about Denis here.
If you have any questions email the ScienceSoft CXM software consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be happy to look into your particular case together.