What do Zappos, Apple, Starbucks and Mercedes all have in common? Each has mastered the art and science of customer experience management.
As consumers, that probably doesn't come as a surprise. We've all become highly adept at recognizing and rewarding brands that exceed our expectations at every turn (and punishing brands that don't).
But from a marketing perspective, let's step back and examine: What is customer experience management? And most importantly, how can your brand deliver personalized customer journeys similar to the companies we all admire?
Simply put, customer experience management is the sum of all interactions customers have with a brand. Every place a customer can interact with a company--either digitally or physically--is a touchpoint, and the experience customers receive at each touchpoint shapes their perceptions. When brands consistently produce positive perceptions, they consistently achieve their goals.
Sound a bit nebulous? Perhaps on the surface, but customer experience management is readily measurable. Net promoter score (NPS) is a proven method of assessing the health of customer perceptions, and metrics abound for measuring engagement across channels like email, social, mobile and advertising. From click-through rates and conversions to downloads and @mentions, customers tell you every single day how you are doing.
Brands that excel at customer experience management look at the relationship from the customer's perspective--they don't think in terms of departments or lifecycles. The boundaries have blurred because the always-connected customer doesn't care whether it's a service, marketing or sales interaction. That customer just wants his or her needs met quickly and consistently regardless of what channel or device they choose.
Each step of the way, customers provide insights into their wants, interests and lifestyles. By combining all available data sources into individual contact records that are living, breathing, and constantly evolving, marketers can fill the customer engagement tank with the fuel to power highly relevant 1-to-1 communications.
This can be a major challenge for marketers, as new communication channels and touchpoints create greater complexity. Companies must not only harness a 360-degree view of the customer, they must apply automation and processes to interpret and act.
Next, let's examine some customer experience tactics that brands of all shapes, sizes and industries should consider.
Customer experience management is the key to delivering seamless journeys across marketing, sales and service. Understanding how your customers engage with your brand on digital and physical channels--then designing and automating personalized campaigns to engage them throughout the lifecycle--will help to ensure the entire enterprise meets its goals in 2017.
For more information, download Marketing Field Guide for the Customer Trailblazer.