Thursday, 1 December 2011

Managing Customer Experience

Customer Experience Management

The ability to build business by gaining and retaining customers - consumers, end users, retailers, distributors or wholesalers - is often the greatest challenge for both new and established companies. Successful businesses understand that every time there is an opportunity to interact with a customer there is a chance to win new business and build better relationships.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is the process of understanding and managing customers’ interactions with, and perceptions about, the supplier company. The most successful companies analyse every possible contact point and interaction, putting in place processes and promoting attitudes to deliver excellent “Customer Experience” constantly and consistently.

CEM is being used increasingly by businesses from all sectors whose objectives include:
  • Improving PROFIT
  • Gaining new customers
  • Boosting sales through existing customers
  • Building outstanding customer relationships
  • Increasing customer retention rates
  • Improving supplier service levels & loyalty
  • Raising Brand image and awareness
  • Strengthening internal team cohesion and motivation
  • Staying ahead of the competition
What is Customer Experience?
A customer experience occurs every time a customer interacts with a supplier. “Customer Experience” is the sum total of the interactions a customer has with the supplier business or brand and can be a one off contact or multiple contacts. The result is the perception that a customer has of a supplier’s business and will influence and ultimately determine the business relationship between the customer and supplier.

What is an Interaction?
An Interaction could be by telephone, letter, email, promotional literature, instructions for use,  website, social media, face-2-face etc, singly or a mixture.

When does an Interaction Occur?
Interactions come in many formats from contact with any department or methodology from Sales to Accounts and IT Departments to telephone answering systems to engineers and delivery drivers, to name a few.

Customer Experience Management (CEM)

CEM is NOT Customer Resource Management (CRM) which is data driven, emphasising and requiring regular contact, human and systems, to increase sales.

CEM is NOT Customer Service Management (CSM) which concentrates on raising customer service levels from the supplying company’s perspective.

CEM focuses and redefines your business from your customers’ perspective and involves all aspects of the business. The objective of CEM is to create sustained customer loyalty and to optimise the derived benefits:

·         Happy Customers
·         More profitable business from existing customers
·         Ambassadorial customers
·         Extra Referral business
·         Less selling costs
·         Reduced customer complaints
·         Less stressed employees
·         Highly motivated workforce
·         Reduced staff turnover
·         More PROFIT

Implementation to a full CEM system can mean a re-think of how internal departments interact & communicate with customers as well as each other. It is not a quick fix and needs continual appraisal of processes and communications.

Contact the Author - Paul Clayton for more details of implementation of CEM into your organisation