There was a time when content almost entirely flowed one way – from enterprises to customers. Customers’ responses were effectively measured in sales and occasional surveys. But in today’s digital world, customers demand a two-way omnichannel customer experience.
They expect a customer experience that delights or they will go looking at your competitors. Customer Experience Management (CEM) software providess a comprehensive platform to improve customer experience, build sales and increase customer loyalty.
Gartner defines Customer Experience Management as “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”
CEM is about listening to your customers and acting accordingly, taking full advantage of the digital engagement channels available. Delivering a successful omnichannel customer experience not only drives customer loyalty, it builds advocates that will promote your brand, helping to ensure your message reaches a wider audience.
What are the benefits of CEM?
In the digital age, when people are consuming content across a range of platforms, in different ways, at different times, the issue for companies is less about impressive marketing campaigns, and more about continuous, always-on customer engagement.
Any customer experience improvement process must be able to deliver highly targeted and personalized messages to customers at the correct point in their customer journey. Get your customer experience strategy correct – backed by the a powerful CEM solution – and there are many benefits you can achieve:
- Become a ‘customer-centric’ business
CEM, for the first time, truly lets you put your customer at the heart of your business. Through in-depth data analysis you can quickly establish the behaviors and interests of all your customers. It provides you with actionable insights to improve decision-making on all business aspects from product development to sales and marketing to after-sales support. You can align you business strategies and policies to the needs of your customers.
- Create highly personalized customer communications
By better understanding your customer, CEM allows you to plan and implement improved customer engagement based on the actual requirements of each individual customer. Personalization moves from a birthday card with their name on it to highly personalized messages based on where the customer is on their customer journey and their preferences and behaviors. In addition, the best CEM solutions allow for ‘personalization at scale’ where one or 10 million personalized communications can be sent in real-time.
- Deliver omnichannel customer experiences
Customers today connect across multiple customer engagement channels – websites, email, social media, mobile apps, phone and more – and they expect the customer experience to be consistent across channels. They want to be able to begin a transaction on one channel, continue it on another and complete it on another and the experience to be seamless. Creating an omnichannel customer experience will help provide you with a holistic view of each individual customer and their interactions with your company.
- Build customer feedback into your business
Customer feedback has been traditional gathered through large, cumbersome surveys. While surveying your customers is still important, modern CEM software includes embedded analytics that can tell you how your customers actually engage with your company today, predict what customer engagement will look like tomorrow and collect and analyze data from social media and the web to conduct ‘sentiment’ analysis to identify potential buying trends before they happen.
- Measure and improve customer loyalty
The right CEM software helps you track and improve loyalty, such as each customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS). You can ask for the NPS across multiple customer engagement channels. This gives you the basis to determine which customers are most likely to become advocates and allow you to personalize customer loyalty programs towards those customers.
- Motivate and empower your frontline staff
While the CEM solution is mostly for external customer engagement, it also has a strong internal element that delivers the right information to the right staff at the right time. For example, a contact center rep will have all the relevant information on the customer in front of them as soon as the customer calls. They will be empowered to use the information to improve the customer experience and solve the issue first time. There is a growing body of research showing empowered staff are more motivated and more loyal. They are less likely to quit, even for more money, which in turn reduces the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
Implementing an effective CEM strategy and solution can bring significant benefits. When Harvard Business Review analyzed the experience and revenue data from two major corporations, the analyst firm found that:
- In businesses that were transaction-based, customers who had the best customer experience spent 140% more than customers who had the worst
- In businesses that focused on a subscription-based model, customers who had the best customer experience had a 74% chance of being a subscriber one year later, but customers with the worst experiences only had a 43% chance
Those figures speak for themselves – finding the best ways to engage with customers over the long-term leads to healthier business growth. And customer engagement needs to be two-way, and consistent across your organization, as consumers increasingly expect organizations to deal with them as individuals, not just numbers.
What are the features of CEM?
An effective CEM strategy consists of a set of actions and technologies working together to create outstanding customer experience. The CEM solution must create customer experience that is:
You can scale and connect many customer journeys. You can collect and analyze data from all sources – from marketing to customer service – to deepen your organization’s understanding of customers and improving customer experience across departments and channels. You can continuously adapt to customer needs and make real-time adjustments that achieve massive improvements in cost, brand health, actionable insights, and customer satisfaction.
You can go beyond optimizing a single interaction to automatically personalize at scale. You can make recommendations to customers for better customer engagement and increased returns on marketing investment. You can optimize all complex operational content and process issues that lead to greater synergy and improved customer experience.It should be clear that, like Enterprise Information Management (EIM), CEM is not a single solution but comprises a series of CEM software components including:
- Customer Communications Management
Customer communications management (CCM) solutions improve customer experience through the personalization and automation of customer communications. Both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations use our CCM solutions to design and deliver critical business communications that are highly personalized and interactive —and drive profitable customer engagement.
- Web Content Management
Web content management (WCM) solutions are open, flexible, and connected platform to solve the next generation of digital customer experience challenges faced by marketers and business managers. WCM brings together content, process, and applications to create and deliver optimized and personalized multi-channel interactions across the full customer journey, from awareness to purchase to advocacy and recommendation.
- Digital Asset Management
Digital asset management (DAM) solutions serve as the centralized, secure and accessible repository – whether cloud-based or on-premises – to manage digital media, branding and video. DAM solutions help people find, share and use digital media assets to deliver beautiful customer experience. Scalable for the largest enterprises, DAM solutions offer capabilities to manage the entire content lifecycle with workflows and features for creative production, collaboration, publishing and distribution of assets and to use your digital assets to drive value for the organization.
- Workforce Optimization (WFO)
To keep customer satisfaction high, you must be able to measure and understand customer interactions taking place in your enterprise contact centers and back offices so that you can be sure you are meeting customer needs and identifying opportunities for agent workforce improvement. Workforce Optimization solutions offer a unified, centrally managed platform for cross-channel interaction analysis, with real-time agent support and contact center performance management capabilities.
- Customer Experience Analytics
From strategic marketing to customer service, organizations have exhaustive data about their customers, including transaction histories, mobile app usage data, contact center records and more. Customer experience analytics provides a scalable analytics, reporting, and data visualization platform that enables teams to design, deploy, and manage secure, interactive web applications, reports, and dashboards fed by multiple data sources.With all these components working together, you can establish progressive feedback loops that can be built into effective strategies for delivering what your customers need from you, however and whenever they want it.
What do analysts say about CEM?
Gartner describes Customer Experience Management as “the new competitive battlefield” , pointing out that increased competition and consumer spending power have eroded the value of product and service-based differentiation. Firms seeking more lasting and penetrating forms of competitive advantage are therefore working to heighten the customer experience as a way to define their brand.
Harley Manning, an analyst at Forrester, has said: “When customers navigate your website, call into your contact center, go into your retail location, talk to one of your employees, buy your products, use your products, respond to your emails – that’s when they’re making judgments about whether or not you meet their needs, are easy to do business with, and are enjoyable to do business with. That’s when they’re having an actual ‘customer experience’.”
It’s an important area. However, Forrester’s Q1 2017 US Customer Experience Index report suggests it’s an area where many companies are struggling. The report revealed that customer experience worsened between 2016 and 2017 – where not a single industry average improved year-on-year. That leaves a significant gap for enterprises to increase revenues through customer experience.
Why choose OpenText for CEM?
OpenText has significant experience in delivering successful CEM solutions, with a range of technologies and solutions to help gather, report and respond to customer interactions.
OpenText was recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Customer Communications Management Software. The report notes: “Continuous, personalized customer engagement is a central, even urgent, priority for digital business… As a result, application leaders… require solutions that can incorporate insights about customers’ behavior, preferences and needs in order to create direct, personal and contextualized engagement through electronic and digital channels.”