Not long ago, companies had a much easier time attracting new prospective clients. Customers didn’t have very many tools to compare performance and pricing with the competitors, and often made decisions solely on the initial pitch that they received from a company.
However, with the advances in technology and, with it, the information that potential customers can obtain, companies can no longer hope that the poor experiences of past customers will remain unknown.
Today’s prospective clients have the opportunity to compare different providers not only by the quality of the product, but by the way that the company is able to handle customer complaints and provide a positive customer experience. That’s why improving customer experience has become one of the most important aspects of running a business. However, many companies are still having a hard time adapting.
According to Forrester, while 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience is their top priority, only 63% actually take the steps and implement necessary technology investments that contribute to reaching this goal. And that’s understandable – improving the customer experience (CX) is a complex process that encompasses the entire relationship between the customer, the product and the company behind it.
But with modern customer experience software solutions, it’s now possible for companies of all sizes to improve and personalize the interactions with their customers and gain control over how customers feel about their relationship with a product.
What is Customer Experience Software?
Customer experience software, also known as customer experience management software, CEM or CXM, is a software tool that allows companies to track and organize all of their interactions with their customers in the different stages of the customer lifecycle. Its main purpose is to make sure that the customer has positive experiences throughout the entire lifecycle, in addition to improving customer retention.
Unlike customer relationship management (CRM) software, customer experience software focuses on the point of view of each individual customer, helping companies develop a brand experience that’s unique and catered specifically to their audience. With the help of customer experience software, businesses can consistently exceed the expectations of their customers by designing experiences according to the customer feedback that they receive.
The numerous tools that are offered by customer experience software allow you to find new ways to form personal connections with the audience. In turn, this not only increases customer satisfaction, but can have a huge impact on customer loyalty and brand image.
By keeping consistent and in-depth customer records, businesses can map out the entire customer journey, seeing it from the customer’s perspective with the help of feedback mechanisms, as well as reviews and surveys.
But with customer experience management tools, the possibilities go beyond just reacting to customer feedback. The software also allows you to track and analyze numerous metrics, gaining insights that help you personalize each customer experience.
Providing a generic, unspecified experience is no longer an option. Companies that fail to understand the experiences that customers have with their products inevitably fall behind the competition. But how does customer experience software differ from customer relationship management (CRM)?
Well, even though both serve crucial functions in discovering new sales opportunities, there are distinct differences between the two.
CEM vs CRM
There are countless software solutions available for understanding and predicting customer behavior, but most of them fall under two categories: customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience management.
But while these two software types are intertwined in their functionality and purpose, there are very important differences that need to be understood in order to make the most out of each. With customer relationship management (CRM) software, it’s all about the big picture. The goal is to find the trends in your customer behavior data so you can draw insights that can help find ways to improve performance and discover new sales opportunities.
Customer experience software covers similar functions, but with one crucial difference: instead of looking at the customers as numbers on a spreadsheet, it focuses on dissecting the interactions that each individual customer has with the company. In addition, it also helps you see the entire experience from their perspective.
With the help of real-time data from websites, support calls and social media, companies can integrate that data with CRM and see the full picture of each client experience. This in turn allows you to gain a well-rounded picture of how to provide the best service possible every step of the way.
To put it more simply, both software solutions can be used to optimize and improve customer relationships, but each of them work from different sides of the spectrum. CRM software provides numerous benefits that help improve relationships from the organization side, while customer experience management software helps track and understand the customer experience side, providing invaluable insights on how to improve it.
That’s why there’s no danger for either CRM or CEM software to become obsolete. Both serve a vital function and work best when utilized together in order to give insights into all areas of the customer experience.
Still, to get the most out of CEM software, here are some of the main benefits it can offer when compared with CRM:
Key Benefits of Customer Experience Software
Increased Customer Loyalty
Customer experience software is all about making the customer want to stick around, so it’s most prominent benefit is the huge potential of increasing customer loyalty.
The top CXM solutions on the market make it easy to track and improve your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is the industry benchmark for measuring customer loyalty. This provides educated approximations on how many customers are praising or criticizing your brand. It also gives companies complete control over improving customer loyalty, enabling them to compare their NPS with the industry standard and gain insights into how exactly the numbers can be improved.
According to the EY’s Customer Experience Series, businesses in Australia are losing $720 on average for every single negative customer experience.
This statistic shows as clearly as possible that when your customers are unhappy, it directly influences the bottom line. In this case, the only viable solution is to make the customer experience a top priority.
With the help of CEM software, it becomes much easier to set clear and data-based goals for improving your customer experience, implement any necessary changes and get the most out of every customer interaction.
More Customer Advocates and Business Referrals
Accenture’s Customer Loyalty Report reveals that 55% of U.S. consumers show loyalty to the brands that they like by recommending them to friends and family, which is a number that’s difficult to ignore. And it’s exactly what CXM software can help you achieve.
By gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences your customers have with your brand, you can make improvements to better match up with their individual needs, forming a loyal following of customers that are willing to spread the word about your business.
Choose the Right Customer Investments
Finally, the ability to see from the perspective of the customer results in a much easier time figuring out how to improve your products and customer service so that the customer reaps the most rewards.
Whether it’s adding new features or implementing new technology, by gaining insights into your customer preferences, you can make educated decisions about which investments matter to your customers, and are therefore more relevant.