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What is a Customer Experience Management Strategy?

Jan 20, 2022

What is a Customer Experience Management Strategy?

You may have an idea of where you are in delivering on customers’ expectations, and you may have an idea of where you’d like to end up, but how are you going to get there? And how do you keep from getting distracted by the issues that pop up along the way? This is why your customer experience management program needs a strategy.

Your customer experience management strategy is the plan to get your customer experience on the right track from where it currently is to the ultimate goal of improved success and customer satisfaction. It is a framework that considers and improves everything you do between the initial desire to meet customer needs during the customer interaction and back again in a feedback loop.

Having this plan thought out puts you in control of your destiny, instead of letting your journey toward improved outcomes and great customer service be drawn off-course by the stuff that happens along the way.

There are many things to consider in building and implementing a customer experience management strategy, so here are some questions—and their answers—that you’ll want to keep in mind:

How do you develop a successful customer experience management strategy?

The fact is a customer experience strategy is only as good as its objectives, and the process of establishing objectives is all about setting targets and applying insights to get you incrementally closer to success. However, your objective has to be more focused than “to do better,” and it needs to affect the entire organization. Our research has shown brands can achieve dual benefits of both improving outcomes and proving ROI by ideating a customer experience management strategy seeking to do both. The first step is setting smart, strategy-guiding objectives.

4 frameworks for business-focused objectives that will prove program ROI

  • Generate new revenue by attracting customers, opening new channels, and expanding product offerings—Success (and survival) rely on being future-focused; history tells us it’s simply not enough to maintain. Brands must steadily seek ways to attract more customers, open more channels, and offer better products. It’s about uncovering new ways of doing business that open new streams of revenue. Customer feedback makes it possible—providing necessary perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and what you must do to move your brand forward.
  • Increase revenue through increased transactions and lifetime customer value – Challenge the status quo of customer loyalty. Create fierce advocates for your brand and find ways to broaden and deepen every interaction. Consumers and employees want to stick with what works, putting their time, energy, and dollars toward brands they love. By listening to their hearts, you can move your organization toward a lifetime of reliable brand loyalty (not to mention a rising bottom line).
  • Reduce churn and detractors by lessening at-risk revenue, recovering lapsed customers, and curbing employee turnover – There’s a certain amount of loss every business must stomach. It’s what you do with that loss that determines whether you’ll move forward. In this case, ignorance isn’t an excuse; instead it denies you a successful future. But with the right tools in place, brands have the chance to save at-risk revenue, recover lost customers, and curb employee churn. Open every door (and window) for feedback and be willing to make changes based on that feedback.
  • Drive operational efficiencies to better serve customers, reduce operating costs, and increase employee satisfaction – It’s up to you to make your business run better, faster, more efficiently. When your data directs you to the right levers to pull and the right changes to make, you can redefine what it means to serve your customers. Not only does that mean more positive interactions with consumers, it means more satisfied employees who can recognize shifts toward making their jobs easier. And all of it can lead to reduced costs to operate. You’ll be leaner, stronger, better equipped for the future.

How do you monitor a customer experience management strategy?

Now that you have your starting point, simply collecting data isn’t enough—companies can’t win loyalty by simply measuring the customer experience metrics. In making an impact, successful companies understand the relationship between customer experience (CX) data and meaningful action that works to uncover true insight—because a better understanding of a customer’s interactions is what leads to meeting business outcomes.

Challenge your customer experience management metrics: data vs. insights

Your customer experience management strategy needs to produce meaningful insights that help create a great customer experience, not just data points. To that end, your data analysis should be:

  • Specific – Instead of learning only that scores are changing, you need specific information about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how you can enact change.
  • Understandable – Instead of a data dump drowning in complicated statistics, you need tactical tools that are action-oriented, intuitive and engaging, and easily accessible.
  • Prescriptive – Teams need targeted coaching on which levers to pull—and you have to be able to define what those efforts will actually look like in the field.
  • Measurable – You need to be able to track your team’s efforts—against other internal teams, past performance, industry averages, and more.
  • Worthwhile – Raising scores isn’t the real objective—true CX insights will impact the entire business and predict financial impact and success beyond CX measures.

For a deeper dive into how and why you need to look for each of these important factors in differentiating between data and insights, check out our best practice guide, Anatomy of a true CX insight.

What does an XM platform need to have to deliver on strategy?

To help you evaluate your current experience management (XM) strategy and ensure it delivers insights (and not just data collection), let’s take a look at 4 key functions of an insights-driven XM platform that can deliver on a comprehensive customer experience management strategy to increase customer satisfaction.

1. Collects customer feedback data across touchpoints

To get a holistic view of the customer experience, you need an enterprise measurement solution that collects feedback across the entire customer journey. By analyzing both solicited and unsolicited data across every customer touchpoint, you can truly understand the full scope of customer interactions with your brand and create an action plan focused on making targeted improvements. This customer journey map gives sound insight to the diverse array of customer touchpoints that exist in modern customer experience management.

experience management customer journey

2. Provides an intuitive technology platform

Great customer data doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense. Without a clear way to spot trends, compare scores, and read comments, it can feel impossible to take action. With a customer experience management platform that streamlines real-time data and provides easy-to-read visualizations, you’ll have access to tools like role-based reporting, customizable dashboards, industry benchmarks, and advanced text analytics. By getting the data you need, how you need it, and at the right time, you can really understand what consumers are trying to tell you—making it easier to drive meaningful change to your organization.

3. Offers professional support

A robust and intuitive reporting platform is a vital component of your XM program, but technology alone will only get you so far. To turn mountains of experience data into actionable insights, you’ll want a dedicated services team that provides analysis support, insight delivery, and ongoing strategic partnership. A collaborative tech + professional services approach is most successful in producing measurable results that boost loyalty and drive business performance.

4. Demonstrates ROI

It’s tough to justify the value of an XM program when it doesn’t improve business outcomes. You need a provider that surfaces actionable insights and produces tangible results. In a recent report, Forrester found respondents at firms with advanced insights-driven capabilities experienced both top- and bottom-line benefits and were 2.8x more likely to report double-digit growth year-over-year. Insights help you map CX improvements to cross-functional gains demonstrating tangible, company-wide ROI—so you can prove the program is worth the effort.

Implement an effective strategy to get true customer experience insights

Making a lasting impact with a customer experience management strategy requires a program that includes data collection methods designed by researchers, reporting tools that are intuitive and action-oriented, and client teams with industry expertise. Settling for less means settling for data points—not insights.

To learn more about how to turn a customer experience management strategy into business results, check out our guide, The ultimate guide to experience management ROI.