While many computer and software companies are aware of the importance of CRM and customer service, some are not able to keep up with the evolving needs, behaviors and expectations of their customers. A recent evolution regarding CRM has been the progression to include Customer Experience Management (CEM) when it comes to thinking about customer needs and services. The experience incorporates the entire process of customer acquisition to gaining customer loyalty.
Industry executives need to keep up with external communities and outside forums that their customers are both seeking and using. Consumers are always looking to other consumers for their reviews, advice and help. Consumers trust each other, but it is essential that companies are aware of these communities and use them to their advantage. There are many reasons for encouraging customers to participate in these communities. Reasons for initial engagement on the customer’s end could be to leave a product review, seek additional information before purchasing a product/service or to offer help to their peers. Your company may encourage this behavior because it can generate new ideas for products and will build a community between your customers, which in turn can lower costs. The essential base that needs to be laid for this to happen is listening to customers and social chatter and directing it in a direction that benefits the company’s relationships with its customers.
Initial research collected by Forrester’s Customer Experience (CX) Index, as well as interviews with technology management leaders, including Dell, showed that companies had improved their scores significantly in the realm of customer experience and its result in customer loyalty. This research revealed that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) needed to use measurements that demonstrate customer experience and create more management jobs within the company that run the customer-focused technology in order to improve overall customer experience. Dell revealed that it follows up on trouble tickets to better understand specific customer experiences. Dell shows extra care, in not only solving issues as they arise with customers, but in calling customers back after the fact to truly listen and engage with them. This begins with customer service, but builds customer loyalty.