Customer Experience encompasses the sum of experiences that a customer or buyer has with a company that offers services or products. This “experience” counts as the length of the contract that has been made between the two parties, and it can include a purchase, a use, or a new discovery. For sales promoters such as companies, it is important to control the customer experience. So-called Customer Experience Management, which can be part of CRM, controls this area.
For a long time, companies and their advertising was targeted towards selling products to potential customers. Further aspects of the purchase, such as customer satisfaction, brand awareness, or the experience with the service and/or product, were not as important.
However, with increasing competition, companies and advertisers increased their interest in the customer experience as it became apparent that satisfied customers ensured that the products and services could find greater distribution; an effect which can’t be targeted through advertising alone. Today, Customer Experience Management is one of the most important factors in making a brand or company successful.
The Customer Experience is an indicator as to the success of the company or its products or service. Therefore, the goal of the respective management is to encourage the customers to interact with the company, and thereby to have a positive experience.
Long term, the positive outcome of having loyal customers should become clear. The concept of Customer Experience gives the company the challenge of fulfilling the wishes and needs of potential customers and buyers by interacting with them.
Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) deals with the measures and processes which are necessary for fulfilling the needs of individuals. Aspects of CEM also include the development of strategies, concepts, and brand management. CEM is the most important aspect of the entire business model.
Areas which are impacted from CEM
The quicker a complaint can be dealt with, the better the customer’s experience with the company will be. A generous and fairly dealt with complaint can for example ensure a positive experience, even if he/she was not satisfied with the product or service.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and has the goal of enhancing the customer relationship. Through appropriate actions, positive associations can be created between the customer and the company.
On social media channels, buyers and customers have the opportunity to interact with the company directly. The platforms are well suited to determine the needs of customers.
With customer service, every company has the chance to communicate directly with customers and buyers to find out their individual needs, and thus to improve their service offer.
Through product evaluations, online marketing can target particular goals. Evaluations from different portals can be integrated in adverts from Google AdWords for example, to influence or substantiate the Customer Experience.
Customer Experience Management should make customer behavior projectable. However, the opinions and emotions of customers can’t always be controlled. It is therefore of course possible that a marketing campaign suddenly turns into a disaster which has a negative impact on the customer experience. An example of this would be Adidas’s advertising campaign in May 2014, in which the footballer Lukas Podolski holds a real heart in his hands.
The reaction of the social network community was enormous, and resulted in lots of publicity, which contributed to a small dent in Adidas’ image just before the Football World Cup in 2014. Every marketer and CEO should therefore be aware that a sustainable Customer Experience Management must be clearly in line with the advertising activity of a company, because above all, with marketing through social media, the behavior of the user and their attitude to the brand can change quickly. The CEM has to be flexible enough to react to changes in customer experience quickly.