The customer experience (CX) has always been vital to the relationship between consumers and brands. Yet companies increasingly are finding out that gaining real-time insights into their customers’ perceptions is more valuable than ever. Consequently, businesses across a range of industries are augmenting and improving their workflows by utilizing customer experience management (CEM) platforms.
Even companies with robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems are embracing CEM products. After all, CRM and CEM platforms complement each other brilliantly.
CRM Platforms versus CEM Platforms
It’s worth looking at CRM platforms first because they’re widely known. CRM platform solutions are exceptional tools for documenting the customer from the brand’s point of view. Any employee with access can log into the CRM system and learn more about a customer’s history. Therefore, CRMs serve as transparent repositories for basic knowledge about any customer. However, even high-powered CRMs don’t tell what the customer thinks about the brand. This is where CEM platforms come into the picture.
CEM platforms are designed to gather information from customers. For instance, a brand may send out post-purchase surveys through a CEM system. The survey findings can be used right away to personalize future customer interactions. Or, the findings could be leveraged as part of a larger data pool to inform the company’s CX roadmaps. Either way, they help the brand meet the customer on the customer’s terms.
So where are CEM systems having the greatest effect in the business and nonprofit worlds? Currently, organizations representing quite a few industries are beginning to see CEMs as a significant asset.
Retailers have found CEM platforms particularly advantageous post-pandemic. Why? The platforms assist retail establishments in creating omnichannel commerce journeys. Management consulting firm McKinsey shows up to 70% of consumers tend to adopt omnichannel researching and buying habits. As a result, retailers can give customers more of what they want—and less of what they don’t.
At the same time, retail brands can use their CEM systems to collect huge amounts of data. The data can be fed into different departments to initiate activities like resolving individual issues or making widespread product improvements. This helps retailers make the most of customer touchpoints. regardless of where and when those touchpoints occur, consumers feel a sense of engagement and customization.
2. WiFi and Home Networking
Having access to dedicated WiFi is essential for most households. Nevertheless, many families face the frustration of congested Internet bandwidth. Unfortunately, some larger WiFi providers can receive low marks for their customer support services when it comes to improving home-based networks. This leads to a significant disadvantage, as customers are more than willing to switch to more local, responsive providers.
How willing are customers to walk? According to research from Internet service management company Plume, nearly four out of 10 customers have left their communications service provider in the past 24 months. To stop this churn, WiFi providers are experimenting with cloud-based CEM platforms. In this case, the CEM anticipates and overcomes service gaps before they become issues. When that’s not possible, the CEM can alert both the customer and support team to provide fast answers and limited interruptions
In the Airkit 2021 State of Digital CX Report, 40% of respondents said they were willing to move to a different insurance provider. The main reason for their mass exodus? They wanted an online experience that seemed intuitive and built for modern living. Fortunately, many insurance providers are listening by reframing their relationships with customers.
As such, they’re adopting CEM platforms as vehicles to facilitate faster enrollments and claims processing. When customers can handle their own renewals, they can bypass insurance service representatives without losing coverage. Offering these types of self-service possibilities allows customers to feel more in charge.
4. Higher Education
Colleges and universities are spending time tinkering with CEM platforms as well. Like all other industries, education has changed since 2020. Students and their families don’t want to wait to find answers to their financial assistance questions or to go through clunky registration processes.
Take a CEM system that’s been outfitted with queue management software. The electronic, unbiased queue management software removes the need for a student to stand in line to register for a course or pick housing. Once the student is in the digital queue, the student can physically go elsewhere while the student’s information is moved along. The CEM can text, email, or call when the student’s turn comes up.
Are patients customers? Plenty of hospital systems are seeing them in that light. And patients are appreciative of getting the royal treatment, just as they do from their favorite brands. CEM platforms enable healthcare entities to give patients more of a concierge experience. The patient gains access to the CEM through an app or web portal. From that point, the patient has the opportunity to set appointments, download information, and ask questions.
This type of give-and-take experience serves to elevate the interactions between patients and providers. Not only do patients have greater visibility over their medical records, but they can potentially reduce their waiting room times. As described above, queue management can be just as useful in healthcare as it is in education.
At best, the recruitment and onboarding process can seem one-sided to job candidates. Often, an applicant will feel left out of the loop—or get stuck within the system. CEM platforms give job seekers a way to stay in touch with and on top of their interview journeys.
From the recruiter’s standpoint, CEMs give a clearer look into the minds of candidates. It’s difficult for recruitment teams to make improvements if they don’t know what applicants expect. By eliciting information from CEM platforms, recruiters can move closer to constructing a 100% frictionless experience from resume submission to job offer.
The upsides of CRMs have been known for decades. Now, it’s time for CEMs to get their chance to shine, too. Slowly, CEM tools are creeping into all fields as companies start to understand their potential for positive impact. If the trend continues, it won’t be long before CEMs become part of a modern business’s basic tech stack.
Image credit: Sora Shimazaki; Pexels