Superior customer experience is one of the few remaining means of sustainable competitive differentiation as the effects of globalization take their toll. Digital channels are steadily replacing face-to-face and voice interactions with customers. So the role of IT is increasingly important.
Gartner defines customer experience management as "the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy." It is a strategy that requires process change and many technologies to accomplish. Social Media is ubiquitous and has become every day, every place tool.
Customer Experience and perception are shaped by crowd-sourced sentiment on social media. Loyal customers are what keep a brand afloat. Loyal customers come back, make repeat purchases. Loyal customers are unpaid salespeople. Customer Experience Management 'closes the gap' between the intended customer experience and the actual customer experience. Technology can be used to collect and analyze customer feedback automatically.
Good technology must deliver customer insights with full access to analytics, reporting options, and integration with your existing business systems. Quite simply, technology tools are used to ask the right questions, the responses to which measure, understand, and improve customer experience. According to e-consultant Christopher Ratcliff, technology can help your organization to have a single customer view. The benefits of this include improved customer service, better customer retention, higher conversion rates, and an improved overall customer lifetime value. Strengthening brand loyalty can then lead to higher spending.
Brand advocates will often spend more, purchase more items, and return to the business more frequently. Ensuring your customers understand why you're different from your competitors and that you're a unique entity will help ensure they continue interacting with you.
This applies to you if you just started to use technology to aid your Customer Engagement, or are developing an entirely new vision for your organization. The quality of your customers' experience should be paramount to your strategy.
At Cygnite.Africa, we are working to explore existing and new ways to improve the customer experience using technology.