Customer Experience Management (CXM): A Basic Guide

Customer Experience Management (CXM): A Basic Guide

Customer experience will be the greatest differentiator between successful and unsuccessful businesses in our interconnected, global marketplace. 

Effective customer experience management aims to create positive impressions of your brand with customers in order to generate loyalty, and, in turn, long term profits. 

Great customer experiences are achieved by effectively listening to the voice of your customers, and transforming their feedback into action

Within this crash course in customer experience management we will define and underline its importance, outline basic strategies and difficulties, and go through the best available tools.

Let’s jump right in – feel free to click through to the section most helpful to you:

  1. What Is Customer Experience Management (CXM/CEM)?
  2. Why Is Customer Experience Management Important?
  3. Customer Experience Management Strategies
  4. Customer Experience Management Tools

What Is Customer Experience Management (CXM/CEM)?

Customer experience management, aka CXM or CEM, is the exercise of improving customers’ overall experience with a business. 

CXM takes a bird’s eye view of the entire interaction between customer and business, and prioritizes the impression of your company that they leave with over any individual sale. Positive impressions can generate brand loyalty, curb customer churn, and inspire customers to vocally advocate your product.

Commonly abbreviated as both CXM and CEM, customer experience management is closely related to customer relationship management (CRM), but differs in its goal. 

CXM, as we’ve established, seeks to boost customer satisfaction and in turn loyalty, whereas CRM seeks solely to increase sales by using customer data to inform sales teams. 

Quantifying customer experience in order to inform CXM strategy is possible through customer satisfaction metrics such as your NPS score

NPS scores, among other customer experience (CX) metrics, gauge customer loyalty through 1-10 satisfaction surveys and open-ended written response data, which can be analyzed to improve your business at key touchpoints. 

Let’s go over why your team should make an effective CXM strategy a priority. 

Why Is Customer Experience Management Important?

Simply put, businesses understand the need for a positive brand impression but often misunderstand how their customers actually feel about their brand.

This is known as the ‘customer experience gap’, and it means that there is a ton of room to grow for many companies when it comes to realizing a successful CXM approach. 

It’s not that businesses aren’t aware of the need to improve their customer experience. As you can see, CX will be the top priority for businesses in coming years:

Bar graph titled "What Is The Top Priority For Your Business In The Next 5 Years". Three green bars labeled "Customer Experience", "Pricing", and ""Product". White percentages read at the top of each bar graph: Customer Experience - "45.9%". Pricing - "20.5%". Product - "33.6%".

Source: survey of business professionals by SuperOffice

However, in pursuit of improving CX many businesses may have to come to terms with where they actually stand, as stagnating or declining customer experience scores were the norm for the majority of brands – 81% of CX scores stagnated, and 5% declined in 2019 according to Forrester Analytics

Now, customer experience is not only set to be the number one brand differentiator from 2020 on, but positive CX has been shown to be the largest influence of customer loyalty, which has emerged as the leading factor in driving long term profits. 

Here are some numbers to underline the importance of positive customer experience management: 

  1. Loyalty: Loyalty pays – great CXM will grow your number of loyal customers and significantly improve your bottom line, with studies indicating that a 5% increase in customer retention can result in a 25% increase in profit.
  2. Increased Spending: According to American Express, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a positive experience. On top of that, customers who receive a great customer experience are willing to spend between 13 and 18 percent more on average. 
  3. Customer Retention: CXM improvement should never stop as you can only keep the customers you already have if you continue to make sure that their experience with your business, be it customer service, returns, or new transactions, continues to be positive. 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.

positive cx lead to

For these reasons, a great CXM approach will make or break businesses in the coming years. But fear not, CXM is getting easier due to recent advances in AI data analysis that help you gain even deeper customer insights

Next, let’s go through some starting points for your CXM strategy. 

Customer Experience Management Strategies

Because it takes into account each and every time customers come into contact with your business, managing customer experience can seem challenging. But this doesn’t need to be the case.

Efficient CXM strategies focus on improving the customer journey through the following 4 techniques:

  1. Understanding and Segmenting Customers
  2. Personalizing Experience and Creating Emotional Connection 
  3. Omnichannel Consistency and Cross-Team Communication
  4. Improving and Actualizing Customer Feedback 

We’ll go through each of these and uncover what a holistic CXM approach might look like for your company. 

Understanding and Segmenting Customers

Back to the customer experience gap – we can’t improve our CX unless we understand our customers better.

We can start to do this by ‘segmenting’, aka grouping, our customers by age, spending habits, etc, and determining the greatest needs of each group. 

Segmenting your customers by cohort allows you to take a look at problem points along your customer journey to prevent churn and improve CX going forward. 

But that’s not all – while grouping customers by ‘pain’ or ‘problem’ points in their journey helps improve your UX or product, we can push our segmentation strategy further by creating a unique ‘customer profile’ for each customer. 

A customer profile might look like this:

profile

A smart CXM approach then uses these customer profiles to segment more cohorts based on this demographic data (our profile categories: age, location, etc). 

These demographic cohorts can then be segmented further through advanced AI analysis to inform future strategy per cohort, making your products the best they can be for each group of customers. 

Personalizing Experience and Creating Emotional Connection 

Emotionally invested customers will be advocates for your brand, but getting customers to buy in takes a personalized approach to each customer. 

In order to create an accurate ‘customer profile’ (see above on segmentation) – you need to understand your customers demographic data and the context in which they operate – are they a corporate buyer? Buying for their home? Buying as a luxury? Etc.

The goal is to know your customer so you can shape their journey, and have a made and ready customer persona that can help customer service and other customer facing teams should an issue arise. 

The goal of all personalization is to create an emotional connection between your brand and customers, which you can measure by analyzing brand sentiment (also known as brand health). . Emotionally invested customers tend to remain loyal and even promote your product unprompted – and there's nothing better than free advertising! It’s a win-win for both brand and customer. 

Omnichannel Consistency and Cross-Team Communication

A CXM approach is only as good as the internal communication of the teams behind it.

With multiple teams receiving customer data, it is important to store all customer interactions in one place and make it accessible across various teams to guide future personalization.

While doing so, emphasizing and standardizing the different aspects of customer data so that your teams can effectively communicate with each other is key. 

With all your teams using the same terms and understanding each others goals and contributions, you will be able to provide a consistent brand persona for each and every customer. And, most importantly, deliver a consistent omnichannel experience, no matter how your customers get in touch with you. 

Improving and Actualizing Customer Feedback 

Just like they say listening is key to any relationship, improving how you listen to your customer feedback is key to productive CXM.

Listening to customer feedback requires attention to feedback coming from multiple sources and analyzing that feedback for future results. 

Many companies will have to undergo a comprehensive overhaul of their VoC (Voice of Customer) programs with the goal being to implement a more effective ‘listening approach’.

VoC data, gathered from customer service interactions and survey responses, among other sources, is often abundant but under-or-incorrectly utilized. 

This leads to the customer experience gap. Automating your customer feedback system with intuitive, no-code AI tools such as MonkeyLearn can quickly bring your feedback listening up to speed. 

Let’s go through the entire repertoire of CXM AI tools available.

Customer Experience Management Tools

CXM is currently experiencing glacial change due to new AI tools that are transforming what is possible. Here we will take a look at four types of tools: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools, Automation Tools, Personalization Engines, and Data Visualization Tools. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools 

These tools focus on mining your customer journey for actionable sales data.

Salesforce

As the most well known CRM automation, salesforce offers a suite of tools to empower CRM at every touchpoint for marketing, service, and sales teams alike.

Hubspot 

A forward thinking alternative, Hubspot blurs the line between CXM and CRM by emphasizing brand growth and customer satisfaction over just sales. 

Automation Tools

With vast swathes of customer service data occupying many company archives, and raw text responses making up the majority of this data, automated feedback engines are a must for any company hoping to harness the power of their customer responses.

MonkeyLearn

We at MonkeyLearn hope to take the pain out of data analysis. MonkeyLearn offers a complete studio of tools and a customizable API fit to tackle any data analysis approach. 

Tinker with our sentiment analyzer to see how our automation engines can help you understand how customers feel towards your brand, products or services.

Personalization Engine

Customers want to feel that they are important, and making sure they feel this way is key to brand loyalty and advocacy. These tools hope to help you endear yourself to every type of customer.

Insider

Its sleek, modern interface isn’t a façade – Insider is the leader in automating customer personalization for 17 quarters running. Focusing on omnichannel personalization and using data insights to empower future personalization, Insider can transform any businesses CXM approach.

Dynamic Yield

For the tech-savvy, Dynamic Yield offers an agile, programmable alternative that can be programmed to custom fit unique businesses. 

Data Visualization Tools 

Having gone to all that trouble to gather accurate data, it’s important you can display it in a way your teams can understand as they plan for the future.

Here are a few great data viz options:

MonkeyLearn

MonkeyLearn Studio is a customizable, no-code option geared to make displaying all your data in one place easy – play around with our demo dashboard.

Google Data Studio

As in all things, Google offers a highly compatible data viz hub for experts and novices alike. 

Tableau

Another leader in data visualization, Tableau offers aesthetically pleasing data viz in all formats from bar graphs to geographic displays. 

Takeaways

Hopefully we’ve been able to help you better understand customer experience management. As evidenced by its rise to the forefront of business strategy, the importance of CXM for keeping brands afloat in the coming years cannot be understated.

CXM might seem obtuse, but it is easy to think of it as the process of making sure that every customer facing part of your business is providing a pleasant experience so that customers feel cared for and important at all times.

Thumb through all of MonkeyLearn’s analytics tools to revolutionize your CXM approach with powerful data analysis today. 

Sign up to MonkeyLearn for free, and start running your customer data through our ready-made tools. 

Want to see how MonkeyLearn can improve customer experience management? Schedule a free demo today.

Rachel Wolff

June 3rd, 2021

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