What Makes Customer Experience Management So Hard?

May 8, 2012 Messagepoint

Most modern marketers are struggling with the need to wrap their heads round “Customer Experience Management”.  Even getting a consistent definition is hard.  Seems the tighter you squeeze it, the more of the definition slips though your fingers.  One definite is that Customer Experience Management starts with the customer. Customer Experience Management is all about their needs and how you can organize around delivering on them.  And in so doing build a stronger relationship and foster loyalty.

At the core of Customer Experience Management is the need to be able to gather, analyze and disseminate a deep understanding of the needs of the customer, and to possibly share this information to partners, while also being a responsible data steward and adhering to compliance and privacy directives.

The information you gather about your customer(s) interactions with you, qualitative and quantitative data about who they are, about their web behavior, and about their communications preferences, can all help you to understand them more closely.  It helps you to focus your communications with them — from responses to their inquiries to the offers and promotions you may choose to send them from time to time.

But in order to be useful, these insights need to be actionable.  Its not enough to know your customer intimately, if that information isn’t informing the interactions you have with them through whichever channel they may come to you next through, or through which they prefer to hear from you.   This means have the right people in the organization empowered with the right tools to define the messages that you want to deliver – customer by customer.  And again, ensuring that these messages can be delivered consistently through any channel – more specifically through THE channel the customer prefers….

As a marketer I consistently struggle.  Not so much with the insights about my customers.  I get them.  They share with me much about themselves, often willingly in exchange for information resources I make available to them.  I could always learn more… but learning more won’t help me nearly as much as being able to more readily action the information I already have.

The existing CRM, Marketing Automation, Web Content Management and other systems I have available to me, all fall short.  Either because they are focused only on distilling insights. Or because the insights driven actions are limited only to digital channels and don’t take into account all the high value, high impact traditional channels of communications with customers – like transaction statements.  Or because they treat my customers like prospects, instead of accounting for all the depth of experience and knowledge that has built up from the days, weeks or sometimes years of interaxction I have with them as long=standing and loyal customers.

There’s a gap that needs to be filled… between all of these marketing technologies.  And that gap needs to be filled to deliver on the Customer Experience Management goal.  With the right solution, marketers can count on bringing all these existing tech investments together – and therefore making the whole greater than the sum of its parts..

In the end, while Customer Experience Management is inherently complex, its core can be distilled down to some very simple roots:  delivering the right message, at the right time, using the right channel / medium in a personal, focused way to an individual customer.  All we need is the right glue.

 

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