According to Jerry Gregoire, the past CIO of Dell Computers, “the customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” Business are increasingly shifting their strategy to be more customer focused, emphasizing the importance of Customer Experience Management (CEM), the process in which companies monitor customer expectations alongside what experience actually takes place. For this possibility to exist, organizations need advanced technology to collect feedback across business channels, analyze it and disperse it internally. In doing so, teams will be able to optimize their customer service offerings, thereby growing their customer base.

Everyone has played the part of consumer at some point or another, and many of us have encountered customer service that was either exceptional or sub par. As our world has grown increasingly connected, the channels by which consumers can voice their opinions have expanded dramatically. The challenge for businesses is that often they are the last ones to “hear” this message. Praise and criticism are being spread by word of mouth or through social media channels, enabling consumers to make complaints in real-time to an unlimited audience. Certain criticisms hold enough weight to present threats to a company’s brand or reputation.

Companies cannot afford to be selective when addressing the needs of their customers. If companies fail to listen to their customers or do not take action to offer better, personal service, they will be faced with the harsh reality of losing business to their competitors.

A CEM solution that provides all levels of employees a thorough understanding of customer feedback and satisfaction is vital to the effectiveness of the solution. If utilized properly, companies will be able to hone in on problem areas and make simple adjustments such as updates to training materials or adding supplemental resources. Granting frontline employees access to feedback related to their customer interactions holds them responsible to the important role that they play in the company’s performance. This accountability draws their attention to how a single interaction can affect the customer’s experience, and ultimately, the company. Employees can better assess their performance and are empowered make adjustments accordingly when given access to survey results as they happen.

The advantages of these customer insights extend to upper level management and executives, who will have access to a collective data set and various levels of additional detail as required. They will be able to evaluate trends and key metrics, thereby driving enhancements from the top level to advance operations and customer satisfaction.

What This Means for the Financial Sector
Banks need to rethink their approach to customer service, beginning with their employees. The metrics made available through a CEM solution can be a useful tool for financial institutions to identify areas of improvement, increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing customer churn. Without a CEM program, these institutions will not be able to accurately gauge their customers’ satisfaction levels and face the possibility of losing customers to other banks with better reputations.

Tying into Telcos
The telecom industry is in dire need for improved customer experience. With countless customers depending on mobile phones, customer interactions are a centerpiece in the telecommunications industry. A CEM solution could help telcos identify customers at risk and implement steps leading to a reduction in turnover and enhanced customer retention.

Conclusion
Adopting a CEM program can enable companies to witness immediate and noticeable increases in customer satisfaction and retention rates. Consumer opinions and needs are key to the decisions employees make from how they approach a customer to how they allot their budget and train their team.

Syed HasanSyed Hasan, president and CEO, ResponseTek
As the President & CEO of ResponseTek, Syed is a proven leader with a wealth of experience in managing success.

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