In this day and age of the ever-complaining customer with a megaphone of social media, managing customer experience has become an imperative for brands.
Beyond that, there is a direct correlation with customer experience and revenue, and brands want satisfied customers who will buy more of their products and be an advocate, notes Bill McMurray, managing director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics.
Customer experience management thus encompasses four vital statistics of customer experience, product experience, brand experience and employee experience, according to McMurray.
“Where employee experience is different is the measure of satisfaction of your employees, how engaged they are in helping make your business successful,” said McMurray.
“All four of these things we believe, have a direct correlation on revenue, so therefore you need to care about all four of these,” he added.
Digital and real-world experience
Managing these four experiences is not just on the digital side but in the brick and mortar stores as well, notes McMurray.
“It has to cater to every single touch points that a customer has with a brand, the strategy for customer experience management has to cover physical ins-tore brick and mortar type arrangement, all your digital presence, it has to get from social [media] environments as well as directly solicited feedback from intercepts or popups, or surveys that get distributed to any one of the multitude of channels,” said McMurray.
Customers are now researching online before buying online or offline, and capturing the entire digital experience is also key in managing customer experience.
“It is very broad and not simply one vehicle like an email survey,” said McMurray.
“The point is all that information needs to be collected and aggregated so you can slice and dice that data and do the analysis to find that correlation between experience measures on that one area versus another,” he added.
This is more than just merely collecting information, as McMurray points out. Employee experience for example, has to encompass the entire lifecycle of the employee, from interview to leaving.
“It’s the entire lifecycle of the employee through the company… you need to care about the entire lifecycle, and it’s the same with the customer, you need to be thinking about how do you measure, track and optimise the experience for your customer at every touch point you have with them,” said McMurray.
“From the initial search on the website for a product, needs to be easy to navigate and helpful, if you’re stuck it will pop up and offer you help and guidance, all the way to when you walk up to the store, is the store laid out well, is the hygiene well and good, are the employees able to serve you well, are they knowledgeable about what their doing. This includes when you go home with the product, what’s that experience like, and if there’s something wrong with the product, what’s the support experience like,” he added.
While it might seem like a uphill battle to get on top of everything, McMurray tempts with the claim that brands who do, are rewarded handsomely.
“What we are seeing in the world today, organisations who really care and make a strategy out of experience management and provide very good experiences, are being disproportionately recognised and rewarded with higher revenues, those providing poor experiences are being disproportionately negatively rewarded with losses of revenue and customer base, that’s why organisations need to really care about this,” said McMurray.
This applies to Asia Pacific as well, as countries look to experiences to determine if they would continue on a website, and even to emerging countries as well, warns McMurray.
“This applies to all organisations that have customers that can easily switch to a competitor, like a telecommunications company, you can switch to one tomorrow and keep your number, telcos have to care about their customers. Banks, you can easily move from one institution to another, so banks have to care about how they keep their customers. Retail stores, you can just easily walk into another retail store if you’re not satisfied with how they’re treating you, they need to care,” said McMurray.
“That’s not necessarily just the highest-tech countries, it’s anybody that cares about their customer base and revenue growth as consequence of it,” he added.