The Customer Experience
What does CEM look like?
At its most basic, a Customer Experience Management system captures information about individual service events and feeds it back to the organization. The information can be gathered from customers who provide their impressions of recent service experiences, as well as from objective observers who record specific details about service execution. More sophisticated systems integrate data from both sources so that company standards and execution can be continually calibrated with customer expectations and impressions. Unlike traditional market research reporting, which is delivered weeks after the data are collected, Customer Experience Management systems feed back information within days or hours of the service event, allowing employees and managers to make small, effective adjustments on an on-going basis.
Capturing and integrating data about service execution and customer impressions is important, but it is only the first step. These data need to loop back to training initiatives so that knowledge and performance deficiencies among employees are directly and continually addressed. Furthermore, Customer Experience Management programs may extend the linkage to employee and manager incentives. Thus, front-line employees and supervisors continually receive feedback, training and rewards linked to their day-to-day interactions with customers.
Finally, a comprehensive Customer Experience Management program also incorporates key metrics related to customer behavior and profitability, such as retention rates, average purchase amounts, store sales, complaint and resolution rates, etc. The strength of a Customer Experience Management system is in its ability to continually align company performance with customer needs and behaviors, enabling companies to make small, day-to-day adjustments as well as enterprise-wide changes.
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