What it is: Customer Experience Management (CXM) is a term that encompasses techniques and strategies for increasing customer experience. Generally, it represents a shift away from simple techniques (like free smiles at a fast-food restaurant) to more holistic practices (integrating customer data to develop more nuanced and informed relationships). These practices can occur at any level, from the retail environment to online customer service.
What it does: Although the term is broad, CXM in the modern era usually involves harnessing the wealth of data available to today’s enterprises. For example: in a large organization, customer data siloed in different departments can be brought together to deliver a better view of the customer experience. This integrated perspective can then be used as a canvas for improvement and innovation.
Why it matters: The globalized marketplace is more competitive in every sector. Retail giants of the past are competing with online alternatives. Enterprise software often competes with open-source alternatives. Cloud providers are highly competitive. And so on. Customer experience is often what makes the difference, as much as the product itself; emotional attachment is a part of the product, not an accessory. Some form of CXM is, then, a necessity for any company that’s not a monopoly.
What to do about it: Doubtless, your organization is already engaged in some form of CXM. However, it’s always beneficial to reexamine what data is available, how it can be integrated into a more accurate picture of what your customers want, and how your firm could offer a better experience.
- Improves customer relationships
- Leverages existing data that might otherwise be unused
- Can generate a competitive edge in saturated marketplaces
- Acts as an enabler in iterative improvement activities, for example testing new software features by engaging customers
- Incomplete data collection can lead to worse, not better, experiences
- CXM can require overhauling existing cultures/practices
- Improving CXM can involve upfront costs for potentially uncertain returns
Nike has remained a vital brand that commands high prices, in spite of its crowded market, and in spite of the availability of counterfeit products. This has been accomplished through elaborate CXM, using feedback from the retail experience to create customer relationships that apply to different segments of its audience. For example, the company offers an app specifically for dedicated sneaker collectors, members-only spaces, and so on.