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Current & Emerging Trends in Customer Experience Management

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  • 0:03 What Is Customer Experience?
  • 0:34 Impact of the Customer…
  • 1:43 Management Trends
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sudha Aravindan

Sudha is currently an Information Technology Specialist and a EdD student at the University of Delaware.

This lesson discusses what customer service experience is and identifies and describes long-term trends in customer experience management that businesses need to implement in order to maintain and grow a loyal customer base.

What Is Customer Experience?

Reviewing the reports from his department store, Chris realized that his company suffered a loss of profits the previous year due to poor customer experiences. Customer experience (CX) is the overall perception the customer has about a company or organization. This broadly includes the points of interaction, the environmental experiences, and the customer journey. Let's take a look at how customer experience can impact a business and then explore some trends for successfully managing the customer experience.

Impact of the Customer Experience

Chris, not wanting this downward trend to continue, sent out a survey to his customer base to understand the reasons why they stopped shopping at his store. He found that customers were dissatisfied with many aspects of the customer service they received, ranging from how difficult it was to return an item to the overall unfriendliness of the staff. Not only did this cause current customers to begin shopping at a competitor's store, but this also gave Chris's store a bad reputation regarding their customer service which caused a loss of potential customers.

Using this survey information to perform further research, Chris determined that much of the poor customer service was due to poor employee performance caused by lack of training. Employees who did not perform well were let go; however, the constant turnover which just created more new and untrained employees, resulted in poor customer service experiences which ultimately caused the image of the shop to be negatively impacted, resulting in lower sales and profits.

Fortunately for Chris, all is not lost. Understanding, improving, and managing the customer experience is a hot item in today's competitive marketplace, and there are many resources available to help businesses gain and expand a loyal customer base.

Management Trends

Let's take a look at some trends in managing the customer experience that can be used for the long-term:

Utilizing Customer Satisfaction Market Research

One resource that companies may want to make use of is industry-wide research. Forrester, a market research company, annually publishes its Customer Experience Index (CX Index), which measures and ranks customer experiences by evaluating almost 120,000 surveys of U.S. consumers about their experiences with around 300 brands over approximately 20 industries. The broad categories measured are how well customer needs are met, ease of communication, and how much the customer enjoyed their experience. Detailed measures including average hold times for calls, friendliness of the agent, and time taken to complete tasks are evaluated to compile the CX Index value.

Companies can then use this information (even if they were not one of the brands included in the surveys) to determine what customers are looking for in their specific industry and then develop programs to improve on specific customer experience measures that are currently lagging as well as develop programs to initiate positive improvements and changes across the organization.

Improving the Customer Journey

The customer journey is the total of every single experience the customer has with the company or brand from the point they become aware of the company or brand through the time they make a purchase. These experiences include the customer service received, their feelings of the actual product, and even the quickness of the delivery of the product, to name a few. Understanding the customer journey will help companies deliver a superior customer service experience as they learn to integrate the customers' point of view into all touchpoints, which are any place where interactions between the customer and a brand can occur.

Businesses need to connect empathetically with the customer, and customers need to be made the central point of focus and provided with positive experiences throughout their journey. The goal should be for the customer to interact with the company because they want to. One example would be designing the store to provide a richer, more pleasing environment and atmosphere that will appeal to the senses and emotions of the customers.

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