Reinventing the Customer Experience: The New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
Deirdre Coleman explores Customer Experience Management (CEM) - using the customer perspective as a driver for internal business improvement and the value of seeing the business through the discerning lens of the customer.
Customer experience is, quite simply, how your customers perceive their every interaction with your company. It’s a fundamental business driver and goes to the heart of everything your company does; how you conduct your business, how your people behave when they interact with customers and each other, the value you provide. It encompasses how you manage your business and what your brand stands for. The critical moments of interaction, or touch points, between companies and customers are increasingly spread across different parts of the organization, so customer engagement is now everyone’s responsibility.
Interest in managing the customer experience has increased as research has directly connected medium and long term business profitability to levels and dimensions of customer satisfaction. CEM provides businesses with a tool to systematically measure and improve customer satisfaction by using the customer perspective as a driver for internal business improvement. The better a business can align its operations to accurately match what customers want and expect, then the more effective and efficient the business becomes. However, gathering customer information and then using it effectively for improvement is no small task. It takes a well-planned and systematic effort.
Capturing the Voice of the Customer
To improve customer satisfaction, CEM collects and applies customer feedback along with other basic customer information to more effectively align business activities to customer’s wants and needs. This creates a positive customer experience that leads to satisfied customers and ultimately leads to better financial performance.
According to Stefan Gijssels, VP Communications & Public Affairs, EMEA at Janssen, getting a clear picture of where your company resides on the customer experience continuum is the first step to improving customer experience.
“Capturing and analyzing stakeholder feedback is a critical first step in getting clear insight into how we rank currently with our customer base. One way to measure the value perception is to find various ways to measure stakeholder attitudes that develop in response to touch points. We work closely with an outside consultancy, Trilations, who undertake an intensive survey using the Net Promoter Score, to assess the relationship our stakeholders have with our brand and their willingness to recommend us as a company. NPS is based on a direct question: How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service? The more likely a customer is to recommend a product, then the more emotionally connected or loyal they feel toward the business. NPS is an open-source metric that can be adapted to meet the needs of an individual organisation. It can be used not just to measure loyalty but as a system to transform the entire organisation as it focuses in on the customer. Only by systematically measuring its effect on people and their relationships, can an organisation gauge whether it is achieving its vision and delivering value to its stakeholders: that includes everyone, from the journalists we interact with, to payers, regulators, hospital managers, patient associations and physicians themselves. CEM provides a practical measurement process that can accurately access our company’s progress”.
Using CEM to Improve
Implementing a CEM program takes management commitment. Without a commitment of time, resources, and attention from the organisation’s leaders, a CEM program will likely fail, in much the same way as any change initiative
This is where the rubber meets the road for CEM, closing the loop by applying information in positive ways to improve how the organisation delivers products and services and how it interacts with customers. It is only when information is used to take meaningful action that CEM delivers on its potential. While the ultimate goal of CEM is to gain a financial benefit, it is improvements gained in performance, efficiency, reliability, friendliness, and service that result in satisfied customers and in turn builds a strong business. Blindly using customer feedback to chase better customer satisfaction is not the best way to realize a return on CEM investments. A business that makes improvements in a strategic way to build organisational success and customer value will see more positive results.
“The real work begins with closing the loop with customers, applying what is learned and creating initiatives that will improve how the organisation delivers value to its stakeholders. We benchmark ourselves against our competitors and establish priorities for improvement. These priorities need to align with the company’s overarching business goals. Using CEM allows a business to continuously improve customer experiences in ways that ultimately builds customer satisfaction and loyalty; improving the value score by improving the value chain. Implementing a CEM program takes management commitment. Without a commitment of time, resources, and attention from the organisation’s leaders, a CEM program will likely fail, in much the same way as any change initiative”, clarifies Gijssels.
CEM needs to have certain critical pieces in place in order to be impact a business’s ability to improve customer satisfaction. Simply starting a CEM program will not produce results. The CEM efforts must be connected and coordinated to achieve well-defined objectives. An integrated CEM program gets the right information to the right people at the right time. Every employee interacting with a customer has access to all the information needed to provide a satisfactory result. But it is equally important that employees who do not directly interact with customers, understand their role in contributing to the overall customer experience. The companies that best understand customer experience management have an expansive vision of what that experience must be to convert prospects to customers to advocates.
Michael Baes, VP Customer Innovation, Janssen will be speaking at eyeforpharma Barcelona on Janssen’s Customer Orientation Programme. For more information, click here.
Since you're here...
... and value our content, you should sign-up to our newsletter. Sign up here