7 business facets to consider for better Customer Experience Management (CEM) implementation

Digital disruption, influenced by rapid technology advancements and tech savvy consumers, is significantly changing the Marketing landscape and importantly impacting the customer decision journey. Given this context, customer experience (CX) is at the heart of engaging and building loyal customers. However, the progress of businesses in their customer experience journey has not been to the desired expectations. According to a recent RightNOW CEI Report, 86% of the buyers have Image-(151)indicated that they will pay more for better Customer Experience (CX). But only 1% of the customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. This clearly shows that enterprises have a long way to go to build capabilities that would support their objectives of delivering differentiating experiences for their customers. It surely involves investing in the right customer experience management (CEM) tools that can help them move the needle in delivering high impact experiences for their customers.

When planning to implement a CEM platform, enterprises need to focus on and relate the tool to seven important facets of their business –

1. Value proposition

a. Which needs of customers are we satisfying?
b. Which one of the customers’ problems are we helping to solve?
c. What specific bundles of services and products are we providing?

A robust CEM suite outlines your online value proposition (OVP) and helps in deciding your digital strategy as it comes with automated decision making and robust analytics engine. This provides you with real-time customer behavior insights, helps you align your marketing initiatives with your business objectives and enables you to create an optimum marketing mix.

These capabilities are derived from:

  • Real-time web, social and mobile analytics
  • Benchmarking, platforming, and blueprint creation
  • Digital asset management
  • Web content management
  • Trends, opportunities, and threats identification that are pertinent to your brand

For example a telecom operator can, through CEM, gain deep insights on customer needs and wants, and develop the right service bundle that it can sell to its customers.

2. Customer segments (segmentation, targeting, positioning)

a. For whom are we creating value?
b. Who are our most important customers?

According to the White House Office of Consumers Affairs report, it costs 6x-7x to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one. A Huffington post’s research indicates that the worth of loyal customers are 10 times that of first-time purchasers. Customer retention is critical to every business. A CEM can easily calculate the Customer Life Time Value (CLTV) which helps an enterprise distinguish high value repeat customers from liable customers. This segmentation capabilities help in increasing online and mobile conversation, create personalized experiences and in the long run positions and empowers your brand. These capabilities are derived from

  • A/B and multivariate testing
  • Rules-based targeting

3. Channels

a. Through which channels does our customer segment wants to be reached?
b. How are we reaching them now?
c. How are our channels integrated?
d. How are we integrating them with customer routines?
e. Which ones are the most cost efficient?

A CEM platform enables enterprises to propose JIT services/products, geo-localized channels, and customer based price and push promotions to their customers. All of this has to happen with limited budget and virtually unlimited avenues to spend – mobile, social, cloud, IoT, analytics, etc. It offers the following capabilities:

  • Omni-channel dashboard & BI to assess each channel and spend
  • Share and collaborate digital assets and campaigns

4. Customer relationships

a. How will we get, keep and grow our customer?
b. What kind of relationship does each of our customer segments expect us to establish and maintain with them?
c. Which ones have we established?
d. How are they integrated with the rest of our business model?

A CEM platform is a social listener, customer profile slicer and dicer, sort of a personal experience digital butler! It triggers, engages and manages all customer touchpoints and drives the best experience for the customers. It has the ability to –

  • Manage social content across multiple social networks
  • Listen and respond to customer conversations in real time
  • Create social campaigns and track performance with integrated analytics
  • Scale social across the enterprise and retain oversight at an executive level
  • Connect the dots between social interactions and business results

5. Key activities / key resources

a. What key activities do our value propositions, distribution channels, customer relationships and revenue streams require?

When seeing the other facet of a CEM, it is an optimizer that helps you forecast, manage and determine the most effective marketing mix that will garner you the best return on investment. Here are the underlying features that a CEM brings to the table –

  • Cross-channel optimization
  • Search engine marketing management
  • Display and social advertising management

6. Key partners

a. Who are our key partners?
b. How do we achieve synergy between them?

A CEM is an universal integrator that ensures seamless integration with offline and online channels and third-party sources. Importantly, it is able to provide a complete dashboard for getting a complete grasp of the ecosystem. It draws its capabilities from –

  • Seamless integration with offline and third-party sources
  • Dashboard to provide statistics about the complete ecosystem

7. Revenue streams & cost structure

a. For what values are the customer willing to pay?
b. What are the pricing tactics?
c. How are they currently paying?
d. How would they prefer to pay?
e. What are the most important costs in our business model?
f. What key resources/ activities are most expensive?

It is important to reconcile the fact that CEM is not just a mere marketing tool but a metrics generator that can be extended to do analysis on external and internal customer environment. CEM can –

  • Create metrics / dashboard to perform ROI, TCO, Cost benefit analysis
  • Calculate the real time WTP of customers and monitor engagements
  • Provide dashboard that shares statistics about the complete ecosystem
  • Distinguish between profitable and Non profitable Digital Assets(NPDA)

When aligned to the needs of the business, CEM can be the right enabler. According to the Econsultancy report, only 26% of companies have a well-developed strategy for improving the CX. Majority of the businesses do not have an effective strategy in place to improve their customer experience capabilities and delivery. Going for a CEM platform may be the first step, but aligning the CEM platform to their business needs would be a crucial differentiator between those who have received successful outcomes from their CEM and those who have not! Feel free to submit your thoughts on how you plan to go about implementing your CEM solution. For those who have already implemented, it will be great if you can share your experiences.

Debabrata Panda

Associate Manager - Client Services, Delivery, Virtusa. Debabrata (Deb) has close to 8 years of global experience in digital commerce catering to digital strategy, customer engagement and product engineering. He has successfully led the digital transformation of top conglomerates across geographies and rolled out e-Commerce and m-Commerce channels for Forbes 500 clients. He also has worldwide patents under his belt in e-Commerce domain. At Virtusa, he is associated to Millennial Services - Client Services track expanding Virtusa’s footprints in digital domain. He aspires to leverage the power of SMAC stack, IoT & Service Design and be a thought leader delivering millennial experiences. Besides being a sports enthusiast, he likes to travel and cook while exploring local joints.

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One Comments

  • Debabrata Panda September 8, 2015

    Real nice read. Today, customer experience management is about more than serving your online customers. It’s about more than knowing where customers shop and what brand of dog food they buy. It’s about knowing your customers so completely that you can create and deliver personalized experiences that will entice them to not only remain loyal to you, but also to evangelize to others about you – and that’s the most valuable form of advertising there is.

    Gaining this depth of knowledge about customers isn’t something that just happens. It comes from extracting insight from all customer touch points and channels across your entire organization. It’s about harnessing mountains of customer data from online channels and beyond, and extracting valuable insight from that data with speed and precision.

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