5 Ways to Transition from Customer Experience Management to Customer Experience Optimization

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategic solution used by businesses for customer retention and acquisition. The major application of CRM software is towards identifying potential sales, nurturing and retaining current clients as well as luring lapsed customers back into the fold. 

With these aspirations, managers have traditionally used CRM solutions to build stronger customer relationships and manage the overall customer experience with their brand. But as customer activities go digital and consumer needs multiply, companies need to learn how to optimize customer experience to facilitate exponential growth. 

Loyal customers who act as brand ambassadors can take a company from start up to a large conglomerate. Here’s taking a look at the intelligence that one can be derived from CRM strategies to optimize customer experience.

Active listening for social networks
Social media is a rapidly growing medium. Consumers everywhere are talking and interacting on social platforms. In such a scenario, it is important for brands to listen. The social landscape offers an opportunity to gather such customer insight as is not available through any other source. With an integration of CRM applications and social media strategies, businesses can derive rich consumer intelligence to drive optimal customer relationships. 

The nature of the medium is such that it provides scope for customer engagement and 2-way interactions. CRM strategies can help support such interactions by providing the right questions to ask as well as when and where to ask them. Furthermore, CRM tools can mine through customer data available on social networks to isolate customer needs and wants expressed herewith.

Bespoke customer service
While offering customer service, agents face the crucial task of responding efficiently to customer needs. This task can be facilitated if they are provided with supporting information which is accurate - historical data of a customer's transactions and interactions, subscriptions, demographic data (such as address, income, age) and much more. 

With real time access to such data, customer care agents are in a better position to respond to customer queries and provide them with customized solutions. Furthermore, they can use this data to add a personalized feel to their interaction and make the customer feel special. In this way, customer experience is given a great boost.

Using data mining to identify the correct channels
CRM-fuelled intelligence can give managers ideas about which channels and platforms are best to reach the consumer. Customer usage of different mediums along with customer profiling done through data mining can provide a detailed understanding of which is the appropriate channel for targeting an assortment of customers with different lifestyles and preferences. 

For example, if a brand finds that most of its consumers are business people using Blackberry smart phones, it can build a mobile application specifically for such phones and the intended customers.

Co-creating products and services
What is the use of gathering customer feedback, if it is not used to facilitate change in the organization? Businesses need to respond to growing and/or changing demands in the market. If the customers are asking for an add-on or a new feature, these are changes that the organization must look into.

Communicating such developments to the consumer is also necessary. This shows that the brand cares by listening to its consumers as well responding to their demands. Social media acts as a catalyst here to stay connected with the consumer. To make this work in their favor, companies must respond to customer feedback and demands with tangible solutions. These in turn optimize the customer experience.

Sharing real-time customer insights securely
Keeping the customers satisfied is not just about providing efficient customer service and targeted marketing. The entire ambit of any business is the products and/or services provided by them. All the core business processes are involved in this main activity. Hence, offering customer insight to each process for improving core operations can also help optimize customer experience. 

For example, client-facing employees such as business development and even HR should be included under the CRM strategy. Business intelligence provided through CRM in banking can help them optimize such interactions to build more profitable and sustainable relationships with the various stakeholders of the business.

In reality, CRM solutions are not about improving business activities in isolation, they are crucial for any CRM strategy to cover the entire scope of business operations. This creates a unified approach and work culture throughout the organization, ensuring that every customer interaction and transaction is carried out in a uniform manner. 

Consistency across the various departments and media channels employed by the business is important to maintain a strong brand reputation. At the end of the day, it is the variables such as brand reputation, responsiveness towards consumer, effective customer service and efficient consumer touch-points which will make or break the ultimate customer experience management.