What is Customer Experience Software?
So you're shopping around for customer experience software platforms. Perhaps you’ve already clicked around the websites for popular brands. Some of those sites felt easier to navigate than others. Perhaps you requested demos from a few. How did the sales agents respond? Maybe some were a little over-eager? Others a bit too casual for your taste?
Right now you’re in the customer role. You’re noting all of these tiny details before you decide to spend your money. These experiences will ultimately determine your enthusiasm, and all of the touchpoints matter: from the website to the sales agent email, the demo, the product itself and its compatibility for your specific business… There are countless details that could win your heart (and sale) or drive it away.
But it's important to remember that customer experience directly affects sales.
Customers who enjoy positive experiences are likely to spend 140% more than customers who had negative experiences.
That’s why many companies (often the more successful ones) will ask you about your own customer experience. And they’ll do it in a very direct way, often with a quick pop-up survey.
This is what customer experience data and management is all about. And the multiplicity of touchpoints in the customer journey (as well as the multiplicity data points related to those experiences) are exactly why you need a system for managing your customer experience at scale.
What is Customer Experience?
Basically, it's a customer's perception of your brand. Every element of the customer journey plays into the overall customer experience – from the first time they land on your website to the arrival of their products they purchased and then the service they receive (or don’t receive) from your help desk.
And customers, in general, are picky:
That’s why metrics have been developed to quantify customer experience.
A metric system can (and should) be employed at various points across the customer journey in order to understand the details of your customer service as part of your overall brand.
Understanding Customer Experience Software
Customer experience software provides a management system for optimizing, deploying, collecting, and analyzing surveys. It’s a single platform accessible to all team members. It keeps all campaign components safe and organized and accessible and crunches data according to your needs.
The better you understand a customer's experience on a granular level, the more equipped you are to improve their overall experience as well. This requires sending out a lot of surveys – and survey reminders, and follow-ups, and subsequent engagement.
A strong customer experience platform can track nearly infinite tasks. Here a few areas that must be accounted for…
Where in the customer journey are surveys being deployed? What platforms are you using (email, app, pop-up)? What is the response rate?
From strategy to creation, deployment to collection, analysis and revision, software keeps assets organized and team members aware of their tasks.
- Customer Interaction
What does the data tell you about your customers, their experience, and your opportunities to improve the value you provide?
How does a platform enable you to track all of these broad areas? Here are some major functions...
- Consolidating survey responses
Create a progressive profile of each survey respondent – including their unique demographic data and purchase/browsing history, and survey response analytics – in order to understand their survey response data in fuller context.
- Initializing surveys and collecting feedback
A software platform will automate these rote tasks within the data collection process, including optimization of these functions. Efficient systems will also enable you to set up specific triggers for surveys, so that detailed data can be collected about particular actions, such as help tickets or payment processing.
- Crunching data
A wealth of data is an opportunity to learn more, but only if you’re able to clearly sift and analyze it all. The algorithms built in to a software platform enable users to make sense of huge data sets that might otherwise overwhelm.
Key Features To Look For with Customer Experience Software
It's easier to find the right platform when you know what to look for. Any decent software should include the following features.
Integration with Major CRMs
Customer profiles in your CRM already contain insights that will improve your survey data collection. In turn, survey data can fill out profiles for individuals in your CRM. From a workflow standpoint, integration between the two systems will simply save you a ton of time, especially if you already have a trusted CRM in place.
Optimization of survey, schedule, and script
The beauty of a data-driven strategy is the ability to constantly be improving. Effective customer experience management software should enable you to adjust your survey features on macro and micro levels – and provide data about which the response rates for each new iteration
In order to collect customer experience data at scale, you need to automate core functions. Automated deployment is key. Real-time data analysis ensures that you're always working with current conclusions.
Robust API Integrations
An API is designed to make your life easier – the customer experience software you choose should be able to fit in with that system.
A Customizable Dashboard
A platform can promote collaboration, so long as everyone is able to actually use it. Customization enables each team member to engage in a way that feels efficient – both for their data needs and UX preferences.
How Customer Experience Software Affects Business Operations
Customer experience is improved by refining systems and empowering employees. How do all of these tools and programs within a platform actually change the daily business of your office? Broadly speaking, customer experience metrics allow team members across departments to speak a common language with more measurable goals. The software platform is designed in service of this.
Break Down Silos
Product, checkout, UX, help desk… you’ll be collecting data on nearly every step of the customer's journey – which involves diverse departments. When they’re all logging on to the same platform, accessing the same vast database.
Over time, everyone gets a more cohesive view of the customer journey and how the product development team is connected in that journey with the customer service team.
Granular and Macro-Level Tracking
A dynamic software platform enables you to sift data and chart trends in any number of ways. You might compare Q1 performance to Q2. Or compare shopping cart experience metrics this year versus last year. Or compare product experience metrics this holiday season compared to last holiday season.
More Informed Strategy
Effective analysis ensures that you're viewing your performance and your audience with clear vision. Once you're seeing clearly, you can act effectively, and with confidence. And when data is showing you the path for improvement, you’ve got more time to focus on creative solutions.
Boosting Revenue With Customer Experience Software
Customer experience software is an investment in your relationships with your customers. Over time, when your data collection and analysis are optimized and your tactics adjust accordingly, you’ll start seeing changes in those relationships – changes that have quantifiable sales benefits.
Increased Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is one of the soundest investments you can make.
Repeat customers spend more money than first-timers. They also require less resources to convert than new customers do.
In addition to keeping customers coming back, a data-driven approach allows you to pinpoint what customers love. You can energize loyal customers to become promoters, recommending your brand to family and friends. People trust word-of-mouth promotion more than any other forms of advertising.
Unhappy customers are still customers – at least until another brand comes around. When you know who these customers are, and what is bothering them, you can reach out and sustain the relationship, show them that you care and address their grievances.
Customer experience platforms also provide a way to track common grievances across respondents. Perhaps the shopping cart function is getting steadily dismal numerical scores. Or the phrase 'PayPal’ keeps popping up in the open-text portion of survey responses. You've identified a feature to improve right away, decreasing overall churn across the board.
When the data shows you exactly what’s working for customers and what’s not working, you’ll know where to allocate resources. You’re seeing what is failing customers as well as how it's failing them. This empowers you to assign the right team to address specific issues.
When you optimize operations for the beginning of a customer relationship, you're also saving money in the later stages. Happy customers return less product for refunds than unhappy customers, for example. Telecom giant Sprint reduced their customer care costs by 33% once they started focusing more on customer experience.
Customer experience software empowers a business to collect customer survey data more effectively, manage it safely, communicate it across departments, and act on new insights.
An effective software platform should make data accessible to diverse departments in your office and streamline workflow in the process. This means integrating with your established CRMs and APIs, automating major tasks, and optimizing the survey deployment process.
When a management platform is working at optimal capacity, it breaks down the silos that previously separated the departments in your office, so communication and collaboration flow freely. The result is a customer-focused campaign.
The result is more resources and time devoted to improving customer experience. You'll have more loyal customers, higher customer retention rates, and more efficient operations overall.
Of course, the trick is to find a customer experience platform that suits your specific needs – and a provider that knows how to optimize the potential of their platform. Which is where we come in.