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To be an expert in customer relations, you must maintain an informational and personalized experience for your consumers. Consumers can be fickle creatures; the reasons behind their behavior aren’t always obvious. With the support of customer experience management software, struggling customer experience professionals discover how to refine the customer experience.

The customer experience includes every interaction every customer has with your business. So customer experience management software (or CEM software) helps businesses create an outstanding customer experience every time. Meaningful and focused customer interaction leads to improved customer loyalty, making it beneficial to both parties when incorporated into contemporary business models.

What is customer experience management software?

Customer experience management software includes many features and processes in a single application. It’s often used by companies to improve interactions between a company and its customers. CEM software doesn’t only improve the customer experience but also the customer journey. The customer journey is the specific path a customer takes through a process, typically to purchase a product. They are similar concepts but not interchangeable as customer experience includes experiences that take place outside of the specific purchasing path.

Why do companies need customer experience management software?

CEM software offers a number of advantages. Here are some of the main ways it can help improve customer experience:

  • Visibility into customer experience: You can’t craft a great customer experience if you lack insight into your customers’ needs. With CEM software, you can gather information and feedback about your customers’ positive and negative experiences with your brand.
  • Data analysis: Once you’ve allowed CEM software to glean customer feedback from all relevant channels, the software can then analyze the customer data for meaningful insights.
  • Actionable insights: After analyzing your data, CEM software can convert data into metrics like your customer satisfaction score, which measures overall customer satisfaction, or your customer effort score, which measures how much effort it takes a customer to complete a transaction. You can use such insights to improve customer experience.

How does customer experience management software work?

Customer experience management software works by collecting data from your customers. This can include how they got to your website and if they interact with ads or surveys. Marketing analytics and the business’s historical customer data are also included.

The channels your business uses include anything on which a customer interaction occurs, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be physical. A telephone number or email can be a channel, but so can an in-person meeting or even an online advertisement. Within these channels are touchpoints. A touchpoint is any interaction that might change how a customer feels about your business.

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What is the role of customer experience management software?

CEM software records touchpoints because you must understand what those interactions are and where they occur for your company to optimize the customer experience. In doing this, you develop a baseline for how your company interacts with customers and what improvements or changes can be made.

This data helps to determine customer sentiment, or the customers’ attitude, toward your company. Features that analyze data can help a business understand trends in their customers’ behaviors, thoughts, and desires. A business can then modify or implement processes that cater to those trends, which is what truly improves the customer experience.

Related Read: What Is Customer Sentiment Analysis?

Features of customer experience management software

Customer experience software features vary widely, allowing you to create a package specifically suited to your business. Several features are included on most if not all software options, including managing team members, customer relationship management tools (or CRM analytics), and automating processes.

Related Read: Pros And Cons Of Customer Service Automation

What are the most important features of CEM software?

Naturally, the most beneficial features for your company won’t be the same as another; however, there are some features that are vital for every business.

  • Employee management: Employee management directly benefits workers and upper management and indirectly benefits customers. You and your team can log individuals’ hours, emails, and meeting notes. It also allows project managers and other higher-ranking employees to create a home dashboard, compiling everyone’s information into one organized spot. This lets you compare project success and project time length, pinpointing strong work methods and developing others.
  • CRM analytics: CRM analytics keeps track of customer data in an organized and efficient manner. It tracks customer purchase histories and records patterns in ad interaction. This data can then be organized into related categories, where you can then interpret your results and quickly implement suggested solutions. When using CRM analytics, you should employ customer satisfaction metrics—they measure happiness and success rates in your current customers by finding average handle time, first response rates, and customer feedback.
  • Workflow automation: Workflow automation enables you to automate processes that would otherwise take up valuable employee time. For example, CRM analytics may show team members inefficiently routing information to incorrect places. Automation and processing tools are highly customizable, collecting and rerouting information accurately and in less time.

How should you determine what features you need in your customer experience management software?

You should always opt for software that helps configure and analyze data and pieces together different customer relationship management solutions (or CRM solutions). CRM solutions guide you in attracting new people to your business and retaining customer loyalty.

The variety of tools in software is a major factor in determining which one to purchase. Usually, you can determine which features are most important to you during the free trial period. Most software gives a trial ranging anywhere from seven days to one month. Testing out different tools with your current projects is the best hands-on method to see if they mesh well with your project’s process.

While software trends are frequently influenced by necessity and technological advances, there are also external influences. A recent example of such a factor that led to new trends is COVID-19, which removed face-to-face interaction. Companies that didn’t prepare for this by investing in customer experience management software suffered. They were unable to cope with the large movement to online-only exchanges; some businesses shut down while others managed to stay afloat because of support from a CEM platform.

People aren’t the only ones who had to adapt—CEM software upgraded to match the new online wave of customer feedback and inquiries. Employees work from home at a higher rate now because of COVID-19, which introduces new factors. Employees might not work from a central location any longer. The online-only infrastructure also requires a fast and steady internet connection as well as other hardware requirements.

Benefits of customer experience management software

There are plenty of advantages when you invest in CEM software. It improves your customer service, but it also helps support new clients, too, growing your business further than you imagined. It doesn’t leave your loyal customers behind either; it improves your current relationships by reminding your customers how much they mean to you.

CEM streamlines customer service

CEM simplifies customer service by tracking user data, keeping note of all interactions, which takes more time when performed by employees. Normally CEM software records the conversation, notes all vital information, and remains helpful to the customer by finding a solution. A lot of customer and company time is saved when automated tools and processes do the difficult, time-draining work.

CEM helps grow your business

Your software is built with the intention of creating a better customer experience and customer journey, but you can grow your business too. Using CEM software often means seeking feedback from customers by implementing a customer experience survey. Reading client complaints and suggestions is crucial because customers notice when their providers are committed. Getting customer feedback means you acquired tangible data. Getting just one more happy customer means another five-star review or another potential customer who is intrigued by your dedication. The more you show that customer feedback is taken seriously, the more people will be willing to patronize your business.

CEM strengthens your relationship with customers

While gaining new clients is important, strengthening your current customer relationships is just as vital. CEM software does this by creating a modern, personalized customer experience. Having a specific reference number for each customer is one way of modernizing your customer service—remember, each customer has more than one touchpoint, so it’s difficult to connect one person’s information from different sources. Customer experience software aids you in identifying your clients and creating individual profiles.

There is no shortage of data to manage. For example, purchase histories, website interactions, and past inquiries all provide data and insights that can be used to improve the customer experience. Having CEM software helps you organize client information into their assorted profiles, making time for your employees to personally interact with consumers.

Key considerations of implementing customer experience management software

When deciding on software, key components to consider are ease of access and training employees. You may not have a lot of time to train your employees and update their computers with the appropriate software. It’s important to choose CEM software that won’t cause issues in the long run. A difficult user interface with unclear instructions causes confusion, which only wastes company and customer time. It takes time to learn how to use a new software system, but if you still struggle after the free trial period, you don’t want to invest your time and money in it, unless it has substantial support options.

  • Usability: Generally, it’s better to find software that works well with your business model as it’s easier than remaking it from scratch; however, there are exceptions. Some businesses may dig themselves into a hole, and the only solution is to rebuild. But most of the time, an already-functioning system just needs updated applications.
  • Integration: Integrating your CEM software is simple when you have a cloud system in place. A cloud system is a service that holds and transfers information over the internet without any internal hardware. It’s supported by the provider’s servers, so your business doesn’t have to worry about additional applications or software. They can be public or private, letting you choose who has access to what. With all your systems running through the same cloud server, people in different departments can see important customer data that applies to their sector, like purchase invoices or email inquiries.
  • Measurable results: One way of judging your progress is with a net promoter score (NPS). An NPS isn’t a new feature, but it’s useful in recognizing customer insights. An NPS is determined by how willing your customers are to suggest your business or product. If you record your NPS when you start using your CEM software and compare it several months later, you might see a great improvement in customer satisfaction.

Related Read: Net Promoter Score Software & NPS Survey Tools

Communication is key for successful CEM software implementation

Challenges come with change, and implementing new software at your company is no different. It takes an investment of time. Some employees might struggle with new systems more than others, and you may be working out the kinks for a few months.

Communication with your team is important during this transition. Leaving everyone to figure things out on own their is sure to cause confusion and foster a negative environment, which eventually affects your customers. Avoid this by asking where things are going wrong and what is causing frustration. When everyone works together to solve shared issues, solutions are easier to find.

Making your decision

To advance your company to its fullest potential takes dedication and no small degree of research. Creating a personalized experience for your clients is vital to improving customer retention, and investing in the best customer experience management software streamlines the process.

Your company’s future rests on your ability to ensure a great customer experience. Now is the time to find the CEM software that best suits your business and customers.

To help, check out our pick of the best customer experience management software on the market today.

Also Worth Checking Out:

Article: Customer Support Automation: Benefits, Challenges And How-to

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Hannah Clark
By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The CX Lead. After serving over 12 years working in front-line customer experience for major brands, Hannah pivoted to a career in digital publishing and media production. Having gained a holistic view of the challenges and intricacies of delivering exceptional experiences, Hannah aims to help CX practitioners 'level up' their skills by amplifying the voices of today's thought leaders in the space.