Aberdeen Group recently released a new report on the tricks of the trade when it comes to Customer Experience Management (CXM) strategy. While not incredibly surprising, the data focused on how the most successful companies use data to effectively boost their brand and solidify their online presence across various channels. It all comes down to get ‘em there; keep ‘em there; do something with 'em.

The Frontrunners in CXM

Aberdeen Group’s report, released in January, aimed to capture customer experience management adoption trends and performance results in a survey of 252 organizations from September to October 2011. The study addressed three primary business concerns: customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention. Prompted by the need to help businesses differentiate themselves through enhanced brand visibility, it examined who’s doing it best, what they do, and how others can follow in their footsteps.

Accordingly, Aberdeen found that 47% of businesses say the primary driver of CXM is to increase brand awareness and loyalty through customer management activities, with a secondary emphasis on understanding the needs and desires of clients. Companies with an 82% customer retention rate were labeled “Best-in-Class,” and served as models for the rest.

Leaders in CXM strategy demonstrated a focus on things like process; organization; knowledge management (contextualizing data and exposing it to stakeholders); technology (selection of appropriate tools and effective deployment); and performance management. Duly noted was the importance of collecting customer feedback through various channels, synchronizing cross-channel activities for consistency, and identifying influential customers on social medial platforms.

The report points out,

Data from this study shows that more than half (56%) of all companies use at least five different channels to engage with their clients…Ensuring consistency of the customer engagement activities through multiple channels has a direct influence on creating happy clients. Companies synchronizing their cross-channel account engagement activities with an eye toward consistency improve customer satisfaction by twice more."

Getting Ahead From Being Behind

The majority of companies participating indicated that tracking, capturing and utilizing customer experience data are key ingredients to CXM. It’s not enough to merely extract the info, the real task is to masterfully exploit it. Creating a unified view of customer data for stakeholders has thus become a leading prerogative when bolstering customer engagement efforts, and also an area in which a lot of organizations struggle. The study finds 30% of companies lack a consolidated/unified view of customers, resulting in failed client interaction marred by discrepant info.

Other roadblocks to implementing strategies include:

  • Disparate data sources that make it difficult to utilize customer data
  • Poorly defined KPIs for measuring the results of activities
  • A struggle to provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs

Recognizing what information is significant to manage customer interactions, tidying up that data, and using quality and integration tools all can help strengthen the plan to standardize. Additionally, determining which prospects carry the most weight also allows businesses to customize their messages and increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

And if you’re not already at the top of the class? Aim to become “customer-centric.” That means streaming your vantage point, mapping customer interactions, leveraging analytical tools and being proactive. Go-getters always come out first.