Today, technology is cheap and accessible, and starting a business has never been easier–which is good, of course. But, this also led to a crowded, competitive market, where every brand advertises the same features, prices, and services as the others. How can your business create an identity that hits home? Truth is, to be a memorable brand, you need to create a memorable customer experience (CX).
CX, the new benchmark for businesses.
Today's customers have plenty of options to choose from, and they're well-informed about shopping. They differentiate brands by the experiences they have with them, more than the features or the prices. Customer Experience (CX) refers to the experience that a customer has with a brand before, during, and long after a sale. It encompasses every touch-point of the business, any interaction with the brand, either direct or indirect.
CX affects how customers perceive your business and how they feel about you, which determines how interested they are in doing business with you.
What's Customer Experience Management (CXM)?
Gartner defines CXM as, "the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy”. In essence, CXM is the process of organizing, streamlining, and managing every customer interaction to ensure that their CX expectations are met on all fronts.
In order to provide a customer experience that excels, you need a powerful customer experience management system in place. Traditionally, a CX platform is a collection of integrated tools that the marketing, sales and support teams work with, to provide a seamless customer experience. This includes CRM, Desk, Sales Automation, and other tools that front-facing teams use regularly.
There's a huge demand for CX, so much so that Capgemini reports that 81% of customers would be willing to pay more for an improved customer experience. If 4/5 of customers are unhappy with their experience, there's something wrong with how most businesses are approaching CX.
Could fragmented CX be the problem?
CX management sounds great on paper, but to make it work, large-scale changes need to be made to how a brand and its employees perceive, prioritize, and provide CX. From the CEO of the business to the unpaid summer intern, everyone needs to get on board and work in sync to provide the best possible experience to their customers.
Similarly, your CXM will only be as effective as the applications you use to manage it. Your enterprise applications could work great individually, but do they work great together? Your sales, marketing, and support teams, and every sub-team within those teams use different applications to do their work. If any of these applications are disconnected, your CX platform would be compromised. Furthermore, if employees are unsatisfied or frustrated with the tools provided, their distaste will reflect in their customers' experiences.
Your CX management strategy is fragmented when some of it is working, and some of it is not. We're quick to assume that individual employees are at fault, but often overlook a significant culprit–fragmented software.
Too many apps kill your business!
Siftery reports that companies today use an average of 37 different tools or software platforms to run their day-to-day operations. That's a lot of time spent on integrating, managing, and reporting. Each program comes in a variety of editions, with critical features only available in specific versions.
On top of that, each program has a subscription fee and add-on fees that pile up, only for you to find out that it doesn't integrate well with another program you've already paid for. A lot of software comes from different vendors, which means different support teams that lack knowledge of other applications. Training your employees to use these applications can be difficult, as every vendor prefers to only coach users on using their product.
Switching between different applications for different tasks can bring down your team's productivity–not to mention that you run the risk of data inconsistency. When these applications don't communicate properly, neither will the employees who use them. When different teams use different applications that are poorly integrated and running on inconsistent data, a disaster is just waiting to happen.
Integrations are great, but only in small doses.
Quickbooks is a great finance software, Mailchimp is amazing for email marketing, LiveChat is a solid help desk, but at some point, it's going to be too much if your apps can't work together. Your customer experience management project could be fragmented because it's spread across multiple isolated applications, thinly bound together through integrations.
To deliver a customer experience that feels complete, one should use software that feels complete. Integrations are essential to run the day-to-day operations of a business, but we need to draw a line somewhere. The question becomes–how can you cut down on the number of integrations you have without losing out on critical features?
Zoho CRM Plus, the ultimate CX platform.
You can break free from clunky integrations by upgrading to a unified solution that can replace them. Zoho CRM Plus is the ultimate CX platform, bringing the power of ten essential business components into one customer-centric platform.
Zoho CRM Plus is an all-in-one CX platform–one product, one subscription, one vendor and one big team behind it. When your entire business runs on one unified cloud platform, sales, marketing, and support will work together seamlessly; no data inconsistency, no jumble of apps, no conflict in work activities or responsibilities. Just one single platform to run your everyday business operations, from one window.
Zoho CRM Plus comes in only one edition, with every application carefully designed to work smoothly with one another. This saves you the trouble of choosing between different product editions and untangling how they integrate. Here's a list of what's included in Zoho CRM Plus:
With Zoho CRM Plus, you'll have a holistic view of every customer touch-point, over every channel, in one window. You can map every customer's journey before, during, and after business, and provide a personalized, emotional, and memorable customer experience that feels complete, not fragmented.
We believe that you, as a customer, deserve a unified customer experience from us, so that your customers can get the complete experience from you.
Unify your CX management strategy.
With great CX comes great customer satisfaction. When satisfaction is high, your customers are more likely to become loyal. The Temkin Group reports that satisfied customers are 5 times more likely to repurchase, 7 times more likely to forgive errors, 4 times as likely to refer to other customers, and 9 times as likely to try new product offerings.
To answer the question posed at the start, "How can your business create an identity that hits home?"–by providing great customer experiences that breed loyal, satisfied brand advocates. Zoho CRM Plus can help provide quality experiences for every single one of your customers.