Customer experience (CX) is a buzzword right now, so people have some kind of reaction when they hear it. Either they think, “Yes, we need to have a better customer experience.” Or they ask themselves, “What is customer experience? Isn’t that the same thing as customer service?”
In case you’re wondering, no, customer experience isn’t just a fancier way of saying customer service. In fact, there’s a significant difference between the two.
Customer service is simple enough: It’s the way you serve your customers. It’s about you. But the customer experience is about them. It’s how your customers feel about an interaction. It’s how they think about the engagement.
When many companies think about customer service, they immediately think about the customer support team. But this team isn’t the only customer-facing one in your business. Sales and accounting teams also speak with customers.
And it doesn’t stop there. Every person who works at your company plays a role in the customer experience. Maybe a warehouse team member puts the wrong item in the package, or someone puts the grape shipment in the truck that was supposed to carry strawberries. These kinds of mistakes affect the customer experience.
So even if these departments have no direct face time with your customer, they’re influencing the customer experience.
A significant part of creating a great customer experience is being where your prospects and customers are. Whether you’re communicating via phone, email, or LiveChat, it’s important to be able to engage with your contacts in the method they prefer.
On this level, there are two major ways to communicate: omni-channel and multi-channel. While all omni-channel experiences use multiple channels, all multi-channel systems aren’t omni-channel.
Omni-channel support isn’t about being in all places. Instead, it means that all the places you’re in are connected. If a customer reaches out to you on the phone and follows up on LiveChat the next day, that conversation is ongoing, not a separate entity.
Omni-Channel support can be a huge help for any business, but how does it come together? Where is the information stored? This is where CRM comes into play.
By utilizing a centralized location for all information, you’re creating transparency throughout your company and breaking down silos. Within a CRM, you can log call notes and sync emails, notes, and events.
By integrating different software systems, you’re also creating better visibility and a seamless customer experience. How? Maybe a customer has a question about her recent invoice, and she calls a sales rep instead of her account manager. Since the sales rep would be able to see the invoice, he could answer quick questions about it. However, this does not mean that a sales rep has access into the accounting system or make adjustments. It is instead giving him visibility to pertinent information.
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Say you have monthly or quarterly check-ins. You can set reminders for yourself in the system. Then you hook your calendars up to your appointments, which creates a great ease of use for your team.
And it’s fantastic for knowledge transfer. Inside the CRM, you add detailed notes if your customer has a baby. So you can congratulate her as an extra personal touch. Or you might read a note that says, “Do not contact this client on Monday mornings because he’s in staff meetings.”
Experience and knowledge can be stored, so it can be transferred to CRM. Customers feel like the entire company knows them and understands their needs and use cases—not just one person at your company. This development is huge for customer experience.