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14. Aug 2020

How customer experience management can succeed

by Maria Meermeier
Blick von oben auf ein graues Treppenhaus mit weißen Pfeilen, die nach oben weisen

The customer's viewpoint is important. There is now widespread agreement on this in German companies. Consequently, customer experience management (CXM) has been put on the agenda in many places in recent years. Nevertheless, attempts to firmly anchor CX management in the organization are failing. Why this is and what can be done about it.

What makes my target group tick? Generating knowledge

The most important basis for successful customer experience management is knowledge of how customers experience the brand. Many companies still lack the appropriate contact points, feedback channels and research resources.

Tools such as customer journey mapping, in-home visits, customer safaris, focus group workshops or online feedback help to understand customers, their needs and experiences with a brand and to really put oneself in their shoes. Those who continuously involve customers, understand them as part of the team, can benefit the most from their experiences and impulses. Agile research methods help to establish corresponding routines.

The combination of online and offline activities can provide important impulses for the other channels. In 2017, for example, began setting up its own buying stations for used cars. They use the physical contact points to learn more about users' wishes as well as central hurdles in car sales and, on this basis, also optimize the online offer, among other things.

If the company knew what the company knows. Structuring knowledge

Collecting data is one thing, doing something with it is another. One sticking point in improving the customer experience is bringing together customer knowledge from different points in the customer journey. Often, information is obtained but, depending on the department, processed in decentralized CRM systems. And that's where it stays.

Hilti, for example, shows how to do it right. Hilti successfully increases customer satisfaction and loyalty by asking for feedback directly after each customer contact and, if necessary, responding quickly to problems in complaint management. The customer experience KPIs are integrated into the SAP system, centrally recorded, evaluated and measures derived.

So what? Converting knowledge into action

CX is often still seen primarily as a marketing issue. Yet it is absolutely essential that research results not only flow into creation, but also become a driver for product development and sales strategy. This is the only way to create a consistent customer experience.

Of course, not every company has the means to style its customer experience from unboxing to flagship store visits like the Apples of this world. And not every corporation has such a manageable product range, size and pointed target group that it can easily send lovingly designed packages, create precisely fitting social media content and send multi-value CRM emails like the very small start-ups (Shout out to Estrid). But it's these role models that you can look to for guidance.

Making customer needs the maxim for action

Customer experience management is highly complex and highly political. CX managers need to address areas for improvement without blaming. Mediate between departments without settling for minimal consensus. Free up resources and budget without getting lost in day-to-day operations.

Implementing CX management for the long term requires passionate CX managers who don't shy away from the unpredictable. And it needs unconditional backing from C-level management. In terms of budget AND personnel. Only in this way can CX management become a permanent fixture in all heads and all divisions of the company. And only in this way can companies achieve the long-term paradigm shift from "We want to sell our products in the best possible way" to "We want to develop and offer the best possible products for our customers".

We are happy to receive project inquiries

Maria Meermeier,

Business Partnerin Digital Growth