Customer experience (CX) continues to be among the hottest topics among digital marketers, and for good reason—consumers are willing to spend as much as 13% more for products and services when they have a great experience. That means of course that the buzz surrounding CX is more than talk—for example, CMOs on average are now dedicating almost 20% of their marketing budgets (according to Gartner) to the delivery of outstanding CX. That's more than they spend on innovation. It's not yet as much as they're spending on marketing technology or advertising, but it could be in the near future.
Why so much attention to CX? Why are B2B and B2C marketers betting on the effectiveness and utility of technologies that make customer experience more personal and responsive?
What is customer experience?
CX is a large umbrella, subsuming everything from network reliability to responsiveness, simplicity, adaptation, anticipation and accountability. It's principal strategic approaches are similarly varied: you can for example measure the flow of traffic to your website, monitor and improve customer service or predict customer service interactions in real time.
What the litany of consumer expectations and touch points that constitute CX have in common is, however, a single perception—namely, how they feel about your business after interacting with you.
As HubSpot explains it:
"The best way to define customer experience is as the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey. Multiple touchpoints factor into the customer experience, and these touchpoints occur on a cross-functional basis."
Why is customer experience so important?
The way consumers feel about your business is admittedly subjective (it's a feeling, after all), but the way it impacts your business isn't—which is to say, it can be measured—and the numbers which distinguish a good customer experience from a bad one are telling and instructive. Consider for example these head-turning metrics from Qualtrics:
- More than 85% of consumers say they'll pay more for a better customer experience
- A modest increase in CX on average boosts revenues by about 83%
- 84% of companies which improve CX see an increase in annual revenues
- Among S&P 500 companies, those which prioritize CX outperform laggards by 80%, and their customers are 8X more likely to purchase other products and services
The best of the best: Software that will take your CX to the next level
Increasingly, marketers understand the value of delivering strong customer experience. That also means, however, that the market for CX software is booming and choices are increasingly difficult.
Every business faces different challenges in delivering outstanding CX and needs software solutions which address its unique challenges. That said, some CX software is better than others. Following are 6 customer experience software solutions that deliver consistently powerful results:
Qualtrics Customer Experience: Qualtrics Customer Experience (CX) is arguably among the most agile of CX platforms, empowering businesses to monitor, respond to and enhance every stage of the buyer's journey. Qualtrics makes is relatively easy to capture customer feedback and incorporate the insights derived from that feedback into subsequent CX decisions and improvements. Among its advantages are flexible, role-based dashboards, comprehensive CRM integration and dynamic case management.
Delighted: one of the more effective tools to measure (and boost) customer experience is the customer survey. Delighted is the number one online survey tool on the market. The reason? Their survey tool makes it easy to collect, analyze and respond to customer feedback—and to provide users with multi-channel, branded surveys which have been optimized to bolster response rates. A testament to its utility and effectiveness, Delighted boasts a client list that includes such industry giants as Uber, Instacart, Target, Cisco and Slack (among thousands of others).
SurveyMonkey CX: Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an easily obtainable but nonetheless powerful CX marketing metric (obtained by asking customers just one question: would you recommend our business to a friend? Survey Monkey CX offers a turn key NPS solution with enhanced features that enable users to trigger personalized surveys over a variety of channels to maximize response rate. It also includes powerful analytics to pinpoint areas for customer experience improvement. Finally, this valuable tool simplifies results sharing, offering custom reports, integrations and easy data exporting.
Augment CXM: Augment is a powerful customer experience management tool, one which enables you to manage your contact center agents within one platform. In contrast to other solutions like Survey Monkey, Augment CXM gives you real-time predictions for the customer's NPS rather than retroactively with followup surveys. This allows you to use Augment CXM to monitor your brand's workforce (in real-time) and, equally important, intervene when necessary. These capabilities ensure that every customer has a stellar online experience. Among the features it offers are real-time coaching, agent assistants, and actionable insights. Clients are Fortune 1,000 brands whose customers expect stellar CX—Augment CXM enables them to deliver those world-class experiences.
Kangaroo Rewards: customer loyalty programs are on the ascendant, and an important component of a comprehensive CX strategy for many businesses. Kangaroo Rewards simplifies and enhances loyalty strategy with customized solutions that help engage customers with automated marketing, digital gift cards, branded apps, omnichannel experience and personalized offers and rewards. Among the strengths of this valuable software is a smart reporting tool which helps companies monitor and adjust their loyalty strategy based on customer behavior.
Intouch Insight: Intouch Insight is one of the top software packages for driving business improvements, principally because of its ability to seamlessly integrate feedback with data from a variety of other sources (such as CRM, POS and financials). The result is a powerful connection between customer experience and overall business performance. Key features include automated case management tools, action campaign technology, and intuitive role-based and journey map dashboards.
Customer experience is "the new battlefield" when it comes to effective marketing and business strategy. That's because CX responds to customer needs and concerns that are real and persistent—the need to get the help and information they require as conveniently and quickly as possible, and the concern that the businesses with which they interact online care about them and their most pressing problems.
It's the reason more than 60% of businesses see the service delivered by their contact centers as a key competitive differentiator. It's the reason that more than half of companies are increasing their budgets this year to advance customer experience innovations. And it's the reason your business needs to ensure that the experience of your customers is as strong as it can be.