Understanding customer experience requires a holistic approach that includes all touchpoints where a customer directly interacts with your brand. With customer expectations higher than ever, many modern businesses struggle to manage the end-to-end experience.
Customer experience management (CEM) involves fundamentally understanding what your target customer wants, what they need, and ensuring their expectations are met — from the point of initial interest to the first purchase, and beyond.
Managing customer experience requires an in-depth understanding of your target customer’s journey with your brand as it develops and changes over time. This article will discuss the customer experience Salesforce helps you deliver and outline practical steps to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
What is Customer Experience?
To understand customer experience (CX), we have to define it alongside customer service, and user experience (UX) to recognize their differences and where they overlap. Let’s first take a quick look at what each term means.
In short, customer experience includes a customer’s direct interaction with your brand, shopping on your company’s website, in-store experiences, ability to connect with representatives, and perceptions of your company’s marketing.
Another way to look at it is a bird’s-eye view of the entire customer journey. This journey spans several stages of the sales funnel. It begins when a customer is introduced to your brand and continues after an initial purchase, until they become loyal customers (or ex-customers). Each of the many interactions throughout these stages contributes to customer experience.
Understanding The Customer Experience
Successful companies understand that delivering an excellent customer experience requires a clear understanding of their target customer’s journey through all stages of interaction, understanding their pain points and challenges, and setting strategies to improve outcomes.
The fundamentals remain the same as the market adopts innovative, hyper-personalized sales models that leverage AI to meet customers' needs.
Does your team understand the obstacles your ideal customer faces as they go through all stages of your company’s sales funnel (in person and online)? Do you clearly understand your customers’ needs and wants?
If your company lacks a customer-centric approach, start with the basics. Update your customer journey flowchart to use as a visual aid.
In addition to focusing on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and performance metrics, valuable ways to gather information from your customers include:
- Customer surveys
- Customer calls
- Website analytics
- Online reviews
- Social media
- Live chat
Understanding your customer's needs matters. Meeting those needs and managing obstacles in your customer’s journey will allow you to resolve issues and achieve the perfect customer experience Salesforce recommends.
Improving The Customer Experience
Identifying obstacles in your target customer’s journey lays the foundation for strong customer experience management (CEM). Implementing an effective CEM strategy sets the stage for effective communication between customers and employees.
Effective communication must meet the needs of customers during all touchpoints. To start, review and update your company’s current standards for customer communications. Consider applying new standards depending on the type, whether face-to-face, over the phone, or online.
When meeting in person, employees should professionally dress when conducting business at an office location or store. Employees should also be appropriately trained with up-to-date information and access the necessary resources to complete their job.
The Salesforce CRM platform makes this possible by pulling critical customer data, including communication history and social profile information from client accounts. Your sales team can then easily access this information during customer meetings.
Having a streamlined and integrated tech stack and using low-code solutions allows greater flexibility and collaboration between employees and departments.
In addition to optimizing face-to-face interactions, upper management should create the ideal collaborative working environment. Your IT department should regularly test platforms and mobile applications to ensure they’re operational.
Even with chat and email options available, most customers still prefer to have access to a company’s direct phone number. Providing excellent service by phone requires training employees to answer phone calls professionally and take ownership of customer needs.
The Salesforce Customer 360 platform allows integration between multiple systems so that representatives across departments have access to single-view contact or lead account. Changes update immediately, preventing multiple employees from contacting the same lead.
Your employees can follow files for fast access and get real-time alerts when content is updated. In addition to remaining accessible during work hours, provide online alternatives (like chat support or chatbots) when closed.
Customers who prefer e-commerce, email, social media, chatbot support, and interaction with a company website will want consistent online services and fast responses 24/7. The key is to make sure online touchpoints (regardless of type) are positive, operational, and informative.
A company website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and compatible with desktops and mobile browsers. The Salesforce CRM platform allows you to set up automated emails triggered by specific customer actions on your website and speak to their particular interests.
Websites, applications, and platforms should be monitored in real-time for signs of technical issues and outages. Implementing and optimizing AI-powered test automation will ensure the best online user experience (UX) through faster testing, better coverage, and fewer failures.
Excellent Customer Experience: Salesforce Standards Applied
Customers are increasingly technology-focused, expecting the best products and services with the lowest amounts of hassle. Brands that are customer-centric, data-driven, and motivated to deliver excellent experiences will gain loyalty and repeat business.
Salesforce is the leading cloud-based SaaS provider that makes it possible for small to enterprise-size companies to build, innovate, and sustain a thriving and stable environment for employees and customers to do business worldwide.
Copado’s integration testing of ServiceNow with the Salesforce advanced CRM platform enables seamless collaboration between sales and support teams in a highly competitive digital market.