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How to choose the best customer experience platform


The Team at CallMiner

June 08, 2023

Customer experience + employee experience = ROI
Customer experience + employee experience = ROI

An excellent customer experience is a strategic advantage for companies today. In fact, it’s vital for building customer loyalty and fostering brand advocates. Today’s consumers are faced with more choices than ever before, and they’re increasingly discerning about the brands they choose to do business with. As a result, there’s an ongoing race to make consumers’ lives easier and ensure their continuous satisfaction with your brand — and every brand faces stiff competition from established companies and up-and-coming movers and shakers.

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Customer experience platforms are emerging as a key technology component to support customer experience management activities. However, the various types of customer experience platforms and the many factors to consider make it a complex decision for many companies. From data and analytics capabilities to customer journey mapping, customer feedback tools, and omnichannel solutions, there’s a sea of potential features and capabilities to navigate before selecting a customer experience platform that meets your company’s needs.

We’ve curated this list of expert tips and best practices to help you identify the most important considerations for your business, evaluate the options, and choose the best platform that supports your customer experience strategies now and into the future.

What to look for in a customer experience platform

1. Leverage conversation analytics to analyze customer experience throughout the customer journey. “Conversation analytics changes the formula for measuring the customer journey experience. By capturing 100% of customer conversations across all channels, conversation analytics provides a far better understanding of how customers feel about your brand and their customer journey experience.

Conversation analytics takes unstructured data contained in audio and text-based customer interactions and analyzes it to better understand what customers are saying. Advanced acoustical analysis and language tagging help to identify and score a customer’s emotion, enabling you to determine more accurately what drives their behavior.” - The secret to a superior customer journey experience, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner

2. Consider the various types of customer experience platforms. “Two categories often thought of first when considering customer experience are help desk and customer success software, because they both involve human interaction hopefully leading to a satisfied customer and a closed case. AI sales assistant chatbots automate simple interactions and transactions so customers can quickly achieve their goals. Enterprise feedback management software provides a flow of data on what a business is doing right and where it is failing to meet expectations. Customer journey analytics software monitors and records actual customer use of a business’ digital assets across multiple channels, both to see how well existing processes are working and to craft more ideal paths for customers to take in their use. Account-based marketing is an attempt to focus more attention on key accounts and treat them like valued relationships. Social media management engages customers at critical points in the customer’s journey—the point where they are pleased, curious, or annoyed enough with a brand to post about it in a public forum. CRM is one of the earliest attempts to manage customer experience, and the data from CRM systems is often integrated with other CX applications.

  • To be considered part of the Customer Experience family, a product should:
  • Provide actionable information about customer satisfaction in unique instances or through aggregated data
  • Plan and implement changes to business processes that affect customer experience
  • Create a memorable, positive experience through application of technology
  • Help employees consistently provide the best outcomes for customers” - Customer Experience Software, G2; Twitter: @G2dotcom

3. Look for a CX platform with omnichannel data collection and analysis. “Wherever customer experiences are happening, that’s where you need to be listening. The right software will provide you with tools to set up listening posts and capture customer feedback in all the right places – be it on your website, on social media, on owned or third-party apps, or in physical locations.

“Your software should be set up to gather customer feedback through a variety of methods from web and SMS surveys to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and live chat modules. All these feedback channels should track back to the same centralized system, giving you a meaningful overview whenever you need it.” - Your guide to customer experience management software, Qualtrics XM; Twitter: @Qualtrics

4. Choose a customer experience platform that offers feedback segmentation and analysis. “Customer experience platforms can provide a holistic and segmented set of data that marketers can use. These segmented data help the brand evolve and understand what's right and what needs refinement in customer experience. For instance, are there specific locations that report a better experience? Is one product getting negative reviews while others keep customers satisfied? Customer experience management provides answers for continuous improvement of the brand.” - Geri Mileva, 9 Best Customer Experience Platforms to Grow Your Business, Influencer Marketing Hub; Twitter: @influencerMH

5. Look for a CX platform with persona creation and customer journey mapping tools. “A CXM platform facilitates mapping a customer’s journey predicated on their profile information. You can pinpoint the specific instances when the customer experience (CX) deteriorated and those where the CX was so positive that he/she/they opted to stay loyal to the business and the brand. Customer journey mapping using a CXM platform enables you to comprehend the “moments of truth” in CX, i.e., the instances at which a client is most likely to become susceptible to retention or churn.” - What Is a Customer Experience Management Platform? Definition, Working, and Benefits, TechFunnel; Twitter: @tech_funnel

6. Choose a customer experience platform that analyzes both experience data and operational data. “Here are two essential components that decide a brand’s digital customer experience:

  • Experience data that measures the attitude, emotions, and intentions of your customers. For example, relational feedback, journey-based feedback, natural speech and text, and passive listening. It helps you understand the why behind your customer behavior.
  • Operational data that is observable and derived from objectives. For example, Customer Relationship Management data, sales stats, website traffic, contact wait times, etc. It only helps you understand what happened on your eCommerce Platforms.

“Both operational and experience data are helpful for user experience management. However, when you combine them, they become a powerful tool that helps you gain complete insights into customers’ activities, insights, wants, and intentions while keeping an eye on the competition.” - Ravneet Singh, Digital Customer Experience Management: Strategy, Value to Business, and Best practices, Net Solutions; Twitter: @netsolutions

7. Select a CX platform that analyzes every customer interaction. “CEM tools can analyze feedback from every customer interaction so admins can better understand emerging trends and customer service issues. CEM systems collect this data from multiple sources: retail interactions, loyalty programs, contact center customer service, web and e-commerce behavioral data as well as social media.

“Company decision-makers can drill down into this data to better understand customer behavior and manage customer experience. For example, an enterprise may learn that its customers use social media as a last resort to voice complaints before taking their business elsewhere, while phone calls or emails to customer support may indicate that providing a discount offer for the next purchase is enough to prevent customer churn.” - Christine Campbell, Maximize and manage customer experience with CEM tools, TechTarget; Twitter: @TTBusinessTech

8. Look for comprehensive feedback analysis and predictive insights. “CXM platforms should allow companies to view the insights in a clear, easy-to-understand, and actionable manner when the survey results come in.

“Dashboards and data visualizations that summarize these insights and reveal the most relevant information are ideal for enabling this process.

“Nowadays, many of these tools will also include artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for analysis, allowing CX teams to drill down into insights for each campaign, customer segment, and other parameters.” - How to Choose the Best Customer Experience Platform in 2022, CX Today; Twitter: @cxtodaynews

9. Real-time feedback analysis provides actionable insights for employees. “Feedback management is an indispensable part of any CX software. You can set automated triggers to convert customer feedback into tickets via ticketing systems, and then take prompt action as needed. CX software helps companies capture customer feedback in real time at crucial junctures from multiple channels.” - Saumya Anand, Best Customer Experience Software, SelectHub; Twitter: @SelectHub

10. Consider customer journey orchestration. “At its core, customer journey orchestration is about delivering an exceptional customer experience across the entire journey. Although there are compelling market use cases for journey orchestration, its true power lies in connecting marketing, service and operations use cases. By integrating these different aspects of a customer's journey, businesses can create a seamless and personalized experience that strengthens customer loyalty and drives business success.” - Scott Clark, Customer Journey Orchestration Platforms to Know About This Year, CMSWire; Twitter: @cmswire

11. Predictive capabilities are the future of CX. “Predictive CX platforms allow companies to better measure and manage their CX performance; they also inform and improve strategic decision making. These systems make it possible for CX leaders to create an accurate and quantified view of the factors that are propelling customer experience and business performance, and they become the foundation to link CX to value and to build clear business cases for CX improvement. They also create a holistic view of the satisfaction and value potential of every customer that can be acted upon in near real time. Leaders who have built such systems are creating substantial value through a wide array of applications across performance management, strategic planning, and real-time customer engagement.” - Rachel Diebner, Mike Thompson, David Malfara, Kevin Neher, and Maxence Vancauwenberghe, Prediction: The future of CX, McKinsey & Company; Twitter: @McKinsey

How to get the most from your customer experience platform

12. Align your proactive service recovery (PSR) efforts with strategy. “PSR is an umbrella term for actions that try to turn around bad experiences for individual customers — even those who don’t complain — usually in as close to real time as possible. For example, an airline that detects when the first leg of a customer’s two-leg journey is delayed might reach out in-app to offer alternate flights and a meal voucher. Although technologies that make PSR scalable — like customer journey orchestration, AI-powered contact center agent assistance, and real-time feedback — are now realities, companies’ reasons for putting PSR center stage will vary. Companies with strong CX strategies will use on-brand PSR to help fulfill their strategies efficiently. These companies should keep PSR efforts aligned to strategy or risk diluting the brand. Companies without strong CX strategies will use PSR to fix basic CX problems quickly. These companies should avoid mistaking PSR for a real CX strategy or risk missing out on big-picture CX differentiation.” - Rick Parrish, Judy Weader, Christina McAllister, Colleen Fazio, Pete Jacques, Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian with Keith Johnston, Joana de Quintanilha, AJ Joplin, Su Doyle, Sam Karpinski, Daniel Portillo, and Shayna Neuburg, Forrester 2023 Customer Experience Predictions, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner, @forrester

13. Interact with customers in real-time. “...improving the overall customer experience and nurturing relationships to build a loyal customer base requires real-time interaction. At any given moment, when a customer needs help in resolving an issue regarding one of your products or your services, they should be able to reach one of your representatives easily and communicate with them in real-time.

“Interacting with customers in real-time shows that your company, your brand, values its patrons more than its bottom line. It proves that you’re not only after making sales or generating more profits—you actually care about the customer’s experience with your product and/or service.” - Customer Experience Software, Crozdesk; Twitter: @crozdesk

14. Start with the must-do’s. “Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience. Prioritize technologies that provide these benefits rather than adopting new technologies for the sake of being cutting edge.

“While many companies focus significant time and money on design that pops or cutting-edge technology to wow customers, these aren’t as essential to the experience equation as many companies believe. Customers expect technology to always work and often don’t take notice of it (unless it’s malfunctioning). They want the design of websites and mobile apps to be elegant and user-friendly; they want automation to ease experience. But these advances don’t matter much if speed, convenience and the right information are lacking.

“When customers’ expectations are met or exceeded, companies gain measurable business benefits—including the chance to win more of their customers’ spending dollars.” - Experience is everything. Get it right., PwC; Twitter: @PwCUS

15. Measure and monitor employee experience, too. “Employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are interlinked and should be measured and monitored together. In short, the podcast focuses on how interlinked EX and CX are for company growth. CX is, of course, extremely important for gaining customers and maintaining customer loyalty. EX helps this field as well; a healthy EX helps boost employee loyalty since it helps employees be more proud and interested in their jobs. A good EX culture also listens to employees since many of them have ideas on boosting CX.” - Raleigh Butler, 5 Ways to Ensure Successful Customer Experience Outcomes, CMSWire; Twitter: @cmswire

16. Analyze customer churn. “Customer churn is a normal part of business, but it’s vital that you learn from it so that you can prevent it from happening due to poor customer experiences.

“Regularly analyzing churned customers can help determine whether your churn rate is increasing or decreasing. It can also help you understand the reasons for churn; for example, if customers responded well to your personalized communications and returned for business, you know that team or area of your company is doing a good job.” - Corey Patterson, What is customer experience and why does it matter?, MarTech; Twitter: @martechismktg

17. Understand your customers’ problems. “Customer Experience CX software help customers connect and understand the product, increasing the company’s sales and supporting a better customer experience.

“Most customers don’t trust product advertising and, most of the time, get confused in purchasing the product; here comes the role of Customer Experience management software which helps enterprises make more sales and profit by understanding users’ problems. It helps in increasing the post-purchase experience.” - Jebran Shafiq, 18 Best Customer Experience (CX) Platform Software of 2023, JBR; Twitter: @TECH_JBR

18. Integrate multiple systems to provide a personalized customer experience. “Your customers expect a personalized experience. Incorporating a digital experience platform can help you integrate with systems such as a CRM, a contact center or your social media accounts. Bringing in data from all avenues allows you to get a well-rounded view of every customer. And with the ability to process that data, a DXP can help provide deep insights that you might have missed.” - The ultimate guide to digital experience platforms, Contentstack; Twitter: @Contentstack

19. Tap into business intelligence (BI) analytics. “An essential part of CX platforms is analytics. It helps a company collect customer data and send it to different departments (like sales or marketing) to help plan and make necessary decisions. It helps convert complex data into visually presentable formats making it easy to understand. Many companies also use third-party Business Intelligence (BI) software to analyze this data. It helps in formulating plans and using suitable means of communication to reach your audience.” - Pratiksha Thayil, Why Do You Need a Customer Experience Platform?, Zyxware Technologies; Twitter: @zyxware

20. Consider how digital and non-digital experiences complement each other. “Focus on the holistic customer lifecycle, giving equal attention to the way digital and non-digital experiences complement each other and optimizing both. This approach treats DCX (digital customer experience) as just one part of the overall customer experience strategy.” - What is Digital Customer Experience?, Liferay; Twitter: @Liferay

21. Understand what drives long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty. “Compelling digital experiences start with knowing how to support what customers are trying to achieve in the first place. It is less about shiny, new technology and automation, and more about using customer understanding to create experiences that help them develop a greater sense of control and self-confidence in a way that they couldn’t have alone.

“Brands strive to meet customer expectations by optimizing their customer journeys, but these efforts cannot produce the desired results if they are driven by what gets customers to click and convert rather than what drives longer-term satisfaction, loyalty and retention.” - Leah Leachman and Don Scheibenreif, Using Technology to Create a Better Customer Experience, Harvard Business Review; Twitter: @HarvardBiz

22. Improve the customer experience to foster brand ambassadors. “A Nielsen survey of 29,000 consumers in 58 countries found that 84% of people completely trust recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues. When your customers get the best experience from dealing with your business or brand, there will be a ripple effect of recommendations and referrals. And positive word of mouth marketing is the best that can happen to your business as it requires no effort on your part.” - Christopher Robinson, What is Customer Experience Management Software? Analysis of Features, Types, Benefits and Pricing, FinancesOnline; Twitter: @Financesonline

23. Don’t neglect non-digital processes. “In a world of rapid digitalization, businesses cannot neglect non-digital, traditional processes. There will always be a portion of customers who prefer to have their boarding pass printed, handed to them by airline personnel or loaded onto their phone. Just like there will always be a portion of customers who prefer manual processes, physical check payments, paper statements, and live customer support. The move toward digital experiences must strike a balance with continued high-quality, non-digital experiences and offer creative, hybrid approaches that meet the needs of all customers.” - Tracey E. Schelmetic, CSG's State of the Customer Experience Highlights a Path to a Better CX, CustomerZone360; Twitter: @TMCcustomer

24. Augment decision-making for your support team. “Augmenting the decision making of customer support people allows them to respond more quickly, more consistently and more accurately. If decision augmentation applies the policies, they don’t have to remember to. If it analyzes the customer’s history to identify retention risk, they don’t have to. If it always suggests current deals and offers, they won't be out of date.

“Decision augmentation doesn’t replace your customer service team—it just makes them far more effective and lets them focus on the customer and the interaction, not your data or your policies.” - James Taylor, Using Decision Intelligence To Unlock Excellence In Customer Experience, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes

25. Provide a unified customer experience across channels. “It happens far too often that individual sales channels can find themselves siloed from other parts of the business, with the online side engaged in poor communication with the physical storefront.

“By building out a capable, unified customer experience, companies can consolidate the different sales channels in their network and streamline communication.” - Crafting a Unified Customer Experience to Level Up Your Business, BigCommerce; Twitter: @BigCommerce

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