As customer needs and expectations evolve, many organizations are expanding their toolset to increase CX consistency across channels.
With such investment in CX technology growing, the rise of customer experience management (CXM) platforms runs in parallel.
These platforms aim to unlock hidden insights into CX and allow companies to maximize the value of all resources devoted to delivering CX.
What Is a Customer Experience Management Platform?
A CXM platform leverages customer journey mapping, online surveys, and closed-loop feedback to understand how customers feel about their experiences. With this knowledge, brands can harness other tools within the platform to make meaningful improvements to customer journeys.
CXM platforms have become popular in recent years, thanks in part to the progression of analytics technologies. Indeed, companies no longer have to survey customers to gain insights into CX; other methods are available.
By harnessing a CXM platform, companies can track performance at every touchpoint, from product research and exploration to conversion and support. In doing so, the technology offers companies the chance to:
Assess the end-to-end customer journey without blind spots
- Enable data-driven decision making
- Uncover insights across every customer engagement channel
- Improve CX by acting on the voice of the customer (VoC)
Features of a CXM Platform
While various CXM platforms will boast different capabilities, here are four stalwart tools that most vendors should include.
1. Multichannel Feedback Collection
CXM platform typically offers a variety of means to seamlessly deliver customer surveys, ensuring the highest possible survey response rate.
To achieve this, some CXM tools connect with messaging platforms, others embed surveys on websites, and there are tools that insert surveys into employee email signatures.
Also, CXM tools should go beyond collecting feedback, providing tools to act on it, initiate another round of follow-up feedback, and observe the impact.
Such a closed-loop system helps companies showcase to customers that they value their feedback. It also allows CX teams to understand if their changes are effective.
For example, businesses may close the loop by asking dissatisfied customers about their experience and incentivizing feedback through discounts or promotions. A good CXM platform can achieve this in an integrated workflow.
2. 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.
3. Customer Journey Mapping Tools
Many companies find these tools particularly useful when starting with CXM, as it helps them understand their customer journeys and zoom in on particular touchpoints.
Also, when a company wishes to bring in a new feature, such as proactive messaging, they can use these tools to design new journeys that enable a better implementation.
Similarly, when a company wishes to introduce a new channel, it can design customer journey maps to ensure seamless customer conversations.
4. Integrations with Other CX Tools
CXM tools are rarely standalone solutions. Instead, companies tend to integrate with other customer experience software like CRM systems, contact center tools, marketing platforms, and more.
Such integrations allow data to flow from one system to another and pave the way for connected workflows.
Ideally, the platform should provide a brand with application programming interfaces (APIs), software development kits (SDKs), or webhooks to enable easy integrations.
Step-by-Step Process for Choosing the Best Customer Experience Platform
To choose the best solution, some companies may decide to follow these five steps:
- Build up a series of use cases to address specific business problems, such as; why are my sales dipping in region X? These help to quantify the value of a CXM platform.
- Evaluate the top contenders for the use cases, ensuring it offers automated, multichannel feedback mechanisms, advanced analytics, and easy integrations.
- Create a request for proposal (RFP) detailing the specific requirements of the use cases, the existing technology environment, and other dependencies. Then, share it with a shortlist of contenders.
- Make sure that the CXM platform includes extensive support services. Data analytics requires specialized expertise, and it is best to partner with a trusted vendor.
- Start with a paid pilot that deploys the solution for a short period. Doing so allows the company to test all its features, which a free trial may not provide.
CXM management software is a rapidly growing market. According to a 2021 analysis by MarketsandMarkets, it will reach a $16.9 billion market valuation globally by 2026.
In the last 12 months, customer interaction volumes have also increased across channels, with customer tickets via WhatsApp rising by 370% between 2020 and 2021. These insights from Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 report indicate a sharp rise in customer demands, and brands must work hard to keep up. A CXM platform is perhaps just the ticket.
After all, a CXM platform provides companies with data to make more intelligent decisions, which will carry CX forwards into the digital world.
Many CXM platforms are designed specifically for the digital space. To find out the market-leading providers for these solutions, read our article: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms 2022