Customer Experience Management (CXM): What Is It and Why It Matters [+ Tips To Get It Right]
How you engage with users and the experiences they have with your brand and product directly impact your profits.
The answer is in the numbers: 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. Customer experience management can be a big differentiator for SaaS businesses.
If you’re looking to understand what customer experience management is, why it’s important and how to get it right, keep reading!
Table of Contents
- What is Customer Experience (CX)?
- What is Customer Experience Management (CXM)?
- Why is Customer Experience Management important?
- How customer experience management can influence the first impression and the anchoring bias in a positive way
- How customer experience management can influence the confirmation bias in a positive way
- How customer experience management can influence the buyer’s remorse in a positive way
- Tips for doing Customer Experience Management the right way
- CXM tip #1: Understand customer’s job to be done
- CXM tip #2: Listen to the Voice of The Customer (VOC)
- CXM tip #3: Map customer’s journey to success
- CXM tip #4: Proactively reach out to customers
- CXM tip #5: Continuously measure user sentiment and act on it
- Customer Experience (CX) is the perception a customer has of your brand and product based on their interaction across all stages of the customer’s journey.
- Customer experience management (CXM) is the process of building and orchestrating the experience each customer has with your brand and product.
- The beginning of your relationship with the customer directly impacts the final outcome (if they buy your product or not).
- There are three important biases that influence buying decisions, that good customer experience management can influence in a positive way: first impression and anchoring bias, confirmation bias, and buyer’s remorse.
- building a great customer experience that helps the user experience value, during onboarding is the most crucial part of the customer’s journey.
- Granular type of user insights provided by Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs will help direct your attention in improving customer experiences in a way that directly answers to their needs.
- Knowing the desired outcome (what customers hope to achieve using your product) you should map the journey with all touchpoints leading to customer success.
- A good customer experience management process will proactively reach out to users making sure their journey is frictionless.
- With net promoter score surveys you can proactively identify and address problems before your customers churn due to poor experience.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer Experience (CX) can be defined as the perception a customer has of your brand and product based on their interaction across all stages of the customer’s journey.
In SaaS, personalizing the experience at every touchpoint in the customer journey is what can truly differentiate your business and nudge customers to stick to your product.
People buy products because it saves them time, money or because they need to be compliant with regulations.
It’s not just about having a good product anymore. Your product doesn’t only need to get the job done, it has to do it in a way that helps the customer save time or money (preferably both).
How can you do that?
Start by mapping your customer journey. Look at every interaction the customer has with your brand and product and identify friction points that are stopping the user from experiencing the full value of your product.
Then improve the experience at each touchpoint. This is where CXM comes into play.
What is Customer Experience Management(CXM)?
Customer experience management (CXM) is the process of building and orchestrating the experience each customer has with your brand and product. From the moment they first hear about you, through the signup and onboarding process, payments, and the overall experience dealing with your staff.
CXM entails management, designing, building, and also improving every touchpoint on the customer journey. From sales through customer success to technical support.
Sounds like a lot, right?
It might. But when you look at CXM as a company effort where each team, not only Customer Succes, plays a small part, the overall CX of customers becomes easier to manage and improve.
It starts by understanding customer’s needs and expectations and make sure your product and people overdeliver on them. I’ll talk about how you can do this in a bit.
But first, let’s understand why CXM plays a big part in every SaaS company’s success.
Why is Customer Experience Management important?
The beginning of your relationship with the customer directly impacts the final outcome (aka it will determine if they choose to stay or churn).
Customers stick to your product when their goals and needs are met. To retain customers you need to show them the value your product offers and how it helps get their job done.
Plus, remember the reasons people buy: to save time and money.
What does customer experience management has to do with that you might ask?
CXM plays a big role in showing your customers that your product can and will save them time and money. More important, it will make customers experience the value FAST.
Fast is the important factor here. As in a crowded market, where there are multiple alternatives for almost every need there is, people make buying decisions in split seconds.
Those decisions are made in the subconscious, are highly biased and customer experience is what can drive the customer to say yes to buying your product over another.
Here are three important biases that influence buying decisions, that good customer experience management can influence.
How customer experience management can influence the first impression and the anchoring bias in a positive way
When a user decides to try your product or is interested in buying they have certain expectations based on how you have positioned your product.
The first impression will become a reference point (an anchor) for future decisions. If during the first seconds, minutes, or days of their experience there’s any indication that their need will not be met by the product, their decision is already made.
To improve retention, focus your attention on building better first impressions.
Otherwise, no matter how perfect your product is, the chances of the customer ending up buying are slim.
How customer experience management can influence the confirmation bias in a positive way
Confirmation bias is the tendency to look at new information in a way that confirms our beliefs. So if a user’s first impression during their experience with your product was bad, they will only see things confirming what they already believe and ignore the rest.
In SaaS, there are multiple touchpoints that can count as the first impressions before the customer makes the buying decision. From the copy and design of your website, the impression your sales team left after a demo to the in-app experience during a trial.
Confirmation bias makes it hard to bring someone on board with your product if the first impression sets high expectations that are not delivered.
How customer experience management can influence the buyer’s remorse in a positive way
Buyer’s remorse is the feeling of regret after making a purchase decision. Before making a purchase we anticipate how we will think and feel after. That builds certain expectations after the purchase, making the customer wonder if they made the right choice.
The higher the expectations are, the more unhappy customers will be if the product doesn’t meet them.
Customer experience management can proactively understand buyer’s needs and expectations and keep the remorse at a minimum, and in turn not giving user’s a reason to churn.
Tips for doing Customer Experience Management the right way
CXM tip #1: Understand customer’s job to be done
Understanding JTBS and building user persona‘s is the foundation great customer experience management is built upon. How else can you help users achieve success with your product if you don’t understand their needs first?
In SaaS, jobs to be done and how your product is helping the customer achieve them is more important than knowing how old your user persona is, where he lives and whether he’s married or not.
Here’s an example of one of Userpilot’s user persona:
Don’t just build user personas.
Use the information to personalize the experience for each user across all stages in the journey. Not all your product features are important to each user persona’s need so make sure to highlight only what brings value.
CXM tip #2: Listen to the Voice of The Customer (VOC)
Create a Voice Of The Customer (VOC) program to continuously gather information and feedback on how the customers feel about your brand and product.
Focuses on specific questions and answers, from specific users. Having this granular type of user insights will help direct your attention in improving customer experiences in a way that directly answers to their needs.
Here are some examples of what a VOC program will help you understand:
- the outcomes users are looking for by using your product
- what blocks users from achieving their goals
- what do users like or dislike about your product
CXM tip #3: Map customer’s journey to success
Knowing the desired outcome (what customers hope to achieve using your product) you should map the journey with all touchpoints leading to customer success.
You need to first understand what’s the shortest journey the user must take in order to get to experience the value in your product, fast.
A customer will interact with different people in your company at different touchpoints so in order to keep a consistent experience make sure everyone in your team is working towards the same customer success goals.
Use the customer journey map to build better onboarding experiences.
And when I say onboarding, I mean all three stages. The secondary and tertiary onboarding stages are important too for delivering continuous value to the user even after they’ve reached the activation point and experience the AHA moment.
Check out the graphic below that covers all onboarding stages.
CXM tip #4: Proactively reach out to customers
We’ve talked about mapping the customer’s journey. A good customer experience management process will proactively reach out to users making sure their journey is frictionless.
Proactive Onboarding is knowing exactly the path your user needs to take when they are transitioning from the “Aha! Moment” to being “Activated Users.” Meaning you have proactively created flows, set up to get users to understand and USE your key features. Often using flows that require their participation in order to get the job done! – Aazar Ali Shad (Proactive and Reactive User Onboarding)
CXM tip #5: Continuously measure user sentiment and act on it
You can measure user sentiment with NPS and other customer satisfaction surveys.
The Net Promoter Score reflects how your users feel about your product. According to NICE Satmetrix NPS 2021 benchmarks, a good NPS score for SaaS is around 41. Considering just three years ago the average in the industry was 30, it’s interesting to notice how the rise in customer experience has pushed the benchmark higher.
By measuring NPS you can proactively identify problems before your customers churn due to poor experience.
To do that, ask a qualitative follow up question in your NPS survey:
A follow-up question after a survey is always a great idea. This way users can give their feedback on any issues they might have experienced when using your product or service. This gives you concrete information on what part of your customer journey map needs improvement.
You can use a tool like Userpilot to build in-app NPS surveys and collect user feedback.
Userpilot calculates your NPS score automatically based on your user’s answers. Plus, you can also track qualitative responses and tag specific elements to uncover patterns of what users like and dislike.
It will look like this:
To build the best customer experience that turns customers into advocates, it’s important to act on the feedback you collect with NPS surveys, to offer help to users who need it.
There you have it. Following these five customer experience management tips will send you on your way to improving your product retention reducing churn!
Looking to improve your in-app customer experiences? Get a Userpilot demo today and see how you can personalize in-app engagement and boost your CX.