Customer Experience Lab

5 things to look for in a customer experience tool

By Jakub Jez on February 14, 2019

Managing customer experience has become increasingly difficult because an organization's experience is impacted by nearly every department. Plus, to get executive buy-in to invest in customer experience (CX), processes and technology are needed to track CX programs and quantify their impact on the bottom line.

As business leaders grapple with how to improve their organization’s experience and prove the impact of their efforts, they’re often tasked with evaluating different customer experience tools to help them manage, track, and measure the success of customer programs. But finding the right customer experience tool is not an easy task. Business leaders are often left attempting to create a cohesive program while using multiple pieces of clunky, expensive technology.

Learn how a multinational company increased revenue and improved NPS® with Centriam's CX tool

We want to make finding the right tool easier for you. Using conversations we’ve had with numerous CX leaders, we compiled a list of 5 capabilities you should look for in a customer experience tool:

  1. More than just feedback collection

    Collecting feedback from customers is an important part of customer experience, but it’s still only one part. A sophisticated customer experience tool does more than just give you the ability to create and distribute surveys. It should also ingest multiple customer data points so you can get customer insights that help you create personalized programs, enable you to engage with customers across different channels (e.g., email, phone, in-store), and have robust dashboarding capabilities so you can track and measure the business impact of your efforts.

    By using a tool that combines customer insights with engagement and measurement, you can run targeted CX programs and assess the impact of your initiatives on metrics beyond NPS or customer satisfaction, including financial metrics such as sales and retention.

  2. Ability to easily combine data in one place for segmentation and analysis

    Given how important data is to running personalized customer experience programs, you need a customer experience tool that can easily and quickly bring many types of data into one place. Depending on your business, this may include operational, behavioral, transactional, loyalty data, and more. When a tool can seamlessly bring in and tie all of these data sources together, you not only get a holistic view of each customer, you can also easily segment customers for your initiatives.

    Your customer experience tool should also help you analyze your data to better understand your customers — both before and after you collect feedback. When you combine multiple data sources with strong analytics capabilities, you can identify what your customers really care about and how it impacts their engagement with your brand, pinpoint problems in your customer experience that need improvement, and get to the bottom of what’s really driving customer experience. This enables you to create more effective CX programs based on real data about your organization and customers.

  3. Integration with internal systems for cross-functional adoption

    To become a more customer-centric organization, your customer experience tool should not be isolated to just one team or channel. The tool should allow departments across the organization to access customer feedback and insights. This enables teams to take action across different channels, including in your stores, call centers, on your website, and when delivering in-home services.

    For successful and efficient adoption across your organization, your customer experience tool should integrate with your organization’s existing technology, including your CRM, ticketing system, point-of-sale tool, and more. Through integration, you can get insights from your CX tool into your other internal systems.

    For example, with an integration between your call center application and CX tool, you can notify a customer care employee — through a system they already use and are familiar with  — that they need to follow up with a customer. The team member can access important information about the customer to guide their outreach and “close the loop” (or mark this follow up as completed) directly from the call center application.

  4. Measurement beyond NPS and CSAT

    Too many customer experience tools measure the impact of customer programs by simply reporting net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), or survey results in general. But customer experience executives are increasingly expected to justify their investments by tying their CX initiatives to business impact (e.g., revenue, costs, sales, retention, etc.).

    In our minds, this is the biggest gap in today’s customer experience management technology. The key capability that sets a customer experience tool apart is whether it can help you tie your investments back to the KPIs that matter most to your organization. 

    For example, let’s say you identified a change that needs to be made to your billing process or return policy. After you make the change, you should be able to use your customer experience tool to not only collect feedback to see if your customers’ perception has changed, but also to track their actual behavior to see if the changes drove desired KPIs (e.g. on-time payments, increase in transactions, or decrease in call volumes to customer care). By tracking perception and behavior in one place, you can measure the real business impact of your initiative.

  5. Dashboards you’d be proud to show the executive team

    CX leaders often find themselves downloading numerous spreadsheets from their customer experience tool(s), merging survey results with other data, and building dashboards in third-party tools to present results to executives. A robust customer experience tool not only allows you to bring different types of data (customer, operational, etc.) into one place, but it also includes dashboards to track your CX efforts both at the program level and holistically at the company level.

    With built-in dashboards, you can create reports that show your program’s progress, identify where gaps exist, and tie your efforts back to the KPIs the executive team cares about most. This enables an executive-level view of your programs to justify the cross-functional efforts you’re investing in or to guide decisions if targets aren’t being met.

A common theme

You may notice that there’s a common theme throughout these 5 capabilities: data. Operational, behavioral, and feedback data are all critical to understanding your customer, identifying ways in which your experience needs to be improved, and measuring how your customer experience efforts impact your business. Because data is so central to customer experience, it’s important to find a tool that helps you access the right data insights to make informed business decisions on what needs to be done to improve your customer experience.

Download our comparison chart to see how Centriam's CX tool compares to others on the market

If you keep these 5 things in mind when searching for your customer experience tool, we’re confident you’ll find a product that won’t feel like just another piece of technology, but rather like a tool that’s critical to helping you solve your biggest customer experience challenges.

Get personalized recommendations from CX and analytics experts

If you’re on the hunt for the right customer experience tool for your organization, contact us so we can review your business objectives and provide recommendations on how Centriam’s product can help you meet them.

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Topics: Customer experience strategy, CX tools and technology

Author: Jakub Jez

Jakub Jez is the founder and CEO of Centriam, where he is responsible for setting the overall direction and strategy for the company. Jakub’s experience in the customer analytics space led him to identify a need for a platform that enables companies to make more data-driven decisions that result in better customer experiences, all through technology that’s intuitive enough for anyone to use.
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