The Role of Customer Interface in Customer Experience Management

According to experts, the essence of customer experience management (CEM) – the process of managing a customer’s entire experience with a product or a company – is treating customers as individuals. However, with the growing trend toward online purchases and socialization, interactions through traditional channels, such as in-store purchases and call center communications, often fall to second place behind Facebook ‘likes’ or the ubiquitous Tweet.

While it is important to stay ahead of the product fan pages, user-generated content, positive and negative feedback from referral sites, and other online customer data, it is equally important to create a customer experience strategy that incorporates all customer touch points. In particular, this includes the impact of customer-facing employees.

As Stanley Marcus, President and Chairman of Neiman Marcus, was noted as saying: Consumers are statistics. Customers are people.

A 2009 Profiles International report, “Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees” suggests these core behaviors of customer-facing employees make the biggest difference:

  • Trust. It’s difficult to build long-term, loyal relationships if you immediately assume someone’s motives are not honorable.
  • Tact. How you say something is as important as what you say.
  • Empathy. Customers want to talk to someone who cares about their experience.
  • Conformity. It’s important to align with your customers’ objectives and expectations.
  • Focus. Don’t let distractions get in the way of providing good customer service.
  • Flexibility. Customers want someone who is able and willing to solve their problem.

As Bruce Tempkin, Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, says

Your customers don’t live in spreadsheets; you need to go out and talk to them to understand who they are as people. That is, of course, unless each of your customers is really a 55% female with 2.3 kids who is 48% from a suburb and is 11% Hispanic.

Therefore, if your goal is to optimize customer interactions and, as a result, nurture customer loyalty, you need to know about your customer experience. We can help with that. We are experts in customer experience management.

We offer a communications network, hosted contact center technology, and customer engagement platform that can be integrated to manage every aspect of the customer life cycle in any communications channel.

USAN can help you to continually improve customer relationships and build a network of loyal customers. Contact us today for further information.