The ultimate objective of this software is to build customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. The complexity of deciding the perfect solution for a company or team stems from the fact that it depends on many factors. It could range from being a very basic tool to communicate with customers to being a robust platform with all-inclusive features, which integrates with existing business applications.
Understanding, evaluating and then prioritizing the needs is very important while selecting the right customer journey and CX software. There are many software tools and solutions to pick from. Investing time in thorough research to shortlist the software most appropriate to meet business requirements is essential. One must bring in considerations such as integration of communication from all platforms/devices, using existing customer databases and other customer-related applications, and the size and scaling potential of the company. Also take into account the available budget to buy, implement, and maintain the software solution.
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Once you have shortlisted the product and vendor based on business needs and product features, it is a good practice to verify the vendor’s track record in your industry, and, if possible, to obtain references from a few existing clients for. Many vendors offer free demos. It is best to utilize free demos with use cases relevant to your business.
Challenges in adopting Customer Journey and Experience Software
Customer journeys are complex — spread across months, multiple touchpoints, and many channels. The precise approach to adoption varies depending on industry and target segments, and must tackle pain points if any, and foresee future needs. Getting this right is crucial for positive customer experience and can be a key differentiator for many companies.
Every company is different and may face unique challenges in adopting and benefitting from the available software solutions. In a November 2019 survey, it was found that 22% of companies cited legacy systems as the biggest challenge to adopt CX platforms efficiently into their system.
While legacy systems may seem the biggest reason, the other most common ones are lack of appropriate planning and clear strategy, making an investment in technology ineffective. Many feel that budgets were assigned but not strategically utilized. Differences between environments can introduce errors and lead to much frustration. Precious time gets wasted at times in fixing problems due to incompatible codes introduced during the software lifecycle.
This is a key challenge. For a transformation initiative to succeed, it needs an empowered executive champion to drive cultural change and strategic investments. CX spans multiple departments: operations, delivery teams, marketing, sales, and service, to name some. Each team must have objectives that align with the overall business objectives of customer satisfaction.
ROI of Customer Journey and Experience Software
According to IBM’s 2017 CX Index, omnichannel shoppers spend between 50% and 300% more than single-channel shoppers. “By providing a consistent experience across channels, brands can increase ROI, reduce churn, and increase lifetime value in the long-term.” This has only intensified in the three years since this report.
The new technology-driven marketing practices empower brands to build and maintain relationships with customers on a cross-channel, omnichannel, multipoint journey. And, it’s working — there is more investment in CX because of its impressive ROI potential.
Measuring the ROI of customer experience software is not easy. While one knows the exact amount spent on improving customer experience, measuring the benefits from that investment can be difficult. While linking customer experience and business metrics, one must account for quantitative and qualitative factors as well. And those are certainly not easy to chart.
2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting the costs by 10%
ROI may mean different things to different industries. A value-for-money deal may be a wonderful customer experience for the travel industry, but it may not have much impact in medical care. In some industries, returns may start showing in a few days or weeks, and in others it might take a year or more for any results to show. Also, niche companies with specific target audiences may have better customer ratings than larger companies who serve a diverse group of customers, as large companies deal with more people, diluting the overall experience. It is best to define your own parameters to calculate your ROI based on the size of your company and the industry it belongs to.
Some parameters that may be used to understand the ROI of the implemented solution:
- Cross-sell/Upsell – Satisfied customers may purchase additional products and services from the same brand.
- Customer Servicing Cost – Streamlined processes can improve customer experience and increase efficiency. For example, introducing an FAQ for common issues can resolve the problem, reducing the load on support staff.
- Cost Control – Satisfied customers have fewer issues and need less support. It also encourages customer referrals and customer advocacy, thus helping the business grow with less advertising
Quality customer experience is certainly an area that merits investment, even though it may not be easy to conceptualize and calculate returns. Begin with small steps that can show positive effects. Then scale it further with short-term and long-term goals in mind.