SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 09, 2008 14:27 ET

Customer Experience Management: Is Your Entire Company Really Focused on the Customer?

How Best-in-Class Companies Have Implemented Periodic Review of Customer-Facing Business Process to Maximize the Customer Experience

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) - In a unique research study of adoption of Customer Experience Management programs, Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), examines the business reasons for adoption of Customer Experience Management programs, the relationship between CEM programs and greater brand loyalty and brand worth, year-over-year change in customer retention and customer satisfaction, and how Best-in-Class adoption of Customer Experience Management programs have improved top-line sales and bottom-line profitability. This report explains how Best-in-Class companies have implemented periodic review of customer-facing business process to maximize the customer experience, programmatically implement a series of continuous-improvement changes over time, implement agreed-to metrics designed to measure performance over time, and implement a series of enabling technologies including Survey tools, a Customer Dashboard and an Analytics platform that supports a Customer Dashboard across Sales, Marketing and Customer Service data. To obtain a complimentary copy, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5149.

Data acquired from over 190 enterprises reveal a number of impactful data points. "At its core Customer Experience Management programs dissect the customer experience to find the best, most profitable customers, the most effective leverage points, and then build long-term strategies to grow those customers. There are a series of company leadership, process, organizational, measurement and technical factors that need to come together to make these work. Perhaps most important to the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) in 2008 looking to thrive in a challenging economic environment is the disciplined approach that CEM programs bring to find and grow profitable customers," according to David Boulanger, Research Director, Customer Management Strategies at Aberdeen, one of the study's authors. Boulanger adds, "For those companies expecting a single magic bullet this program (CEM) is not that. What this program will do, however, is systematically determine how to most profitably service your most important customers and then grow your most profitable relationships over time. CEM programs are journeys, not events."

The report demonstrates a direct correlation between implementation of Customer Experience Management programs by Best-in-Class customers and their performance in three critical customer-facing performance measures: customer satisfaction, customer retention and year-over-year change in profitability.

End-user customer feedback indicates that customers start by identifying business processes with the greatest customer impact and segment customers by profitability and sales potential. As companies gain more experience in these programs they advance from simply being able to collect data on customer satisfaction, retention and profitability and move on to intermediate ands advanced levels where companies actually manage the business based on metrics which drive sales, marketing and customer service programs.

In this environment, the contact center becomes a critical component of the customer experience. "Our research shows that brand worth and equity is literally made or destroyed with every customer interaction. In this environment, the contact center agent is the essential hub between the digital customer with a need and specific product, customer service, engineering and other named individuals that need to be linked together to address a topic," says Boulanger.

"What has also been surprising," he said, "is the growth of internal customer service websites into externally facing customer destination sites complete with Wikis, Blogs and other Social Networking tools. It is no surprise that a good number of global CPG, Consumer Product and Retail companies perform a major amount of product development using Social Media technologies as part of CEM programs."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Avaya and Aspect Software. To obtain a complimentary copy, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5149.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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