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Grow Your Business Technology

Experience Management Software: What Small Businesses Need to Know

Experience Management Software: What Small Businesses Need to Know
Credit: Black Salmon/Shutterstock

Customer experience is crucial to a successful business. But how do you know if your customers are having a positive experience?

Experience management software allows businesses to measure customer impressions through feedback, seeing how that feedback relates to the business metrics, and analyzing them as one.

"Experience management software can collect customer feedback and then translate this feedback into metrics for the business," said Steve Pritchard, founder of Cuuver. "This makes for extremely beneficial analytic material for a company, which can then be used to implement changes for an even better customer experience."

The platform Qualtrics, an experience software company, uses is a single system of record that helps organizations manage the four core experiences of business. Those experiences are customer experience, employee experience, product experience and brand experience, according to Mike Maughan, head of global insights at Qualtrics.

Each one of these experiences can be analyzed for a company with this software, and there are so many platforms available to businesses. [Read related: Best Professional Employer Organizations]

"In every instance, the focus is on breaking down data silos to make sure organizations are able to provide the best experiences possible," Maughan said. "For example, we all know that how employees act directly impacts the experience customers have. A common saying is that disengaged employees are firing your customers."

For a long time, employee experience and customer experience were managed separately, despite them being so closely related, said Maughan. Experience management platforms like the one Qualtrics has, allows all four of those experiences to be analyzed together.

Simply put, experience management software collates and analyses customer feedback to provide an overall view of the customer, helping companies to put together an accurate customer profile, according to Pritchard.

"Bain and Company did a study a few years back and found that 80 percent of CEOs said that they believed their company was delivering a superior customer experience," added Maughan. "When their customers were asked if they felt they were receiving a superior customer experience, only 8 percent agreed."

Experience management software helps to bridge that gap using the following steps:

  • Measure and Baseline: Measure stakeholder experiences across all touchpoints and establish baselines
  • Prioritize and Predict: Predict stakeholder needs and trends and solve issues before they start. Identify key experience drivers and initiate action
  • Track and Optimize: Track progress and drive continuous experience improvement

Maughan noted that there are two types of data to be measured: operational data and experience data. Operational data is the sales data, finance data, HR data – all the information from day-to-day operations. Experience data explains what is happening and why.

"For example, operational data might tell you that shopping cart abandonment is going up or certain SKU sales are going down in a given region. Where companies fail is with the experience data, because the experience data doesn't exist," Maughan explained. "Experience data is the human factor data. It is the beliefs, emotions and sentiments that tell you why things are happening, why shopping cart abandonment is going up or why employees are disengaged and what to do about it."

In terms of customer experience, it does not matter what products you sell, how many employees you have, or the size of your company. The success of your customer relations solely lies in the way they feel when they interact with your business, deal with your employees and experience your company.

When you're dealing with so many aspects of experience at one time, using an experience management platform can help you stay organized and keep track of it all. Tracking responses to your products, brand and employee interactions can all be done through surveys, and then a company can go and look at that data and figure out which areas they need to improve or emphasize.

Measuring the customer experience, said Maughan, can't and shouldn't happen in departmental silos. Franck Sarrazit, principle consultant of brand experience at Qualtrics, says the idea of an experience platform is to create the sum of all parts.

"A jigsaw puzzle is a good analogy," Sarrazit said. "There are so many pieces."

Jennifer Post

Jennifer Post graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. Having worked in the food industry, print and online journalism, and marketing, she is now a freelance contributor for Business News Daily and Business.com. When she's not working, you will find her exploring her current town of Cape May, NJ or binge watching Pretty Little Liars for the 700th time.