It’s simple. Happy customers are the best customers. They’re more likely to buy from you and be loyal to your brand over time. Over the last decade there has been a significant shift towards customer-centric business models, where every business decision relates back to how it will impact the customer. In fact, Gartner research reports that 89% of businesses are now competing on customer experience. Delivering great customer experience (CX) is more important than ever before, and the availability of customer experience tools can help businesses across industries step up their game and get a competitive edge in the market.
What is customer experience?
Before we dive into some of our favourite customer experience tools, let’s talk definitions. Customer service and customer experience are often mistakenly confused with each other. Customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with your business, and an interaction with customer service helps form the overall customer experience.
The experience a customer has with your business can be positive or negative, but the overall experience is shaped at multiple touchpoints – visiting your company website, seeing a product demo, using your product or service, speaking with a customer service agent, etc. The emotional responses (satisfaction, disappointment, frustration, delight) that occur at these touchpoints all add up to the experience a customer has with your brand.
How do you measure and improve customer experience?
So, if customer experience is related to an emotional response, how can you measure it and take action to improve it? Here are a few key strategies:
- Invest in customer experience – When you invest time and resources into improving the experience customers have with your brand, you’re really investing in customer acquisition and retention. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
- Leverage customer feedback surveys – surveys like the Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Effort Score, etc. open the lines of communication and invite honest feedback on the experience a customer has with your brand.
- Review customer analytics – response rates, attrition, churn, buying patterns, engagement with marketing campaigns, etc. can provide insights into how your customers engage with your brand, including when and why they stop engaging. These patterns can shed light on areas where customer experience is poor, and where you need to focus your efforts.
- Interview your customer service agents – If customers aren’t happy, your customer-facing team members will be the first to know it. Invite your agents to share their experiences – what are people loving about your brand? What are they frustrated with? This information is invaluable as you seek to elevate your customer experience.
- Make use of available tools and technology – As we’ll discuss shortly, you have a whole host of customer experience tools at your fingertips. Each with a unique feature set designed to help deliver a better experience for your customers.
- Engage with customers when they want, how they want – Today’s customers want to engage with businesses using their preferred communication channel, so the more methods of communication you can offer your customers, the better. At liveweb, we live and breathe the motto, “the right communication channel at the right time”. Video for a product demonstration, screen share to evaluate a software bug, voice for a quick Q&A. We’re committed to helping businesses deliver a premium customer experience through real-time communications using customer preferred channels.
10 best customer experience tools for 2021
We’re kind of obsessed with customer experience, so we like to keep up with the available customer experience tools that exist with us in the market. Here are our top 10 picks, with each one being able to add value to your business’ customer experience strategy.
Front is a customer communication platform where customer support, customer success, sales, and operations teams can see email, apps, and teammates in one central location. A universal inbox enables you to work collaboratively on emails, tag teammates, and transfer customer info and communications seamlessly across your team. Customer-facing communications happen live from your inbox, making customer engagement history feasibly accessible to the whole team. So no matter what communication channel the customer uses, or who they interact with, everyone is up to speed and ready to help.
Free trial: Yes
Plans: Monthly subscription rates ranging from $9-$79 per user per month.
Zendesk offers a range of customer experience products for customer support and sales teams. The support suite includes live chat, integrated voice software, knowledge base, and more. But lately where Zendesk really shines in the customer experience world is with Zendesk Sunshine. It’s an open, flexible CRM platform designed to give you a 360 degree view of customer interactions and corresponding data – no matter where it comes from. Consolidated information enables your team to better understand your customers and then deliver a more personalized user experience.
Free trial: Yes
Plans: Support Suite rates range from $89- $149 per agent per month. Zendesk Sunshine is available at $0 for Lite (when paired with the Support Suite), $19 per agent per month for Professional, and $59 per agent per month for Enterprise.
3. Genesys Cloud
The Genesys Cloud is an all-in-one cloud contact center solution for enterprise businesses. It brings your customer communications from phone, email, chat, and social media into one efficient communications hub. This enables your customer-facing agents to connect with customers faster and more efficiently, which leads to more satisfied customers, faster problem resolution, and ultimately better business outcomes.
Feature categories include:
- Customer self-service
- Digital channels
- Voice services
- Inbound routing
- Outbound campaigns
- Workforce engagement
- Unified communications
- Reporting and analytics
- Integrations and apps
Plans: There are three plans available: Genesys Cloud 1 at $75 per month, Genesys Cloud 2 at $110 per month, and the Genesys Cloud 3 at $140 per month.
4. Salesforce Service Cloud
Salesforce Service Cloud is a scalable customer support platform that equips agents to deliver incredible customer service by combining a wide range of features in one agent workspace:
- Agent workspace
- Case management
- Knowledge management
- Service process automation
- Omni-channel routing
- Service analytics
- Call center management and CTI Integrations
- Asset and order management
Free trial: Yes
Plans: The price per user ranges from $25 per user per month for Essentials to $300 per user per month for Unlimited.
LogMeIn specializes in AI-powered engagement, and it’s Bold360 customer experience software is just the right blend of AI and human support. It enables you to create personalized connections for your customers using live chat, chatbots, and messaging – all in over 40 languages. And with comprehensive reports and analytics in hand, you’ll have a 360 degree view of each and every customer touchpoint.
LogMeIn is currently offering demos and providing price quotes for four unique plans: Agent, Service, Advise, and Helpdesk.
6. Cisco Customer Experience
Tech giant Cisco Systems is branching into the world of customer experience software with its CX Success Portfolio. The portfolio includes services for technical support, expert analytics, IT monitoring and management, assistance with technology implementation, and ongoing training. This comprehensive approach helps businesses get the maximum value out of their technology stack at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
Pricing is available via contact with a Cisco agent.
7. HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot Service Hub is a customer service management software that brings your support agents onto one platform. Service Hub enables agents to deliver fast and effective service to customers, while improving the customer experience they have with your brand.
A help desk and ticket automation system gives you a reliable prioritization system for incoming customer issues, and the comprehensive knowledge base allows customers to self-serve at their convenience. Service Hub also has a handy live chat feature that connects customers directly to a service agent for quick, human customer service.
Free trial: No, but HubSpot does offer a variety of free tools including ticketing, live chat, team email, and more.
Plans: Service Hub plans range from $45 (Starter) to $1,200 per month (Enterprise).
8. Adobe Experience Manager
Adobe Experience Manager combines the power of an AI-powered CMS and digital asset management system, helping you create personalized, scalable content and get it out into the market, fast. Use Adobe Experience Manager Sites (the CMS) to build an agile web experience your customers (and developers) will love. Then use Adobe Experience Manager Assets (the digital asset manager) to collaboratively create, personalize, and distribute content to your customers across channels. With this powerful combo, your customers experience your best work, personalized to them, every time.
Pricing available via contact with an Adobe agent.
Glia specializes in digital customer service for financial enterprises. This tool enables you to connect with customers via audio, video, SMS, chat, or social media, and transition from channel to channel whenever you need. It also offers customer support agents the ability to co-browse with customers to help them find the answers they need, faster. Glia is currently targeting industries like banking, fintech, and insurance, who need to leverage customer experience tools to modernize their business strategies.
Glia demo and pricing is available via contact with a representative.
10. SAS Customer Experience
SAS is a banking analytics company helping financial organizations leverage AI and data analytics to streamline operations and deliver better customer experience. SAS provides you with a holistic view of the customer journey and enables you to deliver personalized, real-time, digital customer engagements that are backed by comprehensive analytics.
Price quotes are available via contact with a SAS representative.
We get it. There are an awful lot of customer experience tools, platforms, and marketing strategies to choose from. And this list only begins to scratch the surface. To figure out which one is right for you, start by clarifying your business goals and assessing the current state of your customer experience, CX tools, and tech stack. Are you lacking in real-time customer communications? Analytics and reporting? Agent knowledge base? The gaps in your customer experience strategy will help guide you to the appropriate addition to your tech stack.
When you invest in customer experience, you can expect an exponential return on value. 84% of companies reported increased revenue after improving their CX. Happy customers. More sales. Better analytics. Efficient scaling. The opportunities are endless.
If you’re reading this and realizing it’s time to step up your customer experience, but you’re not sure where to start, give liveweb a call. Our team has decades of experience in customer communications, and we’d love to chat about how we can help you make more efficient and meaningful connections with your customers.