User experience, customer satisfaction and value-add: concepts that are banded about quite easily, but more often than not overlooked and neglected… until now. Today, we have Customer Experience Management (CEM) and it is very much the next ‘big thing’ for businesses looking to exploit multiple channels of communication that link up to the customer says Bernice Houston, Sales & Marketing Manager at CRS Technologies.

Houston says while CEM is a relatively new concept in South Africa’s business environment, it is beginning to gain momentum across many industries. “Industries are adopting this ‘new’ approach at a rapid rate which should see this becoming a universal and must-have commodity by 2020.”

Part of the reason for this anticipated increase in interest is because of the opportunity that lies in CEM, if applied effectively.

CRS Technologies believes decision makers see a clear opportunity to engage with their customers in order to create more meaningful experiences whilst simultaneously meeting their customer expectations.

There are very real results from the application of CEM in business. “With the rise of increased customer experience management, companies will be forced to raise the bar. Customers are bound to compare experiences from one provider to another and will start demanding consistency throughout,” says Houston.

Trends to watch

Given that CEM is relatively new and still taking shape in South Africa, there are signs of development and emerging trends that businesses ought to be aware of.

CRS Technologies lists these as HR focused, with the ability and desire to engage with customers at any given time of the day regardless of location. The ultimate solution to effective customer experience management would be integration of touch points, un-packing customers’ lives and more automation.

“From an HR perspective, it would be great to engage with your employees on a daily basis with a device that has built in artificial intelligence. Imagine being reminded to submit leave as soon as a calendar event is added after you have booked a weekend away?  Even better, imagine if the artificially intelligent solution can help you spend your salary in a more efficient way by taking into account life events you would need cash for throughout the year? … think ‘salary portion control’,” says Houston.

CRS Technologies suggests that in HR, employees want to help themselves.

“More and more employees are asking if they can structure their own salaries, this can be made possible within the boundaries of the company policies. Therefore, an intelligent device can ‘assist’ an employee in the moment. If they are requesting to do something that is not within company policy or within the Basic Conditions of Employment,” adds Houston.

With this realisation, companies will begin to tap into CEM to grow and develop, she adds.

“Companies will have to change the how and when of customer services. They will benefit by identifying who their customers are and what their touch points are. By analysing and unpacking the as-is design elements and creatively re-invent the to-be design. CEM is about big picture thinking!” says Houston.

Where will this be felt? CRS Technologies is of the view that each industry and each business will have their own challenges but the principles of their core business are unlikely to change.

“The fundamentals of wanting to buy something have not changed, but how it is ordered, delivered and supported should be re-invented with the customer at the heart of it. Make buying easy, simple and effortless,” Houston adds.

The advent of CEM means HR and payroll software providers will have to focus on staking their claim within the people management industry, by meeting the demand for instant clarification, automation, reinforced wellness and much more.


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