In this article, we’ll discuss how each of these tools helps boost customer experience and the key features to look for. We’ll also highlight the reason why getting all these tools as a suite is better than subscribing to separate, and often, disparate, apps.
Companies are talking more about customer experience (CX) these days and less of customer service as we know it. But what is customer experience?
Put broadly, the definition of customer experience is the customer’s sum impression of the brand based on his cumulative interactions with the company. He would have gone through a variety of brand touchpoints–such as ads, sales calls and help desk–and environments including visits to your brick-and-mortar shop and online sites.
A successful CX means the customer has positive experiences in all these contacts with you, reinforcing his willingness to do business with you. Clearly, we’re not talking about just customer service here; CX spans marketing, sales and service interactions with customers. Neither are we talking about one-purchase events; rather, long-term customer relationships that reap steady profits.
CX isn’t just another jargon or hype sweeping across industries and businesses only to be forgotten in a few years. It is the result of shifting customer behavior. The shifts are abrupt, if not disruptive, caused by rapid technological advances and social media connectivity. The result?
This article talks about the tools to get your CX project off the ground. It assumes that you have a CX strategy already in place or at least in mind. If not, Kellogg Insight lays bare for you how to design a customer experience strategy here. The takeaways:
We have identified four tools that should boost your CX strategy. These tools can be had separately or as a suite (we’ll discuss later why a suite is the better option, one is that some tools have overlapping functions). But it’s helpful to present them in this deconstructed way to help you identify specific functionalities required to cover all the bases in CX.
Likewise, what you should look for across these tools are all or some of these general features: dashboards, automation, collaboration platform, analytics, mobile apps, real-time notification, customization, usability, and scalability.
At the core of CX is still customer support, where the majority of customer interactions happen. Hence, the first thing on our list is getting help desk software. Make sure your help desk is not old or limited. You need an advanced solution to achieve the following CX benefits. If you need to upgrade we recommend HubSpot Service Hub, which has earned positive user reviews consistently and a high satisfaction rating among our readers. If you want to try its features at no cost you can easily sign up for a HubSpot Sales free trial here.
In the past years, the demand for live chat has increased by 8.29%. This is because aside from social media and email, customers also find live chat as one of the most convenient ways to connect with companies.
While live chat is still primarily seen as a support tool, you can, in fact, use it for sales and marketing. You can read our techniques on how live chat can boost sales or the creative ways of using live chat for marketing. This makes live chat a true CX tool with functions that cross over to different departments.
You may prefer getting a standalone tool, and you have plenty of live chat choices. A preferred option though is to have the live chat built into your CRM or marketing software or natively integrated to these systems. For example, HubSpot Live Chat is part of the vendor’s sales software and service hub. The main advantage here is that chat conversations become a natural part of the sales or support process. Sales and support agents can quickly tune in to chat messages without leaving the system compared to having to log onto another app. Chat conversations are easier to retrieve also when you’re using a single tech stack.
CRM is designed to help you know, manage and track your customer needs, a key element in providing positive customer experience. It aspires to nurture deals until the purchase and extract repeat business from these deals. If help desk software is the frontline of CX, CRM software is its engine, keeping customer data relevant, shared, insightful and helpful to keeping customer relationships. You have plenty of top CRM tools at your disposal, but if you want one that is free and robust–and highly acclaimed in the field–you can sign up for a HubSpot CRM free app here, no strings attached.
Marketing software, also called marketing automation, is designed to optimize your marketing processes, such as email campaigns, lead management, and social marketing. On top of it, administrative tasks and workflows are automated to help you focus on high-value tasks, such as campaign evaluation and market analysis. One of the main objectives of marketing software is to deliver marketing-qualified leads or MQLs to sales leads with the potential to convert. If you’re looking for marketing software, a good recommendation is HubSpot Marketing, primarily because it is native to the HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Service Hub (more on this below). You can sign up for a HubSpot Marketing free trial here.
We have discussed so far the four essential tools to design a stellar customer experience: help desk, live chat, CRM and marketing software. The market is awash with the “best software” for each of these categories, but should you deal with separate apps? Customer experience is all about cohesion, nurturing teamplay among sales, marketing, and service teams. So, too, your tools must achieve close integration.
In this regard, a few vendors stand out when it comes to providing a cohesive, robust and scalable suite for CX. One of these is HubSpot, a brand renowned for inbound marketing and CRM. Particularly, its CRM, Sales and Marketing apps have consistently earned excellent user satisfaction rating and product reviews from our team of experts and elsewhere. You can even start building your CX suite for free when you sign up for a HubSpot CRM free app here. It’s already integrated with the free versions of HubSpot Sales and HubSpot Marketing, from which you can scale to paid advanced features. Setup is easy and a matter of signing up. Once it’s done you will appreciate better these reasons why a suite is the way to go:
Customer experience or CX will not go anywhere soon. It is, in fact, the new customer service to put it bluntly. If you want to stay competitive, you’ve got to have the mindset for CX and the tools to carry it out. In this respect, getting a suite has clear advantages over using disparate apps.
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