Customer experience technology
As customer experience (CX) has become increasingly more important to brands across many verticals, so too have the technology solutions that help improve it and maximize its efficient execution.
On this page, we delve into what customer experience technology is, why it’s important, how it differs from customer management technology, and the pitfalls to avoid when using it.
What do we mean by CX technology?
Customer experience technology is an overarching term for any piece of software or hardware that is used to improve the experience a business delivers to its customers.
According to most sources, CX is the biggest differentiator for businesses right now. Need more convincing? 73% of U.S. consumers say experience is as important as products and services, according to Salesforce, and according to Martech Alliance, 78.5% of CMOs agree or strongly agree that amazing customer experiences provide a powerful competitive advantage.
While there can be hardware devices that improve customer experience (e.g. directional microphones for calling agents that improve calling sound quality), the majority of strategic CX technology solutions are software-based.
What’s the difference between customer experience technology and customer management technology?
The main difference is that customer management technology is often focused on managing customer relationships, whereas customer experience technology is used to optimize customer experience touchpoints.
The reason customer experience technology and customer management technology are often conflated is that they share a lot of similarities. But as explored below, there are also some key differences.
Customer management technology / CRM
Customer experience technology / CXM
- Predominantly captures data via manual input or batch entry
- Typically used by sales and marketing teams
- Tracks customer interactions and customer data
- Enables real-time data capture including behavioral data on customers
- Used predominantly by customer service, success, or experience teams
- Tracks customer feedback and sentiment
What’s the role of technology in CX?
Technology can play a vital role in delivering great customer experiences—if used judiciously.
All interactions or touch points on a customer journey—from initial discovery through to purchasing and beyond—contribute to the overall experience a business delivers for its customers. As the majority of these interactions are digital, the right technology choices can be a big differentiator.
Maybe more than ever, customers expect businesses to use technology to improve their overall brand experience. For example, in the retail sector, 94% of shoppers are of the opinion that customer service still has room to become more technologically advanced, according to research by SmartKarrot.
This goes beyond simply using technology to facilitate transactions or streamline processes. Now it’s about transforming the customer experience through new technologies. That means: orchestrating omnichannel customer journeys, increasing personalization, making marketing materials more relevant, and improving customer engagement with products and services.
Improving the customer experience through technology
“Sporting venues are fully leveraging the proliferation of the smartphone to enable touchless entry, fast and easy ticket transfers, and mobile ordering and payment for concessions and merchandise. For experienced fans accustomed to long lines to enter the gates or buy a hot dog, it’s a whole new world.” Vertiv’s Gary Niederpruem in Forbes.
When used as part of a holistic customer experience management strategy, customer experience technology helps businesses reach customer expectations and improve customer loyalty. That makes CX technology critical for creating and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Want to dive deeper?
Check out our page on how digital technology is used to manage customer experience.
How is CX technology used for business transformation?
CX technologies and CXM technologies aid business transformation by improving a business’s understanding of their customers, which can then inform strategy and open doors to new operating models.
Want to find out more about business transformation? Check out our business process transformation resources in our Learning Center.
What are the most common CX technology mistakes?
CX and CXM technologies can provide businesses a raft of benefits—but only if used correctly.
Below, we explore three common mistakes businesses make.
These are by no means the only mistakes that businesses can make when it comes to CX technology. To explore the full range of pitfalls—and get top tips on how to overcome them—jump to our CX technology “mistakes” page.
Want to learn how to vet any BPO provider?
Check out our Insanely Honest Guide to Outsourced CX, which gives you 26 questions you can use to vet your outsourcing partner.
What does the future hold for CX technology?
While the digital disruption and acceleration caused by the pandemic have slowed, it laid the foundations for the continued development of CX and CXM technology solutions.
Of the many emerging CX trends, here are three you need to be aware of.
When it comes to emerging trends, this is the very tip of a pretty sizable iceberg. If you want to explore more—check out our page on emerging CX technology trends.
It includes a detailed rundown of the things you need to think about now, including why self-service solutions are an absolute necessity.