Customer experience drives today’s ultra-competitive markets. More than the products, customers seek the experience associated with them. This is especially true in the cases of products that need customer loyalty and satisfaction for growth.
The service and luxury sectors are more lenient towards providing customers with a better experience. Along with this, product-based companies are also catching up.
Public relations plays an essential role in making customers feel welcomed and included. Customer experience enhances it with the right hospitality.
What is customer experience management?
Customer experience management (CXM) is fundamentally different from customer relationship management (CRM). CRM revolves around the optimization of internal operations. CXM focuses on a more customer-centric approach.
CXM is the practice of understanding customer sentiments. It helps you to mitigate the issues and amplify their experience to improve satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
Since CXM is heavily dependent on customers, maintaining a public relations strategy is important.
Public relations refers to the strategic process that harvests a positive image of the business. It mutually benefits the customers and the brand through engagement. The term “public relations” has 7 different subsets, including:
- Strategic Communication
- Media Relations
- Community Relations
- Internal Communication
- Crisis Communication
- Public Affairs
- Social Media
Let’s discuss how these subsets contribute to an improved CXM of an organization.
1. Meeting customer expectations
With the rise of proactive customer support, you need to meet customer expectations before the demands arise. Call centers often handle pre and after-sales support. They also make sure that the customer experience isn’t hindered due to miscommunication.
A cloud call center software can help you with advanced call center facilities with no on-premise hassle, thereby improving your CXM operations. Such software solutions’ base is the SaaS model and can be used through browsers installed on your computers.
However, to have a more defined idea, you need to know your customers and understand their needs to improve customer experience.
Knowing your customers is the first step toward using PR to build a better CXM. If you don’t know who you are selling your products to, you can’t understand their needs. For example, a demographic of car buyers of age 18-25 demands their cars instantly. But a demographic of age 45-60 will want the cars to be delivered to their garage.
This information is harvested and analyzed through public relations. A customer’s experience is improved when they visit your business and get what they want without asking for it. Offering high-quality service right off the bat often becomes the most remarkable experience a customer can have.
2. Public crisis mitigation
An inferior batch, a missed refund, or a delay in delivery is inevitable. Despite your best efforts, you can’t perfectly manage every operation of your business every time. But, a customer who faces one or multiple issues may make it their responsibility to let others know about the bad experiences they had with you.
These social media complaints garner a lot of attention and pivot to become a public crisis issue quickly. This small percentage of users who have had a bad experience with you can deter a huge number of potential customers.
Additionally, CXM operations can be obstructed due to social controversies and data breaches. A customer may refrain from buying from you if you hold a conservative social view and have previously failed to ensure data safety. These issues are discussed often in public forums and may start a network effect that plummets sales.
Public relations strategies help mitigate these issues by addressing the complaints. It offers your perspective to the users. The new perspective influences the public and makes the complaining customer feel better.
3. Public experience amplification
CXM isn’t only about crisis management. Amplification of positive experience also contributes to an improved CXM for the customers. Many businesses encourage customers to post their experiences on social media for promotion. But they often fail to acknowledge their efforts by leaving a comment on their posts.
An extensive public relations strategy ensures that the customers who are talking about the brand aren’t ignored. Whatever their experience is, it’s critical to acknowledge their existence. Lift their motivations through appreciation and aspiration.
You need to use public relations strategies to involve your customers in your brand-building efforts. Hold interviews, develop content around the testimonials, and build community relations.
Since everyone strives for inclusion, indulge your customers to improve their own experience.
4, Creating brand value with customer stories
Brand value fuels CXM to a great extent. Especially in the case of luxury brands, their whole business model relies upon creating brand value. What a customer feels while using your product is ascertained by the reputation and character of your brand. The whole customer psychology changes with diminishing popularity and establishment of the brand.
Luxury accessory brands make fine examples of this. Customers often pay a hefty price to own the branded accessories from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Prada. They seek to be associated with these brands due to their brand value and quality. But the same customers don’t like being associated with cheaper brands that may manufacture better products.
Customer stories as a PR strategy can fuel the decision of other customers for your brand. The same network effect that was applicable for public crisis issues, brings more customers to your business.
5. Leading customers through their journey
You need to engage your customers through public relations strategies to guide them through their sales journey. From them finding you out to making the purchase, or even after that, they expect extensive guidance to improve their experience.
However, depending on your business, some customers may find it repetitive and pesky. Find the right balance to improve your customer experience management.
The bottom line
Customers expect a brand to treat them satisfactorily. Your business may fail due to the lack of appropriate public relations, even if your products are of the highest standard.
Customer experience management (CXM) improves with public relations strategies. Meeting customer expectations, mitigating public crisis issues, and amplifying public experience are fundamentals. Brand value and customer journey through the sales funnel also are important PR strategies for an improved CXM.