What Is a CX Platform & How It Improves Customer Experience

March 30, 2024 10 min read

Alex Doan

Alex Doan

customer-experience-platform-cxp

The experience your customers have with your product, service, and team will make or break your bottom line. Every touchpoint throughout the customer journey matters. Make sure you have the right tools, processes, and people in place to measure customer sentiment and implement the biggest opportunities for improvement.

Here, we’ll cover the main types of customer experience (CX) software, which features are essential, and common scenarios where a centralized platform might be helpful.

What Is a CX Platform?

A customer experience platform is a software solution that helps you deliver consistent, high-quality experiences no matter where and how customers interact with your brand. Customer experience software offers a suite of features and functionalities, including customer service tools, marketing automation, and analytics, for managing the customer experience to improve interactions across the entire customer lifecycle — and your teams. 

Implementing a customer experience platform empowers you to deliver personalized experiences at scale and meet customer expectations, boosting customer loyalty, retention, and advocacy. 

CX Platform Components

Customer experience platforms range in features, but there are a few common capabilities that any good customer experience software should have.

Omnichannel support

A key feature of a customer experience platform is providing omnichannel support. You can track all your customer conversations in one place instead of trying to keep tabs on separate channels. 

For example, you might have a call center handling inbound and outbound phone calls, active social accounts, SMS, and multiple email addresses. Customer interactions happen across these channels simultaneously, and it’s hard to track them separately. 

Omnichannel support allows you to streamline customer interactions and respond to issues quickly. If a customer sends a message on Instagram and picks up the conversation via email later, they won’t need to repeat the information they shared earlier. Everything they share appears as one continuous conversation. 

Nextiva-unified-CX-platform

Data analytics and insights

Customer experience platforms have in-built analytics tools that analyze and extract actionable insights from customer journey data. 

Nextiva has a robust business intelligence function that automatically analyzes call center interactions and creates dashboards and reports on your call performance, which saves the time you would have spent analyzing the data from scratch. It also helps you make data-driven decisions without guesswork. Say you discover that certain agents are overworked; you can plan to hire new staff or improve call routing to better distribute call volumes across your team members. 

Related: Customer Experience Analytics: How to Track and Improve CX

Personalization at scale

In Segment’s State of Personalization Survey, 56% of participants said they would become repeat buyers after a personalized customer experience:

Segment’s State of Personalization Survey showing that 56% of participants said they would become repeat buyers after a personalized customer experience

A customer experience platform personalizes customer interactions by collecting and analyzing data from various touchpoints and channels. You’ll get insights across customer demographics, preferences, purchase history, and much more. You can use this information to personalize your marketing campaigns, product recommendations, and general support. 

For example, if your website analytics tool shows that a customer checked out a sales page but didn’t make a purchase, you can email them with a special offer to prompt them to reconsider purchasing the sale product. 

Related: How to Build a Customer Experience Dashboard (+ Best Practices)

Automation and AI

Many customer experience platforms incorporate automation and AI to streamline time-consuming manual processes, provide real-time support, and personalize customer interactions. For example, Nextiva recently acquired Thrio, an AI-powered customer experience management software, to expand its customer experience capabilities. Thanks to this development, our platform now has advanced process automation for call routing and workflows.

Nextiva-acquired-leading-contact-center-platform-Thrio-to-bring-AI-powered-contact-center-functionality-to-its-offering-1

Feedback and surveys

Customer experience platforms have built-in survey tools for collecting and analyzing real-time customer feedback. For example, you can create post-call surveys to learn if a customer is satisfied with how you resolved an issue. 

Net promoter score and customer satisfaction surveys help you measure customer sentiment. Customers with positive sentiments usually become repeat customers and even recommend your business to others in their network. 

Customer sentiment journey

Related: How to Create a Unified Customer Experience (CX) at Scale in Four Steps

7 Types of CX Management Platforms

There are different types of customer experience platforms, and depending on the use case, some options might be better suited to your needs than others.

1. Contact center platforms

A contact center is a centralized hub for managing all incoming and outgoing customer communications. It’s like a nerve center for customer support, sales inquiries, and other interactions. You can track customer emails, phone calls, social media messages, mobile and website live chats, and more.

Top contact center features include: 

Contact center platform examples: Nextiva, Five9, NICE, and Talkdesk

2. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems

A CRM system is the single source of truth for all your customer interactions. It’s where you store demographic data — including name and contact information — manage customer relationships, and track people interested in your product or service as they move through the different customer journey stages

A CRM system that shows the different customer journey stages. 

Top CRM software features include: 

CRM software examples: Copper, HubSpot, and Zoho

Related: What Is Unified Customer Experience Management (CXM)?

3. Helpdesk and support platforms

A helpdesk manages all your ongoing support efforts to help customers make the most of your product or service. Here, you can streamline your customer support processes, manage tickets, and resolve customer issues promptly.

Top helpdesk features include: 

Helpdesk examples: Zendesk, HappyFox, and HelpScout

4. Customer feedback and survey tools

These tools help you collect and analyze real-time customer feedback to discover valuable insights. You can create and administer these feedback surveys at different customer journey stages. For example, if a customer has just finished onboarding, you can ask them to score their experience on an emoji rating scale. 

Top survey tool features include: 

Customer survey tool examples: SurveyMonkey, Medallia, Qualtrics

Customer feedback from Nextiva's customer satisfaction survey tool

5. Marketing automation platforms

A marketing automation platform handles tedious tasks for your marketing campaigns across different channels. This tool frees up time for you to focus on the more strategic aspects of your marketing process. 

Top marketing automation platform features include: 

Marketing automation platform: Brevo, Keap, and ActiveCampaign

6. Digital experience platforms (DXP)

A DXP offers tools for creating, managing, and optimizing digital experiences across web, mobile, and other digital channels. It also integrates with backend systems to personalize customer interactions and experiences. 

Nextiva-DCX

Top DXP features include: 

DXP examples: Contentstack, Adobe Experience Cloud, and Sitecore 

7. E-commerce platforms

An e-commerce platform provides the infrastructure for buying and selling online. Its basic form includes a backend where you can upload product catalog images and a checkout page where customers can pay for selected items. 

But that’s not all. Advanced e-commerce platforms have features like:

E-commerce platform examples: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce

Examples of When You Need a Customer Experience Platform

You should consider investing in a customer experience platform if you’re experiencing one or more of these scenarios.

You have a high volume of customer calls

Your call center is drowning under high call volumes, and customers are constantly experiencing long wait times. These are signs that it’s time to integrate a contact center platform into your current setup instead of spending money on a new CRM software tool. 

A contact center platform with ACD, IVR, and real-time analytics, like Nextiva, will help you manage and route a large volume of calls efficiently — offering better customer service and reduced wait times compared to a new CRM system.

Nextiva call center

You’re creating personalized marketing campaigns

If you’re launching large-scale personalized marketing campaigns, you’ll need a marketing automation platform to help you manage the process effectively. 

Unlike basic email marketing tools, a marketing automation platform lets you create multi-channel campaigns simultaneously. It also offers more advanced segmentation and personalization capabilities. For example, you can segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, and interests and deliver highly personalized content to different segments.

You have complex customer journeys

Managing customer interactions across multiple digital channels can be challenging.

Example-of-a-customer-journey-map

A DXP or omnichannel platform can streamline these interactions, allowing you to power all digital interactions from a central platform. This ensures consistent, personalized experiences across all touchpoints, surpassing standalone e-commerce or social media management tools.

You require in-depth customer insights

A customer feedback and survey tool that collects and analyzes feedback from various channels is more effective than generic analytics tools for understanding customer needs and driving product or service improvements.

You need efficient customer support management

A help desk and support platform with a comprehensive ticketing system, knowledge base, and self-service options significantly enhances support efficiency for businesses dealing with numerous support tickets compared to basic email management systems.

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Customer Experience Platform

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing the right customer experience platform. You’ll need to consider several factors like: 

Business objectives

Strictly define your business priorities and choose a customer experience platform that helps you accomplish them. If you want to streamline customer communication across multiple channels, you’ll need a cloud contact center that powers all of your business communication from a single platform. 

Integration capabilities

Choose a customer experience platform that seamlessly syncs with the other applications that manage your overall customer experience strategy. Your customer experience software should integrate with your customer data platform for smooth data flow and unified customer profiles. 

Nextiva integrations

Learn more about Nextiva’s integrations with customer experience apps

Scalability and flexibility

The last thing you want is to undergo an entire customer experience system overhaul every time your business hits a new milestone. To avoid this, invest in a customer experience system that keeps up with your business’s growth pace. It should be flexible enough to scale up or down when your business needs change — without costing much money or time.

Compliance and security

Make sure that the platform satisfies relevant data protection requirements to keep first- and third-party information safe. Thoroughly scrutinize its privacy policy to know how it collects, uses, and protects your business and customer data.

Customer support and training

Consider the level of support and training provided for smooth implementation and usage. Getting a short time-to-value ensures the best ROI from your customer experience platform. 

Nextiva: The Preferred Customer Experience Platform for Contact Centers

Choosing the right customer experience platform is crucial. Customers are the heart of every business. Any subpar experience can lead to churn and revenue loss and slow down customer acquisition. 

When choosing a customer experience platform for your contact center, Nextiva stands out as the tool of choice. With its omnichannel support, extensive integration library, and advanced call features, Nextiva is a worthwhile customer experience tool for contact center operators looking to empower their agents, improve customer experiences, and get things done faster.

Related: Omnichannel Customer Experience: The Complete Guide

The CX platform customers love

Sales and support teams rely on Nextiva to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

Alex Doan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Doan

Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

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