Bound at the Hip: How Customer Experience Management (CEM) Relates to Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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Gartner recently cited in a LinkedIn article that "Customer experience management is top of the CEO's agenda" for good reason.  Once upon a time, customer experience expectations were dictated primarily by your competitor’s offerings – who could offer goods or services faster, and at the lowest price. With increasingly educated and empowered consumers, today’s buyers expect more.  Some say that increased expectations are driven by the "app effect."

Let's compare two versions of a typical customer experience: getting from point A to point B on a busy (rainy?) morning.

Scenario 1: The typical cab experience. First you have to find a local phone number to a cab company, or have someone do it for you. Call the cab company and they say it will be ten minutes...which goes by and no cab...10 more minutes...still no cab...30 minutes...and eventually, hopefully, the cab finally shows up. After you get to where you're going you have to pay the driver (more often than not you need cash), wait for a receipt and then you finally get on with your day.

Scenario 2:  Take Uber for example. You open the Uber app on your smartphone and immediately you see little cars on a map and how far away they are from your location. You tap a button and within a few seconds, your ride is on its way to pick you up. You can even watch it getting closer and closer. You can see the type of vehicle, a picture of your driver and their average customer service (or, customer experience) rating. A few minutes later the driver arrives and you hop in their car. The driver gets you to your destination, says goodbye and you are off to whatever you need to waiting to pay for the cab, waiting for change, or a receipt… It’s already done. The driver is paid through the app and your receipt is emailed to you.

Which experience would you prefer? Today, like it or not, Apple and Amazon and Uber and so many others have conditioned customers to expect more.

Customer Customer-ExperienceExperience Management (CEM) is all about considering the customers’ perspective, not just your own, in everything you do and every business decisions you make. A happy customer makes for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) gives you the information about your customers that you need in order to provide them with an excellent Customer Experience (CX).  It goes a step further and focuses on the interaction between your team and the customer throughout the entire lifecycle of their relationship with your company. CEM is an enhanced CRM, and the wave of the future.

CEM and CRM are tightly related. For optimal success, you can’t have one without the other. CRM helps you identify, segment and capture customer interactions; whereas, CEM is focused on overall experience and how it affects your customer.

Customer Experience Management requires that you keep a sharp eye on not just the product or service you are offering, but what you can do to achieve the result of having more satisfied, happy and hopefully returning customers. It requires that you provide the buying experience that you know (through conversations, behaviors and yes, your CRM) that your customers want and expect.

How CEM Relates to CRM

CRM software, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, supports the CEM process by:

  • Recording business interactions with customers and prospects
  • Tracking and reporting sales opportunities
  • Logging customer service interactions throughout the customer lifecycle

(Click on image to enlarge)

How CEM Relates to CRM
Harvard Business Review - Christopher Meyer and Andre Schwager -

Meeting or exceeding expectations requires consistent and well-considered delivery of your products and services. Your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution along with your CEM approach to doing business can help assure that your customers stay with you longer, deal with you often and recommend you to others.

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how it can help in your overall Customer Experience Management approach, contact Green Beacon.

By Green Beacon, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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