CRM and CEM/CXM are essential tools for maintaining business flow with customers. Although similar, they have distinct differences. To choose the right one, organizations need to go beyond the alphabet soup of these hi-tech business applications.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software tracks interactions with sales prospects and customers. CRM systems can provide many benefits, but not every business needs one.
Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is a more extensive information collection process to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. It goes deeper into the customer experience and focuses on insight from their unique perspective by listening to customers, analyzing their feedback, and understanding their viewpoint to optimize the customer experience.
In short, both tools optimize customer relationships. How they do this makes all the difference. CRM facilitates relationship building for the organization. CXM focuses on monitoring and improving the experience for the customer.
A Different View
Centralizing all tools and customer-impacting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for the business. However, enabling your customers to have the same experience with you in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM, according to Ryan Cantor, vice president of product and marketing at Thryv.
The CRM market is growing every day with new entrants. Centralizing hordes of data for all the employees of the business to view in real time is not a new concept. But few enable the end customer to partake directly in this journey, he noted.
Siebel Systems first pioneered CRM software in 1997. The goal was to create a single, centralized location for all customer information. This would enable employees to access the CRM and become more productive, efficient, and able to answer questions more accurately, based on real-time information.
In many companies that opted for quick adoption, the software created little more than a glorified centralized spreadsheet. Its original premise went beyond employee efficiency. It was supposed to automate marketing efforts and sales functions to improve the customer's experience.
Cantor believes CRM for many companies perpetuates a missed opportunity to grow the customer experience. To fix that, he believes it's time for companies to transition to CXM software. One option is his company's CXM platform.
CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Cantor.
CRM Buyer: Why is CRM a failure for users?
Ryan Cantor: Being able to login, update their information, communicate with the business, schedule, pay, share. Often this is a complex integration or custom web development work needed that is outside the capabilities of most small businesses.
Centralizing the data speaks to efficiencies you can get as a business. It's valuable, and it has the "potential" to improve the customer's experience. This can be demonstrated when a customer calls two different employees, and each employee is operating with the same real-time set of facts.
However, in most businesses this potential is never truly realized, because it is limited to these personal interactions and not extended to the electronic or technology-enabled experience the customer gets. The companies who have done this part well include Amazon, Dominos and Apple. They have done this with millions upon millions of development, code, and integrations to deliver what ultimately appears as a seamless customer experience online.
CRM Buyer: How do you do this with CXM?
Cantor: When customers have the ability to book appointments on your website, login to reschedule, ask questions, make payments, download historical receipts, read and share documents and more, only then have you moved toward actually improving your customer's experience.
Originally published by the : ECT News Network,
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