- Customer experience management
- Don Fluckinger,Senior Analyst
Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is the collection of processes a company uses to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle.
CRM vs. CXM
While CXM may look similar to customer relationship management (CRM) strategy and software, there are key differences when comparing CRM vs. CXM, one being perspective: CRM shows what a customer looks like to the company, and CEM defines what a company looks like to the customer. CEM is a strategy that puts business customers at the center of marketing, sales and customer support in order to drive brand loyalty and repeat business.
CEM programs heavily rely on voice of the customer programs that quantify customer sentiment about their experiences with a company. Over time, a CX management program will adjust elements of the customer experience that generate negative feedback to correct those perceptions.
CRM strategy, however, focuses on sales and outreach to customers from the company's perspective of capturing more revenue. Typically, this sales-oriented system -- which sometimes integrates with customer service and support -- requires major digital transformation to support an overall CEM program.
Why is CXM important?
Customer experience with a brand contributes to customer perceptions and sales. It can be both positive when done well and negative when some elements of CXM are left unattended.
There are a variety of benefits to implementing a CXM strategy:
- Customer retention costs less than acquisition. Studies indicate that a 5% increase in customer retention can result in a 25% increase in profit. This happens for numerous reasons, but mainly because a retained customer avoids the costs of acquiring a new customer, and satisfied customers tend to order more.
- Customer feedback drives improvement. Voice of the customer data, in the form of web surveys and mobile app feedback as well as phone and chat conversations, provides a blueprint to improve customer experiences and retain customers.
- Happy employees project a better brand experience to the customers. Studies show that there is a strong link between employee experience and customer experience. Companies with the best customer experience concentrate on measuring voice of the employees data with an eye toward improving their experience and retention.
- Contented, loyal customers voluntarily endorse a company's brand to peers. Customer endorsement can often weigh more heavily in buying decisions than advertising or marketing efforts.
- Measuring customer sentiment yields information about competitors. Customers compare brands when making their decisions and offering feedback. Knowing this information can help a company position itself favorably against a rival.
How to create a good customer experience
CEM requires companies have a 360-degree view of customers, with integrated, up-to-date data on customer accounts. There are four critical steps to creating a successful customer experience strategy:
- Understand your customer. The first step in building a customer strategy is understanding customers' needs and behaviors. CX teams can develop customer profiles to understand how to market to target customers. Then they can implement customer segmentation based on factors such as age, interests and spending habits.
- Create a customer vision. Next, CX leaders should create a customer journey map. This helps to identify customer touchpoints and anticipate how customers will interact with the product or service. Customer journey maps can often help CX teams to boost customer retention in the long term.
- Develop an emotional connection. This involves creating a brand personality that evokes emotions and connections for a customer and helps establish a relationship between the customer and the company.
- Capture customer feedback. It is important to measure customer satisfaction in real time. Customer feedback can help the company track customer perceptions, enable quality monitoring and measure the success of the customer experience strategy.
Brands must assemble a CX team to execute those steps. CX teams include a number of roles, many of which are new to many companies. These roles may include a chief customer officer, a chief experience officer and several CX managers. Analysts often report to the CX managers or executives to manage the data projects involved and act as a liaison between the CEM team and other departments -- such as marketing, customer service, sales and IT. Together, this team should monitor and develop a consistent, continually improving customer experience.
The customer experience journey
Chief experience officers are accountable for customer experience at every customer touchpoint with a company. To understand where those touchpoints are, it's imperative to draw a customer journey map, which reveals the many interactions customers have with a brand. At minimum, the map will have four sections:
- Research. This is where the customer discovers a company, often on the web, via advertising or through third parties -- such as consultants, colleagues or social media acquaintances.
- Comparison. Here is where customers find out who a brand's competitors are, research user perception, functions, capabilities, cost and other attributes of all the competing products.
- Purchase. This part of the journey is the big business win, but it's just the beginning of customer retention and loyalty building.
- Support. The customer service and support teams that come into play after a sale are where loyalty and repeat sales begin. If these teams are not well conceived, they can break the customer experience and send customers to competitors.
A key component of building effective customer journey maps is the development of customer personas. Once a company knows the main archetypes of its customer base from developing smart market segments, it can plug the typical personas into the journey map to show how to build a customer experience that caters to each one.
Four main obstacles get in the way of good customer experience:
- Not enough voice of the customer data. A company can't accurately measure customer experience without large data sets, and it can't solve customer experience problems it doesn't know about.
- Lack of omnichannel support. When brands cannot listen to or help customers in the channels they are interacting within -- whether through email, social media, web chat, mobile apps or smart speakers -- customers can't make their wants and needs known. Customers that do not feel heard are more likely to switch to a competitor.
- Ignoring qualitative data. Brands should harvest and analyze individual comments in survey free-text fields, which can yield much deeper understanding of customer experience issues that need solving than numbered ratings can. Qualitative data can also give rise to new ideas for improving overall experience.
- Poor internal communications. A CX team must do its homework by analyzing the customer journey, building voice of the customer programs and collecting voice of the customer data to create better experiences. Those initiatives won't work, however, unless CX leaders distribute that information in an understandable way to stakeholders in sales, marketing, customer support and senior leadership.
Management techniques and strategies
Managing customer experience along the entire customer journey requires the following:
- Generating content. Supporting research, marketing pieces and sales enablement content will give each team ways to prove value to customers. To take that a step further, brands should consider personalizing customer-facing content, as well -- from emails and text messages to website content and mobile apps -- to improve relevancy and customer engagement.
- Evaluating customer sentiment. CX teams should collect voice of the customer data throughout the entire journey to identify where to improve experiences. It's not enough to simply have that data; brands should understand customer emotions through customer sentiment analysis tools and techniques.
- Creating customer personas and marketing segments. Different groups of customers have different needs. Brands should build a consistent, engaging experience through addressing and anticipating customers' specific needs.
- Investing in customer loyalty programs. Frequent customers want to be acknowledged with savings and perks -- and customer loyalty programs deliver that. Well-executed programs drive upsell revenue as well.
- Evaluating customer touchpoints. It's important for a brand to know where its customers make their purchasing decisions -- and when they are most likely to flee to its competitors -- to continually refine their customer experience.
- Analyzing customer data. Chief experience officers must work through voice of the customer data with customer analytics tools to iterate constant improvements based on customer feedback.
A customer experience management strategy isn't complete without the appropriate technologies to support it. Here are the major technologies involved with customer experience management.
Customer experience management platforms. Many cloud software vendors, such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, have platforms to manage customer experience from end to end. These platforms center around four major components:
- CRM. A CRM is crucial for sales and marketing agents to access and manage customer information. It generally pulls data in from a variety of channels and touchpoints, which prevents customers from needing to repeat information.
- Marketing automation. Marketing automation software increases marketing efficiency and eliminates repetitive tasks. Marketing automation tools can include lead management, customer segmentation and campaign management.
- E-commerce. An e-commerce platform enables companies to build an online storefront with capabilities such as checkout, product catalogs and integration with payment processing.
- Customer service. Most CXM platforms offer a way for customer service teams to communicate with customers through omnichannel interactions. Some platforms also offer self-service, allowing customers to solve their own problems via chatbots, product documentation and other options, if possible.
Other customer experience management platforms -- from vendors such as Adobe, Pegasystems, Episerver and Acquia -- offer integrated parts of the customer experience stack. These vendors are often adept in one or a few parts of the digital experience -- Adobe for marketing, customer analytics and e-commerce; Pegasystems for process management, customer service and more -- but weak or incomplete in other areas. Adobe, for example, doesn't offer a CRM component. Using these platforms often requires a mixed-vendor environment to complete the customer experience technology stack. Incidentally, that's a more common configuration than the single-vendor shop.
Some companies may benefit from building their customer experience technologies from a foundation of software they're already using. For example, a manufacturing company that tracks its international supply chain and distributors with an SAP ERP system may find that integrating SAP customer experience tools will be more straightforward than starting from scratch with another vendor.
Other important customer experience tools include the following:
- Personalization engines. A foundational technology for customer experience programs beyond sales and service tools is personalization engines, which automate communications to customers on a one-to-one basis. Personalization strategies include new technologies, such as mobile marketing, location-based services and beacons, which help companies identify where customers are and market to them in real time. In some cases, the data can help companies give consumers pointed information that may or may not be related to a discrete purchase. For example, a stadium might use location-based services to inform consumers about which concession stand is proximal and less-busy. Personalization is important for all companies, but more so for companies with large numbers of customers that stretch beyond the human staff's capacity to tailor personal messages and offers.
- Automation tools. Artificial intelligence can improve CX in areas other than marketing. AI automation tools can be a boon to managing customer experience, quickly performing low-level tasks so humans in customer service and fulfillment can concentrate on solving more complicated issues.
- Contact center software. Contact centers handle all outbound and inbound calls, but modern call center software goes beyond that, integrating speech analytics, advanced reporting and call routing.
- Voice of the customer software. VoC software extracts customer data from all channels, integrating with a company's contact center and digital interactions to create a nuanced view of customers' feelings and feedback.
- Emotional analytics. These tools gauge whether customers benefit from their interactions with the brand. Emotional analytics software can help analyze the success of a variety of operations that are related -- but potentially tangential to -- customer service, such as inventory management or supply chain management.
- Knowledge management. These systems are also important tools for seamless customer service. Agents can use knowledge management systems to look up product information and customer interactions with other products. Agents can also combine this information with customer data and inventory information to provide customers with account information, product education and inventory.
This was last updated in July 2020
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What Is Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM)? ›
Customer experience management, often called CXM or CEM, is a system of marketing strategies and technologies that focus on customer engagement, satisfaction, and experience.What is customer experience management CEM and why should you be focusing on it? ›
Often referred to as CXM or CEM, customer experience management aims at working towards customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, thus increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.Which is the best definition of customer experience CX )? ›
Customer experience (CX) refers to how a business engages with its customers at every point of their buying journey—from marketing to sales to customer service and everywhere in between. In large part, it's the sum total of all interactions a customer has with your brand.What is customer experience management solutions? ›
A customer experience management platform is a solution that enables you to manage and improve your customers' overall experience by providing a 360-degree view of their interactions with your business, such as support calls, sales emails, and social media interactions.What is the objective of the customer experience management CEM survey? ›
The primary objective of customer experience management is to improve the overall experience each customer has with a brand. It is a strategy to understand customer perception, gauge customer loyalty, and put action plans in place to improve the CX gaps.What is the main goal of customer experience management? ›
CXM is an approach to relationships with customers that goes beyond just marketing tools and software—with the goal of achieving a digital transformation that truly puts customers at the centre of the business.What are the 3 main components of customer experience? ›
The three main components for creating a customer experience strategy are discovery, engagement and delivery.What are the 4 components of customer experience? ›
- To truly understand customer experience we have to understand the four components required to build one. There are archetypes, activities, interactions, and principles. An easy way to remember these is to think about the different parts of a relationship.What are the 3 levels of customer experience? ›
The phrase 'customer experience' is crucial in the definition of a pain point. Elsewhere we've defined customer experience as encompassing three levels: the interaction level, the journey level, and the relationship level.How does CEM relate to CRM? ›
In short, both CRM and CEM optimize customer relationships but CRM is what facilitates relationship-building for the organization while CEM focuses on monitoring and improving the experience for the customer. Both CRM and CEM account for all steps of the customer journey and their interactions.
What is the CXM position at Home Depot? ›
Customer Experience Managers (CXM) are members of the store leadership and management team, overseeing execution of store standards across the entire store, including customer service, department readiness, and operational process.What is an example of experience management? ›
For example, have the ability to measure how long it takes to perform a single task. These tools also often track how users navigate an app and provide more information about user experience while in the app, such as how easy it is to checkout or identify where users typically drop.What are the three 3 objectives of customer management? ›
The overall business goals of CRM systems are to help organizations 1) capture new leads and move them through the sales process; 2) support and manage relationships with current customers to maximize their lifetime value to the company; and 3) boost productivity and lower the overall costs of marketing, sales, and ...Why is CEM important for business? ›
The goal of CEM is to manage customer interactions through each physical and digital touchpoint to deliver personalized, customer-centric experiences that drive brand loyalty and increase revenue.What are 5 qualities of great customer service managers? ›
These include a customer service mindset, outstanding communication skills, conflict-resolution skills, a creative problem-solving ability, and a high level of empathy.What are 3 important qualities of customer service? ›
- Delivering Respect to Your Customer. ...
- Have Your Agents Practice Active Listening Skills. ...
- Empathy: The Key to Customer Success. ...
- Ability to Communicate Clearly With the Customer. ...
- A Positive Attitude. ...
- Be Patient. ...
- Customer Service Agents Determined to Serve.
The qualifications you need to become a client experience manager include a bachelor's degree in marketing, business administration, or a relevant field. You also need experience working in a product marketing, customer service, or client experience (CX) capacity for an established brand.What are the 5 steps of customer experience? ›
The five phases are Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.What are the 4 six pillars of customer experience model? ›
Customer experience can be described using six pillars of customer experience: Personalization, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time and Effort, and Empathy.What are the 5 modes of customer experience? ›
When it comes to customer experience, there are five main types that businesses should focus on. These are emotional, cognitive, sensory, behavioral, and brand experience.
What are 2 important parts to the customer experience? ›
There are four key components of customer experience—a customer-centric culture, well-designed touchpoints, consistent quality, and customer satisfaction.What are the 7 principles of customer experience? ›
The seven principles of customer service include; speed, accuracy, clarity, transparency, accessibility, friendliness and efficiency.What are the 6 core competencies of customer experience? ›
To improve CX, according to a recent Forrester report, there are six key competencies that need to be built, which include research, prioritization, design, enablement, measurement and culture.What does CEM stand for in business? ›
Customer experience management (CEM) is the practice of creating personalized interactions across physical and digital touchpoints.What is the difference between CRM and customer management? ›
While a CMS is great for managing contacts and keeping general tabs on important people, a CRM is for managing the full progression of a customer interaction. CRMs lead up to signing the contract, and follow the relationship well after it. A CRM is a comprehensive software solution for managing customer interactions.Is Salesforce a CEM? ›
Salesforce: A Better CEM Solution
Salesforce excels in easy-to-use tools, integration, and flexibility, at a scalable cost so you can customise your customer experience management program to fit your needs.
The Home Depot's Customer Service Manager compensation is $3,687 more than the US average for a Customer Service Manager. Customer Service Manager salaries at The Home Depot can range from $33,000 - $112,000. The Customer Support Department at The Home Depot earns $1,703 more on average than the Sales Department.What positions make the most at Home Depot? ›
Drive customer service and associate engagement; coach Associates on proper customer service techniques and ensure team is providing the highest level of customer service.What is the difference between CRM and CXM? ›
CRM is concerned with keeping track of customer experiences, reacting to issues and providing relevant marketing or services based on past behaviour. CXM is a strategic goal of your entire business, namely to give customers consistently positive experiences that will drive loyalty and ultimately boost your business.
What is the difference between customer experience and experience management? ›
So what exactly is the difference? CEM is a broader term, which focuses on a higher level business philosophy. CX is more of an operational level business strategy made up of various tools and techniques. CEM is a broader term, which focuses on a higher level business philosophy.How do you explain management experience? ›
What is management experience? Management experience refers to your professional history of managing people or projects. In order to become a manager, you usually need previous supervisory experience of some kind, which is why it's a good idea to find opportunities to lead, both in your personal and professional life.What are the three C's customers? ›
The three Cs of customer satisfaction: Consistency, consistency, consistency. It may not seem sexy, but consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy.What is CRM strategy vision and goals? ›
The CRM vision provides an opportunity to examine the strategies and processes that provide the functional framework of an organization and compare them to the organization's goals and aspirations for the present and the future.What do the 3 C's stand for customer consumer and company? ›
The 3 Cs of Brand Development: Customer, Company, and Competitors.What makes a great customer experience? ›
In short, good customer experience can be achieved if you: Make listening to customers a top priority across the business. Use customer feedback to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers. Implement a system to help you collect feedback, analyze it, and act on it regularly.Why should you focus on customer experience? ›
Importance of Customer Experience
A remarkable customer experience is critical to the sustained growth of any business. A positive customer experience promotes loyalty, helps you retain customers, and encourages brand advocacy. Today, customers have the power, not the sellers.
Why is great customer experience important? Positive customer experience is a way of standing out from competitors. As more brands compete for public attention and more options are readily available, CX provides a way to put your product and brand at the forefront.Why should managers focus on CRM? ›
By intelligently storing and managing your customers' information, a CRM system increases the number of leads coming in, helping your marketing team find new customers faster. It supports your sales teams in closing more deals faster. It also enhances customer service.What was your best customer service experience answer? ›
Having worked in a call center for five years, I have plenty of experience listening carefully to the needs of my customers before efficiently working to solve their problems and explain the solutions. Most customers already begin to feel taken care of once you listen carefully to their concerns.
What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›
- 1- Maximize your Interactiveness. ...
- 2- Collect the maximum of Feedback. ...
- 3- Create a Good Exposure. ...
- 4- Build Inclusiveness. ...
- 5- Be the Top of Mind in Communication. ...
- 6- Have Transparency. ...
- 7- Always Do More than Expected.
Making sure you and your staff are knowledgeable about the products you sell. Being available for customer questions and responding promptly (even to negative feedback) Doing what you can to go above and beyond and make customers happy and feel special.What are the five benefits of CRM? ›
- Trustworthy reporting.
- Dashboards that visually showcase data.
- Improved messaging with automation.
- Proactive service.
- Efficiency enhanced by automation.
- Simplified collaboration.
- Better customer service. ...
- Increased sales. ...
- Improved customer retention. ...
- Detailed analytics. ...
- Higher productivity and efficiency. ...
- Centralized database of information. ...
- Managed communications with prospective leads. ...
- Improved customer segmentation.
The CRM cycle basically consists of four stages – Marketing, Sales, Product, and Support.