Differentiating is done through delivering on brand promises. Understanding, connecting and delighting customers is essential, and managing the relationships between your company and those who buy and use your products and services must be the prime directive. To succeed in delivering a Customer Experience Management (CEM) initiative, an organization needs all of the data and information it can get on the customers; but that’s just the beginning of the journey.
Is CRM Still Relevant?
Over the years, a lot has been invested in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and in too many cases, the expected returns haven’t materialized. Because of this, many have speculated that “CRM is dead.” There’s no denying that poor CRM implementations have often led to segmented siloes of data as pointed out by Michael Hemsey from Kobie Marketing¹. The error might also have simply been that expectations were too high or unrealistic for what the technology could do at the time, or that the vendor promises were ill-placed. According to Gartner², no single CRM application can deliver all of the functionalities required, and only smaller organizations have been able to meet their goals with one CRM system.
Another problem has also been low adoption and usage. Getting people engaged to use the new technology and to capture quality data has been a challenge. The smallest hurdle becomes an excuse to reject the CRM initiative or to use a work-around. If the data quality is poor or outdated then, of course, little value will come out of it. The reality is that CRM alone, as a technology platform, does not make the organization customer-centric nor change the focus of the organization from inward-bound to outward-bound. CRM alone doesn’t increase loyalty or advocacy.
CRM Needs CEM
Today, Customer Relationship Management is more relevant than ever. However, CRM needs CEM, because it needs to analyze customer data and turn it into valuable insight about customer preferences, stage of lifecycle, trends and expectations. So while it is likely that the shortcomings of CRM gave birth to the CEM movement, CEM is more concerned about customer interaction at the touch points and the customer’s perception of the value of your product or service.
This is an edited excerpt of the special report “Has CEM Replaced CRM?” which examines how CEM and CRM can complement each other to better your organization. To know more about how you can integrate your CEM and CRM, download the special report here.
¹ “What the Convergence of CRM, CEM and Loyalty Means for Millennial Consumers,” Michael Hemsey, loyalty360, 1 April 2013 at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/april-2013-online-issue/what-theconvergence-of-crm-cem-and-loyalty-means-for-millennial-consumers
²“Use Gartner’s CRM Application Functionality Starfish to Evaluate Your CRM Requirements,” Ed Thompson, Gartner, 20 June 2013