The customer relationship management (CRM) trend was emerging long before Salesforce.com rocked the industry with its flexible cloud-based solutions. Now there’s a new acronym that has companies looking at their customers in a different light and it’s called CXM.
Some are calling CXM, which stands for customer experience management, the next phase of CRM evolution. Whereas CRM is about better understanding and growing the relationships between the customer and the business, CXM focuses on strategies designed to track the customer experience across all touchpoints and channels throughout the duration of the relationship with the customer. It is a more holistic approach that is quickly changing the way vendors package and market their customer relationship solutions.
Potential Benefits of CXM
The need to go beyond the limitations of CRM technology is creating an all new market of vendors claiming to have solutions to the problem. This growing list of vendors includes household tech names the likes of Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, the latter who may have the most complete platform in the current market.
So what does a business get when investing in a CXM solution? Here are some of the benefits that have been identified:
Delivery of Actionable Data
One thing CRM software excels at is enabling businesses to collect store, process, and share customer data. Where it struggles is making that critical information actionable enough to capitalize on specific customer interactions in timely fashion. This is where the CXM picks up the slack.
CXM takes the customer relationship process from merely managing data, to giving organizations the ability to apply it at a time and place where it can be used to shape the type of experiences customers are looking for. This is much easier to achieve when sales teams can actually leverage data to deliver a better level of service and overall experience.
Cross-Channel Data Strategies
The CXM concept also takes a more integrated approach to the customer data an organization collects. By combining data from
multiple channels, marketing managers, sales reps, and customer service agents can work together to create more focused and personalized messages. Better targeting across all touchpoints equals better results in terms of engagement, sales, and repeat business.
Such smooth integration of data is made possible by CXM’s ability to connect systems beyond what generally happens with CRM technology. Vendors are developing solutions designed for organizations that pull data from different sources and use an array of applications to manage their day to day operations. By providing automated tools, these solutions enable them to streamline those critical processes while improving agility, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Unique Experiences From Dynamic Content
CXM technology can be plugged in right at the website level of your customer relationship strategy. In this environment, it does some of its most impressive work through the delivery of dynamic content. For instance, if a visitor follows a link from a social network, the web page they land on will automatically serve up content that is consistent with the content that drove them to your site. By creating a personalized experience that is tailored to the interests of each individual visitor, this dynamic component can improve the quality of leads, boost engagement, and conversions.
Seamless CRM Integration
Being that they are essentially in the same family tree, it is not surprising to see that CXM solutions are being designed for compatibility with customer relationship management technology. This means you have all the abilities to track the customer in channels such as email, social media, and the website. What’s more, you can develop powerful strategies that improve support processes, retention, and revenue right from your CRM program.
The Future of CXM
The current CXM market is in a state of immaturity to say the least. And while some vendors are labeling their services to reflect the trend, very few have what can be truly be called CXM solutions. In fact, some experts would say customer experience management is more of a strategy or approach rather than a type of platform. This is likely to change quickly as the trend progresses, companies start to realize the benefits, and vendors adopt the technologies needed to cater to market demands.
For now, companies would be wise to get educated about the CXM concept and how it can benefit their operations. More importantly, they should determine if it warrants a shift in their business strategy. This trend clearly has a lot of potential, but is it a good fit? That is for individual businesses to decide.