Has the Traditional CRM Lost its Lustre? —Move to New CXM

Customer strategy experts find that changing customer consumption pattern is demanding newer strategies and ways to engage customers.

Broadly, traditional CRM systems have focused on aligning organisational processes around the customer. While it remains very relevant in today’s context, changing customers’ behaviour patterns, significant change in customer expectations and the battle for the customer-wallet share are pushing the boundaries of what is expected of CRM systems. While CRMs focus more on technology, policy, data and process alignment, they fall short on adopting a larger, multi-channel approach, which is at the core of the Customer Engagement Strategy.

Reasons for Steering in CXM

Building on the conventional CRM architecture, CXM(Customer Experience Management) delivers pointed customer analysis, ability to formulate and execute enhanced marketing strategies and campaigns, and power planning activities that help improve customer engagement. CXM capitalises on the rich data available in the CRM system and applies a qualitative view as opposed to a purely quantitative CRM view. Unfortunately, a lot of companies re-brand CRM as CXM without including a stronger and holistic customer focus across the organisation.
Traditional CRM tools are unable to cash in on the influx of newer customer engagement principles such as social and mobile. They also fail to recognise the need for a personalised approach to customer engagement. CXM manages the entire customer experience right from the time of first engagement with the organisation across multiple channels and touch points, and ensures a harmonised and superlative experience as the customer progresses through the engagement lifecycle.

What Does CXM Mean to Senior ITDMs?

CXM goes beyond synchronising your internal processes like sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. It takes into account the need to deliver services demanded by heightened customer expectations. In contrast to plain CRM, CXM will increase your customer satisfaction levels, loyalty and acquisition rates. Researches conducted by analysts suggest that a great experience impacts customer behaviour in favour of the organisation. If customers are more willing to do return, they are less likely to move to a competitor, and may even recommend your brand to their friends!

Steps to Transition to CXM

A good content management system must integrate seamlessly with both your website and social media sites, and it must help you repurpose stored content.
CMs should provide insights and intelligence on content that is actionable. Consolidating this related but disparate data helps remove internal information silos, and builds a deeper, granular understanding of the customer.
It should provide insights into buying habits, location data, loyalty program tiers, various preferences, average spend analysis, etc. Data from mobile commerce also lets you track your customers even after they’ve left your website, giving you insights into their purchase behaviour and preferences.
Engaging with customers through social media is important to market your products, to respond to feedback and build loyalty.
Your CXM solution must also provide the traditional CRM features that allow your organisation to capture leads and opportunities, enable an effective service request management and customer engagement.
Your CXM solution should be able to help you trace the entire interaction you have with your customer. Look for a solution that supports all devices and enable ’write once, deploy on any device’ functionality.

Is Your Enterprise Ready for CEM?

A great customer experience is critical for business growth. Having realised this basic success mantra, enterprises today need to focus on adopting comprehensive CRM solutions that stretch into the realm of CXM. To address this spurt in demand, CRM vendors and service providers have expanded their offerings with new features and functionalities and offer customised and consolidated solutions that meet newer business requirements. Before your organisation jumps in and adopts a new solution that promises CXM, look around and ensure you understand the core model of your business. Backed by a strong ISV package and a trusted SI you should be ready to start the CXM journey.

Traditional CRM systems take an ‘inside-out’ approach, which serves specific business needs but doesn’t really have the ingredients to improve customer experience. Progressive organisations understand that customer management is about an ‘outside-in’ approach and are defining customer engagement strategy in customers’ terms. Of course, basic CRM has not changed; customer management professionals are building on CRM best practices with a customer-first perspective. Harnessing digital channels, social media and mobile marketing is what works today to add value to the customer lifecycle and create specific, timely offerings to increase conversions and boost retention.

- By V Sreenivasan, Senior Vice President, ITC Infotech

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