Real-World Business

CXM: Picking up where CRM ends

Different teams need different tools for customer service

CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) are essential management tools for sales, business development, and account management teams. They log the history of interactions between an organization and its potential and existing customers. Teams utilize them to inform themselves of the context surrounding a customer’s purchase history, so that they might be better prepared to present new opportunities and products to that customer, based on their prior experience and needs. They were purpose-built for helping organizations bring in and realize more revenue, and they are incredible, invaluable tools. 

CRM has it's place. But that place is not in managing complex customer journeys and experiences that span expanding ecosystems once the customer says yes. As partnerships continue to bring new micro-services into enterprises at rapid speed they expand the ecosystem of providers, teams and systems that are engaging with your customer. It can become chaotic if that experience is not carefully orchestrated and guided to ensure the chaos doesn't hit the customer.

From sales to onboarding to support and servicing, customers can run into speed bumps as they traverse your organization. Too often, CRMs or other legacy technologies that were built for specific uses are foisted upon teams to do functions they are not well suited to do. In addition these legacy systems are hard-coded, and require code and IT resources to repurpose them or add use cases. These monoliths are not agile, and business line leaders today must have the flexibility to keep pace with customer needs and expectations and that can't rely on long release cycles or IT roadmaps.

Agile teams, excellent experiences

In spite of the limitations that legacy technology has in transforming customer experience and optimizing customer journeys, our recommendation is to continue using your tech stack but augment it with a modern solution that was created to manage and guide customer journeys and connect journey touch points anywhere they happen. Instead, companies are using a customer experience management solution that plugs into existing technologies and pulls in customer interaction history and data into a middle orchestration layer. This middleware connects siloed systems and then unifies the customer information within them, placing in into a shared view that anyone who is helping the customer can access, update and use to communicate and collaborate.

Your sales, onboarding, activation, servicing and success teams all depend on up-to-date information so they can better serve a customer in an instant. Their customer history, product history, and anything having to do with third parties. Without a CXM orchestration layer, employees have to choice but to toggling between separate systems to pull out slivers of information, send email threads seeking information from other departments and partners, or keeping track on manual tools like spreadsheets. The inefficiency is a cost, but the greater cost may be in customer frustration that can lead to churn, lower NPS scores and business running out the back door as you are bringing it in the front. Instead, serving up information into a unified single screen

CXM helps you pull greater value from your CRM and other legacy technology

CRMs are good for managing customer relationships because they are used by teams that interact with customers on a long-term, relationship driven basis. The account managers and salespeople that use them know their clients on a first name basis, and have fostered a degree of patience and trust in that relationship over a long period of time. Support and Success team members often do not know their customers on a first name basis, but the experiences they provide to them are vital. More often than not, customers interact with these team members when things have gone awry, and so time is of the essence in every interaction. That is why they need a CXM layer - to tie together loose ends, to deliver knowledge, and to pick up where the CRM leaves off.

CXM (Customer Experience Management) is inherently different from CRM and in today's high-expectation customer service environment, CXM software is vital to strong customer experiences and business outcomes.