Real-World Business

What is the difference between CXM and CRM?

As companies look to technology to optimize customer experience, a common question is: what's the difference between customer experience management platforms (CXM) and other customer engagement technologies like CRMs? We explain how they differ, and how CXM solutions actually maximize the benefits of other legacy technologies by providing a unified orchestration platform to see and collaborate across a customer journey.

With the advent of new technologies to manage customers - each with their own acronyms - it can be confusing to determine what solutions do what.

That's true for Customer Experience Management (CXM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). These customer tools are commonly confused since they have some overlap; however, they are used for different purposes - and can complement one another. Let's unpack the differences for businesses and the unique opportunities each provide.

What is CRM?

CRM - Customer Relationship Management is a technology primarily used by sales and marketing teams as they input prospect and customer data so they can manage each stage of the sales and marketing funnel to drive new sales and revenue growth. CRM systems have been built to enable effective management of sales pipelines and include robust campaign, tracking, and reporting capabilities for new and existing customers.

CRM systems store contact and relationship information, manage marketing campaigns, store customer interactions, and identify new sales opportunities – all with a heavy focus on acquisition and retention to generate new revenue for a business and forecast future customers. CRM is one of the largest enterprise software categories and is expected to reach $114.4 billion by 2027

CRM technology has been around since the 90s and has gained immense popularity. Still, as companies move deeper into their digital transformation journeys and prioritize customer-centricity, CXM has emerged as the "new kid in town" – capitalizing on customer interactions and experiences and making waves within the digital age.

What is CXM?

CXM - Customer Experience Management technology is used by customer support, product, customer success and operations teams. The best customer experience management platforms drive up customer satisfaction, net promoter scores (NPS), successful customer activations, retention, lifetime revenue, and lowers operating costs - delivering a more efficient and effective customer experience (CX) ecosystem.

CXM offers a more comprehensive view of the customer, going beyond their initial revenue relationship with an organization, enabling a more holistic cross-channel customer experience. CXM also goes beyond standard CX software and services, which focus on collecting customer feedback on how they perceive their interactions with a business and then providing analysis and actionable insights back to the company. 

CXM bridges the gaps between cross-enterprise legacy systems and other third-party partner technologies that impair customer experience work. CXM technology focuses on visibility into the design and orchestration of customer interactions and journeys, allowing CX and support professionals to collaborate more efficiently and communicate better. CXM includes pre-built connectors to CRM systems and other third-party customer data sources to unify disparate systems across partner organizations, providing a single workspace to access a business' ecosystem. The need to toggle back and forth between systems and CRMs is significantly reduced as CXM offers complete visibility into customer interactions from a single workspace and view.

Businesses are adding CXM tools to their digital transformation initiatives without re-architecting their technology stacks. The outcomes of adopting CXM are quite different than those generated from CRM. They include reduced operating costs, increased customer lifetime revenue, higher net promoter scores (NPS) scores, reduced inbound calls and support costs, reduced customer churn, and higher team member satisfaction. Businesses can experience all of these benefits in short order upon implementing an effective CXM software platform. It’s no wonder the customer experience management category is estimated to reach $38.98 billion by 2030.

Customer experience in the digital age

Consumer expectations have rapidly evolved over the decades, largely thanks to ever-evolving technology. They are more informed, digitally aware, and highly active across digital channels. Their experience with businesses matters to them – and they overwhelmingly remember negative experiences over positive ones. 

And while adopting robust CRM tools is a great start to managing the early stages of customer relationships during acquisition, adoption is also imperative in improving customers' experiences through their journeys with your organization and radically improving digital transformation initiatives.

Stop toggling between numerous systems and spreadsheets to follow a customer's journey. Demystify and unite operational ecosystems so that both employees and customers reap the benefits of an experience overall. 

If you’d like to discover the benefits of OvationCXM's CXMEngine platform and our drag-and-drop journey builder, see it action here!