Beyond CRM: Why CXM Positions Enterprises for Customer Success

by Adam Justis

Posted on 05-16-2019

In today’s expe­ri­ence-dri­ven land­scape, CRM sim­ply isn’t enough to sat­is­fy cus­tomer needs.

CRM tech­nol­o­gy can be use­ful to bol­ster sales force effi­cien­cy and track leads, but com­pa­nies that see it as an all-encom­pass­ing tool to cre­ate their cus­tomer expe­ri­ences are short­chang­ing them­selves — and their customers.

Cus­tomers are ever more demand­ing, and they expect the com­pa­nies they have a rela­tion­ship with to know them inti­mate­ly. They want com­pa­nies to pro­vide the right infor­ma­tion and offers based on what they are inter­est­ed in at that moment — and they put a high val­ue on cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. PwC esti­mates peo­ple will pay up to a 16 per­cent price pre­mi­um on prod­ucts and ser­vices, plus increased loy­al­ty, for a great experience.

How­ev­er, CRM alone can­not shape that kind of expe­ri­ence. CRM cap­tures and man­ages only a lim­it­ed amount of cus­tomer data. The depth and inti­ma­cy of dynam­ic cus­tomer expe­ri­ences require a more com­pre­hen­sive approach to infor­ma­tion. They require CXM — cus­tomer expe­ri­ence man­age­ment — to ensure bet­ter strat­e­gy, more rel­e­vant expe­ri­ences, and a crit­i­cal com­pet­i­tive edge. CRM is a sub­set of a com­plete CXM strategy.

CXM is the orches­tra­tion and per­son­al­iza­tion of the entire end-to-end cus­tomer expe­ri­ence in a moment-to-moment way that scales and car­ries across every chan­nel, in real time. For our pur­pos­es, CXM is both a strat­e­gy and the tech­nol­o­gy that enables this strat­e­gy. And, more than ever, it’s cen­tral to cus­tomer expe­ri­ence success.

Three CRM challenges

While CRM sys­tems can help dri­ve per­son­al­i­sa­tion and opti­mi­sa­tion at scale, in today’s always-on, expe­ri­ence-first land­scape, there are some hur­dles stand­ing between this tra­di­tion­al approach and mean­ing­ful cus­tomer expe­ri­ence success:

Out of date. CRM is a record of his­tor­i­cal data — often of past inter­ac­tions and what hap­pened at the end of the cus­tomer jour­ney fun­nel. While the infor­ma­tion can tell sales­peo­ple and mar­keters about a customer’s past behav­iors, it doesn’t inform them what the cus­tomer needs right now and what they intend to do next.

When cus­tomers are at the crit­i­cal ear­ly stages of the cus­tomer jour­ney, such as when they are research­ing or com­par­ing prod­ucts, CRM data pro­vides lit­tle val­ue. Inher­ent­ly, the infor­ma­tion in a CRM sys­tem is lim­it­ed in its abil­i­ty to pro­vide pre­dic­tive data based on real-time cus­tomer activ­i­ty, which is fun­da­men­tal to shap­ing the cus­tomer experience.

Lim­it­ed and imper­fect. While many com­pa­nies think CRM is the be-all and end-all of cus­tomer data, in real­i­ty, it’s just one source of data.

The trans­ac­tion­al infor­ma­tion in a CRM sys­tem doesn’t include online behav­iour, cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, and oth­er more imme­di­ate data that can be used to cre­ate a worth­while cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. In addi­tion, CRM often depends on fick­le and imper­fect data entry. A busy sales­per­son may be required to inter­pret con­ver­sa­tions and deter­mine how much detail to record while their mind is already on their next meet­ing. Inevitably, this man­u­al approach results in the loss of nuance and infor­ma­tion that is crit­i­cal to under­stand the customer’s needs and intent.

Not in real time. The sys­tems that sup­port CRM aren’t capa­ble of stitch­ing, pro­cess­ing, and rep­re­sent­ing data in real time. CRM isn’t a strong cus­tomer data plat­form (CDP).

While CRM sys­tems might talk about a “360-degree view of cus­tomers,” they were nev­er meant for data shar­ing and they lack the abil­i­ty to bring data into a sin­gle envi­ron­ment where arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence can tru­ly process this infor­ma­tion. A “360-degree view of cus­tomers,” in CRM par­lance, might mean only see­ing and act­ing on frag­ments of the cus­tomer in real time, using only a sin­gle channel.

CRM sim­ply batch­es records and lets you call up a record when you need it at a dis­crete point in time. It hard­ly offers the type of insight that will help you present the most rel­e­vant offer to a cus­tomer who is brows­ing prod­ucts online with a cred­it card in their hand, at the ready to take action on the right offer.

Shifting from seller to buyer demands CXM

CRM sys­tems came onto the busi­ness land­scape in the late 1980s, offer­ing the tan­ta­lis­ing prospect of a sin­gle place to store all cus­tomer infor­ma­tion. Half a cen­tu­ry lat­er, the amount and types of cus­tomer infor­ma­tion have expand­ed significantly.

So have cus­tomer expec­ta­tions. In a faster, more demand­ing era of com­merce, the data man­age­ment capa­bil­i­ties of CRM are insuf­fi­cient to cre­ate a cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. CRM sim­ply doesn’t sup­port the shift from sell­ers to buy­ers that is chang­ing every­thing about how com­merce is con­duct­ed today. It was nev­er meant to.

Cre­at­ing a cus­tomer expe­ri­ence — the inter­sec­tion of cus­tomer knowl­edge with cus­tomer ful­fill­ment — exceeds the abil­i­ties and pur­pose of CRM. While CRM excels at quan­ti­ta­tive tasks, it lacks the qual­i­ta­tive aspects that are key to the cus­tomer experience.

That’s where CXM comes into play. CXM is a true strat­e­gy for the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence — the inter­sec­tion of cus­tomer knowl­edge with cus­tomer ful­fill­ment. CXM is the focal point for cap­tur­ing and using all-impor­tant behav­ioral data, such actions tak­en are the result of email mar­ket­ing, or every click and inter­ac­tion a cus­tomer has with a web site.

CXM data is not only at a high­er sig­nal, but it’s also at a high­er vol­ume and high­er veloc­i­ty. This requires new capa­bil­i­ties to stitch, process, and dis­till the flood of data into dis­tinct insights that can be applied in near real time.

Delivering experiences across every channel, every time

With Adobe Expe­ri­ence Plat­form, Adobe has tak­en a lead­er­ship role in CXM. This tech­nol­o­gy uses cut­ting-edge intel­li­gence, lever­ag­ing the AI-infused pow­er of Adobe Sen­sei, to stitch togeth­er all cus­tomer data in one place. This infor­ma­tion comes from Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud, ERP, com­merce, sales, prod­uct usage, CRM, and more. As a result, behav­iour­al, trans­ac­tion­al, finan­cial, and oper­a­tional data are seam­less­ly tied togeth­er in real time, pro­vid­ing a true end-to-end view of customers.

CXM has the capa­bil­i­ty to deliv­er cus­tomer infor­ma­tion across chan­nels and devices at the exact time and loca­tion where it can be lever­aged to pos­i­tive­ly affect the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. By apply­ing cus­tomer infor­ma­tion at the right time, in the right con­text, and on the right plat­form — the very thing that CRM strug­gles with — CXM can deliv­er the right expe­ri­ence and delight customers.

For this rea­son, well over 90 per­cent of respon­dents said in a recent Cus­tomer­Think sur­vey that CXM cre­ates “loy­al cus­tomer rela­tion­ships” and deliv­ers “the brand promise.”

The CXM frame­work helps enter­pris­es and mar­keters deter­mine their next steps, so they can build a bet­ter strat­e­gy for cus­tomer expe­ri­ence cre­ation and deliv­ery. It is not just the frame­work that is core to mak­ing true per­son­al­i­sa­tion pos­si­ble — it is the stuff that cre­ates cus­tomer expe­ri­ences that can make your brand relevant.

Get more infor­ma­tion on CXM strate­gies. You can also read more about CXM in these articles:

The Chang­ing Role Of The CMO In The Age Of Cus­tomer Experience

Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion 2.0: Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence Management

Topics: Adobe Summit, Customer Experience Management, personalisation, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA