Meet the new boss: Is customer experience management the new CRM?
A growing number of CRM vendors are refocusing towards customer experience management. Is it the dawning of a new age for CRM or a cynical rebranding?
- “SAP is looking at it from the point of view that they have got the front office and the back office, so customer experience is a pervasive and consistent information issue,” he says. SAP understands that a company cannot interact consistently with a customer unless the front office and back office are tied together so that every employee that interacts with a customer has access to a complete understanding of the customer and what the firm can do for the customer to better serve them, rather than just viewing only part of the information. Lusher adds: “The idea is that if a customer calls in and asks where is their order, through the traditional CRM system, data warehousing and logistics and supply chain information, anybody can see where the order is, rather than having to transfer the customer to the warehouse, who then transfers them to shipping and so on.”
- While Oracle addresses “a little bit of that”, its approach is more tied to the acquisition of RightNow. “It is an opportunity to improve the experience of the customer through artificial intelligence – it could just be an efficiency point of view or it could be a really huge collaboration effort, with consistent collaboration internally and externally through RightNow technology. So even though Oracle could approach it from the front and back office, they are really coming at it from the pervasive and consistent collaboration and knowledge point of view.”
- SugarCRM, meanwhile, takes the perspective that customer experience management requires persistent and consistent access to the customer system for all employees. “SugarCRM’s view is that you shouldn’t just give CRM licenses to 3% of the company (the people in sales and marketing), you should in essence make the customer interaction system available to everybody in the organisation, so that no matter who the customer talks to, they can at least know what’s what and do a better job and give the customer an answer or give them immediate access to the right person who can solve the problem.”
- A further perspective regards persistent and consistent use of all media channels – phone, VoIP, email, social media, etc. – so that no matter which way the customer wants to interact with the company, they can have a consistent interaction, both multichannel and cross channel. This is a view taken by some of the contact centre technology vendors.
- Another take on customer experience management, and one that Salesforce.com subscribes to, is “internal vs external” says Lusher, where there is “pervasive and consistent collaboration internally within the organisation, and externally with customers or partners”.
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Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.