CXM Provides the Unique Experience Gateway

If you’re still using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform exclusively to manage your customer journeys, you are almost certainly missing out on the benefits of customer experience management (CXM).

CRM solutions were once rightfully considered state-of-the-art tools for storing batch-added, historical customer data. But these days it is imperative to capture and manage a plethora of customer information — behavioral, transactional, financial, operational, and more — in real time. Companies that want to provide truly transformative customer experiences need customer data that is real-time, intelligent, and predictive.

That’s why businesses should turn to CXM solutions to create a single view of the customer and thereby serve up the types of experiences that customers crave.

The experience opportunity

Customers here in Australia and New Zealand are some of the most discerning in the world, according to a recent survey we conducted at Adobe that measured what customers want and how well brands are living up to their expectations.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents demand seamless, personalized experiences from their brands. We expect brands to know us, respect us, surprise, and delight us at every turn, while ensuring total transparency and total cross-platform consistency.

It’s a tall order, but it also offers brands significant opportunities to differentiate themselves from the competition, and those that deliver the best experiences have higher brand awareness, order values, and customer satisfaction levels, a Forrester report found.

But meeting these demands at every customer touchpoint, whether it’s answering a question over the phone or on Facebook, delivering a frictionless checkout experience, or processing a return, requires seamless access to customer data in real time. Moreover, while CRM and CXM technology may sound similar and their goals may be the same, CRM has some inherent limitations.

CRM is a historical record, CXM is a live profile

CRM and CXM solutions are both designed to help businesses understand their individual customers and to better meet their needs. However, CRM typically records past interactions, so it reveals very little about what your customers are actually doing now, which makes it hard to anticipate what they might do, or, more importantly, need next.

CXM, on the other hand, includes this critical historical data but also, crucially, creates a live profile that’s updated in real time based on all aspects of the customer journey — interactions via email and call centers, browsing activity in online sales channels, purchases in progress, and more.

The difference between the two is like comparing a black and white photo to a working 3D model. Both have value, but one really invites you into the customer’s experience and helps you achieve more over time.

CRM gives back what you put in, CXM elevates your inputs

CRM platforms are essentially a storage system. They provide a unified place to track customer data but they aren’t really capable of much more. You can review customer records in a CRM system, but you’re often limited to a small number of digital interactions that are often added manually by a busy phone agent or retail salesperson when they find a minute to go into the tool.

CXM, on the other hand, captures a much greater volume of customer data in real time — and can elevate that information to provide actionable customer insights to tailor the best possible experiences.

CXM doesn’t merely record information about customer interactions. It crunches all that data in real time, using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data from millions of other customers to help you more accurately predict what your customer really wants. You can then use these insights proactively across locations and departments to inform every aspect of the customer experience.

Leapfrogging ahead of the competition nowadays means using every available tool to build the best customer experience. Without harnessing the full capabilities of CXM, though, it would be like trying to jump forward on one foot.

CXM solutions, on the other hand, can help you deliver exactly the message that customers are looking for at any given moment, turning the most demanding consumers into loyal advocates for your brand.

Learn more about Adobe Experience Platform and Adobe Experience Cloud.