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The differences between CRM vs. CX strategy

CRM and CX seem very similar, but examining the principles of each shows emerging CX approaches focus on customer retention. We compare and contrast the two.

The differences between CRM vs. CX strategy

Traditional customer relationship management, or CRM, and the emerging customer experience, or CX, strategy and management share some of the same attributes, but the technology stacks to support each are a little different.

CRM is the process -- including strategies and technologies -- that enables businesses to track and analyze customer interactions and data over time. Customer support teams use this software to track customer inquiries and trouble with products and services.

CX strategy, on the other hand, is the perception of a customer after engaging with a company or product. Consumers share these impressions in a number of ways using customer experience management tools, such as comment cards, surveys, mystery shopping, social media, email and phone calls to customer service teams. Customer service teams also use CRM software in their jobs, but instead focus on the customer, rather than the product.

Traditional CRM vendors, such as Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP, are either adding significant features enabling CX strategy or, in the case of Oracle and SAP, are rebranding whole products to reflect a CX-first approach.

CRM and CX work together to form a 360-degree customer view over the life of the customer relationship, enabling companies to provide the best experience possible to consumers. The 360-degree philosophy also recognizes that customers need to be monitored and served on all manner of communication platforms, including social media, chat, website, video chat, SMS text or traditional phone and email channels.

Companies can also use reputation management companies and software to monitor social media channels for comments regarding customers' opinions on products and brands.

This was first published in January 2019

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