CX and CRM – what’s the difference?
For many people, the boundary between CX and CRM is blurry. It’s understandable, since both types of data deal with how customers interact with your business and making sure they are satisfied.
However, there are some important differences between the two.
CRM – or customer relationship management – is concerned with keeping track of customer experiences, reacting to issues and providing relevant marketing or services based on past behaviour. It’s practical and process-driven. A good CRM program consistently delivers positive experiences to your customers, and holds records of every experience your customers have had with your brand.
CX – customer experience – is something more conceptual. It’s a strategic goal of your entire business, namely to give customers consistently positive experiences that will drive loyalty and ultimately boost your business. And in recent years, it’s focused more and more on delivering extremely personalised experiences.
Putting the two together
Thanks to the granular nature of CRM, it can offer a huge range and volume of operational data. Your CRM can tell you about the what, where and when of customers’ individual experiences, trends in the customer lifecycle, and common pain points.
The limitation is that while it can tell you a lot about what’s happening or has happened, it won’t tell you why.
Where things get interesting is when you start integrating that customer data with your more strategic and analytical CX process.
CRM data can help you piece together the deeper CX stories that lie behind day-to-day interactions. Results that emerge from your CRM program can point you towards an issue that needs to be addressed, and your CX analytics can reveal the underlying reason for what’s happening and inform the way you respond.
A continuing cycle of improvement
There’s a natural symbiotic relationship between CX and CRM programs. CRM is the eyes and ears on the ground of your business, processing large volumes of customer data on a daily basis and engaging directly with customers to change experiences for the better. It provides relationship context for individual transactions and helps your business evolve its connection to particular customers.
Your CX program has less of a hands-on role, but it doesn’t simply take in and use CRM data. It also delivers direction and strategy to the CRM program, turning observations and statistics into predictions and insights.
By sharing data between CRM and CX in your business, you’ll be able to monitor the results of strategic changes you’ve made, and use data-backed insights to continue an upward spiral of success.