Why Customer Experience Management trumps Customer Relationship Management

The existing practices of Customer Relationship Management wherein organizations focus on sales, marketing and support are no longer adequate. This post provides reasons why Customer Experience Management is superior.

B2B marketers have traditionally been of the opinion that improving customer experience (CX) is not necessary for their line of work. This belief couldn’t be farther from the truth. While B2C organizations are in direct contact with end users, B2B organizations need great customer experiences too since they deal with people and not inanimate objects.

In recognition of this need, marketers are slowly catching on to Customer Experience Management (CEM) which is a culmination of customer service, voice of the customer, co-innovation, experiential marketing, Customer Relationship Management, customer references, internal branding and similar efforts. Some great instances of CX include Cisco’s voice of the customer program, Boeing’s field study of customers and Adobe’s notable CX governance practice.

Benefits for B2B marketers from good customer experience include:

  • Increased customer loyalty and spend
  • Lower customer service costs
  • Less pressure to bring in new leads to sustain the business leading to costly mistakes

Why B2B marketers need stellar customer experiences:

  • Smaller number of customers holding large shares of profitability in their hands
  • The products/services offered are crucial to clients who will provide a good report to end-users when great work is executed
  • B2B customers have consumer mindsets at the end of the day

To create superior customer experiences B2B companies need to consciously establish:

  • Purposeful leadership to decide who will drive the CX strategies
  • Compelling brand values for customers to be able to relate to
  • Establish primary goals, motivations and obstacles for CX excellence
  • Employee involvement
  • A foolproof plan for customer connectedness
  • Plans of action to understand customer perspectives, build customer centricity and create customer value

A study conducted by the Temkin Group revealed some CX best practices from companies such as Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SanDisk and more. The research showed that organizations that provide stellar CX do the following things:

Build a client-oriented mindset by:

  • Developing closed-looped VoC programs
  • Using customer journey maps to better understand the client’s needs
  • Tapping into virtual client advisory boards

Build a client-centric relationship management through:

  • Account-level experience reporting comprising
    • Insightful business development
    • Collaborative account planning
    • Proactive account intervention

Ensuring the creation and sustenance of great customer experiences benefits all businesses alike. While regulations and functioning might make it more difficult for some organizations than others, it is crucial for businesses to find innovative ways to impress their customers. In today’s world of customer-centricity, it’s the only way for organizations to survive.

Hence sole reliance on Customer Relationship Management may be inadequate and success depends on crafting stellar Customer Experience.



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