We are all aware of the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It is a strategy, a process and a system. The departments of a business – where customer information and satisfaction are of utmost importance – totally depend on the CRM process, application and systems. It provides a 360-degree view of the customer and is responsible for defensive marketing strategy to retain existing customers. CRM has its presence in the Marketing, Sales and Service departments of a business organization.
However, CRM imposes significant limitations on organizations, which had not been apparent for the past 20 years. These limitations, coupled with technical complications and financial impact, are hindering business efforts to deliver great customer experience. At its core, CRM is a monolithic system, which has not been able to break the silos that exist between various customer-facing departments. It is effectively used in the Marketing and Sales Departments, but fails to deliver the same customer experience in the store management, shipping departments etc. Moreover, CRM systems are not tailored to support new channels or modern communications, such as cell phones and social media channels. With the business world making rapid strides on the digital transformation journey, CRM systems can no longer be used just as a great transaction database.
On the other hand, Customer Experience (CX) is a strategy which focuses on the perception of the customer after engaging with the customer or product. In this strategy, the customer is always in touch with the company or brand. That is not limited to Marketing, Sales and Service Departments, but also departments like shipping, packaging etc. For example, a customer would not only like to see on the Web what the status of their order is, but also track the product movement from source to destination, and if there is a question, can quickly chat instantly from the Web with a customer agent. The customer can raise complaints or give feedback through social channels like Facebook, Twitter etc., which informs the customer support call and survey data for the organization and brand. CX focuses on having a healthy emotional connection with customers in every department, and it lays more emphasis on the customer as opposed to the product.
Leading the way in enhancing CX is Oracle with its cloud applications – Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, CPQ, Oracle Commerce and Content and Oracle Social. Each of these applications focuses on customer experience and helps build a healthy emotional relationship with the same, starting from Customer Data Management, Campaigns, Support, Pricing, Quoting, storefronts on the Web to Social Engagement.
The essential principles of both ways interactions between customer and company, engagement of customer in every step of communication, catering to customer needs and wants, and flexibility for the customer to choose, is Customer Experience (CX) in a nutshell.