If you ask most people how they keep track of all their customers they will probably answer with a CRM system, which wouldn't be entirely wrong, but they are missing a vital aspect to the equation. While CRM focuses on the systems and the technology which gives you the ability to interact with the customer is that enough?
Gwynne Young from CustomerThink.Com says their is a difference between the relationship with the customer (CRM) and the experience of the customer (CEM)
Jim VonDerHeide VP ,CRM Strategies from Hilton Hotels says
“Do I have a relationship with 17 million people? ,I don’t think I do. Do I interact with 17 million people? You bet.”
When you go to a coffee shop and writing a business report and a student sits next to you and starts plays on his PSP, is the coffee shop practicing CRM? The answer is no, but they have created an experience, and I think that sums it up very nicely.
In my opinion and feel free to correct me, but how I see the difference –
CRM is more from the businesses point of view where it is more about the management on the systems, while CEM is more for the customer and how they react to your brand and what is there feelings towards your brand.
I would say that CRM is the first step, once you have a solid CRM solution and you interact with your customers the next step is for the CEM to start and make sure that the client knows that you care about them and they get a great end-to end service.
Another aspect you need to also look at is not only "how can I keep the customer happy" but understanding why the customer is unhappy and taking swift corrective action to make them happy – this could infact be more powerful, because if a customer sees that you are serious about helping them and you acknowledge your mistake they are more likely to give you a second chance and stick with you (catastrophic mistakes aside)
So to summarise it is great having systems in place so you can interact with a database of customers, it is just as important to be able to give the individual customer the service that they want so they will come back to you.
If you are looking for solutions on customer loyalty , you need to attend the Loyalty World Africa conference and exhibition taking place on the 29-30 October 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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