What Is Customer Experience Management (CXM or CEM) & Why Does It Matter?

TL;DR: CXM matters in business because it helps to create happy customers, increase revenue, and gain a competitive advantage by focusing on delivering a great customer experience.

By Richard George
13 min read

A great product or service is no longer enough on its own in our competitive business world. Consumers demand exceptional experiences that meet their expectations, and businesses that fail to deliver will inevitably lose out to their competitors. This is where Customer Experience Management (CXM or CEM) comes into play.

CXM is a holistic approach to managing a customer’s entire experience with a business, from the initial contact through to after-sales support. CXM involves every aspect of a business, from marketing and sales to product design and customer support. By focusing on delivering a superior customer experience, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately their bottom line.

To help you understand the importance of CXM, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know. From defining what CXM is to exploring why it matters and how to implement it in your business. So, let’s get started.

What Is Customer Experience Management? 🌟

Customer Experience Management (CXM or CEM) is the process of managing a customer’s entire experience with a business. CXM involves understanding the customer journey from start to finish, identifying and mapping all touchpoints and interactions, and using this information to create a consistent and positive customer experience.

CXM is not just about customer service or support but about creating a customer-centric culture within the business. It involves aligning all aspects of the business, from marketing and sales to product design and customer support, to create a seamless and memorable experience for the customer.

Successful CXM strategies are focused on meeting customer needs and expectations, whether through personalised service, convenience, exceptional customer service, or immersive experiences.

To implement an effective CXM strategy, businesses must first understand the various stages of the customer journey and identify the touchpoints and interactions that occur at each stage. This involves collecting data on customer behaviour, preferences, and feedback and using this information to inform business decisions.

⚔️ CXM Vs CRM: What’s The Difference?

While CXM and CRM (customer relationship management) are related concepts, there are some key differences between the two.

CXM is focused on managing and improving the customer experience across all touchpoints and interactions with a business. CXM encompasses all aspects of the customer experience, from marketing and sales to post-purchase support and advocacy. It involves gathering customer data from a variety of sources, including surveys, feedback, and social media, to gain a holistic understanding of the customer experience. And it uses metrics such as customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy to measure success.

On the other hand, CRM is focused on managing customer relationships and interactions with the business. It’s typically directed towards managing customer data and interactions within specific departments, such as sales or customer service. CRM involves collecting customer data within a specific department or system, such as a sales database. In regard to measuring success, CRM generally uses metrics such as sales revenue, customer acquisition, and retention rates.

While both CXM and CRM rely on technology to manage customer interactions and data, CXM typically involves a wider range of technologies, such as analytics tools, marketing automation platforms, and social media management tools, to manage the customer experience. It’s because CXM has a broader focus and scope, with a greater emphasis on improving the overall customer experience.

CXM Tools & Technologies 👩‍💻

CX transformation specialists use several tools and technologies in customer experience management to help businesses better understand their customers, deliver personalised experiences, and optimise the customer journey. Some of the best CXM tools and technologies include the following.

💬 Customer Feedback Tools

Tools such as surveys, online reviews, and social media listening tools can help businesses gather customer feedback and insights, which can be used to improve the customer experience.

Some examples of customer feedback tools used in CXM include surveys (such as Net Promoter Score surveys), online review platforms (such as Yelp and TripAdvisor), social media monitoring tools, and customer service software with feedback features (such as Zendesk and Freshdesk).

🕵️‍♀️ Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)

CDPs help businesses collect, unify, and analyse customer data from various sources, including online and offline interactions, to gain a holistic view of the customer. This lets you gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and pain points, which can be used to improve the customer experience.

Some examples of CDPs used in CXM include Segment, Tealium, Salesforce Customer 360, Adobe Experience Platform, and Optimisely.

📊 Journey Analytics Tools

Journey analytics tools help businesses visualise and analyse the customer journey across multiple touchpoints and channels, providing insights into the customer experience and areas for improvement. This allows you to optimise interactions and deliver a more seamless and personalised customer experience.

Some examples of journey analytics tools used in CXM include Adobe Analytics, ClickFox, Pointillist, and Salesforce Journey Analytics.

👤 Personalisation Platforms

Personalisation platforms use machine learning algorithms and real-time data to personalise the customer experience across multiple touchpoints and channels, such as web, email, mobile, and social media. By tailoring the experience to the individual customer’s preferences and behaviour, businesses can increase engagement, loyalty, and revenue.

Happy customer with tablet in hand

Some examples of personalised platforms used in CXM include Dynamic Yield, Monetate, Evergage, and Optimisely Personalisation.

⚙️ Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing automation platforms automate tasks such as lead generation, email marketing, and social media marketing, allowing businesses to deliver targeted and personalised messaging to their customers at scale across multiple channels, such as email, social media, and SMS. By automating repetitive tasks and delivering relevant content to the right audience, businesses can improve the customer experience and increase conversion rates.

Some examples of marketing automation platforms used in CXM include HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, and Act-On.

🤖 Chatbots & Virtual Assistants

Chatbots and virtual assistants use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to interact with customers in a conversational manner, providing assistance and support around the clock. By automating customer service tasks and providing quick and personalised responses to customer inquiries, businesses can improve the customer experience, reduce response times, and increase customer satisfaction.

Some examples of chatbots and voice assistants used in CXM include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and chatbot platforms such as LivePerson, Intercom, and Drift.

🥽 Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR)

AR and VR technologies can be used to create immersive and engaging experiences for customers, such as allowing customers to try on virtual clothes or view products in their homes before making a purchase. Some examples of AR and VR technologies used in CXM are as follows.

  • Virtual Product Demos: AR and VR technologies can be used to provide customers with a more immersive and interactive product demo experience, allowing them to visualise and experience the product in a more realistic way.
  • Virtual Store Experiences: AR and VR can be used to create virtual store experiences, allowing customers to browse and interact with products in a simulated environment.
  • Virtual Reality Training: VR can be used to provide immersive training experiences for employees, allowing them to learn and practice skills in a realistic and safe environment.
  • Augmented Reality Manuals: AR can be used to provide customers with interactive and visual manuals, allowing them to quickly and easily troubleshoot issues and learn how to use products.
  • Virtual Events: AR and VR can be used to create virtual events, allowing businesses to connect with customers and provide them with a unique and engaging experience.

🔮 The Future Of CXM

The field of CXM is constantly evolving, and there are several trends and technologies that are shaping its future. We’re set to see more of the above tools and tech used commonly across the board.

Customers expect to be able to interact with businesses seamlessly across multiple channels, including email, social media, chat, and phone. So, omnichannel strategies that provide consistent experiences across all channels are also becoming increasingly important.

Customers are also becoming more aware of the importance of data privacy and security. Businesses need to prioritise data protection and ensure that they are transparent about how they collect, store, and use customer data.

By leveraging these tools and technologies, you can gain a deeper understanding of your customers, deliver personalised experiences, and optimise the customer journey to drive loyalty and revenue. However, it’s important to remember that technology is only one aspect of CXM, and priority must be given towards customer-centric strategies and human interactions to truly differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

Why Does Customer Experience Management Matter? 🔥

Customer experience has become a key differentiator for businesses, with studies showing that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. A good CXM strategy can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, leading to increased revenue and profitability.

The link between customer experience and brand reputation is also a crucial aspect of business success. Customers’ experiences with a brand can shape their perceptions of the company and its products or services. A positive customer experience can enhance the brand’s reputation, whereas a negative one can damage it.

What is customer experience management

If a customer has a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to recommend it to others and become loyal customers. Positive word-of-mouth can help build a brand’s reputation, attracting new customers and increasing sales. On the other hand, a negative experience can lead to negative reviews and feedback, which can harm the brand’s reputation and discourage potential customers from doing business with the company.

In today’s digital age, customer feedback is readily available on review sites, social media, and other online platforms. This means that a customer’s experience can have a significant impact on a brand’s reputation. Therefore, businesses must prioritise customer experience management to ensure that customers have positive experiences and speak positively about the brand, leading to a strong and positive reputation.

✨ Benefits Of CXM

Customer experience management matters because it has a significant impact on business success. Engaging in CXM can provide several benefits for your business, mainly including the following.

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: By understanding your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points, you can tailor your products or services to better meet their expectations, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
  • Increased Customer Loyalty: When customers feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to return to your business and recommend it to others, which can help build long-term customer loyalty.
  • Competitive Advantage: By providing exceptional customer experiences, you can differentiate your business from competitors and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
  • Increased Revenue: Satisfied and loyal customers are more likely to spend more money with your business and make repeat purchases, which can help increase your revenue over time.
  • Enhanced Brand Reputation: A focus on customer experience management can help enhance your brand reputation and build a positive image in the minds of consumers.
  • Improved Employee Engagement: Engaging in customer experience management can also benefit your employees by providing them with a sense of purpose and meaning in their work, which can improve employee morale and engagement.

Engaging in customer experience management can help businesses improve their bottom line, build long-term customer relationships, and create a positive brand reputation in the marketplace. CXM matters because it lets businesses create happy customers, increase revenue, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. By focusing on delivering a great customer experience, businesses will also build brand loyalty, improve customer retention, and drive business growth. That’s a whole lot of benefits bundled up together!

Examples Of Successful CXM Strategies 🎯

After going through the benefits of CXM and why it matters, how does it actually relate to real life? There are plenty of examples of successful customer experience management strategies across a variety of industries. Here are a few of them.

🛒 Amazon

Amazon logo

Amazon is known for its customer-centric approach, with a focus on delivering a seamless and convenient shopping experience. From personalised product recommendations to fast and free shipping options, Amazon has built its business around meeting customer needs and expectations.

🛍️ Zappos

Zappos logo

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, is known for its exceptional customer service. The company has a policy of offering free returns and exchanges, and its customer service team is empowered to go above and beyond to resolve customer issues.

🏰 Disney

Disney logo

Disney is known for creating immersive and memorable experiences for its customers, whether they’re visiting its theme parks or watching its movies. From the attention to detail in its theme park design to the focus on storytelling in its movies, Disney has built its brand around delivering magical experiences.

🏪 Nordstrom

Nordstrom logo

Nordstrom is another company that is known for its exceptional customer service. The company empowers its employees to make decisions and solve problems on behalf of customers, and it offers a variety of services, such as free shipping and returns, to make the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible.

☕ Starbucks

Starbucks logo

Starbucks is known for creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in its stores, with a focus on personalised service and high-quality products. The company also offers a mobile app that allows customers to order and pay ahead of time, reducing wait times and making the ordering process more convenient.

Common CXM Mistakes To Avoid ⚠️

Now that we’ve gone through a few examples of businesses that focused on CXM to help catapult them right into the upper echelons of their industry, let’s look at some common CXM mistakes that you should avoid.

  • Lack Of Customer Understanding: Failing to understand your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points can lead to subpar customer experiences. It’s important to conduct research and gather feedback to better understand your customers and their expectations.
  • Inconsistent Experiences: Providing inconsistent experiences across different channels or touchpoints can create confusion and frustration for customers. It’s important to ensure that all interactions with customers are consistent and aligned with your brand values.
  • Poor Communication: Failing to communicate clearly and effectively with customers can lead to misunderstandings and negative experiences. Make sure to provide clear information and be responsive to customer inquiries and feedback.
  • Ignoring Feedback: Failing to listen to and act on customer feedback can lead to missed opportunities to improve the customer experience. Make sure to actively solicit feedback and take action to address customer concerns and suggestions.
  • Lack Of Employee Training: Employees who are not properly trained on how to deliver a great customer experience may unintentionally create negative experiences for customers. Ensure you provide ongoing training and support to employees to help them deliver exceptional customer experiences.
  • Overpromising & Underdelivering: Making promises that your business can’t keep can lead to disappointment and frustration for customers. It’s important to set realistic expectations and follow through on your commitments to customers.

Key Takeaways: CXM & Why It Matters 👨‍💼

To conclude, customer experience management (CXM or CEM) is a critical component of any successful business strategy. It involves focusing on the entire customer journey, from initial awareness and consideration through to purchase and post-purchase support.

CXM matters because it can help you create happy customers, increase revenue, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Real-life success stories focusing on CXM include companies like Amazon, Zappos, Disney, Nordstrom, and Starbucks, all of which have built their brands around delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Ultimately, CXM is all about building meaningful and lasting relationships with customers and delivering value at every touchpoint. By focusing on CXM, you can create a customer-centric culture that drives growth and success in the long run.

If you want an exceptional customer experience transformation partner to help streamline your processes and upgrade your business, don’t hesitate to book a discovery chat today!

Published on April 17, 2023

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