Friday, 8 March 2013

From CRM to CEM: Has anything changed?

There was a time when we had sales men, later it was changed to Sales Rep., and now we have Sales Executives. Initially, I thought there was a big difference in their responsibilities atleast in my country, but I soon found out that it was a mere change in nomenclature, their activities are still the same.
Same thing is happening in the Services industry, we now talk less of Customer Relationship Management and more of Customer Experience Management. Unfortunately, the change in name has not changed anything about how the consumer is managed.

What is going on here? Why is there such a big difference between the words and the reality? Why is it that whilst the words have changed from CRM to CEM, the indifference to building emotional bonds with customers continues? Is it a lack of understanding? Are people in business simply ignorant and so they need more education from the likes of customer experience gurus?

I say that a shift to an authentic customer orientation, one where the focus of the company is to come up with value propositions and customer experiences, that enrich the lives of their customers (and all the people who have to play their part in making this happen) requires transformational change. It requires a complete break with the past and operating from a radically different context. It is the kind of break that the caterpillar makes in order to show up as a butterfly. And that is a big ask for almost all of us especially large companies that are doing ok.

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