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What is Customer Experience Management (CEM)?

What is Customer Experience Management (CEM)?

Conversations about customer communications are constantly changing.

Lately, the discourse has moved on from customer communications management (CCM), and people are increasingly focusing on the customer experience (CX), and how our interactions with customers can play a part in creating memorable, personal and relevant experiences that keep our customers close.

As part of this shift, there is a move towards including CCM as part of the wider practice of addressing the customer experience, which is known as customer experience management (CEM).

But what, exactly, does CEM cover? Is it just CCM in a new suit?

CEM in a nutshell

Customer experience management is the practice of developing optimal experiences for your customers, whenever, however and wherever they interact with your organisation.

In practice, CEM uses technology, research and user data to understand customers, what they want, and how they feel about your business. These insights are used to make improvements to customer touchpoints, such as purchase, support and complaints.

Customer experience management has grown in popularity because a number of digital brands have raised customer expectations by offering seamless, effortless experiences. Additionally, it makes good business sense to devote resources to retaining customers, rather than simply chasing new business.

CEM: the process

Of course, there are a hundred different ways to approach customer experience management. Organisations may already have some elements of the process in place, while others will start with a blank canvas.

A common CEM process:

  • Research customer needs and preferences
  • Map the customer journey
  • Track customer satisfaction
  • Address gaps and issues

This simplistic flow is, of course, a perpetual cycle. Organisations must continually monitor their interactions with customers, and also capture information about customer feedback and sentiment towards the different interactions.

Customer research

While many organisations have user or customer personas that they use to inform their marketing and customer service programmes, these may be out of date and worth revisiting. Organisations should speak to customers so they can truly understand their customer’s motivations and desires, rather than simply basing the customer experience on assumptions.

Customer journey mapping

How do customers typically flow through your organisation? What are the stages of their journey? Creating a map is a useful way to make sense of the different ways that customers interact.

Typical journeys may include:

  • Research - the customer reads online reviews or inspects products in-store
  • Inquiry - the customer speaks to a sales assistant or contacts your business online
  • Comparison - the customer looks at your competitors and compares your products or services
  • Purchase - the customer goes ahead with the purchase
  • Implementation - the customer puts your service or product to use
  • Support - the customer may need help with their order

Customer journey mapping is an integral part of DocCentrics CCM software. If you're a DocCentrics CCM customer, you can create customer journey maps alongside your customer communications. 

Customer data

What kind of customer data do you capture?

You may have:

  • Web analytics
  • Purchase data
  • Communications data
  • Contact centre data
  • Online help data
  • CRM data

The challenge is finding a way to handle these different data streams and turn them into actionable insights. How can you efficiently combine data streams and uncover the stories in the numbers?

CCM is a key part of CEM

As you can see, CEM is a broad field that includes every customer touchpoint, including physical interactions, support requests and purchasing.

Customer communications make up a major part of these interactions, but CEM needs the support of other teams and specialists in order to really deliver a remarkable customer experience, whether that's online, through partners or in a physical space. 

Want to know more about implementing a digital CCM solution and kick-starting your CX transformation? Contact our friendly team to request a demonstration of our platform. 

DocCentrics also offers a customer communications optimisation service for organisations that want to get more out of their CCM software.