Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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July 3, 2012

CRM to CXM to C3E - Innovation or Evolution?

While CXM (Customer Experience Management) was floated as a concept almost a couple of years ago, it seems quite recent in wake of the fact that CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has been the mainstay of enterprises worldwide for almost 2 decades now. Despite the fact that most of the organizations are yet to latch on to this, and the fact that the ones who have latched on are yet to mature the concept when implemented on ground, the industry is looking for something newer already. The new acronym on the block is C3E (Cross-Channel Customer Experience), and at least for now it seems to satisfy everyone's appetite for innovation.

I think what CRM did was to take the whole customer data recording, management and usage to the digital age. It was soon complimented with add-ons like customer analytics, workflow (business process) management, and end-to-end capabilities (like concept-to-cash solutions). When CXM came it moved the focus to a richer and integrated customer experience. Customer has been the king for long, but organizations started transforming themselves only recently to suit that. Traditionally organizations were built around products & services, and while they can shift focus from production to sales and customer care, it takes an organizational transformation to make all the moving parts reciprocate. Come C3E the playing field for customer experience has gone across channels (or touch-points). Consistency, continuity & comprehensiveness of experience has become the mantra.

When noticed closely the theme which is getting increasingly prominent in this recent chain of events is "Customer Centricity", moving the focal point of experience from inside the organization to customers outside.

The mindset, and hence expectations of customers are rising exponentially. They are increasingly mapping their experiences in one industry to another, even when the service providers may not be ready, not only technically, but organizationally as a whole. For e.g. Customers today are expecting seamless transactions across channels, in a click-and-collect fashion from their cellular operators, a concept popularized by the retail industry. When these concepts which are designed for one line of business (e.g. physical products) are applied to another (e.g. service) they pose magnanimous challenges for everyone concerned.

One could say that when the change is fueled by the provider (push mechanism) it is an innovation, and when it is a response to a stated need from the customer it is evolution (pull mechanism). So what do you say, is this transformation led by innovation or evolution? And more importantly, what do you see this trend leading to next?

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