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CEM evolving to xEM?

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by TimClaes

Topic of the week – The Power of Customer Engagement Management (3rd article)

CEM evolving to xEM? What the hell is going on? Let me try to explain.

In the last 2 blog posts about Customer Engagement management we discussed already about customer experience, customer behavior and to follow the customer journey. But who is our customer actually? The best way to illustrate this, is by taking a closer look at xRM. But in order to do so, let’s first start with the basics: CRM, where xRM is an extension from.

1. CRM – CEM

CRM is much more than sales force automation, it also deals with service management and closed loop marketing. CRM is a way of doing business with your customer through any kind of front-end channel. In practice you see many links with Web Content management systems and information is typically stored in a customer datawarehouse in order to deliver progressive insights on the customer behavior. So the link between CRM and Customer Engagement Management, our topic of the week,  is obvious.

2. CRM -> xRM

So now let’s tackle the xRM question. Instead of only focusing on the classic customer, you can extend your scope to any kind of person you want to track/keep information on. E.g. Employee relationship management (ERM), Partner relationship management (PRM), citizen relationship management, student relationship management, prisoner relationship management, … But what is xRM then all about in practice? This means that a typical CRM solution can be used for any line of business. The CRM solution is used as a RAD (Rapid Application Development) environment to quickly fulfill all your specific business requirements. You will typically start from a standard CRM solution, with lots of standard functionalities that are similar to any kind of person (whether it is a classic customer or not – e.g. activity management, relationships between contact, address information, …) and then you start to tailor the rest of the functionalities to the specific needs of your organisation. This is called an xRM platform.

xRM Platform

3. CEM -> xEM

In parallel to the statement customer behavior becomes more and more important to engage ‘the customer’ (CEM – Customer Engagement management), you could extend the scope to ‘any kind of person’ and start talking about xEM, where the engagement of ‘the person’ becomes a central pivotpoint as it would be in your xRM strategy.


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