Managing the Customer Experience: CEM vs VOC vs EFM


Customer Experience Management

Marketing and customer service have started talking about the “Customer Experience” as an initiative. It seems a very nebulous term without any way to measure your progress or level. As always, the nomenclature for customer experience management has yet to settle into place. There seems to be multiple names for it with the typical alphabet soup of aliases.

As a service to you, the CXO, I present a brief list of definitions by Syed Hasan in destinationCRM:

  • CEM:
    • Customer Experience Management
    • Comprehensive business improvement and brand-building strategy
    • Encompasses strategic planning and operationalization
    • Envision desired experience
    • Collect, manipulate interpret all forms of customer experience data
    • Use intelligence to improve offerings, business planning, customer facing practices, and service delivery
  • VOC
    • Voice Of the Customer
    • Market research programs designed to discover customer requirements and needs
    • Differs from CEM: Less to do with day-to-day customer experiences
    • Used more for long term business improvement
    • Ensures customer needs are part of product development and service delivery strategies
  • EFM
    • Enterprise Feedback Management
    • Includes all customer feedback technologies including automated survey technologies
    • Consolidates organization wide surveys onto a single platform to centralize the information and create efficient processes for managing the submission and manipulation of large volumes of survey data.
    • NOT just data mining

Unfortunately, even now multiple platforms and services claim to any and all of these and claim to cover the total of customer experience management. The field is slowly finding universal definitions but the best way to know what practice is really being discussed is to take a deeper look into each service or product.

Mr. Hasan advocates “cutting to the chase.” You want to solve problems not write definitions. What you need to be looking at:

  • Customer retention
  • Customer feedback (who cares by which acronym)
  • Satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy measure by meaningful metrics

Keep those three bullet points in mind when the customer experience promoters come to call. It isn’t that they aren’t right. It’s just that you, as CXO, need to help them understand what you need to know.

And it isn’t a jumble of letters.

Cross posted from The Successful CXO:Committed to Customer Service

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