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Differentiating customer relationship management, customer service and customer experience

Differentiating CRM, CS, and CX

8 Min read

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Service (CS), all sound familiar, don’t they? They aren’t just some commonly used terminologies in the business world, but the most important strategies that can help a business excel.

Several sales reps get confused between these terms. Though they appear alike but are quite different from each other. Before we get to the difference, let’s first understand each term individually.

What are CX, CRM & CS?

The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts– James Cash Penny

Happy customers are the cornerstone of a successful business. Therefore, it is necessary to offer a great experience, maintain a healthy relationship and provide optimum services to them. The entire journey customers have with your company can be controlled if you implement the three strategies- CRM, CS, and CX successfully. But, what exactly are they?

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) is the sum of every experience that the customer has with your product/services throughout the customer life cycle. It comprises of everything from the initial discovery of the product to purchasing and using it. It is all about how the customers interact with your product and what do they think about it.

Customer experience is the conglomeration of the emotional, physical and psychological connection the customer has with the company. Executing customer experience strategies successfully can not only help in improving customer loyalty and increasing profits but also in gaining a competitive edge in the market. For surviving in the market, it is essential to keep the customers in front of everything else. Build a customer-centric culture. You need to expand the boundaries, and meet your customers’ expectations to be in their good books.

Organizations that lead in CX outperformed laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%. (Source)

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM - Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a process of building and maintaining customer relationships for nurturing, converting, and retaining customers. If implemented smartly, this strategy aids in creating a positive experience and helps in keeping customers for longer. It bridges the gap between the company and the buyer. It is a data-driven approach that demands a great understanding of customers’ needs and pain points.

Customer relationship management is all about helping the customers in achieving what they want. You need to guide them in overcoming their current problems.

Sound knowledge of segmentation is crucial here for focusing on the right opportunities. You need to know where to target and what to address. A well-planned CRM strategy can take you close to your business goals and help in delivering superior customer value.

Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where the two meet – Kevin Stirtz

What is Customer Service (CS)?

Customer Service

Customer service (CS) is the assistance provided to the customers for any product/service. The goal of customer service (also known as after sales service) is to increase customer satisfaction by solving all their doubts and queries.

It is a way to improve the customer experience of using a product. For providing great customer support, it is necessary to move beyond just addressing a problem. You need to anticipate the problems and show your customers the way to tackle it.

Providing the required support at the right time can help in earning customers’ trust and confidence. It is easy to upsell or get referrals from customers who believe in you. Excellent customer service can reduce churn and encourage positive word of mouth. 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can lead to an increase in profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. – (Source)

What is the difference between CRM, CX, and CS?

Now that we have understood each term separately, let’s look at the difference between the three.

Customer Experience (CX)

  • It covers the complete journey of the customer
  • Focuses on customer interaction at different touchpoints
  • It is a way of understanding how the customer perceives your product

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • A complete understanding of the customer, their buying habits and their requirements
  • Focuses on developing a lasting connection with the customers
  • It aims at enhancing overall customer experience and improving customer lifetime value (LTV)

Customer Service (CS)

  • It moves beyond conversion and sales
  • Focuses on strengthening the experience the customer has with your product
  • A common voice that a customer recognizes and approaches for help

CRM software- The complete solution

Supporting a strategy with the right technology can help in achieving the desired results. There are different systems for each strategy. You’ll easily find a customer service management tool or customer experience software. But, instead of investing in different software, isn’t it better to use one software that can play various roles?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is one such tool that has many functionalities. It can deepen your relationships with customers and help in rendering utmost customer satisfaction.

91% of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM software (information source)

With a CRM system, you can-

1. Provide a great customer experience

CRM solution helps in offering an excellent buying experience at all stages of the customer life cycle.

  • You can connect with your customers in real-time as a CRM can be used from anywhere using any device.
  • Using automation, you can engage with your customers without doing a lot of work. For instance, you can set workflows and automate the task of sending informative emails to your clients.
  • As most of the activities can be automated, you get more time to plan new strategies for improving your customer experience.
  • It allows you to create insightful reports for understating what’s working and what needs to be changed for improving the buying experience.

2. Build and maintain strong relationships

Using CRM software, you can understand your customers better and develop a lasting relationship with them.

  • Every information about them is streamlined in a centralized location that can be easily accessed and used. (74% of users said their CRM software offered improved access to customer data.)
  • It allows you to create and manage multiple sales pipelines for quickly converting the prospects.
  • CRM allows you to give timely attention to each deal in the pipeline.
  • You can record calls in a CRM that comes with a built-in virtual phone system. By listening to the recorded calls, you can understand the needs and expectations of the buyers.

3. Offer excellent customer service

Give your customers more reasons to stay with you by offering optimum customer service with a CRM.

  • CRM helps you in providing round the clock support to your clients as most of them come with a mobile app.
  • Using a shared team inbox feature, your team can collaborate to ensure no email is left unattended and every query is solved on time. You can easily use shared team inbox feature from Salesmate CRM.
  • Using the call transfer feature of a CRM, you can easily transfer your calls to the product experts for providing better assistance to the client.

Wrapping up

For a steady flow of revenue, it is necessary to not only attract new customers but also retain them for long. With effective customer relationship management, excellent customer experience and best-in-class customer service you can increase your revenue and expand your business profit. Implement all three strategies efficiently within a smart CRM tool like Salesmate.

Salesmate CRM is a feature-rich system that helps in increasing your sales and reducing your churn rate. It comes with various functionalities that help you in managing your customer information and maintaining healthy relationships with them.

An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.

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