Manufacturing companies are increasingly considering customer experience as a sustainable differentiator and redesigning their business to be more customer-centric. Manufacturers face a different set of challenges in executing their customer experience strategies as compared to service companies with frequent but short interactions. The durable products last for years and the customer service the companies deliver during the own cycle is more critical to build customer loyalty and maximize customer lifetime value.
One of the key decisions the companies face is selecting the software platform that can enable them to enhance the service interactions during the customer lifecycle. We compare the two options of Connected Customer Experience (CX) platform and CRM Service Cloud in terms of their scope, target user base, ability to optimize customer journey, and the value proposition each platform offers.
Scope of Customer Service & Support Processes
As CRM platforms expand from marketing and sales into service arena, the Service Cloud offerings mainly focus on customer interactions with the call centers. Connected Customer Experience platforms are taking a more holistic approach to cover all the service interactions a customer has with the company during the customer lifecycle. Call centers play an important, but a limited role as manufacturers deal with Customer onboarding, Warranty, Service Parts, Technical Services, Filed Service, and independent Service Networks.
Target User Base
CRM has traditionally targeted the company’s employees as target user base, and the key users of CRM Service Cloud have been the Call Center agents. Connected Customer Experience platforms are targeting much broader user base including end customers and channel partners in addition to customer service & support personnel.
CX Platform provides a self-service customer portal for all end customers to access all services directly, a Channel Partner Portal to enable the service network and field service technicians to assist the customers when needed, and a centralized platform for customer service & support organization to orchestrate the customer experience.
CRM approach has been inside-out whereas CX platforms have taken an outside-in approach representing the customer-centric perspective. All the stakeholders need to be seamlessly connected to deliver a unified customer experience across all channels.
Optimize Customer Journey
Customer Experience is the sum of all customer interactions. CRM covers the very short cycle of customer acquisition while CX covers the long cycle of product ownership. Customer Experience Platform collects experiential data from customers including customer feedback at various touch points and uses the insights to optimize the customer journey.
Since CRM Service covers very few touch points, Companies run the risk of creating one more data Silo rather than bridging across existing departmental silos to deliver better customer experience.
CRM Service captures some transactional data. CX Platform captures experiential data as well as the Voice of the Customer (VOC). The goal of CX Platform is to optimize interactions from the customer’s perspective and foster customer loyalty.
CRM service cloud primarily aims to make the call centers more efficient. Connected Customer Experience platform helps you to maximize customer lifetime value. By just focusing on efficiencies only, companies may miss the big the opportunities to retain more customers, build brand loyalty and generate more revenues from the loyal customer base.
After years of investments in ERP and CRM software, Customer-Centric companies are focusing on enhancing Customer Experience. CRM Service Cloud falls short of meeting the needs of customer service and support organizations to deliver the customer experience and engagement throughout the customer lifecycle.
Connected Customer Experience platform is more suitable to enable your customer service organization and channel partners to meet the expectations of today’s connected and empowered customers.