customer experience management (CEM)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Build a WCM architecture that supports business needs

Customer experience management (CEM) is the collection of processes a company uses to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal of CEM is to optimize interactions from the customer's perspective and, as a result, foster customer loyalty.

Customer experiences include not only interactions through traditional channels, such as purchases, customer service requests and call center communications but also, increasingly, through social CRM channels such as Twitter and Facebook. To manage the customer experience, companies need to create a strategy that encompasses all customer touch points across the organization.

According to Bruce Temkin, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research focusing on customer experience, the essence of CEM is treating customers as individuals. He quotes Stanley Marcus, former president and chairman of the board at Neiman-Marcus: "Consumers are statistics. Customers are people." 

Temkin offers this advice to clients:

"Your customers don’t live in spreadsheets; you need to go out and talk to them to understand who they are as people. That is, of course, unless each of your customers is really a 55% female with 2.3 kids who is 48% from a suburb and is 11% hispanic." lists 10 steps to improve customer experience:

1. Get employee buy-in.

2. Run an open, transparent business.

3. Deliver consistent customer experiences.

4. Train customer-facing employees sufficiently.

5. Give customers a personalized experience.

6. Measure and analyze customer emotions.

7. Act on customer feedback.

8. Take the customer's point of view.

9. Create a well-balanced customer experience team.

10. Design the total customer experience.



This was last updated in April 2010

Next Steps

How to use CRM as part of your customer engagement strategy

Continue Reading About customer experience management (CEM)



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.



Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by: