Blog post

“Customer Experience” Is Not the New “CRM”

By Jenny Sussin | April 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

customer experienceCustomer Analytics, VOC and Insights

Customer experience (CX) is not the just CRM rebranded, and this is something which is often misunderstood in the marketplace. Some of that is likely due to providers renaming their CRM solutions to something CX-related, some of it is because both start with “C, Customer.”

But so do Artificial Sweetener and Artificial Intelligence. Or perhaps Banana Split and Banana Pancake, because they use the same special ingredient but are two different things.

Banana split
Banana pancake






As a group that does research on both C’s, we’ve spent some time trying to figure out the easiest way to articulate the difference.  Both encompass strategies and technologies to benefit the customer and play a yin and yang sort of role depending on where an organization is in the development of their customer-centric approach.

CRM Strategy and Customer Experience Management Overview

You’re unlikely to have a good customer experience that isn’t supported by some CRM strategy and technology. You’re unlikely to be successful with your CRM strategy if you do not take CX into account. But for the purposed of developing and executing a strategy for either, there needs to be a clear understanding of who “we” are designing for.

In our research, “How to Tell the Difference Between Customer Experience and CRM Projects,” (Gartner-subscription required) Ed Thompson notes eight primary differences between CRM and CX:

There are eight primary differences between CRM and customer experience (CX):
  1.  CX goals are a subset of CRM goals.
  2.  The roles involved with CRM in an organization are a subset of those involved with CX.
  3.  The permanence of a CX operational capability differs from the transience of a CRM project team.
  4.  A CX initiative coordinates several projects, but a CRM project stands alone.
  5.  More time is needed to demonstrate the benefits of a superior CX.
  6.  The association with technology is greater in CRM.
  7.  The focus for CRM is on actions taken; in CX, it is on the customer’s perception of the actions.
  8.  A rational approach is more important in CRM; in CX, the customer emotions matter more.

To better understand how Gartner covers both spaces, everyone (clients and non-clients) can read our research primer here written by Jim Davies.

Clients with more questions, get in touch with our Research Engagement Services team to schedule a conversation with Ed, Jim or the other analysts on our CRM and CX teams.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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