Gartner Blog Network

“Customer Experience” Is Not the New “CRM”

by Jenny Sussin  |  April 1, 2019  |  Comments Off on “Customer Experience” Is Not the New “CRM”

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.

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: crm-strategy-and-customer-experience  crm-strategy-and-customer-experience-for-technical-professionals  customer-analytics-voc-and-insights  customer-experience  

Tags: crm  customer  customer-experience  cx  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.