Simply put; No!
So what distinguishes CRM from CEM? CRM focuses on providing a service; CEM looks to provide an experience. In trying to achieve this endeavour, CEM broadens the scope of the various propositions that define CRM. CEM systems and CRM systems serve different, although complementary, purposes. CEM is about creating the best customer experience; CRM is about managing relationships while focusing on maximizing revenues. CRM is tools geared to manage and analyse customer information, while CEM is tools geared to enable and enhance customer interactions.
The main difference between CRM and CEM lies in the fact that CRM is really how a customer looks to a company while CEM is focussing more on how the company looks to the customer.
CEM has been called ‘CRM on the move’. CRM is only of help once there is a record of a customer interaction but CEM is active at the point of interaction. Almost like the “outside in” approach, independent of data-generated bias, to customers which enables the use of CEM as a tool for tackling emerging marketing situations. CEM operates free from existing biases in perceptions that result from historical data; these biases are actually the drivers of CRM.
As a customer initiative CEM lays more stress on a customer’s experience rather than the operational and technical approach that CRM processes tend to take. Pronouncing an existing methodology dead and ripe for takeover by a new one has always been kind of fashionable and so is the case with CRM. It already suffers from a poor image given the high failure rates of CRM deployments and promised ROI taking a long time to materialize.
It’s important to not fall into the buzzword trap with respect to CEM and analyse it for its actual worth. The usefulness of CEM will vary with an individual business’ requirements and it’s to get an accurate idea of how CRM and CEM together can benefit your business that you should understand CEM as an umbrella term.
Remember great relationships must start somewhere, and positive experiences are necessary, not only as a first step but as an on-going strategy.