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What is customer experience management?

Customer experience management, often called CXM or CEM, is a system of marketing strategies and technologies that focus on customer engagement, satisfaction, and experience.

CXM is an approach to relationships with customers that goes beyond just marketing tools and software—with the goal of achieving a digital transformation that truly puts customers at the centre of the business. A customer experience management mindset prioritises the orchestration and personalisation of the entire end-to-end customer experience and helps to do it at scale, on any channel, in real time.

What’s the difference between CRM and CXM?

CXM is often confused with customer relationship management, or CRM, due to the similarity that they have in some basic functionality. While there is some overlap, CXM isn’t a mere renaming of traditional CRM. CXM takes the next step in managing customer relationships. Where CRM mostly deals with optimising the internal processes of a business, CXM offers an even more customer-centric approach in several ways—with new technologies, as well as processes, strategies, and customer-centric design.

CXM differs from traditional CRM in the technology itself—with added benefits and capabilities for building customer relationships. While CRMs gather data through manual or batch entry, a true CXM will enable a real-time flow of data to offer deeper insights into customer preferences and behaviour.

The CXM mindset also goes beyond a traditional CRM in its strategy and processes. A company who wants to become more customer-centric uses CXM to put processes in place to track, oversee, and orchestrate interactions and engagements with customers.

Because CXM is both a set of technologies and a set of processes, and data doesn’t get siloed, CXM allows you to deliver a true cross-channel customer experience.


Provides quantitative insights, relying on relatively impersonal data analysis and looking at customers in terms of statistics, data, and trends.

Focuses on operational business improvements to drive profitability.

Improves customer service via different integrations across channels.


Provides qualitative insights, unifying relationship data across the full customer lifecycle and prioritising customer experiences.

Focuses on customer engagement to drive profitability.

Anticipates and responds faster to customer needs and uses AI and applied CRM data for real-time impact on customer experience.

Why does customer experience management matter?

Effective customer experience management is more than just good optics or good PR. By centering your customers’ experiences and making technology feel more human, you create win-win scenarios for you and your customers alike.

Customer experience has become a critical differentiator for all kinds of businesses in the competitive, hyperconnected global marketplace. While the end result for a business might be seen in lead generation, conversions, or long-term brand loyalty, the customer also comes out a winner with rich, personalised experiences, increased satisfaction, and a rewarding relationship with the brand.

Customer experience management helps to:

Achieve a deeper understanding of customers

  • Gives an enhanced view of customer behaviours and preferences across all touchpoints.
  • Allows more detailed segments to provide the highly relevant personalised experiences that customers demand and that drives increased conversions.

Drive loyalty and retention

  • Delivers personalised experiences and create seamless customer journeys with advanced marketing automation software.
  • Cultivates deeper, lasting relationships with customers through intelligent service, product recommendations, and loyalty incentives.

Maintain a competitive edge

  • Improves operational performance to increase customer satisfaction and lower customer churn.
  • Increases the win rate of offers and lowers service costs.

Measure the success of initiatives

  • Gathers and interprets much larger volumes of data—allowing for more accurate visibility into the success of your engagement efforts.
  • Helps to make more informed, customer-centric business decisions.

CXM in the nonprofit world

UNICEF Netherlands engages donors to improve the lives of millions of children

CXM in health care

MVP Health Care personalises member support to promote healthy communities

CXM for technology companies

Tech partner ACTUM Digital helps companies consolidate their BI and break down data silos

CXM in the energy sector

French energy leaders transform their customer experience to promote sustainable energy plan

6 questions to ask when evaluating customer experience management software

Whether you’re just exploring a customer experience management approach or you’re researching the right customer data platform (CDP) purchase for your company, here are six key questions to ask about any CXM software, technology, or process.

  1. Does it enrich customer profiles with real-time data?
    CXM technology should bring together all the data—behavioural, transactional, financial, and operational—into one real-time customer profile. A good CXM system draws in and unifies data access from across disparate locations and lets you capture all those data points in real time. The more unified, real-time, and connected your customer profiles are—the deeper, more actionable insights you’ll derive.
  2. Does it integrate with your current ecosystem?
    Any customer experience management system provider should offer an open and extensible technology platform. The technology platform should support customer experience apps, a single data model, and an open ecosystem that lets you deliver fresh, innovative experiences for your customers and sets you apart from competitors.
  3. Does it adapt and extend personalisation?
    A good CXM system lets you continuously test and optimise personalisation in real time. It helps you build standout experiences faster and uses the next wave of intelligent software to deliver personalised content at scale.
  4. Does it allow you to orchestrate cross-channel customer journeys?
    CXM software helps you streamline your customer journey and allows you to design, connect, deliver, and manage experiences across diverse channels—from call centres and bricks-and-mortar stores to email, social media, web and mobile apps, and all the many ways customers engage with your brand.
  5. Does it have the intelligent capabilities to help you grow?
    Whether it’s making sense of massive amounts of customer data, automating repetitive processes, or personalising buyer experiences and orchestrating customer journeys, real-time, predictive intelligence and machine learning capabilities are the backbone to any CXM approach. Modern artificial intelligence technologies, like CDPs, are key to help support your present needs and meet your future customer relationship goals.
  6. Does it help you build trust and protect customer privacy?
    Good customer experience management requires you to foster customer trust and protect sensitive information. Look carefully at any CXM technology offering for robust capabilities of data privacy and security, as well as offering any help you might need with industry-specific compliance regulations.

Create rewarding customer relationships with Dynamics 365

Take the next steps in customer experience management and learn how to deliver the right message for each customer at the right time, on the right channel.

Find out how to build rich, personalised buyer experiences and orchestrate multichannel journeys that engage and strengthen the customer experience.