Introduction to CEM

By | March 4, 2011

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a relatively new term that entered to the telecommunication service provider’s  jargon. Customer Experience Management is managing all the interactions of the Customer with the service provider. These interactions could be made over all available channels that are defined in the Customer Interface Management process. Call center, e-mail, Web, WAP , Stores could all represent those different channels.

CEM focuses on the customer and his/her experiences. It focuses on monitoring, measuring and improving the customers experiences.

Each interaction that the customer experienced, will create a negative or positive perception in his/her mind. Obviously, an overall good perception will ultimately lead to higher ARPU and lower customer churn.

When first introduced, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) aimed to improve the “relations” of the provider with it’s customers. However, CRM became a sales/product oriented tool and mostly forgot the relationships part. Today’s CRM focuses how to sell more to the current customers by analyzing their transactional behaviors. Buy this, take the other 20% off, today is your birthday so your first product in your cart is 10% off, here’s a coupon that you can use for your purchases $500 or more etc. The aim is simple: To sell more to the existing customers. Some initiatives include basic user satisfaction surveys after a sales experience but these are very primitive. Also, features such as remembering my birthday and sending a happy birthday email may indeed generate a negative experience sometimes.

CEM is a holistic approach to look to the customer from a 360 degree perspective. It addresses pre-service and in-service needs of the customer and it is not a “single tool” solution. Rather, it is a cross organizational culture where all the shareholders should commit to. It may and will include several OSS/BSS components to monitor and act upon the customer interactions.

Monitoring all the customers in the organization is not feasible. That’s why CEM initiatives rely on segmentation. Ofcourse an overall enhancement can be applied to all of the customer interactions however, features like real-time monitoring and analytics will require resources. Because of this, we see that most service providers who implement CEM start with corporate and VIP customers.

CEM will require a shift in company culture. CEM will require a shift in the way of working. It will, for sure, bring transformation of some kind but this time not for reducing OPEX and CAPEX, but understanding the customers.