Customer Experience: Business Strategy or Technology?

Posted by Gary Schwartz

June 3, 2014


customer-experienceLike CRM before it, Customer Experience has difficulty living up to the expectations set for it when businesses embark on a dedicated improvement programme. Intuitively this shouldn't be the case. 

By definition, enhancing the Customer Experience should benefit the customer and as a result, benefit the business.

Logic tells us that brands who offer a superior experience will enjoy increased customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and higher levels of customer advocacy.

Where’s The Disconnect?

Customer Experience lacks a standard definition, making it extremely difficult to set and then meet expectations. You only need to look at the latest analyst reports designed to help brands understand which technologies can help them address their challenges to get a sense of how readily the term ‘Customer Experience’ is used.

Gartner’s latest ‘Hype Cycle’ report on CRM and Customer Service lists forty different technologies that impact the Customer Experience. These include Voice of the Customer (enabling businesses to measure the Customer Experience), Contact Centre Workforce Optimisation (enabling businesses to deliver a compelling Customer Experience), Social Media Engagement Solutions, Web Experience Analytics and Collaborative Customer Interfaces.

So when executives say, “We’re going to improve the Customer Experience,” it’s important to establish whether they know which aspect of the Customer Experience they’re looking to improve, and where they expect to receive a return on their investment.

This lack of definition only becomes more challenging when considering how User Experience on multiple devices and channels impacts the Customer Experience.

Finally, Customer Experience is often thought of as a technology which, once implemented, will magically solve all of the company’s problems related to how they interact with their customers.

Instead, Customer Experience should be thought of as a business strategy - not a technology. Only when a business understands how the Customer Experience impacts metrics such as customer acquisition, retention, loyalty, and advocacy can it consider what technologies to adopt in order to meet their goals.

Business strategies that impact the customer relationship have undergone several iterations over the years. Whether you’re talking about CRM, Social CRM or the Customer Experience, you’re discussing the interaction between a company and its customers. Presumably, if the interaction is sufficiently compelling, both the company and customer should enjoy an ongoing relationship of mutual value.

Customer Engagement Technology Delivers a Compelling Experience

A new class of technology, customer engagement technology, enables brands to communicate with their customers through the channel of their choice, at a time that’s convenient for them.

Over the next month, we'll examine Customer Engagement in more detail and how you can exceed customer expectations by focusing on three key areas:

  • Giving customers a choice of channel
  • Requesting feedback at all customer touchpoints
  • Taking action in real-time

To find out more about Customer Engagement, watch our Customer Engagement Webinar which focuses on bringing your customers closer to your brand.

Watch now


Maoz, M. (2013). Hype Cycle for CRM Customer Service and Support, 2013. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May. 2014].

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Experience Management

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