Web Experience Management and Customer Experience Management

Before we delve into other interesting details about enhancing your customers’ experiences with your online channels, I thought it would be beneficial to lay the groundwork for defining what we consider to be Web Experience Management.

At the 10K foot level, looking down, Web Experience Management (WEM) is a strategic component of Customer Experience Management (CXM) for organizations seeking to control interaction, perception and brand adoption or loyalty with their company and its products and/or services.

There has been a lot written about Customer Experience Management and the originator of the subject is well known to be Bernd Schmitt. Schmitt is the author of an early groundbreaking book, “Experiential Marketing” and subsequently wrote the first book on “Customer Experience Management” in 2003. He has a thriving consulting practice for helping companies that focus on the customer experience to join the most successful and profitable organizations in the world. Here’s a great short interview with him as one of the top 50 thinkers of 2011.

Schmitt defines Customer Experience Management as: “…the process of strategically managing a customer’s entire experience with a product or a company.” His recent ideas about “Big Think: Killing the Sacred Cow” are a fascinating look at what companies can do to break out of their static mode by challenging the status quo of their industry to succeed in ways that couldn’t have been imagined beforehand. This is a deep subject for a future post.

Meanwhile, within the world of technology analysts, Forrester Research has defined CXM solutions in their recent report (The Emergence of Customer Experience Management Solutions by Brian K. Walker, August 10, 2011) as:

“… technology solutions that allow businesses to manage and optimize the customer experience through content management, customer targeting, analytics, personalization, and optimization capabilities across customer touchpoints — online, through mobile devices, through Internet-connected interfaces, and through digitally supported customer interactions such as contact centers and in-store or branch interfaces.”

They further boil it down to: “A solution that enables the management and delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, products, and service interactions across digitally enabled consumer touchpoints.”

Of course, hearing these descriptions, we all know that WEM and CXM are not one button solutions. They require careful thought and planning. The idea can be overwhelming as we think about all our products and the variations of purchasing scenarios across the potential personas. We know the clichés that it is impossible to boil the ocean and the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. But…which cup do you boil first? Which bite do you start with? And the answer that everyone hates…” it depends…” We'll be looking at the main components of WEM this week and welcome your questions and input.


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