Home > Context, CRM, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Social Business, Social CRM, Social Media > Enterprise Customer Experience, A Convergence

Enterprise Customer Experience, A Convergence

Customer Experience is the superset of sensations, emotions and perceptions felt by your customers before, during and after product or service use. Enterprise Customer Experience represents the people, internal processes and technology required to listen, guide and engage your customers in the digital world; all towards creating better and enhanced experiences. Designing positive experiences begins with understanding needs and wants. Seems logical right? How else can you understand what your customer’s wants and needs, if you do not listen first?

The very next part is to prove that you are listening, if actions do not result, then it is not really listening at all. Yes, in this day and age, you do need to provide proof. For, example, if you do not plan to take any actions based on what you hear, are you really listening? That said, there are many ways to show that you are listening. The first is transparency, allowing people to see inside the organization where they can witness what you are doing, often at their bequest. The second, more interesting way is to specifically give people what they are looking for, as in information, service or a product enhancement.

To customers, being open means more than simply looking through the window, but being able to walk through the front door and participate. An engaging conversation is one where all voices are heard and respected and no one is simply listening, waiting to talk. In order to improve customer experience, you, your team and the whole organization needs to convert the listening to information that can be used to collaborate, co-create and engage at a personal level with your customers. This will take analyzing the data, providing relevant, consistent content, where and when your customers want it, need it and are expecting it.

It is time to move beyond what needs to be done and why it needs to be done.  Some parts of your organization are more advanced than others, some are ready and some are not.  The starting point should be clear. What is less clear is exactly HOW to progress in a uniform fashion from understanding what needs to be done, to actually doing it.  It is time to progress from departmental Social Media initiatives to organizational digital communication programs. These programs should have defined and coordinated objectives. As the team and understanding of the technology mature, Social CRM is next logical step, with both business and technical integration and a digitally aware customer data model.  Internally, CRM will have certain objectives, but it is time to add customer centricity, directed individual engagement and customer collaboration to those objectives. Finally, the end-game, Enterprise Customer Experience. Just my name for it, I suppose, but it seems to fit.

I put together a few slides where I tried to visualize some of my thoughts. The copy is taken from a white paper we just released as well. If you would like a copy of the white paper, please just send me an email mitch.lieberman – at – dri-global.com and I am happy to forward it along.

Social Media Initiatives are too often:

  • Departmental and Uncoordinated,
  • Loosely defined and with soft qualitative objectives,
  • Lacking strong guidance that aligns with corporate vision
  • Have little or no Governance or Oversight
  • Driven by metrics with unproven value (like, follow, +)

Now to progress from disjointed efforts to coordinated and structured efforts,

Social Communication Programs that are characterized by:

  • Multiple, linked digital initiatives,
  • Defined and Coordinated goals (across departments),
  • Agreed to processes for Content,
  • Modestly Mature Governance,
  • Data Capture and Burgeoning Analytics,
  • Tighter agility to act upon lessons learned.

It takes maturation of the organization to make this progression. It is important to not that up until now the discussion is much less about technology than it is about people and process.  Once the organization has matured, it is then possible to reach enhanced customer experience through Social CRM by further integrating more baseline technology, carefully and methodically.

Social CRM sets the course for creating better Customer Experiences, through:

  • Coordinated Customer Facing Communication Programs,
  • Both Technical and Business Level Integration,
  • Advanced Analytics that Improve Customer Insights,
  • Mature, Modern, Customer Data Model,
  • Personal, Customer level Interactions and Engagement.

Now things start to get very interesting. Just when everyone was comfortable with the buzzwords, we are now ready to dump the term ‘Social’. The team realizes that social is a characteristic of people. The term is dispensed with and for the purposes of Customer Experience, the CRM platform is now in charge of the digital data and used for specific purposes.

It is time to execute CRM, across the Enterprise:

  • Data, information and knowledge is universally accessible,
  • Content and digital assets are consistent and shared,
  • Back-office to front-office Collaboration creates efficiency,
  • Customer facing processes are repeatable and embedded,
  • Community and Customer Collaboration are part of the platform.

Finally, it is time to complete the

Enterprise Customer Experience vision:

  • Customer centricity is a reality,
  • Directed engagement at the level of the individual
  • Analytics are predictive,
  • Customer expectations are understood and met,
  • Communications are conversational and collaborative,
  • The organization is highly collaborative,
  • Organizational culture is mature and ready.
  1. January 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Mitch Greetings from Melbourne and a happy new year to you and yours. This is a thought provoking post and I agree with most of what you are saying. I do however think that the missing piece for most businesses is that they have not recognised a necessity to shift “context” in relation to customers, social media, collaboration etc. Most are still in a context of “sales” – “why would we do it if it doesn’t directly lead to sales”. The customer however, is looking for help, support, information and may have no intention of ever buying from you. Getting your head round that is a big shift for most businesses. I listened to an interview yesterday with Phil Libin CEO of Evernote.
    Quote of the interview was “our free product is our premium product” and “It’s ok if they never upgrade”. Engaging with your market and your customers from a context of authentically “helping” – without a direct link to “sales” is the new mindset, I believe, that underpins the new relationship between enterprise and customer.

    • Mitch Lieberman
      January 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm


      Thanks for the well wishes, happy New Year to you as well. It is a bit chilly around here, hopefully, you are enjoying some summer sunshine.

      Going backwards, regarding the quote from Phil Libin (just what you shared, not whole interview), that is interesting. While it sounds great, Phil is not in business to be a philanthropist, there has to be an end-game there somewhere, so I am struggling a little. The idea of never upgrading is simply not sustainable – unless he is offering another product and there is another revenue stream that I am unaware of, which is possible.

      I do agree that many businesses simply do not get it yet and it will be an ongoing struggle. The best example of this is how people and certain departments are measured. Retention still does not fit into too many conversations, but it will, when people take a close look at the economics.

      What I am trying to get to here, and need to work on my own skills in getting there, is that customer experience is much bigger that anyone lets on (It is the whole day at the theme park, not just the digital parts). Enterprise suggests that the organization needs to focus on this parts where they can add value and understand the mindset, but not the whole thing. Yes, it does start with sales, but the engaging part, not the managing the pipeline part.


      Thanks for the comment

  2. January 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Mitch, with regards to “social media initiatives mature”, I think the attitude with which a company treats its customers indicates how mature it is in social business. In the mass production era, customers were some numbers. Then came the concept of mass customization, where companies treated at least a portion of their customers as “niche customers”, offering them niche products and services (for high net worth customers, for instance). In the recent past, do-it-yourself possibilities are enabling companies to treat customers as creative people. Now with social media democratizing the value creation process, companies have the opportunity to treat customers as co-creators, engaging them right from the conception of product to manufacturing to after-sale support. To be fit to this age and technology is to have a fitting attitude of treating customers as co-creators, and regarding the whole landscape – within and without – populated only by prosumers.

    If companies have this understanding, they will use social media in a totally different way.

    • Mitch Lieberman
      February 13, 2013 at 10:32 am


      Thanks for the comment. I think I understand some of where you are going, but maybe a little explanation is in order. I agree that some customers do want to be treated as co-creators, but not all do. Part of the co-creation process is to create my own experience – and product. Putting the two together.

      The maturity of the organization will be if they can understand this subtle point, I believe.


  3. February 14, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Yes Mitch. I agree, there should be a right mix. Some customers want ready-made, others custom-made, and then there will be some more who want self-made or social-made!

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