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CRM vs. CX vs. Colonel Sanders—it’s just semantics

by Scott Wallask

August 17, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

There’s been a fair amount of virtual ink being devoted to an article on in which Jason Mittelstaedt, CEO of RightNow Technologies, says that CRM as we know it is dead in the water.

RightNow sells cloud-based services and products. The company has refocused on what it calls CX, which stands for “customer experience” and promotes the idea of social media and feedback management as new pillars of customer relationships.

Some of the reaction from CRM champions to Mittelstaedt’s stance has been strong.

For example, John Burton of SAP wrote on Twitter, “RightNow drifts further out to sea with bizarre monologue about death of CRM.”

In a lengthy post, social CRM blogger Paul Greenberg said, “To call a $13 billion industry … de ad and that ‘no one wants to hear about it’ is just plain not the case—and beneath what this usually quite fine company does.”

To me, this all evaporates into semantics. No matter whether you label it CRM, customer experience, CX, the 360° view of the customer—we’re talking about the same thing. Kentucky Fried Chicken and KFC make the same food, regardless of what you call Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe. If your methods and marketing sell more chicken, that’s the way to go.

Customer relationships and various associated buzzwords can ebb and flow with industry changes, but ultimately, most if not all companies in 2010 seek to get the most out of each customer transaction.

Call it what you want.

Follow Scott on Twitter @sapcrm_observer.


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