What Is Customer Experience Management?

Do you want to close the gap between what you have promised your customers in your Customer Experience strategy and what is actually being delivered by your company? If your answer is yes, you are talking about Customer Experience Management (CEM).

There are so many questions that I get asking me to explain what Customer Experience Management (CEM) is in detail. So – let’s take a run at it!

What is Customer Experience Management?

CEM is the process of trying to ensure that what your organization is actually delivering matches your Customer Experience strategy. Many people also talk about it as the process of managing customer interactions. 

I don’t know about you, but as a customer, you surely do not manage me, so at Chief Customer, we like to talk about CEM as the orchestration of the right type of experience. 

You can’t force someone into a singular experience – we’re all different people. What you can do, is design experiences so that they get the best outcome for the customer.  You can also design guideposts so that experiences don’t go off the rails. 

You see, when people decide to do business with you, you need to ensure that the company is delivering on the promise you’ve made to the customer.

What Is Customer Experience Management?

Before you can start designing experiences though, it is always best to figure out where to start.

We’ve found that there are several questions you can ask that will help you to decide which experiences to start designing as a part of your Customer Experience Management program.

  1. Ask your customer if doing business with the company was easy. If you’re not easy to do business with, solve that first!
  2. Ask your employees which policies make it hard for customers to do business with you. (We call this the “Stupid Rule Quest”!)
  3. Ask yourself about that one sacred cow that you know will improve the customer experience. What is a big sticking point you have in your company – that everyone knows is bad for the customer. Ask your leadership team why that rule or that process or that decision is still in place. And then blow it up.

Finding the answers to these questions and acting on the answers can be a game-changer. 

The 3 C’s of CEM:

When I walk to a new company, I walk in knowing that every company and every customer is different. But that every company needs a framework to get to their unique strategy.

Our framework is the 3 C’s of CEM – Credibility, Competency, Culture.

Now, you might be thinking what these are? 

What Is Customer Experience Management?


Competency is the actual set of skills that are required to build and execute a Customer Experience Management (CEM) program. You need a whole new set of skillsets that are often not found in companies. You will need people who understand how to design customer experiences. You will need people who understand how to pattern large data sets to identify unmet needs. You will need people who understand how to communicate to your customers in a language that is understandable. These are just a few examples of the new competencies that are required.


Credibility is one of the most important categories. Everyone has an opinion about what type of customer experience they want – because we are all customers. Credibility is so important because it is about weeding out opinions and making decisions based on facts – primarily rooted in Voice of Customer data. 


Your employees have a dramatic effect on your customers. Culture is key. No Customer Experience program is complete without finding ways to address the changes that need to be made to your culture to support your program and your strategy.


If you want to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations, you need to meet their needs. Ask yourself, your employees, and your customers about what can be improved and act on it. The answers are always right under your nose. If you want to learn how to put your customers at the center of all you do, visit Chief Customer right now!