What is All of this Talk about CRM, Social CRM, and CXM?

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Social CRM is the biggest buzzword phrase this year, and with good reason. However, many businesses that are still trying to catch up to the socialization of the business world are still trying to see the differences between conventional CRM and Social CRM.

What is Social CRM?

The various changes in customer service methods is owing to the fact that the customer base is changing. Customers are less responsive to direct marketing strategies and are progressively more and more accessible through social mediums, which requires a different method of approach and requires businesses to have a social online presence.


Social CRM is a customer service method that harnesses these social networks to optimize marketing strategies. More specifically, it is the collection of individualized information generated through interactive discussion as opposed to raw impersonalized data.

In traditional CRM the primary marketing focus has been direct advertising in which communication is exchanged in a single direction: the business to the consumer. Within Social CRM, however, marketing efforts are invested in maintaining an open two way conversation with the customer base.

This allows the company to better understand the needs and desires of its demographic, to be able to answer comments and concerns in real time, and allows for the generation of targeted marketing strategies based on all of this information. These factors are also greatly advantageous for building and preserving a positive brand identity.

Of course, to manage all of this information is not an easy feat. Tracking all of the social discussion surrounding a company, as well as being active in those discussions, requires serious organization and time management skills.

Luckily, there are many fantastic tools available to help businesses manage these tasks, like Brand Embassy’s social CRM tools for example. Ideally a Social CRM tool should organize social data into a comprehensive system, coherently analyze and categorize that data in order to inform targeted marketing strategies, and allow efficient logged open communication with customers.

For a further look into the differences between traditional CRM and Social CRM, consult the infographic from Our Social Times here.

What is CXM?

The more unclear differentiation is between Social CRM and CXM. Where Social CRM focuses on customer relations management, CXM focuses on customer experience management. Although these methods are quite similar and indeed borrow from each other, they do differ in one key aspect.


Social CRM focuses on maintaining a conversation with its customer base in order to predict what marketing strategies will work based on the comments and concerns being voiced by this customer base. It also monitors what is working, what isn’t, and allows for the company to evolve its approach from there. Social CRM, then, is a marketing strategy focused on using pre-sale information that will inevitably lead to a sale.

CXM, on the other hand, focuses on qualitative data generated from customer satisfaction as well as brand loyalty and retention factors; in other words, it focuses on the customer experience post-sale.

Social CRM is effective for securing new business, while CXM is effective for retaining that business or encouraging repeat business. Analyzing information from this part of the customer journey will give a company insight into the reception of its products and brand identity.

Ultimately, CXM stems from Social CRM because it analyzes the success cases of the Social CRM strategy. By analyzing its most successful customer engagement, a company can better identify what effectively encourages conversion, which also offers insight into which strategies are not so effective.

Both Social CRM and CXM are incredibly important customer service approaches that should be engaged simultaneously to ensure the best ROI from customer service efforts and to more adequately tailor future marketing strategies.

For more information on harnessing social customer feedback to improve your business, see our blog post on Turning Negative Social Media Comments into a Positive.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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