Is it still all about the experience?

About a year and a half ago I wrote a column for looking at the state of CRM and customer service and proposing that three priorities were emerging: delivering a differentiated customer experience, better leveraging content assets so reps and customers have answers at their fingertips, and tapping into collaboration and social networks. As I discussed a couple posts ago, our recent survey of customer service leaders shows that content (and KM) and social CRM are in fact two of the areas that are attracting additional investment this year despite lower spending overall on customer service. So the last two have definitely been predictions I can live with (remember, I was an analyst at one point…)! But what about customer experience management? The third of the “mega” trends I started to see back at the end of 2007.

Well…it just so happens that in the same survey, we also asked respondents about their organization’s position on customer experience management. The results are shown below.

CEM chart

What is interesting in this data is that not only are more organizations focusing on how to deliver a differentiated customer experience via some “flavor” of CEM (or SEM, if you use KANA’s lingo), but more than a quarter are currently deploying or have finished deploying a CEM program. Another 30% have a CEM strategy and presumably are ready to go once funding is in place.

What about your organization? With pundits such as Forrester recommending companies keep customer experience top of mind in the current economic climate and some evidence that companies with improving customer service scores can actually boost their share price (see discussion and table in BusinessWeek), are you looking at experience management as an area of investment for the remainder of 2009 and beyond?