CRM and Customer Engagement have become (nearly) inseparable. Do you know why??


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CRM and Customer Engagement have become
CRM and Customer Engagement have become

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays an important role in the success of most organizations today. It helps in the entire process of finding, catching and retaining customers over time. Any organization that faces trouble in one or more of these areas, CRM is the one-stop solution. And now to the much delight of all CRM aficionados – another feather has got added to the CRM software.

Customer Engagement

Paul Greenberg defines customer engagement as “the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer.

In his opinion, while most companies are dedicatedly working on improving customer service, it is all done from the point of the view of the company and not the customer. In other words, companies are implementing customer strategies that they find fitting. However, thinking of the companies and their customers may and may not match always. And this is precisely why; most companies are facing a tough time to engage with their customers effectively.

Paul suggests that companies need to provide full liberty to their customers on how they want to interact and engage. Once the power is in the hands of the customers, successful customer engagement can take place.

The new role of CRM as a Customer Engagement Platform

Recent times have seen a clear division of two groups of businesses – the first that endorses CRM to be used in customer engagement and the second that endorses separate standalone customer engagement applications and tools. Surprisingly, in the midst of this debate, one third of small and medium-sized businesses have already deployed CRM as a part of their customer engagement strategy. So what’s the outcome??

To check whether CRM is really effective in engaging with the customers or not, here is a précis of five benefits that CRM provides to businesses:

1. Streamlined Customer Messages: Every touchpoint is flooded with customers’ tweets, comments, reviews and feedbacks. For any business, it becomes a hell lot of a task to manually keep a track of them. CRM simplifies this by aggregating messages in a central location. Businesses can access all posts/messages from one source point, analyze them to gain meaningful insights on demographics and buying habits and make more targeted, contextual engagement with the customers.

2. Consistent Experience across all Channels: One of the most strenuous tasks for any business is ensuring smooth internal collaboration. In spite of several measures, there is some form of communication gap and information discrepancy within the team. This adversely impacts customer engagement as inconsistent message is broadcast to customers on different touch points.

In order to offer an engaging experience to a customer, a company should be able to remove inconsistent departmental views and present a consistent ‘face’ across all touch points. Using CRM realizes this to a large extent. Since there are no multiple databases but one centralized repository to access information, agents involved in different phases of the cycle have the same information/update available to them. It keeps all parties on the same page and makes it easy for the members to coordinate and collaborate.

Eventually, the business is able to project a single, clear message to prospects and customers on all touch points.

3. New Engagement Opportunities: CRM empowers businesses to engage with customers in one or more ways. For instance, marketers can create contents which can be scheduled and programmatically distributed by CRM across different mediums such as email, social, SMS, etc. This practice can be executed on regular intervals where marketers can create and spread messages to multiple social media networks, emails and other content distribution channels.

There is the provision of campaign analytics as well. As these campaigns run, businesses can keep a check on how well they are performing and how effectively are the customers engaging with them. Key metrics are accessible from the CRM:

– Number of recipients
– Number of people who have read the message
– Number of people who have opted out
– Number of people who have clicked on the link
– Number of invalid e-mail id (if any).

By knowing all these details, marketing departments can hone more successful future campaigns. They can precisely know which content is prompting customers to act and which is not. They can create the right mix of contents that will work better, foster more conversion and increase businesses’ ability to connect and engage with customers and prospects.

4. Multiple Support Channels: CRM software enables businesses to render support through multiple channels (voice, text, social, self service, mobile app). This increases the immediacy of problem resolution and forges improved customer engagement. What’s even better is that regular usage of CRM gives businesses a range of key insights. One of which is to know the preferred channel of communication for each customer. Knowing customers’ communication preferences helps in extending customer engagement and forging better customer relationship.

5. Lead Nurturing and Conversion: It isn’t humanely possible to manage leads, considering the huge numbers in which they enter the company database everyday. CRM allows sales and marketing agents to consistently aggregate and analyze leads, identify important insights, and efficiently share those insights with other departments.

Its lead scoring system allows agents to rank prospects (based on activity, social signals and demographics) against a scale that represents the value they carry. The score is used to determine how cold or hot the leads are and what best engagement strategies should be taken for each category.


These are just some of the selective ways in which CRM helps a business to do effective customer engagement. There is more than what meets the eye. A business can implement a new-age CRM software and devise several innovative ways to incorporate it in its customer engagement strategy. CRM has the potency to successfully handle the whole engagement spectrum and take businesses at the top of their game. It’s just how businesses implement and use it is what matters…

Manash Chaudhuri
Manash Chaudhuri is a co-founder of ConvergeHub, headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Holding more than 19 years of experience in Operations, Sales and Project Management, his company's CRM product has been positioned as the #1 Easiest Converged CRM for SMB and has been successively nominated twice in CRM Idol competition.


  1. Hey Manesh, good thoughts that ring a bell with me. Loud. My opinion is and has always been that the differentiation between CRM and CEM is very artificial. (Good) CRM systems/solutions always had an engagement component.

    Could – or can – they do everything? Nope.

    But they can do a lot. Look at modern systems like Dynamics, Salesforce, also SAP – even the good ole SAP CRM on premise, and lots of tier 2 and 3 systems. They all can do engagement natively. What they cannot do, or do not do well, for this we have best of breed. That was always the case and will always be the situation, regardless of how we call it.

    Thanks for your post!
    Cheers from Down Under

  2. Thank you Thomas for going over this article. Great comment!
    I second you on that. Most of the existing CRMs have this information in some form and the onus is to offer a much simplified platform to anchor CRM and CEM much effectively.

  3. It’s great that this article talked about how customer engagement is a tough task for any business, and with specialized software, it can be easier to manage it. In my opinion, nowadays, good communication between a customer and the seller is key to a successful business. When I want to buy something or make an appointment for a service, I usually choose the companies that are quick to respond, or that are eager to help me with my problem. That’s why I think, having the technology to improve communication it’s a great advantage for a company. You did a great job explaining the benefits of customer engagement software for businesses.


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