2021 Preditction


a customer experience newsletter

(this week’s newsletter is a 5.5-minute read)

Journey is a weekly newsletter from Y Meadows that curates the best thought leadership at the intersection of technology and customer service.
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4 CX Insights from Isobar

In This Week’s Newsletter

  • CDP, Who are Thee?
  • “Ey, Aye”: AI as a Linchpin
  • Apple’s Leaked Secret
  • Bed Bath’s Surge

CDP, Who Are Thee?

Many brands are revisiting their customer experience initiatives, and are looking into investing in either a customer data platform (CDP) or customer relationship management (CRM) platform. In a piece from CMS Wire, Scott Clark addresses the basic functions of CDPs and CRMs, which would serve a brand better for improving the customer experience, and why?


The Function of a CDP

A Customer Data Platform is a software package that is used to unify transactional, demographic, and behavioral data from all of a brand’s channels, all of which are used to create a persistent, single-person view of each customer. It then makes the customer data available to other systems so it can be used for marketing, personalization, customer service, sales, and customer experience initiatives.

  • A CDP is able to create a comprehensive view of every customer by capturing the data from various systems, creating personal identifiers that are used to link data relating to the same customer, and storing that data to track customer behavior over time.
  • It creates a single-person profile for each customer based on information that comes from all channels and touchpoints in the customer’s journey.

…Versus the Function of a CRM

CRMs were created with the intention of simplifying the process of customer relationship management. They enable sales and customer service professionals to store customer and prospect contact info, identify leads, store service tickets, manage marketing campaigns, and facilitate the ability to provide information about each and every interaction between a customer and a brand to anyone at a business that requires access to it.

Similarities and Differences Between CDP and CRM

Customer service professionals and sales professionals typically use CRMs, as they are customer-facing positions.

  • By simplifying the management of customer relationships, CRMs enable customer-facing professionals to gather more leads while retaining current customers.

CDPs, on the other hand, are typically used by marketing professionals, as well as product managers, customer experience professionals, and sales campaign managers, as their roles are non-customer facing positions.

  • CDPs are used to manage and gain a better understanding of all customer data from across all channels, in order to make more accurate business decisions as they relate to the customer journey.
  • This is accomplished by obtaining customer data from every touchpoint a customer has with a brand, and unifying it in one location.

CRMs are able to provide data about the interactions between customers and a brand, and the data is typically used by customer-facing employees who are going to communicate or interact with a customer.

  • Through the use of a CRM, they have access to data about the customer such as their purchase history, customer service tickets, chat history, and more, which enables them to more effectively serve the customer.

CDPs typically use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and code to integrate with other software in order to gather data from locations where it may be siloed or otherwise difficult to obtain, and it is usually an automated process.

  • The customer data in a CRM is typically manually gathered, and more challenging to automate, though modern CRMs are beginning to use automated processes as well.




What Role Do CDPs and CRMs Play in CX?

Although CRMs are not typically thought of as being used for improving the customer experience, there are several ways that they can be used for that purpose.

First, they can be very effective tools for enhancing relationships between brands and customers.

  • Many CRMs include functionality that provides the ability to send automated emails to customers after a specified number of days past the customer’s last purchase.
  • This allows brands to stay in touch with customers through the use of personalized emails that deliver relevant content, offers, coupons, seasonal promotions, and incentives.

Second, CRMs provide customer service support staff with instant access to every interaction that the customer has had with a brand.

  • This includes chat history, purchase history, and customer service tickets, and access to this information enables customer service personnel to provide more informed, quick responses that leave customers feeling emotionally satisfied.

Third, many CRMs use AI and process automation to identify customer sentiment through analytics and facilitate faster responses to customer service inquiries and social media posts.

Finally, CRMs enable a finer degree of customer segmentation, which enables brands to understand how to approach each customer.

  • Similarly, a CDP enables the hyper-segmentation of customers. This allows a brand to target specific groups of customers or exclude specific groups of customers who are not likely to be interested in what the brand is delivering.


Both CDPs and CRMs are useful for enhancing and improving the customer experience.

  • For customer-facing roles, CRMs are difficult to beat, because they provide access to the historical data that enables sales and customer service professionals to interact with customers in a more personalized and effective way.
  • If the brand’s goals are to gain a better understanding of its customers and how they interact with the brand across all of its channels — in real-time — CDPs are invaluable tools in the customer experience toolbox.

4 CX Insights from Isobar

Snacks for the Road 🍿

  • 5 Ways to Treat Your Loyal Customers as VIPs [Link]
  • AI, Automation…You Know the Drill [Link]
  • Bed Bath & Profits Beyond? [Link]
  • Apple’s Leaked CX Patent [Link]

A Penny For Your Thoughts…

“Customers aren’t looking for reps to anticipate, or “discover,” needs they already know they have, but rather to teach them about opportunities to make or save money that they didn’t even know were possible.”

Matthew Dixon
The Effortless Experience (2013)

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