Supervisor: Professor Stan Maklan

Business Issues/Background

Customer Experience Management (CEM) has become a major organisational change initiative, mostly led from the marketing function.  Total Quality Management (TQM), so helpful in manufacturing, was repurposed to the service sectors as Service Quality as the service economy began to dominate western economies.  However services are not products and a TQM basis for service management, whilst necessary, is not sufficient.  Service delivery includes human factors, emotions and context.  It occurs over time, across many interactions with the provider and through numerous channels.  Predictable execution of a single service episode, in a specific channel is no doubt helpful, but does not define the service as experienced and assessed by customers.

Whilst realising the "gap" between traditional quality management practices and that which customers desire from their experiences, firms are challenged to define experience, make it operational and manage its implementation effectively.  There is considerable academic literature seeking to define customer experience, but little on its management.

With colleagues on the Continent, we are developing the first insights into CEM, the practice as well as the conceptual definitions.  This is an emergent field, organisations are actively developing their CEM programmes and we can anticipate academic publications will follow shortly.  We have a few active research projects in this area.

Possible Areas of Research

  1. There are descriptive theses that identify how organisations understand and implement customer experience.
  2. There are modelling bases theses to track CEM's impact upon firm performance.  There is literature on customer relationship management's (CRM) impact on performance as a guide for how these studies can be structured.
  3. There are normative contributions focusing on how organisations should implement CEM.  These are likely more managerial in focus than modelling based approaches.

Suggested Reading

An excellent conceptual review of customer experience is provided by Professor Peter Verhoef in:

  • Verhoef, P. et al., 2009.  Customer Experience Creation: Determinants, Dynamics and Management Strategies.  Journal of Retailing, 85(1), p.31-41.

Based on a Cranfield PhD, the following scale for experience quality is proposed:

  • Klaus, P. & Maklan, S., 2012.  EXQ: A Multi-Item Scale for Assessing Service Experience.  Journal of Service Management, 23(1), p.5-33.

There are numerous examples of modelling the effects of CRM upon performance that may provide an idea of the genre, and I select a few only:

  • Hendricks, K.B., Singhal, V.R. & Stratman, J.K., 2007.  The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Corporate Performance: A Study of ERP, SCM, and CRM System Implementations.  Journal of Operations Management, 25(1), p.65-82

  • Hillebrand, B., Nijholt, §j. & Nijssen, E., 2011. Exploring CRM Effectiveness: An Institutional Theory Perspective.  Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(4), p.592-608.

  • Krasnikov, A., Jayachandran, S. & Kumar, V., 2009.  The Impact of Customer Relationship Management Implementation on Cost and Profit Efficiencies: Evidence from the US Commercial Banking Industry.  Journal of Marketing, 73, p.61-76.

In terms of normative research, there are papers under development that I can share with interested prospective students.  However, here are two managerial articles on CRM that I co-authored.  One focuses on the business case, the other on overall programme governance.

  • Maklan, S., Knox, S. & Ryals, L., 2005.  Using Real Options to Help Build the Business Case for CRM Investment.  Long Range Planning, 38(4), p.393-410.
  • Maklan, S., Knox, S. & Peppard, J., 2011.  Why CRM Fails - and How to Fix it.  MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(4), p.77-85.


Professor Stan Maklan, Tel: +44 (0)1234 751122