Anyone who has signed up for cell phone service, attempted to claim a rebate, or navigated a call center has probably suffered from a company's apparent indifference to what should be its first concern: the customer experiences that culminate in either satisfaction or disappointment and defection. Customer experience is the subjective response customers have to direct or indirect contact with a company. It encompasses every aspect of an offering: customer care, advertising, packaging, features, ease of use, reliability. Customer experience is shaped by customers' expectations, which largely reflect previous experiences. Few CEOs would argue against the significance of customer experience or against measuring and analyzing it. But many don't appreciate how those activities differ from CRM or just how illuminating the data can be. For instance, the majority of the companies in a recent survey believed they have been providing "superior" experiences to customers, but most customers disagreed. The authors describe a customer experience management (CEM) process that involves three kinds of monitoring: past patterns (evaluating completed transactions), present patterns (tracking current relationships), and potential patterns (conducting inquiries in the hope of unveiling future opportunities). Data are collected at or about touch points through such methods as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and online forums. Companies need to involve every function in the effort, not just a single customer-facing group. The authors go on to illustrate how a cross-functional CEM system is created. With such a system, companies can discover which customers are prospects for growth and which require immediate intervention.