Here’s an interesting Forbes article on customer experience (CX) by Shep Hyken (@Hyken): Moving from Omni-Channel to a Channel-less Experience. I really like this forward-looking vision of channel-less CX. Right now, companies are scrambling around trying to support and link together customer communications happening in multiple channels, and they typically react to emerging new channels slowly and awkwardly, if at all. This results in a chopped-up customer experience in which frustrated customers have to explain the reason they’re contacting the company over and over again.
Research shows that companies want customer communications management (CCM) to merge with their content management systems and the rest of their digital experience architectures. How that’s going to happen on a large scale is still a bit unclear, but analysts at Gartner, Forrester and other leading firms are beginning to reach a consensus that there definitely needs to be a free flow of content throughout the digital experience (DX) architecture. In this article, we look at how open standards like CMIS and JSON, microservices and RESTful APIs will be what facilitates that open movement of content.
In the last four to five years, we’ve seen a plethora of new tools emerge in the digital experience (DX) delivery space, particularly in martech. But customer communications management software (CCM) has largely been left out of the big DX platforms. Though CCM vendors haven’t been standing still and have been developing new iterations of their offerings or acquiring other companies’ solutions, dedicated CCM software has largely remained monolithic and siloed in nature. That has to change, because that's not what the market wants.
Topdown has been in the business of customer communications management (CCM) for over 36 years, so we’ve been here for every major development in CCM from the very beginning. You can believe us when we say that INTOUCH® is a real game-changer in this space. There’s nothing else like it in the world of CCM. Here’s why.
The level of quality, consistency, contextualization and personalization of your customer-facing communications can have a dramatic effect on customer experience – as evidenced by the brands that improved their Forrester Customer Experience Index scores the most.
Writing for The Huffington Post, Sarah Deane of EffectUX (@effectUX) gives us “8 Reasons Why the Gap Widened Between Customer Experience (CX) Leaders and Laggards in 2016.” Deane is writing in response to Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index report, which we’ve mentioned in the past as a great resource for anyone who wants to know what top CX scorers are doing right and what the laggards are getting wrong.
Forrester has established that “customer experience leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference, and can charge more for their products.” In the pursuit of understanding what differentiates CX leaders from laggards, Deane pulls out eight primary CX goals and contrasts how high and low scorers perform in each category. Go read the article for the details, but here’s a quick summary (along with links to related Topdown blog posts for those who’d like to explore further).
We recently mentioned that there are lessons other industries can learn from observing customer experience (CX) leaders in retail and hospitality. In that article, we were specifically talking about creating pleasant sensory experiences to drive sales. But there’s another big lesson every industry can take away from retail and hospitality: happy employees make happy customers.
Think about your own recent visits to stores, restaurants or hotels. Did you encounter any cranky, disengaged, poorly trained or insufficiently equipped employees? How did that impact your experience as a customer? How did it impact your impression of the brand? Contrast that with experiences you’ve had with satisfied, empowered employees who are clearly enjoying what they do and have what they need to do it well?
In a previous post, Security Overview: Cloud-Based Customer Communications Management, we gave you a quick summary of each of the security layers: physical, network, operating system (OS), database and application. Let’s take a closer look at cloud-based CCM security at the application level, which includes handling of customer data.
We’ve been delving into enterprise content management (ECM) technologies as prelude for discussing how we treat “content” in INTOUCH®, our new customer communications management (CCM) software. Software vendors and enterprise leaders need to understand that ECM is evolving rapidly (we’ve written several posts on this topic), and that technology choices made now will impact how smoothly organizations will be able to adapt their content management and digital experience delivery systems to the new way of doing things.
Writing for Forbes, customer experience expert Shep Hyken (@hyken) gives us Three Ways to Create an Engaging Customer Experience That Drives Sales. Hyken advises, “No matter what type of business you’re in, if you want to take your customer service and experience to another level, take a few lessons from retail and hospitality.” Specifically, he’s talking about how many successful retailers, restaurateurs and hoteliers increase their sales by creating an engaging customer experience through the customer’s senses. He makes some great points we thought were worthy of highlighting.