I just wanted let our readers' know that I recently wrote an article for CMSWiRE on Apache Unomi, the open source customer data platform (CDP). If you've read any of my posts on the digital experience (DX) stack, then this article should be of interest to you.
The pace of adopting digital communications continues to quicken at an astonishing rate. A recent study by Pew Research notes that, while a staggering 92% of millennials in the U.S. own a smartphone, other segments are catching up. Baby Boomers born between 1946-64 are the fastest growing tech adopters, with over 50% using social media on their smartphones, tablets and computers. In addition, MarketingProfs (registration required, summary of Northridge Group research) found that while customer support communication channel preferences vary from generation to generation, they observed a marked shift in preferences toward digital channels.
Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms [paywall] (Gartner, Inc., February 11, 2019) predicts that through 2021, 85% of the effort and cost in a digital experience platform (DXP) program will be spent on integration. That’s partly because Gartner has refined its definition of a DXP, i.e., it is not a monolithic product from a single vendor anymore. Now it is an anchoring tenet in an ecosystem of best-of-breed composition, management, delivery and optimization capabilities that support contextualized digital experiences. It’s also because a DXP is but one piece in the larger mosaic of what Gartner has called the customer engagement hub and others refer to as the digital experience (DX) stack, i.e., the software that powers customer journeys.
Customer communications management (CCM) consists of a set of technologies for managing multiple moving parts to present a cohesive, consistent image for communicating with customers. There is a reason the focus is on customers rather than on company or product or service. Imagine a sports team. Although the main goal is for the players to perform well during games, a lot of behind-the-scenes effort goes into keeping them part of the team. Player interactions with coaches, trainers, staff psychologists, HR, fans, and teammates all affect how a player feels about the team. Every touchpoint pushes the player closer to (loyalty) or further from (indifference) the team. Indifference is dangerous because, given the right opportunity, a player will switch teams. Teams spend quite a bit of money on valuable players ensuring their loyalty. Team owners know that the return on this investment (ROI) is worth it. The same holds true for CCM. Given the right CCM software, you can keep customers happy and engaged. Here’s a look at the five key pieces of CCM that help keep all of your customer communications in sync. Like cogs in a system, the various parts of good CCM software work together as one.
Correspondence management is all about efficiency on the part of the business, especially for today’s digital customers who demand responsive interactions that keep up with the pace of their daily lives. For the everyday incoming and outgoing customer communications, centralization helps carry out those exchanges in an optimal timeframe. To facilitate such, customer communications management (CCM) platforms provide a solution to calm the chaos; but when it comes to correspondence management don’t forget to watch the horizon.
Gartner’s research note, Adapt Customer Communications to the Demands of the Digital Customer Experience (November 7, 2018, Gartner, Inc.), describes the customer communications management (CCM) market as evolving from print-oriented document generation towards content-oriented, service-driven conversations. We’ve heard similar thoughts from Forrester. These research analyst firms are recommending that you assess CCM vendors’ plans for fitting into the broader API-driven digital experience (DX) software architecture. Here's why.