Customer Experience Management is a continually trending term in all business-centric social media sites. We want to break down a complex topic in a way that is easy to understand and digest, so that you can move from concept to implementation as successfully as possible.
Traditional CMS (Content Management System) was the predecessor to CMX (Content Experience Management) and was once considered to be the entire set of tools for website management; now it’s only a piece of it, though still an integral part. Old-school “brochureware” - static sites with flat content – were not aware of the visitor or where or why the visitor was on the site and there weren’t many concrete ways to measure results. Today, Customer Experience Management (CXM) means managing your customers’ experience through content targeting and personalization; taking them from anonymous visitor to known visitor to customer. And it lends itself to objective/quantifiable metrics. CXM is based on an on-going dialogue with the customer and creating active rather than passive content specific to their context – this effort results in customers moving from passive to active as well and fosters new ways of engagement.
Customer experience management is made up everything you get with web content management and then some. Here are 7 key components CXM should include:
- Identify who your customers are, including the different customer segments. Establish their personas/profiles, and understand the drivers: why are they coming to the site and from where?
- Employ a template-based, marketing-enabled WCM (Web Content Management) platform.
Multi-channel, multi-device support
- Your visitors are accessing your site from a bevy of different devices, at different times, and for different purposes. Support of web, tablet, phone, kiosk, email, etc. is a requirement.
Content Targeting vs. Personalization
- Implicit Personalization – Content targeting based on visitors’ activities or other data you can gleen from their experience, so you can infer their position and associate them with a persona in order to drive relevant content to them.
- Explicit Personalization – One to one personalization, which is content-driven based on customer IP, email address or cookies. You may even address them by name at this level.
- Take your users down a path through your site that has a clear (measureable) success target. Know who a visitor is based on implicit/general information so you can infer what they’re on your site for and what success looks like. Based on the persona, you want to help with your customer’s experience and establish a click path that leads to success. Path + desired destination = conversions = success.
Marketing automation, lead nurturing
– This component of CXM builds on the concept of the user journey, but extends beyond the web to touch points like emails and newsletters. It also includes time and task functions. Think of it as a workflow targeted to the web visitor. If we want the visitor accomplish something specific, how can we help get them there? For example, a visitor may come to the site through Google Adwords under the term “Commerce,” which directs them to the Commerce landing page where they are encouraged to take a poll. After submitting the poll, marketing copy about Commerce as well as Commerce-related blog posts will show up on the page, as well as a newsletter signup so they can keep receiving information about Commerce and related topics. With the ability and tools that let you understand where visitors are, and where the collective are (a group of visitors), you can put them into different categories - segments/persona/device and nurture their experience, guide them on their path to relevant information and successful outcomes.
- Use an analytics package weekly, if not daily to get data that supports your decisions. Especially when you start working with personas, as this adds another dimension of reporting that you need pay attention to. By building out customer segments that represent visitor type, you can track overall page performance and also drill down to individual personas. Ideally, you want to be able to run a goal flow or reverse goal path report on an individual persona in order to optimize the content that supports that success event.
This might all seem overwhelming, after all it takes time for a concept to turn into a reality, which is why we think approaching CXM in baby steps leads to more realistic and sustainable outcomes. You may already have many of the things needed to create a viable CXM, so we recommend leveraging what you already have as well as testing with what you have, then augmenting and building out as you go. Here some of the pertinent steps:
Have a go-to market strategy
- Have an awareness of your place in the market, where you live in the industry relative your peers, the types of people you’re talking to and the products and services you offer. It sounds like a no-brainer, but a lot of businesses don’t have this.
Have a modern Web Content Management (WCM) system
- One that will enable you to manage the different aspects of your website.
Create personas or user profiles
- Baby step into this exercise by establishing one or two personas/profiles; who are they, what are they looking for, what does success look like? Build out content and success criteria and create the user path from there.
Have a repository/container or database
- You need a reliable place for the information/data you are collecting from your web. These could be:
- CRM solution (like Salesforce or Dynamics CRM). This allows you to collect contact/company information at a granular level.
- Digital marketing automation system service (like Marketo or Hubspot).
- Capture the information inside of the WCM (Kentico and Sitecore both have digital marketing systems built into their WCM).
- Use an analytics package that has the ability to track activity down to the persona level and measure the results against a base line, and then adjust or build, or both.
By putting this all together we can have a much more relevant online conversation with our site visitors, improve user experience, and ultimately increase our conversions. From there, we can subsequently gain more insight into our customers and their changing needs, find better ways to serve them and build exponentially from there.