Research commissioned by e-Spirit emphasizes integration as the way to reach audiences consistently from channel to channel
Boston, Jan. 16, 2013 – Companies in every sector are starting to recognize that having an innovative, customized and consistent way to address target groups through a wide range of channels and contact points is an important factor in their success. A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of e-Spirit, details the issues companies need to consider in order to offer their users – customers, employees and partners – real added value via more and more channels including online, mobile, portals or smart TV.
The new study titled “Climbing The Digital Experience Maturity Ladder Through An Integrated Technology Approach,” is available now as a complimentary download at www.e-spirit.com/forresterwp. Based on original Forrester research and surveys, the study delves into the most important steps for implementing an integrated approach that addresses users across multiple channels.
Five tips for successful customer experience management
According to the study, the basis for an innovative customer or user experience requires creating an integrated interaction between three application areas: traditional WCM, e-Commerce and CRM systems; solutions for interaction and collaboration; and tools for measuring, analyzing and controlling success.
Companies are already using many of these systems, but in most cases they are content silos disconnected from one another. In light of the large volumes of content that companies need to manage, and the increasing diversification of the output channels, these silos create a large amount of manual work that is not economically justified in the long term. In addition, poor integration gets in the way of a consistent customer experience.
Only with the integrated use of these tools in the context of a best-of-breed strategy, Forrester reports, can companies enable their employees to easily and quickly handle increasingly complex tasks, from creating and publishing content to analyzing and optimizing it. In order to implement a platform that can efficiently combine all of the necessary tools for customer experience management (CXM), Forrester offers the following five tips:
1. Analyze the status quo. Before they dive in and choose a system, companies should first gain an overview of the available technologies and tools that employees are already using. Next, they should evaluate which of these systems is critical to the company”s digital success, and whether they fulfill the company”s current as well as future needs. This helps preserve existing investments and avoid unnecessary cash outlays.
2. Evaluate features based on their business benefits. Many features like contextualization, rich media and social computing sound impressive, however these features are often weighted more heavily because of their “wow factor” than business need. Therefore all of the functions should undergo a clear benefit analysis to determine which features offer immediate benefits and added value for daily processes. Experience shows that often features chosen to fulfill long-term business objectives are never implemented since the objectives change over time.
3. Rely on team players. Companies should especially focus on the integration potential of their Web content management (WCM) solution, and they should look for vendors who understand how to play well with other solutions. For instance, none of the content management systems on the market can offer ready-made modules for all of the possible complementary solutions from the CXM universe. Buyers should look for a central system with an open architecture, well-documented interfaces and strong technical support along with a portfolio of available connectors to popular enterprise portals and e-commerce platforms.
4. Use the experience of content managers. Often the best people to consult when choosing a content platform and implementing an online strategy are the employees responsible for creating, administering and updating the content. Content managers can be found in every position and specialized department – in the editorial office, sales, marketing, design, social media, human relations and corporate communications. As a rule, they are most familiar with how the system is used on a day-to-day basis, what challenges they face and which features and integrations offer them the greatest benefits, for instance by saving time during the daily editing process.
5. Define a clear customization strategy. Every company faces different challenges, so some customization of the CMS is inevitable. However, by planning strategically can keep development and maintenance costs low while keeping their option open. A good strategy considers the need for customization as the central content platform is being implemented. One approach could be to create certified standard modules and interfaces that contribute to the maintenance and availability of the central system.
Founded in 1999 in Dortmund, Germany, e-Spirit (www.e-spirit.com) has a growing presence across Europe and North America. The company”s FirstSpirit content management system gives international companies such as Speedo, Airbus, BASF, Nintendo and many others a way to integrate complex systems and portals and provide a more consistent user experience on the Web.
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