Customer Experience Featured Article

Getting the Best in Customer Experience Requires Open Standards

February 11, 2015

Customer experiences come in all forms, from spectacular to terrible, and any business worth its salt wants to make sure the best ones are found at that business. There's an ever-increasing movement to improve the customer service, bringing out contextual, data-driven options that work across a variety of different platforms to make sure that customers know exactly what's going on in a particular area and how to take advantage of said opportunities. That level of customer experience takes a lot of firepower to put into play, and one of the best ways to get there is with an open-standard content management system (CMS).

So why is it so valuable to bring in an open-standard CMS to drive marketing, instead of sticking with one of the more standard marketing suites? Perhaps one of the biggest is flexibility; the best in marketing can actually react to conditions on the ground. Open-standard systems can adapt to changing circumstances, and can be scaled upward or downward as conditions require. Plus, as new facets of the best customer experience are found, an open-standard system can move to accommodate those changes more rapidly than a standard marketing suite can, if it even can at all.

Also important is the kind of seamless integration that an open-standard system can offer; while an open-standard system can work with customer relationship management (CRM) or automation tools as needed, a standard marketing suite can really only work with what was originally put in play. That means the best solution may not be available with a standard suite, and that can be a problem for organizations looking to get the best tools in play. This also allows companies to make better room for innovation; a system that can grow and change can take advantage of new tools as such are made available, while a more closed system cannot. One of the biggest such examples of advantage is the growing connection between marketing and information technology (IT). The growth of tools like big data mean big things for marketing, and bringing in an open-standard system allows these tools to be best put to use.

Finally, there is a more future-minded concept at stake for putting open-standard systems to work, and that is fostering growth in the future. Some refer to it as “standing on the shoulders of giants,” and essentially, allows a system to get better thanks to more people putting it to work. The so-called “wisdom of the crowd” comes into play, and as more users discover the benefits and disadvantages of a system, the system can be thus improved and made better. A more closed system, meanwhile, can't claim these benefits.

Marketing has a very difficult job to do these days. With customers expecting more and more as a matter of course, those who can't, or won't, provide the desired experience are more likely to lose business than to gain. Open-standard CMS mechanisms look to provide that kind of experience, offering the contextually-valuable, seamless, and ultra-relevant experience that customers so desire. It's safe to say that, when it comes to marketing tools, it's always better to take the tools that can be modified later than to take the one that's great out of the box today, if for no other reason than what's great today is unlikely to be great tomorrow. Marketing, and the customer experience, changes with sufficient rapidity that not being prepared to change is almost as bad as forbidding change. Having the mechanisms on hand to allow for change, and to make the best experiences happen, is what's likely to put a business ahead of its competitors. These days, that starts with an open-standard CMS.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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