Web Content Management: A New Pathway for 'Customer Experience Management'

By CIOReview | Thursday, July 28, 2016
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For businesses to flourish, they need to have a strong customer base and solutions to serve the end-user queries. And for this purpose, companies exploit various possible ways to attract customers using mediums such as advertising, media, door-to-door selling, and many others. Lately, the new era of IT has intruded in almost every aspect of human life and made people to be engaged in digital eon. Even the ‘Customer Experience Management (CEM)’ could not desist itself from being digitized with the evolvement of new technologies available for CEM. It has witnessed transformational where human interactions are replaced by websites, digital contents, and online applications.

Internet has made it easy to catch eyes of customers from all directions by providing info-graphic data using adequate contents. Surprisingly, the internet and contents together opened a new window for CEM called ‘Web Content Management (WCM)’. IT professionals have already predicted the importance of WCM and they have suggested organizations to reconsider their approach to retrieve customers and keep them engaged using WCM. For every forward-thinking organization, WCM and CEM go hand in hand, becoming an inevitable virtue than just customer-optimized websites. In addition, IT experts have realized that WCM can be a cornerstone for broader CEM initiatives in future.

CEM mainly deals with personalized customer experiences that tangentially buff up business of organizations. Whereas, WCM allows users to get a step further by including highly interactive and personalized experiences for the end-users. And the amalgamation of both solutions can increase the customer engagement to a whole new level for a longer time, according to IT experts. Consequently, the marriage of CEM and WCM becomes a natural match for every organization.

"The key to a well-planned Web content management deployment for a rich customer experience and engagement is to stop thinking of it as a standalone Web content management deployment. It requires an organizational shift and very few have accomplished the shift,” said, Tim Walters, Analyst, Digital Clarity Group, a Content Management Research and Consulting firm.

Rules To Follow For Successful CEM Using WCM

“Creating an ideal customer experience should be the goal of any WCM initiative. The ideal experience will vary from one organization to the next. For example, a banking customer has vastly different expectations than someone shopping for electronics,” said Scott Liewehr, Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group. He further furnishes that irrespective of industry of an organization, there are three rules to follow to initiate with WCM solution and they are,

• Systems used by organizations need to gather information about visitors which includes how they navigate through websites, capturing IP address, or comprehending their real-time searching actions on websites. After gathering information, it should be coupled with exact customer reports.
• WCM systems should be able to flag contents with tags to make it identifiable and store. Such practices can be put into reality by following nomenclature put forth by content managers for better content management.
• Systems should also cache and track visitors whenever they visit website and portray exact content automatically to what visitors want to view. This can be accomplished by combined efforts of content managers and marketing department together by using customized CEM tools and organization’s business rules.

Digital Clarity Group's Walters further adds his own piece of advice, “Launching and maintaining a CEM initiative can be an arduous and lengthy process. But trying to retrofit a CEM strategy to an existing website can be even more difficult.”

As a part of solution he further suggest that, “The best way to go about CEM is to first identify the specific kinds of customer experiences an organization wants to deliver in the short term as well as the new experiences the organization hopes to unveil in the future. That informs how you want to optimize and deploy your Web presence and not the other way around.”

How MLB.Com Benefited From WCM!

WCM has already paved the way for the New York based public-faced website ‘Major League Baseball’. MLB.com integrated WCM with its technology, which not only helped it to broaden and improve individual customer experience but business customers as well. MLB.com assists Women's NCAA softball, the Glenn Beck television program, the NCAA college basketball championships, and others requiring constant endowment of sport highlights. Organizations fetch news from MLB’s portal equipped with WCM system and air on their programs and websites.

The portal of MLB incorporates digital asset management system with cloud applications for seamless communication processing. “MLB.com now boasts the ability to deliver sports highlights just minutes after they occur to visitors to its 30 team sites. It's all part of a CEM initiative that aims to put sports fans at the center of the content universe, and the company is taking similar approach with business customers,” said Rob Boysko, Manager, Multimedia Publishing, MLB Advanced Media enthusiastically.

WCM: Then and Now

“Around 15 or so years ago, WCM was all about helping organizations create websites that could be updated with static content without having the webmaster to do everything. But now the key is to create a more dynamic website and try to understand who's on the website right now,” said Mark R. Gilbert, Analyst, Stamford, Conn., IT research group Gartner Inc.

WCM is very beneficial for retailers and service providers who use cookies to determine nature of visitor’s actions and habits. It ensures visitors buy products online before they log out. “But that type of ‘mass customization’ is not the same as the truly personalized experience that CEM tries to establish,” Gilbert added.

“You're talking about a WCM system, personalization engine, web analytics or some other type of customer engagement engine, so it gets expensive, but it is sort of the hot evolution of WCM,” Gilbert further advised. Organizations are even saving penny by saving from service calls and other phone calls, which they used to neglect while using CEM.

As a token of advice, Gilbert added that, “It's about creating a stickier more valuable user experience and then making that value obvious to the site visitor who is always on the lookout for fresh and relevant content.”

But it is also to be noted that CEM strategy not only benefits with mobility perspective but it also allows sharing contents on various devices. Mediums used to share contents can include social networks as well as call centers. For companies trailing behind the CEM adoption, Walter said, “As for organizations that haven't yet begun the work of real CEM, it's getting kind of late, so they better get moving. The WCM platform should serve not only a rich and optimized Web presence but also a broader customer engagement strategy."