Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 | 6 min read
Several years ago, Altimeter forecasted the rise of Social Media Management Systems (SMMS), saying that customers need a single software solution to manage the many customer touchpoints in social. Now, the acclaimed analyst firm says that the next evolution in marketing software centers on moving away from siloed, single-point solutions and toward an integrated customer experience cloud that gives all customer-facing departments a stake in experience management.
Altimeter says it best: “Today’s customers demand to be recognized as the same unique individual across every channel, whether online or offline.” They don’t care which department they’re interacting with; to them, there’s only one brand, and they expect that brand to serve them on their terms.
Yet companies continue to give customers a disconnected experience, with sales, service, and marketing engaging—in isolation—with overlapping audiences. Too often, this causes customers to feel frustrated and disengaged, and the problem is exacerbated by the use of disparate marketing clouds to manage customer touchpoints.
In their latest report, Altimeter provides a roadmap for organizations who aim to implement a customer experience cloud, including how to pick the right technology, and how to reimagine their company’s approach to managing customer-facing departments.
Here are three key insights from the report that brands should bear in mind.
Marketers have made big improvements in enhancing the customer experience, largely thanks to more sophisticated marketing technology. They’re better than ever at creating personalized, real-time content; providing social customer care; and sending targeted emails.
But these improvements all fit within the category of “marketing” experiences. Altimeter says the next big opportunity is to extend these advances beyond marketing, throughout the rest of the organization. This way, each department will participate in designing the optimal customer experience through a single, integrated technology stack.
What will the customer experience cloud look like? Altimeter’s report outlines four essential components:
Implementing a customer experience cloud is a major effort that requires reorganizing teams, establishing new governance guidelines, buying new technology, and reinventing longstanding processes. As Altimeter points out, “It is nothing short of a comprehensive digital transformation.” But the payoff is well worth it: the end goal is a seamless synchronization of sales, service, and marketing.
Each customer-facing department may be tempted to purchase (or build) a series of point solutions set up to interact with the customer independent of one another. Altimeter recommends against this, as it perpetuates the problems that come from having data from each channel sit in separate departments or tools: a lack of meaningful insights, siloed teams, and disjointed customer experience strategies.
The report lists a series of industry-leading vendors who offer a range of approaches to managing multi-channel customer experiences, including Sprinklr.
The traditional paradigm of “marketing clouds”—a tool for email marketing, one for social media management, one for customer relationship management, and yet another for content marketing—only serves to reinforce internal silos that create disjointed, potentially frustrating brand experiences for the customer. Altimeter’s report confirms that the future of business success centers on implementing a cohesive customer experience cloud that makes sales, service teams, and marketing equal stakeholders in delivering a seamless experience across all touchpoints.
Click below to download the full report.
About the Author: Chloe Mason Gray is the Blog Content Manager at Sprinklr. Her writing on marketing, travel, and career development has been published by Mashable, Forbes, KISSmetrics, Entrepreneur, The Daily Muse, the Human Parts Medium collection, and other sites across the web.