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There is a lot of discussion around the role of the web content management system in customer experience management (CXM). Some say it’s the core, others say it’s an element, but not a driver. I say they are both right.

Let`s be very specific here, because it is important. If we were just talking purely about the online customer experience, then I would agree that the web content management system (WCM) is the core to designing and support CXM strategies. Pretty much every supporting CXM technology: marketing automation, social media monitoring, customer relationship management, analytics, personalization, social software, etc…needs to integrate with the WCM. Why? Because it stores all the content you need to manage the experience. We use to call this WebEngagement (orExperience) Management.

But customer experience management is about more than the online channels. And not all WCM platforms provide support to the offline experience. Support channels, print-based marketing, internal knowledge work activities — these things are typically done using other tools. And the content used to support these activities is, typically, stored in these other tools.

What I think brings both these views together is not the WCM itself, but the WCM repository. Or to be more generic, the content repository. I think to be successful managing the customer experience, you need to be able to quickly access and relate all elements of a customer interaction with all the internal knowledge your employees have about not only the customer, but the processes used to work with a customer. You can do that if you have a single content repository to work with.

Many content management systems today are designed to store content not as html pages, but as individual components of content that can be easily reused across different web pages, mobile sites and apps, social networks and more. Managing a single version of that content is important to ensure you are always saying the same thing to your customers. These repositories can also be leveraged by other systems to provide content as well. For example, this content repository could be used by your call center support team to help customers with issues.

Now it’s important to point out that I don’t believe you can only have one single content repository where all information needs to permanently live. I believe that content integration is the key to a well-managed content repository. So you can keep your content in the other systems you work with, but find a way to integrate your content repository with those others systems.

By doing that, you can have a single location to mine for information about your customer and their interactions with you, and to use to design and build new applications or online/offline experiences. A central content repository also allows you to develop support applications that have access to customer information easily, including any information from CRM systems, traffic information, etc…

Today’s content is not only the material you use to develop your CXM strategies, it’s also the interactions customers and prospective customers have with you. Having it all accessible in a centralized content repository will help you identify, design and refine your CXM strategies quickly. If you are required to move from system to system to gather all the intelligence and information you need, you are going to spend far more time hunting and gathering, than actually doing something.

Barb Mosher is a guest columnist for MindTouch and Managing Editor for CMSWire.com. You can follow Barb on Twitter @bmosherzinck

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Sugar CRM, the well known customer relationship management (CRM) platform which is “designed to help your business communicate with prospects, share sales information, close deals and keep customers happy” now uses MindTouch to power their comprehensive support center.

 

Sugar CRM brands itself as the “CRM Made Simple” and their new support site subscribes to this value.

Sugar has done an excellent job organizing support features into easy to navigate categories right on the home page.

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Customers looking for forums, how-to steps, embedded media tutorials or documentation can quickly and easily navigate to the correct page and find more specific information within Sugar’s effectively organized hierarchies.  Now that’s simple.

Check out Sugar CRM’s new support center for yourself at: http://support.sugarcrm.com/

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Providing top-notch customer service doesn’t have to involve lengthy back-and-forth calls with your users.  It can be much easier. In fact, bad product documentation could be hurting your customer retention. Indeed your help and product documentation is a valuable customer relationship management (CRM) tool that you might be overlooking.  Your documentation increases customer retention and turns your users into product experts whom would never dream of leaving your products. So, it’s more important than ever to seriously consider whether your product documentation is actually proving useful.
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Among the most critical concerns facing product and support leaders at subscriber based service providers—such as Email Service Providers (ESP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Marketing Automation companies—is the cost of churn. The subscriber based service market is competitive,  to say the least, and taking proactive steps to defend against subscriber churn is essential to your company’s growth, long-term stability, and competitiveness.

Here are 3 steps you can take now to combat subscriber churn:

1) Enable your users to succeed right away

User_DevelopmentThe fact is a large number of people unsubscribe from your service because no clear pathway has been established for their immediate success using  your application. You can create that pathway very easily by adding Contextual Help to your product. It allows your developers to easily add a fully integrated help system to your application. This modern F1-style help system creates a rich social help experience for your users by giving them contextually relevant help information right inside your product. Customers don’t have to exit the application to search for the answers they need because they are only one click away.
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Leading open source collaboration platform and leading commercial open source CRM provider combine to enable collaborative CRM for organizations of all sizes.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. APRIL 14, 2010 — MindTouch, the industry’s leading open source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, , today announced that it has integrated with SugarCRM, the world’s leading provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software. By bringing these two powerful software platforms together, organizations of all sizes can create dynamic and innovative collaborations across their businesses, specific to improved customer and service relationships. MindTouch made the announcement today at SugarCon, SugarCRM’s annual user and partner conference. MindTouch also announced its partnership with Levementum, the leading SugarCRM reseller.

“The power of MindTouch and SugarCRM increases in strength when the two are seamlessly working together through this new integration,” said Aaron Fulkerson, CEO, MindTouch. “Our work in forming a relationship with Levementum furthers our effectiveness in distributing this extremely powerful technology for collaborating around and building upon customer relationships.”

The MindTouch and SugarCRM joint solution enables sales teams to collaborate on the sales process by creating team sites for sales and/or services engagements. Given that the average five or six-figure sales transaction can encompass hundreds of emails, phone calls and notes, all with very specific information, the advantages of having an actionable base of interconnected information gives these teams more clout toward sealing the deal, identifying opportunities for upselling, and adding value in many additional ways. Services account teams, managing multiple revisions of service agreements and statements of work, are further assisted by this powerful integration as it helps them identify opportunities, track customer conversations and build upon account relationships to add additional streams of revenue.

“The combination of MindTouch and Sugar allows us to cater to the most demanding collaborative sales, marketing and support organizations,” said Clint Oram, co-founder and vice president of products at SugarCRM. “These two platforms enable organizations to quickly and easily share all the critical data, documents and internal expertise needed to operate at peak levels.”

Download your copy of MindTouch Enterprise today.

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About SugarCRM

SugarCRM is the world’s leading provider of open source customer relationship management (CRM) software. Over 6,000 customers and more than half a million users rely on SugarCRM to execute marketing programs, grow sales, retain customers and create custom business applications. Leading publications such as CRM Magazine, InfoWorld and eWeek praise SugarCRM for its ease-of-use, flexibility and open design. SugarCRM runs on the leading cloud computing platforms, including Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Sugar On-Demand and Private Clouds, offering customers unparalleled choice and control of their data and deployments.

For more information, call (408) 454-6900 or 1 87 SUGARCRM toll-free in the US, email [email protected], or visit http://www.sugarcrm.com.