Customer-centric content: Your gateway to engaging customer experiences

The battle for digital customers is becoming increasingly fierce; creating and sustaining an excellent customer experience is key to winning this battle.

The creation and optimization of customer centric content on the right device, at the right time is more important than ever. It’s surprising, but most companies today still struggle with achieving this.

Many blame it on lack of resources, corporate culture or company political divisions. But there are some simple steps that can start your company on the road to more engaging and powerful customer experiences.

The shift from product-centric content to customer-centricity initially occurred during the global economic downturn, and is now fuelled by the pre-eminence of social media. Connected customers facilitated the sharing of positive and negative experiences, ensuring a perceived sense of the quality of the touchpoints they may have with a company. These factors and higher customers’ expectations result in the need for more relevant and dynamic content.

If your organization finds it challenging to deliver relevant content, is often because of silos. Organizations are usually structured around the products or services they create and supply, rather than the customer. In these companies, the creation of digital content begins in these product divisions, which usually moves through a series of assessments such as capacity planning and legal, before moving to the creative and technical teams. It is typically only late in the content creation lifecycle that a customer view is applied and the content is sliced and diced to target the audiences.

“Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do” is a popular claim from companies. One factor in Apple’s success was revealed back in 1995 when Steve Jobs, on a televised Q&A, said that you should start with the customer and work backwards to the technology. So, if you could redesign how you communicate with your customers, what would the content lifecycle look like?

A new content management system, new governance models and a new target-operating model are often triggers for companies to assess how they use digital channels to engage customers, but all too often, focus on the technology and do not address the fundamental changes needed to excel at customer engagement.

Start the content creation process with the audience segments and then layer in subject matter expertise from the channels, design, authors, social marketing, delivery and technology. Create multi-functional teams from these SME’s to shape the sales offerings to be more than just a list of products and instead be a rounded experience.

This change in the way a company thinks about its purpose i.e. do I make boxes or do I sell storage solutions, will be reflected throughout the customer journey, not just sales and marketing. Customer support is a key area where customer experience is often lacking and the same focus on the content will reap dividends. Instead of support problems with products, you will be supporting customers; and the marketing content, whether created for the digital channels or garnered from the social community will form the backbone of that support.

Simon Fry

Senior Manager, Customer Experience, Virtusa.. Simon has over 20 years of experience as a trusted advisor to clients at the most senior level for digital strategy, content strategy, CLM, social business and enterprise collaboration. Ensuring the client’s business vision drives technical solutions, he has worked for blue chip companies, throughout the world and across numerous sectors.

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