CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2013: Customer Experience
It's been an interesting year in the customer experience management (CXM) space, a broad category that encompasses external marketing, e-commerce and a host of related concepts. Building on Forrester's definition of customer experience — "how customers perceive their interactions with your company” — CMSWire offered readers plenty of insight about experiences that are useful, usable and enjoyable.

Take a look at our Top 10 stories of the year. We hope they help you deliver exceptional customer experiences — and, ultimately, acquire new customers, retain more customers and improve efficiency.

Leaders of the Pack

1) Anthony Myers (@xanthonysfx) caught the attention of many readers with an interest in content management systems (CMS) with a practical examination of 5 Alternatives to WordPress.

If there is such a thing as a mainstream Web CMS, WordPress may be it. If it's not already obvious, there are dozens of other choices available, but we won't go too deep on issues like open source versus proprietary, for example. Instead, we'll lay out the case for a few options that might also fit if you are considering a choice like WordPress."

2) Chris Knight (@ChrisKnightcms) captured the growing interest in mobile devices of all kinds — and the attention of readers who wanted a sneak peak at some new iPhone models — in As More iPhone 6 Photos Emerge Apple's Fall Line Up Comes into Focus Apple's Fall Line-up Comes Into Focus.

As Apple tries to keep its hardware efforts firmly under wraps, those pesky Chinese websites keep bombarding us with potential images of components, obscure plastic elements and other teases."

3) David Diamond (@DAMSurvival) capitalized on his experience in Digital Asset Management (DAM) software marketing to give readers 5 Good Reasons to Avoid DAM Software.

Virtually any organization could function without digital asset management software. For some it would be a lot more difficult than for others, but DAM software serves no function that couldn’t be duplicated, at least in part, through manual file management processes. In other words, DAM ain’t Photoshop."

4) Marianne Kay (@marianne_ua) satisfied the curiosity of readers interested in the details of a content management system with Web CMS Quick Take Review: Concrete5.

Concrete5 aspires to compete with enterprise level systems but its enterprise features require significant improvements before the system can be a good fit for large or highly regulated organizations."

5) Marisa Peacock (@marisacp51) piqued the interest of readers with a story on 5 Free Alternatives to Google Alerts.

At first, you might think that finding an alternative to Google Alerts will be easy. Surely there must be other free, easy to use tools? A quick search reveals that this was true — in 2008. Since then, many of the tools that ranked high on the 'must have social media monitoring tools' have shut down, been acquired or have transformed into something much different."

6) Barry Schaeffer (Content Life-cycle Consulting) gave readers more for their money in Thoughts on the New Cashless Society.

Learning Opportunities

While once based on lofty or pecuniary considerations, today’s interest in a cashless society appears to be largely driven by convenience. People, especially a younger generation weaned on 'anywhere-anytime' automation, like being able to do things instantaneously wherever they happen to be."

7) Katie Ingram (@katieyingram) discovered plenty of readers were interested in a report on User Demographics for Popular Social Media Sites Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Initially, social media may have been a way to connect with friends, colleagues and family, but now it has become much more than that. Over the past few years, these networks have redefined themselves and changed how people can interact, share and market in a digital atmosphere."

8) Tommy Landry (@tommy_landry) explored ways to optimize websites in a story on the Mobile Web: Responsive Design or Separate Mobile Site, App.

If you haven’t already figured out how to attack mobile with your own website, you simply cannot wait any longer to get serious about it. This goes beyond simply cobbling together a mobile app — it must affect the very architecture and approach of the website itself."

9) Barry Levine (@xBarryLevine) looked at a Forrester Report that explained Good Customer Experience Trumps Price for Loyalty — and a lot of readers looked, too.

Inherent in Forrester’s findings is that customer perception about a retailer or bank is central to customer experience, which is why meeting needs is included. Consciously or not, the customer is asking: is this company giving me what I need, on fair or great terms, and making the interaction easy and enjoyable?"

10) Erik Hartman (@erikmhartman) told us How to Design Your Content Strategy in 12 Steps, a topic that resonated with a lot of readers.

The ancient Greeks realized that the available resources are never optimal and circumstances are never ideal. Having a well defined strategy helps in gaining an advantage over the competition or to make the best use of circumstances. A strategy always considers an element of uncertainty in what the future will bring."

That's all folks … at least for our Top 10 list. But there are plenty of additional articles on CMSWire that will enlighten, inspire or inform you about the latest in customer experience management. Take a look — and if you have a story suggestion or idea of your own, share it in the comment section below.

Title image by Mile Atanasov (Shutterstock).