A man and a smiley face indicating a positive customer experience
A man and a smiley face indicating a positive customer experience PHOTO: Shutterstock

Providing a seamless, personalized and omnichannel customer experience is every brand’s dream. But throughout 2017, we’ve seen exactly why that dream is such an elusive one. With new devices taking the consumer market by storm, huge brands falling victim to security breaches and the panicked rush to prepare for GDPR, the delicate process of customer experience optimization has been further complicated. But still, we move forward and dream on.

As we edge nearer to the end of 2017, let’s take a look back at the most popular customer experience articles published on CMSWire — as they may just contain the gems you need to take your customer experience to the next level in 2018 and beyond.

10. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Customer Success Teams

At number 10 we have Aaron Aycock, Chief Product Officer of UserIQ, talking us through the habits of highly effective customer success teams. “Customer success is a relatively new focus for companies, especially for B2B organizations."

"There’s been a gradual shift in the way we think about customers, how they engage and what level of commitment represents true success.”

9. Time to Burn the Customer Journey Map: Channels Don’t Matter Anymore

Jeff Hassemer, Chief Strategy Officer for Alterian, explains why customer journey maps may not be as relevant as they once were. “A decade ago, I was privileged to be on the team that launched the first real customer journey builder user interface. It was one hell of a project and we realized we were introducing a new way to define a trigger-based campaign .…”

8. SAP Hybris President Carsten Thoma Says Auf Wiedersehen

The departure of SAP Hybris President Carsten Thoma came in at number eight, with exclusive quotes coming via CMSWire staff reporter Virginia Backaitis. “What would SAP Hybris be like without Carsten Thoma, the executive who has led the customer engagement and commerce (CEC) platform maker for the last 20 years?

It's not a hypothetical question. Thoma, who co-founded the company with some of his college buddies when he was in his early 20s, told CMSWire he will be leaving by the end of the year.”

7. Amazon Business Is Coming For You

Scared of Amazon? You should be. Contributing author Bill Davis explains why Amazon is every retailer’s nightmare — but urges them to fight on anyway.

“When Amazon debuted AmazonSupply in 2012, it was clear the company was looking to use B2B sales as a growth lever in its quest to dominate ecommerce. So it didn't come as much of a surprise when the company was selling over 2 million stock keeping units (SKU) by 2014.”

6. Sitecore and Adobe Share the Crown in Gartner's WCM Magic Quadrant

Staff reporter Dom Nicastro summarized the Gartner WCM Magic Quadrant 2017, which brought headless content management systems into the fray.

“Anyone looking for a major shakeup in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) like last year will just have to wait. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner published its yearly report on WCM vendors today. And while it made a few changes — none were as big as last year when it trimmed OpenText, SDL and HP from the leader's quadrant.”

5. How They Hack Your Website: The Ultimate, Updated Overview of Common Techniques

At number five, freelance reporter Kaya Ismail dived deep into the techniques used by modern day hackers to bring down websites and servers. “Website hacking is nothing new, but the techniques of a hacker are in constant flux.

In an attempt to keep up with this ever-evolving digital dark art, the US government alone spent a whopping $14 billion on cybersecurity in 2016 — a year that will go down in hacking history.

4. 4 Keys to a Successful Customer Experience Operating Model

Coming in at number four, CMSWire founder Brice Dunwoodie relayed the presentation of Jane-Anne Mennella from the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference. She outlined the four keys to a successful customer experience operating model.

“Gartner research director Jane-Anne Mennella took the stage here at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference to spell out her formula for customer experience program success.

Marketers are struggling, Mennella said. She hears phrases like "I'm drinking from the firehose,” "I’m lost in space" and "It's a brave new world out there" when speaking with seasoned practitioners.”

3. Goodbye Digital Transformation, Hello Cathedral Thinking

Anita Brearton, founder, CEO and Co-CMO of CabinetM, dove deep into the realm of marketing jargon in this popular piece about digital transformation.

“We marketers just love jargon, we can’t help ourselves. Why write simply when it’s so easy to pump up our statements until they are virtually unintelligible? “Best of breed solutions to maximize human capital and innovation,” is a recent favorite example. Do you understand what this company does?”

2. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and the Future of Digital Marketing

Coming in at number two, Amanda Roberts — a member of Egon Zehnder’s Consumer Practice Group — presented the ways in which we can expect AI and VR to impact digital marketing.

“Digital marketing has reached the point in its evolution where we know what the best practices are: A seamless omnichannel strategy, an emphasis on customer experience and the use of social media to co-create the brand with the customer, to name a few.”

1. 7 Top CRM Trends for 2017: A Look Ahead

CMSWire’s most popular customer experience article came via the Founder and CEO of Optimove, Pini Yakuel, who listed seven CRM trends to keep tabs on.

“The cost of acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive that retaining an existing one. That's why in today’s competitive digital marketing landscape, smart businesses do everything they can to show their appreciation for existing customers.”

Get Comfortable

You’ll want a hot drink, a pen and a notepad for this long list of customer experience hits. Which customer experience article resonated with you the most?