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PHOTO: Seth Capitulo

It’s not business as usual anymore, and IT teams in particular are feeling it.

As budgets shrink and customer journeys grow in complexity, IT teams face tremendous pressure to find technology that is cost-effective for the business while still being valuable for customers.

So IT teams must be intentional and strategic about the customer experience (CX) technologies they invest in. This explains why the planning and writing of the RFP alone can take upwards of three months. While the careful examination and assessment of individual features is necessary, IT teams can often get lost in these specifics and forget the purpose of the evaluation.

In order to adopt technologies that will be most beneficial to the organization as a whole, IT teams must zoom out to understand the big picture behind any CX technology: customer engagement, adoption and retention.

We should ask ourselves every time we invest either time or money into a project: does it advance my customer engagement, adoption and retention?

A CX Investment That Pays

Instead of homing in on a specific pain point and searching for an immediate solution, take a step back to evaluate if the tool is able to serve the greater customer journey.

While IT teams will still need to assess the technical functionalities of their CX tools, remember to first consider if the tool will:

  • Grow engagement: Does the technology make the user’s experience easier and more streamlined?
  • Increase adoption: Will users continue to actively use, or “stick” to your tool?
  • Improve retention: How does the tool nurture customer loyalty and encourage growth?

It’s not worth your time, resources and investment if the technology is only able to address a single issue or stage of the customer journey. Make your technology investments worth it, not only for your business’s bottom line but also for your customers.

This not only applies to external customers, but also for internal customers such as your employees, partners and dealers. IT must also look for technologies that can engage and satisfy these users throughout their entire journey, lest they face consequences such as high rates of employee turnover and low partner satisfaction.

Related Article: Why We Need a Grand New Compromise in Content Management Systems

The Evolution of CX Tools: From CMS to DXP

Myriad technologies have tried to tackle the customer journey but fallen short. For example, CMSs were effective for attracting prospects with engaging websites but could not sustain customer relationships after purchase. On the other hand, portals could help nurture long-term customer relationships but lacked the capabilities needed to attract anonymous users. No technology was designed to serve customers across their entire journey, until digital experience platforms (DXPs) entered the scene.

cm portals dxp

Related Article: DXP? Web CMS? Content Services Platform? Navigating the Chaos of Vendor Categories

What Makes a DXP Different?

A DXP, according to Gartner, is an “integrated and cohesive piece of technology designed to enable the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences across multi-experience customer journeys.”

A DXP is not just a hodgepodge of different technologies slapped together. A true DXP has been designed from the start to be a centerpiece in tech stacks that brings together content, data, experiences and applications into a single layer from which to build solutions that address the entire customer journey. The bigger picture, delivering “contextualized digital experience across multi-experience customer journeys” is made possible by the first part of the definition, “integrated and cohesive piece of technology.”

DXPs are able to deliver the right content at the right time and nurture a long-term relationship after purchase. But a DXP is more than just a hodgepodge of different technologies. While it does unite both CMS and portal functionality to meet changing customer expectations, a DXP also serves as an integration hub that connects individual technologies and systems to further enhance the customer experience.

Related Article: Curiouser and Curiouser – Drawing the Line Between DXP and CDP

Why Should IT Care About CX?

Improving CX is not just a challenge for the customer success or sales team. CX encompasses the entirety of a customer’s interaction with your business: from first-touch, to purchase and beyond. Serving the entire customer journey needs to be a priority for IT teams as well.

The goal of a successful IT team is to make technological investments that will improve the business’s bottom line, and this does not need to be mutually exclusive from customer success’s goal of enhancing the entire customer journey.

IT teams have grown accustomed to solving individual challenges, rather than addressing an entire customer journey. So they tend to be hyper-focused on solving specific issues with isolated technologies and capabilities, spending more time searching for different vendors (which means even more RFPs to write). This ultimately will lead to a tangled and messy tech stack that will require more effort and resources to manage.

However, when IT and Customer Success are aligned on using technology to increase customer engagement, adoption and retention, they can experience:

  • 18 times faster average sales cycles.
  • 10 times improvement in customer service costs.
  • 56% more cross-sell and up-sell revenue.
  • 54% greater return on marketing investment.

Better CX Enabled by IT

Good CX is not just providing customers with the newest technologies, rather it is expertly leveraging these tools to meet customer needs.

So no matter what CX technology you are evaluating, move away from focusing solely on the immediate features. Instead, consider how the technology will advance customer engagement, adoption and retention to help you serve the entire customer journey.