Customer Experience: Getting it Right the Open Source Way

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By Julius Pillai Jan 5, 2022

“Build great experiences and a throng of customers will come knocking on our door, buy more of our products and services, and share their experiences with friends or anyone who cares to listen. “ - Typical Marketing Mindset.

This is what most companies expect and strongly believe in. However, why do customers still feel let down by the brands they use? Even though organizations across the world have made huge investments in technologies and tools to gain a better view into the minds of their customers, they might be missing out on one essential factor: the ‘humaneness’ of it all. 

Technology accounts for a lot in a good customer experience - easy-to-use features, harmonious design, consistent user experience, and so on. But what is more important is how technology is used to make the ‘human’ connect with customers. Companies or brands that provide hassle-free, highly connective, and value-driven experiences can count on their customers to be obstinately loyal at all times. 

According to a Zendesk report, 75% of customers are ready to buy more products and services from companies that provide a good customer experience and 50% will shift allegiance to a competitor after just one bad experience.

Source: Zendesk

So, the objective for organizations should be to adopt technologies that promote the customer agenda, instead of being part of the large herd that adopts certain technologies, simply because they are cutting-edge.

The progression of CMS to WEP to DXP

On the surface, crafting and sustaining conversations between organizations and existing or new customers may seem to be like childsplay. However, the reality couldn't be farther from the truth. Content not only has to be delivered through multiple channels and devices, such as websites, email, mobile apps, customer portals, social media, IoT devices, AR devices, and so many more but must also have connective experiences on them.

According to a recent survey, the average U.S. household is connected to more than 10 devices. This statistic is indicative of the fact people use a myriad of devices to arrive at a purchase decision. Content cannot be merely delivered via each channel or device; it must be consolidated into a seamless, connected, and harmonious experience that nudges consumers to a crystal-clear outcome.

The first Content Management Systems took shape in the late 80s and early 90s. These systems served up manually-created, static web page content. However, by the late 90s, organizations began to deliver dynamic content, which in turn led to the emergence of the social web. As the social web grew bigger and stronger with content generated by users and the proliferation of mobile devices, the requirement for personalized consumer engagement and in-depth business integration paved the way for Web Experience Management (WEM) solutions. WEM empowered organizations to collect engagement data, create user personas, and subsequently enabled them to provide exceptionally personalized experiences.   

However, the key issue with WEM systems was that they were exclusively created for marketing. As a result, it was difficult for WEM systems to tether themselves to other technology systems; for example, CRM or ERP. Also, WEM systems failed to take into consideration the additional generation of various customer touchpoints.  

As digital experiences became more and more crucial for organizations and the technology stack centered around such experiences mushroomed, the need for higher levels of integration also grew. This led to the advent and adoption of headless, microservices architecture.

This architectural ingenuity enabled integrations with different systems, as well as enabled developers to run R&D with new touchpoints. Together, these capabilities set the scene for Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) to provide a holistically integrated customer experience that flows effortlessly across different channels and devices during the complete journey.

DXP: Enterprise Prayers Answered

According to Gartner, “A digital experience platform (DXP) is an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.”

The primary objective of a DXP is to integrate a wide gamut of information and applications across the customer lifecycle. DXPs equip organizations and brands to provide the personalized and relevant digital experiences that today’s consumers demand. As per a Salesforce report, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations and 52% expect offers to always be personalized. 

Organizations have to be able to deliver the right content, at the right time, irrespective of the device or purpose of engagement. DXPs enable teams to coordinate/collaborate, modernize processes, connect disparate systems, and reshape workflows to provide the exceptional experiences demanded by their customers. 

You can either choose between proprietary DXPs or open-source DXPs. Proprietary DXP solutions can address a wide range of enterprise needs, but end-users frequently find themselves performing auxiliary tasks, such as customizations, add-ons, or complex upgrades to attain the paramount goal of comprehensive business integration. 

With proprietary DXPs, enterprises often face challenges like vendor lock-ins, exorbitant costs, sluggish development cycles, and closed codebases that make it hard to integrate with existing systems. This places the organizations in an unenviable dilemma; either grit their teeth and bear the perpetually surging integration costs or transition to a new platform.

Open Vs. Closed: The DXP Dilemma

Digital is a constantly evolving and continuously in motion behemoth of our times. As mentioned earlier, what started as CMS, moved on to be defined as WEM, and is now DXP. All these changes have been brought about by the growing demands and expectations of customers. 

Today, the predicament for organizations is not whether or not to take the DXP route, but whether to choose an open DXP or closed DXP. Let’s make a closer comparison between both:

    • Open DXP: As a platform, open DXPs enjoy the flexibility of being able to mobilize ‘best-of-breed’ products from various vendors. They are typically open-source and provide open APIs for other systems to easily integrate and work with them.   
    • Closed DXP: Closed DXPs offer tightly integrated components through a single platform. It strives to provide an end-to-end experience within itself, leaving little or no room for integration with external systems.

In comparison with closed DXPs or other long-established digital technologies, open DXPs offer a highly-inclusive technology ecosystem that provides several tech capabilities, straight out of the box. They also offer much leaner architecture, modular services, and highly consolidated information. 

With open DXPs, it's a win-win situation for both customers and businesses.

Customers enjoy the benefit of flawless digital experiences with all of their interactions. Businesses can deliver highly personalized, contextually driven experiences based on the location, purchase pattern, preferences, interaction history, and so on, of their customers. 

The very premise of an open DXP is that it should be able to meet the needs of your business and customers. You should never find yourself in the compromising situation of realigning your business goals and customer needs to fit an ironclad platform.

Open Source DXP: The New Age Juggernaut 

The open nature of such DXPs offers flexibility in terms of integration and customization. They provide modern enterprises with much-needed nimbleness to react to dynamically changing customer expectations and new technologies.

The benefits of an open-source DXP are:

    • Conducive to innovation: An open-source DXP provides you with the elbow room to amalgamate and customize different technology components from the cream of the crop vendors. These components are easily interchangeable and enable you to customize the platform according to the needs of your business.
    • Enhanced personalization: Open source DXPs provide extensive integrations with external systems and channels, such as CRMs, social media platforms, and other customer service platforms. This kind of capability allows you to have a granular and comprehensive view of each customer through intuitive dashboards and AI-powered analytics.
    • Content fluidity: Open source DXPs leverage headless CMS and microservices architecture to ensure that the same content is delivered across multiple channels. This kind of flexibility allows organizations to develop content that can drive enhanced customer experiences.
    • Future-ready ambidexterity: Open source DXPs can easily integrate new technologies, adapt to new digital trends, and enable you to instantly connect with audiences. As a result, you can ‘go to market’ with new customer experiences, without breaking a sweat or the bank.

To Be Open Source is to be Free

You are putting all your eggs in one basket if you decide to take or have taken the proprietary DXP route. You could face a long-term lock-in period, unqualified hidden costs, poor agility, and so much more. As customers continue to demand faster, highly engaging, and personalized digitally-driven experiences, it is only prudent to leverage the freedom of choice that open source technologies offer.

As a DXP service provider, we can help you correctly chart out the apt DXP requirements that are in sync with your business needs, and then build the right open source DXP platform for your organization. 

Find out what it's like to be unshackled by technology. Get in touch with us right away.

 

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