Good morning, and are there limits to the customer experience?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the last two or three years, along with the related question: “Who owns the customer experience?” I posed that question to a senior marketer I met at a conference, and the response was, “Marketing, of course. What do you think, Sales?” as she burst into laughter.

With apologies to any readers in a sales role, I should explain that, whether marketing owns CX or not, I personally don’t think it stops at marketing. Nor do I think it stops at marketing, sales, and customer success—although I’ve seen countless keynote speakers at big CX conferences put up slides which imply just that.

CX, I’d say, doesn’t kick in at the top of the funnel—or at least it shouldn’t, from a brand’s perspective. Good CX depends first of all on product (or service), and its delivery (the supply chain). Joining the dots between those essentially back-office functions and the front-office is a challenge brands need to meet.

The other element so often overlooked is communications. All the marketing in the world can go to waste if a brand’s values are not clearly communicated to customers.

Kim Davis
Editorial Director, MarTech Today

 
 
 
CX
 

Zendesk responds to global CX pressures

Customer experience encompasses marketing, sales, and what is variously called customer support, service or success. The latter category is Zendesk’s sweet spot, as it launched in 2007 as a customer support software vendor. It has since extended itself further into the CX space, with its Sales Suite, Sunshine CRM, and omnichannel messaging.

It’s in a good position to observe the effects of the pandemic on CX by surveying its global customer base. What it’s seeing is a surge in activity for customer support teams as audiences flock online and try to understand how to use digital products and services which are new to them. Online groceries saw an astonishing 176% increase in tickets back in April, as new customers arrived, dropping to a current 70% increase. Across the board, the ticket spike averaged 16%; it has plateaued but not dropped.

It’s likely that COVID simply accelerated the trend to digital engagement with brands, a trend unlikely to fade as remote working persists. Customers are in front of screens all day, and their expectations are sky high. Bad service means bad CX.

Zendesk already had enhancements in its roadmap to improve visibility into service activity and agent efficiency, but they have special relevance in a time when support teams are themselves remote, and trying to cope with a soaring workload.

Read about Live Team Dashboards and Advanced Sharing here. »

 

Three benefits to simplifying your tech stack

With over 8,000 marketing technology tools on the market, it’s no surprise that digital teams are dealing with tool fatigue. Tools are often under-utilized, teams aren’t properly trained, and work quickly becomes unmanageable. In this white paper from Siteimprove, you’ll learn how consolidating your tools can reduce operational silos, enable better end-to-end visibility, decrease the time it takes to solve issues, and reduce costs.

Read more »

 
The Stack
 

Martech stack documentation is vital, here are some tips to do it right

What’s in your tech stack? Without conducting an audit, how many companies really know? When it comes to planning around martech, choosing new solutions and retiring old ones, nobody wants to be fumbling in the dark. The solution: document everything.

Spreadsheets might once have been the way to go, but there are now online repositories that will store your stack information, as well as placing your choices in the context of other solutions available in the market. CabinetM, Airstack, and Martechbase are among the providers to check out.

Documentation should include not only what’s there, but what its purpose is, and who uses it. Ideally, business objectives and workflows should be set first, with the enabling martech being put in place second. But other than brand new start-ups, few companies are in a green field situation. There are legacy solutions already in place, including disused solutions, and even solutions no-one knows how to code for any more.

Steve Petersen, marketing technology manager at Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, guides you through documentation best practices here.

 
Influencers
 

Impact acquires influencer marketing platform

As a partnership automation platform, Impact seeks to combine resources to add value for clients. Yesterday, they announced the acquisition of Activate, an influencer marketing platform with an opt-in network of over 150,000-verified influencers that is designed for cross-platform collaborations. 

The acquisition seems a natural fit for Impact, which automates the complete partnership lifecycle from discovery to engagement to optimization and payment processing. Impact’s Partnership Cloud manages over $50B in eCommerce sales and processes over $2B in partner payments on an annual basis. 

In 2019 the Activate platform enabled over 50,000 partnerships with agencies, brands, companies and media. The technical partnership with Activate and Impact will utilize Impact’s platform to generate automated contracting and flexible payment processing for a consistent experience and reliable partner payouts.

Why we care. Partnership automation and influencer management are two parts of the eCommerce jigsaw puzzle, and jigsaw puzzles are made to fit together.

 

Calling all multi-location brands!

Searching for the perfect local marketing solution? MarTech Today’s free guide can help! In-depth vendor profiles, pricing charts, and essential things to consider prior to purchase — it’s all here.

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Quote of the Day
 

“True or false? In life, whoever creates appeal for abundance wins. In marketing and sales, whoever creates the appeal for scarcity wins.” Sangram Vajre, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder, Terminus.