Customer Experience Trinity: Uniting Customer, Content & Context

Forward to The CX Trinity: Customers, Content, and Context: Musings and Observations on the Evolving Customer Experience

Digital customer experiences are always mediated through content, and customers bring their own individual needs and environments to those interactions. More precisely, customers bring their context.

As Alan describes throughout the essays in this book, the CX Trinity emerges from this dynamic interaction of customer, content, and context. This perception is exciting because it's the basis for a much bigger shift, already underway.

The movement towards intelligent customer experiences

For every retail experience, customers expect a counterpart e-commerce experience. For every customer service interaction by phone, customers expect an easier, more effortless online path to resolution. For every interaction with a salesperson, customers expect a coherent and usable online education and interactive sales funnel. For every offline process, there's an online counterpart.

As customers, we all interact more with companies and experiences that feel smarter and more effortless. We naturally gravitate towards smooth interactions that require less of our mental effort and time to engage. Brand publishers need customer, content, and context to come together and assemble what [A] calls "Intelligent Customer Experiences."

In this new era we are all building together, customers want:

  • A coherent and holistic set of interactions across many journeys and touch-points stemming from within an organization
  • Highly relevant and streamlined interactions that come to meet them within their context, at their point of interest and need
  • Experiences that cross channels and devices seamlessly

The dawning of this new era of Intelligent Customer Experiences makes incremental progress every day. The world is evolving to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population, all interacting and engaging across many devices in real-time. Enterprises must pursue a major shift in the way knowledge moves around their organizations. We must get conscious about how content travels across departments, through systems, between creators, designers and developers, and into an ecosystem of devices and channels that is constantly and rapidly changing.

Embracing change

Every organization facilitates customer interactions that include digital communications in at least one channel, and some organizations engage customers across many content types and many channels. Keeping up with many channels is hard enough, then we have to somehow make it relevant to individual customers and groups of customers.

The personalized and fluid nature of this evolving reality has quickly rendered the old ways of dealing with static knowledge obsolete. The expression of an organization's products and services, support, resources, communities, and all additional forms of engagement, rely on knowledge expressed as content, finally coming together in the customer's context.

The journey is just beginning

Even though customers have been at the center of digital experiences for more than two decades, in many ways, all of us are still at the beginning of a journey. This next decade will realize a complete transformation in the nature of customer experiences and the way they are created.

This slow-burning transformation calls us to evolve our thinking and our collective action:
  • We need to move beyond the static page-based and channel-based thinking that defined the digital customer experience up until now.
  • We need to shift our thinking towards integrated, context-rich customer experiences built from a common, shared set of intelligent content.
  • We need to aim for intelligent content that automatically assembles into customer experiences, driven by all the contextual data that businesses are so fastidious at gathering, but not yet accomplished at using.

To get there, CX teams and enterprise publishing and knowledge teams need to embrace the complexity of this new era of engagement with the strategy, engineering, and operations necessary to make the complex look and feel easy and seamless to the customer.

Being part of the solution

During his tenure at [A], as head of content intelligence strategy, Alan Porter had a unique vantage point to observe the forward edge of this transformation through the lens of engagements involving many of the world's largest and most complex enterprise publishing environments. These clients cumulatively serve many billions of customer interactions every month across well-known digital properties.

As we collaborated together with these clients, we discovered and co-created the patterns, processes, organizational designs, and architectures that have helped shape how content gets acquired, managed, and delivered into customer experiences. These substantial CX publishing transformations all focus on creating content systems to support new interactions between customer, content, and context.

The transformations of content supply chains rely on lots of moving parts working together. And in every transformation, there is a champion. Someone who knows the issues today and sees the future. Someone who sees the new world of customer experience and who drives the vision for the changes needed to support that new world. And then, there are many others who join and become a part of the solution to the brokenness of content and customer experience. Are you a part of the solution?

Be a driving force towards smarter customer experiences!

Join Alan as he surveys the customer experience landscape in this insightful and handy book of 52 accessible and idea-inspiring essays.

Buy The Book

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Cruce Saunders is the founder and principal at [A] and author of Content Engineering for a Multi-Channel World. He regularly speaks on omnichannel customer experience, content intelligence, AI, chatbots, personalization, content structural and semantic standards, and intelligence transformation. He also hosts the Towards a Smarter World podcast, where he connects with leaders impacting global intelligence.