What do you think when you see phrases Content Management System (CMS) and Customer Support together in the same sentence? Yes, you are right - the most common thing is contact form.
Contact form is important, but it's old-fashioned, it's not what makes customer support good enough - it is too small part of the game. Today you need more. Much more: you need to Know Your Customer (KYC), you need to guess what he wants. CMS is the thing that can be very helpful in this matter.
Imagine yourself, as the customer (or just potential one), who is browsing Internet pages, typing any phrase in Google and then clicking lazy any link from search results... And then - yes! You have just found interesting stuff you were searching for weeks and here it is - the company that offers what you desire. You are eager to learn more about this stuff, so you go deeply into the pages of the website reading about it, carefully selecting links you are clicking, so you keep your website journey close to the matter of your interest (as there are many other products and services offered by this company, but you do not want to waste your time on other things), using product preview (they have very cool show room on the site, but you have to provide several parameters to get preview of the product version and size you want), then downloading product whitepapers and even subscribing newsletter.
Then disappointment: the price list you were looking for contains contact us instead of prices 🙁 Well, it looks like you have to contact them (because you really want to buy this stuff!). Call them by phone? No - it's Sunday evening and it’s too late. "I'll do it tomorrow" - you think.
Next day: You have just found few minutes to contact this company. However, your mood today is not as good as it should be (well, it's Monday...) so just in case you prefer to ask for prices using contact form.
But... you are too lazy and you do not want to write about all details! You are just typing "I'm interested in one of your products and I want to get price list!" (you have also considered to delete "Now!" from the end of this text...) So what? You are smart enough to find the right price for you in it, aren't you? 🙂
Few minutes later: Here it is! The price list you have asked for! But wait a minute - it is email message with just few nice sentences and just one price! Where are 99 remaining pages!? And more: it is exactly what you are interested in!
How did they do it? Do they employ magicians?
The company offering the stuff you desire is probably using software that is modern Customer Support System (such one as CREAM care from ALAN Systems) that can collect from many sources (other integrated systems) data about customers, prospects and anyone who is contacting company and then present it to agents while they are handling requests – data is analyzed and carefully selected (tailored to tasks/context).
They also have modern Content Management System (CMS) used to build their website, that is featured with advanced tools allowing to survey users’ behavior while browsing the site. Such advanced features built-into CMS are categorized as Digital Marketing System (DMS). A very good example of CMS/DMS is a solution provided by Sitecore (it is worth to mention here that ALAN Systems is Sitecore Partner).
DMS analyzes and tracks user's behavior and is able to identify user after he returns to the website (for instance next day).
Part of DMS features are also provided by Google Analytics but it is not such deeply integrated with CMS as built-in DMS (however, part of the “magic” shown here is also possible to be done with GA).
All the data collected by Digital Marketing System can be available to Customer Support System – of course, if they both are integrated. That's why when Support Agent received your message sent via contact form, she was able to see all details about what you did while you were browsing the website:
- if you were using browser at your home pc while browsing website on Sunday (and subscribing for newsletter) and next day you used contact form at work (other pc) then your email address was the thing your message was connected with your browsing session previous day
- if you were using the same browser (for instance you were using your smartphone) both days then cookie file was enough to identify you ... - do you remember their fancy show room where you had to provide some parameters to visualize what you want? yes: this was also reported to Agent while she was writing answer to you with the right price selected...
- agent was sure you are interested in a particular product as you were carefully omitting browsing other products on the website; that's why she suggested to have a look at other option and there is even link in the message to that “other product” (as it is already identified you are lazy to look for it by yourself...) - and I guess you have no doubt that the link contains extra parameter that will help DMS to identify you after you click it (so next time agent using Customer Support System will know you have taken the bait...)
It is just a small example and it can be much more advanced in real implementation so significantly improve the quality of a support offered by a company. It can also save time: "Please send me your price list" can be also sent by any of competitors, but agent can be warned about it by Customer Support System as it can get from DMS also IP of the machine used to send such query - if you know your competitors you should also know their IP addresses ... 🙂
Written by Witold Kotarba