Customer experience platforms

Updated: November 16, 2018

2018. Zoho CRM enables to convert website live-chats to phone conversations



Zoho updated its unified customer experience platform Zoho CRM Plus. The new version doesn’t just allow your customers to reach out to you through the channel of their choice, it also helps your business teams switch across channels at will. Your sales reps can convert website live-chats to phone conversations, support agents can make or answer calls from within their ticket interface, and your marketers can convert social media interactions into tickets to get problems solved faster. With the bew ASAP plug-in for Desk plug-in, customers will be able to quickly find answers sourced from your business’s knowledge base, raise tickets directly, and even chat with your support agents from within your company website or mobile app. New Blueprint lets you build and automate processes that run across your sales, marketing, and support teams. Take your daily sales orders, for example: You can set up a Blueprint for your sales orders that involves both your sales and support teams so that approving a sales order in CRM will automatically create a ticket in Desk, and conversely, the sales order will be marked as “Delivered” in CRM when the delivery is completed in Desk.


2018. Zendesk launched customer service app builder



Zendesk announced Zendesk Sunshine, a new platform for creating customer-focused applications on top of Zendesk’s toolset. Companies can build apps on top of Sunshine, typically customer experience or customer relationship apps, and they will be hosted natively on AWS and have access to all the AWS services. And all of the applications rely on the Sunshine platform for information sharing. This approach is aimed at helping Zendesk customers build applications to take advantage of the data they are collecting inside of Zendesk as a natural byproduct of doing work with the service, but over time independent developers could begin working on the platform too.


2011. CEM - in center of Adobe's strategy



How do you think, what is the foundation of Adobe's business? Design programs (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premiere ...). Maybe Flash? Perhaps PDF? It turns out that all these technologies - are only means to achieve a higher goal. Adobe's strategic spheres of competence are shown in the picture above, and the central object in this scheme is CEM - Customer Experience Management. Indeed, the multimedia content created in Adobe's design software: graphics, websites, videos ... - is primarily intended to impress customers. Flash and PDF form the platform to deliver this multimedia content via any computer or mobile device. Adobe LiveCycle solutions help to engage customers in business processes. But recently Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen recognized that there is a missing part in this puzzle: "This creative job is worthless without analytics and tracking revenue and statistics." Therefore Adobe directed all its efforts on online marketing. In 2009, the company acquired Omniture, which develops Web-analytic solutions and in 2010 - acquired Day Software, that specializes in web-content management and social collaboration. On the basis of these two solutions Adobe created Adobe Online Marketing Suite that allows to build a website, analyze the success of company online presence and gather valuable information about the customer base. And of course, engaging in online marketing, Adobe could not help drawing attention to its most popular trend - interaction with social networks. Today, the company announced the new application SocialAnalytics that listens to social networks in order to hear what people saying about company brands and products. SocialAnalytics monitors Facebook, Twitter, Youtube (in total 45 sources), provides to marketer the messages that mention the company or its brands, and create reports on how the social web react on company news.


2010. RightNow: CRM is dead



Surprise! Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO at RightNow (the company that for a long time has been among leaders of the CRM industry) says that nobody wants to hear about CRM anymore, because they have heard it all and no longer believe the promises of CRM vendors. According to Jason, last year, the annual CRM Conference, which was held by Gartner and sponsored by RightNow - was the dead event and attracted minimal public interest. Vendors were showing the presentations that they have given seven years ago. Jason argues that CRM is a bit old hat, and it is time for a new generation of software that RightNow calls CX (Customer Experience). RightNow is not a pioneer in Customer Experience theme. Industry players have been talking about CEM (Customer Experience Management) already for a couple of years. So, what's the difference between CEM and CRM? What's the difference between CEM and CRM? Don't look for some hidden sense in how "relationship management" differs from "experience management". Yes, "experience" - sounds better, but it has no influence on the software functionality. It still must include the customer base, customer interactions history, order base, support tools, marketing tools and analytical reports on sales, marketing and service. In any case, customer "experience" depends on how the customer software helps employees in managing customer "relationships". But if companies are no longer happy with CRM brand, than vendors need to invent a new brand, for example CEM. But you can't create the new brand by just replacing one word in the title. Fortunately, recently the significant shift in CRM sphere has taken place and it's a good chance to create a new customer philosophy. And the reason for this shift was one simple fact: Customers use the Internet. Internet = Experience Internet has brought two major things in a customer life. First, it is very convenient channel of communication with companies. Secondly, the Internet has given birth to social networks, where the customer can discuss companies and products with others. Both of these innovations have a strong influence on the customer "experience". Today customer wants to buy in the Internet, get support over the Internet. He would like to have online chat, forum and knowledge base on company's website. And even better - a personal account, where he could see his orders history, support history (so the new customer system should provide access not only for employees but also for customers). The customer would be happy to see the company's residence in the social network, where he uses to hang out. He also wants to get individual approach (so the new customer system should collect personal customer information from social sources). Today customer before buying likes to read reviews about the company and the product, discuss it with his friends in social networks (so the new customer system should monitor the social web for such discussions to enable employees respond  to them). Finally, the customer wants the company to listen to his ideas and feedback (so the new customer system should provide tools for collecting and processing customer feedback). If the customer system helps to satisfy all these customer needs - his "experience" will be OK. RightNow CX Cloud Platform As we see, the Internet has created quite a lot of new opportunities (tasks) for customer software. Realizing this, RightNow decided not to implement all these features in their CRM (sorry, CX) system. Instead, they created a cloud platform CX Cloud Platform, that allows companies and independent developers to create their own CX applications. This platform provides tools for creating web-apps, integrating them with social networks and contact centers. Of course, the center of this platform is SaaS solution RightNow CX, i.e. it's supposed that most developers will create add-ons for this system.