Recently, Sitecore held its Partner Advisory Council (PAC) in Kyoto, Japan to educate and assist its partners to reach potential customers. Damon Kelly, Enlighten’s CEO, represented the firm at the event, sharing his knowledge with attendees.
Kelly sat down with us to share what he learned at the PAC, including what we can expect from Sitecore in the near future, trends in personalisation, and tips on how businesses can truly connect with customers to forge long-lasting relationships.
What’s New from Sitecore
At the Kyoto PAC, Sitecore announced that it will be shifting its centre of attention to become ‘fanatically focused’ on customer success. Kelly notes that announcement aligns well with the current trend toward emphasizing customer success and enhancing the customer experience.
To that end, Sitecore has taken two crucial steps to focus more on customer success. Recently, it acquired Stylelabs and integrated its Content Hub into Sitecore’s customer experience platform. In addition, the company announced it would be hiring customer service managers, who would serve as the point of contact for customers who want a profitable implementation.
The Themes of the PAC
Kelly pointed out that there were a few central themes of the PAC:
- How to use data in an intelligent way
- Making sure users have a great experience
- Personalisation done the right way
How Can You Use Data in an Intelligent Way?
With data breaches taking place on what seems to be a daily basis, customers are right to be worried that they could be next. Moreover, there are so many regulations that govern the use of data; if regulatory authorities think that you’re exploiting your customers’ information, you’ll face hefty fines.
Kelly remarks that one of the key takeaways of the Kyoto PAC was that data must be used in an intelligent way. It has to be protected in a manner that’s compliant with major regulations. Sitecore is an enterprise-grade platform that’s GDPR compliant; customers can rest assured that their information is safe and is being used properly.
Making Sure Users Have a Great Experience
User experience was a recurring theme at the Kyoto PAC. Today, user experience is differentiating, if not downright disruptive. Kelly cites the example of Uber. What makes Uber different than a regular taxi service isn’t that you access it through an app. Rather, it’s that you don’t need to worry about paying or tipping, plus you can even rate your driver’s performance afterward.
In a globalised world, the battleground is user experience. Damon Kelly
Personalisation – Doing It the Right Way
Personalisation is crucial to positive customer experience. How so? Kelly explains that personalisation is a user experience tactic and a business strategy. Kelly comments:
"Personalisation is about respect. It says, “I know about you and care about you, and I’ll make your user experience better.”’
That’s where Sitecore comes into the picture. Sitecore’s customer experience platform excels at personalisation. Enlighten's CEO adds:
"It allows you to personalise with precision. Sitecore puts personalisation into everyone’s hands."
The customer experience platform enables everyone at the company to personalise content; it’s not just the Marketing Department’s job anymore. This makes customising marketing messages easier and more efficient.
Kelly describes personalisation rules in Sitecore as simple. You don’t need much technical knowledge or coding ability to use them. If you create a digital ad, the ad links to consistent messaging and imagery on the website (for example, an ad for a subscription box would take you the page on which you could order a subscription box). Additionally, you could configure Sitecore so that if someone has already signed up for your newsletter, the user would no longer see a dialog box requesting newsletter signup on future visits.
Why is it important that Sitecore’s personalisation capabilities are easy to use? Sitecore believes that personalisation should be a collaborative effort. Otherwise, customising content happens in silos, and confusion reigns.
Your marketing efforts should be the very opposite of that. A simple, collaborative process gives you greater control and yields more successful, effective results.
The Enlighten Perspective
How does Kelly feel about Sitecore’s shift to becoming a more customer-focused firm? He welcomes the changes. He states:
"At Enlighten, we want to align with companies that are the best at what they do and that are investing in their products."
Kelly emphasises the importance of investing in products. He explains that there are two types of software vendors who have high-quality solutions: those who care about customer success and those who don’t. The companies who fall into the second camp only want to sell as much as possible.
When you are fixated on sales to the exclusion of everything else, you lose out on things like knowing how your customer implementations are going. Let’s say they aren’t proceeding as planned; your customers won’t come back to you when you release your next version if your first didn’t help them much.
Sitecore’s current approach aligns with the vision Enlighten has always held: creating fantastic customer experiences. Kelly asserts:
"Enlighten wants to deliver measurable value to clients. We can’t do that if we don’t ensure the system is successful."
Kelly applauds Sitecore’s decision to invest more resources in customer success managers and in its partners. "We can support our clients so they get the maximum value out of the product," he remarks. Sitecore’s acquisition of Stylelabs’ Content Hub improves the customer experience platform too, in Kelly’s opinion. These steps all help customers become more successful so they can better connect to their own clients.
Enlighten has been dedicated to improving the customer experience for over two decades. We’re a proud Sitecore Gold partner. To learn more about improving the customer experience with Sitecore, download the User Experience Guidelines white paper