CONTRIBUTOR
Co-Founder and CEO,
Hygraph

Consistency may not be a topic to set the pulse racing. But when it comes to customer experience, it is the secret ingredient to success, according to McKinsey.

For brands to stand out in this digital age, and meet heightened customer expectations across the multiple channels and stages of their journey, they need access to the right technology.  For many, that will mean a future-proof, headless CMS that takes the pain out of content management.

Why Consistency Matters

Customer experience is critical to driving loyalty, revenue and market share. McKinsey claims that US companies that deliver delightful experiences achieved more than double the revenue growth of “CX laggards” between 2016 and 2021. Consistency is an under-rated but vital piece of the puzzle. Most of us are creatures of habit. We like predictability. So, it follows that we prefer organizations with consistent product quality, messaging and brand voice. If we know what to expect of a company and then have that expectation met or exceeded, it will ramp up satisfaction and loyalty levels.

Consistency fosters trust, familiarity and brand recall. It will create satisfied customers more likely to return and even become brand advocates. It will enhance reputation to attract new customers and sustain existing ones. Empowering customers to self-serve could even reduce operational costs in the long term.

What Do Best Practices Look Like?

How can brands achieve consistency in customer experience? First, they will require a clear and unified brand identity and personality. Then, they must segment and understand target customers, their behaviors and preferences. Perhaps most importantly, they must develop a robust and mature content strategy, including a detailed plan for distributing high-quality content across channels and measuring its impact.

To achieve the necessary consistency, brands must consider how content is structured during the creative process and how this contributes to consistency in the long term. This means breaking content into smaller components, such as headings, paragraphs, images and lists, making it easier to repurpose content for distribution across different channels and use cases without the need to start from scratch each time. This way, content can be easily personalized, improving the customer experience multifold. A modular approach offers the sort of flexibility organizations need to provide consistent experiences to their customers – at a time when demand for dynamic content has never been higher.

Such a strategy should also be viewed through an omnichannel lens. That means ensuring that content can be delivered consistently and personalized, no matter what platform, device, or channel it’s consumed on. Technology will be vital to achieving this vision. In other words, a fully integrated tech stack capable of pushing out compelling content across channels for a lightning-fast, unified and responsive customer experience across touchpoints.

Getting Technical

Organizations should therefore target a CMS that can support personalized content and power an omnichannel approach to meet the expectations of customers. API-first headless CMS offerings are best suited to these demands – enabling organizations to deliver content to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, voice assistants, VR headsets and more, in a consistent and scalable manner. But they should go beyond headless to also feature a “schema builder” capable of streamlining the creation of modular content. Low-code functionality helps to democratize the building and delivery of this content, for maximum flexibility and business agility.

In this way, whether it’s a social media post, a blog, or an email newsletter, content can be designed and distributed with a consistent tone of voice and message. It can also be repurposed across channels and platforms to minimize operational costs and duplicated effort.

As demand for connected experiences grows, developer/content teams must also have a way to connect seamlessly to all of their content sources. These could include legacy CMSs, SaaS tools, e-commerce components like digital asset management systems (DAMs), Product Inventory Management Systems (PIMs) or third-party data sources. Demand for connectivity is so high that many organizations have been forced to build and manage custom middleware to link multiple content sources to their headless CMS. But this increases cost and technical debt and can erode business agility.

The answer is a headless CMS with content federation – which supports composability by pulling siloed content from diverse sources via a single API into a single repository and delivering it to one or more front ends. This many-to-many architecture is exactly what organizations need to deliver consistency – and to do so without requiring extra coding and expensive middleware.

Consistency is an ongoing journey

There’s no silver bullet for creating a consistent customer experience. When it comes to content, organizations will need to build the right team, know their customers, and then create a strategy based around omnichannel and modularity. To make this a reality, they’ll need a headless, API-first CMS provider that offers federated content and a low-code schema builder for rapid and consistent content creation across channels.

Yet, even with the right tools in place, there’s usually room for improvement. See what works and what doesn’t, and highlight areas that may need extra work. The good news is that this should be much easier to achieve with a composable CMS architecture in place.