The decision to purchase or upgrade your web content management system almost always starts in the marketing department. After all, it’s the marketing team that designs, implements, and manages the company’s public-facing website, a critical component of the customer experience.
But the right web content management system supports more than your company website; it supports a variety of needs across the company, many of which improve not only the customer experience but also the employee and partner experience.
Content Management – for Marketing
Before we dive into other teams and departments in your company that can benefit from content management, let’s talk about the marketing department. The company website is one of the first places your customers go to learn about you and your products and services. It’s also where they go to get information related to a problem they are having or a requirement they need to fulfill. Your Web CMS provides the environment to build and manage that website experience.
Content Management – for Sales
How can Sales benefit from a Web CMS? Great content is as important to the Sales teams as it is to the Marketing team. Having accurate and informative content available on the website for use in the sales process is important and very helpful, but it’s only one way Sales benefits from a CMS.
The Sales cycle is often long in B2B Sales, lasting from months to a year – sometimes more. During that time, you want to continually communicate and share content with a prospective customer to keep your company top of mind. You could send the information through email and hope that the customer is looking at it. Or you could create a web experience, secure to your customer where they can find everything you have given them, and you can regularly update it with additional content and other information.
This can be provided through a secure customer experience using your web content management system. It could be a secure micro-site or a Sales portal that offers additional capabilities like access to private forums or chat. Within this environment, you can track what content your prospects are engaging with, so you can continue to provide the information they need.
Content Management – for Customer Support
Customers want a way to solve problems they are having with your product on their own. They don’t want to be on the phone for hours talking to a support person, especially when it’s a simple problem or question. The popularity of customer self-service capabilities shows us this is true. You can build these capabilities with a Web CMS that provides portal add-on capabilities.
A customer support portal provides a place to submit and see support tickets for actual problems. But it can also provide a knowledge base where customers can find answers to questions, quick access to manuals and other product documentation, and helpful content like best practices, case studies, and other information. Some of this content would be created and managed in the CMS, some of it would be integrated from other business systems.
Content Management – for Customer Service
Customer service and customer support are not the same things. Customer support is about helping customers use your products; customer service takes it further, building lasting relationships with customers. How can customer service leverage a Web CMS? Again, it’s about that customer portal, but it extends the idea of support services to include other capabilities like connecting customers through forums, blogs, and messaging. It’s about creating a community where customers can go to learn how to do things, support each other, and grow, as well as new ways they can grow through additional products or services.
Content Management – for HR
So far, we’ve talked about how a web content management system supports customer experiences. But it also supports a company internally, through the creation of an Intranet. Depending on the organization, Human Resources is often a primary owner of the company Intranet providing a central location for important company information and access to employee systems like timesheets, payroll, and learning program.
The company Intranet provides both direct content; for example, it could publish a weekly blog promoting an employee who is doing interesting work or that received a big promotion or a list of articles related to HR processes. It can also provide a central location with single-sign-on access to a range of applications such as those already mentioned and, in some cases, surface some of the information from those applications directly within the Intranet (secure to each employee).
Content Management – for Employees
Similar to the web content management capabilities for HR, you can take advantage of web content management for employees. This can take the form of employee blogs where any employee can share their knowledge and insights with others, and private or open workspaces where employees can share information on projects they work together on. This is another example of an Intranet or digital workspace that leverages both content management and portal capabilities.
Along the same lines, you can create a web experience for partners or suppliers.
Who Does Your Content Management System Support?
Do you use your web content management system for more than your website? How many of the ways mentioned above would work for your company? Most likely, you employ one or more of them. Do you have one CMS to support them all? Or multiple? There are many benefits to creating all these experiences using a single Web CMS.
Are there other ways you are using your Web CMS to deliver content and other information to your customers and employees or partners? Let us know.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible here. In the rest of this series, we’ll dive deeper into how you can leverage your CMS to create all of these different experiences, providing examples of companies that have done it and found success.