It used to be that organizations had individual clouds for their marketing and sales efforts as a way to pull together data, with each cloud holding information for just one area of the company. But just like the customer journey is changing, so too is how we manage it. The big push now is the experience cloud, which brings together things like customer data, digital experience, and personalization to create an efficient, modern way to monitor and interact with customers.
Essentially, the experience cloud is the infrastructure that allows brands to create useful, smooth experiences for their customers. Instead of having customer data and interactions divided over multiple systems, the experience cloud creates a single 360-degree view of the customer by building bridges among marketing, customer service, sales, and other business groups. By pulling in customer data from multiple sources, including websites, social media, and internal data, the experience cloud creates a comprehensive profile for each customer that employees throughout the organization can access to provide a great experience no matter how they interact with the customer. The experience cloud is the behind-the-scenes mode to make sure customers are getting the right messaging and a strong customer experience in every interaction with the brand.
The old way of doing business with only a marketing cloud or sales cloud just isn’t enough anymore. Marketers used to have to juggle numerous tools to stay on top of what customers were thinking, how they were communicating with the brand, and what products they were interested in. Without integration, so much time was lost to inefficiency, and brands never truly had a full picture of their customers. Teams within an organization were often siloed and duplicating information instead of working together, which made it difficult to deliver an amazing customer experience, especially one that was consistent across multiple channels. Instead of using function-based technologies, the experience cloud puts the customer at the center of everything the company does.
Customers don’t care if the person they are talking to works in marketing, sales, or IT — they just want to have a personalized interaction with the brand to build the relationship or have their problems solved. Having everything in one place allows brands to offer amazing experiences to customers consistently, no matter how they contact the brand, and to be able to easily personalize messages to meet the needs of customers. Successful companies have found that customer experience belongs to more than just the marketing department. If a company is so siloed that it distracts from the service customers are receiving, customers will take their business to a place where they feel valued and respected.
Today’s top brands are focused on the customer, and the experience cloud makes it easier. The goal is to create seamless conversations and interactions across the entire customer journey. Instead of a customer having a different experience each time they walk into the store, visit a website, or talk with a customer representative, the experience cloud pulls everything together to create a cohesive experience. Gone are the days of customers having to repeat their situation to every person they talk to — now companies can have all the information about a customer at each employee’s fingertips, making it easier than ever to build personalized relationships.
Today’s customers are already on a number of channels—it isn’t just connecting with brands on the phone or via email, it’s about being everywhere customers are. The experience cloud makes omnichannel marketing possible, and it makes it easier for brands to connect with customers everywhere they already are. Using the experience cloud helps brands set themselves apart because it offers effective brand communication with customers, is easy for customers to know what to expect from the company, and it allows employees to tailor their responses to the needs of the customer instead of simply sticking to a script.
A growing number of companies are jumping into the experience cloud space as service providers. Adobe (disclosure: Adobe is a client of Blake Morgan’s speaking business) recently announced that it was integrating its Adobe Experience Manager web platform with Microsoft programs. Adobe’s expanded experience cloud has the ability to build what the company calls “fluid experiences” for personalized experiences that go beyond the traditional channels and expand into Internet of Things technologies. Oracle also recently introduced its Content and Experience Cloud that helps companies manage and deliver content through any digital channel. Even Sprinklr now has an experience cloud they’re selling.
With a strong pull from customers to deliver better, more consistent service, and the tools in place to make it possible, the experience cloud is sure to grow and continue to drive customer experience.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, author of More Is More, and keynote speaker. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Go farther and create knock your socks-off customer experiences in your organization by enrolling in her new Customer Experience School.