This past week, customer communications management (CCM) powerhouse GMC Software announced its integration into a new division of parent company Neopost, operating under the name of Quadient. Quadient combines the capabilities from three discrete companies, including GMC Software, Satori Software, and Human Inference, to offer a unified portfolio of solutions focused on supporting customer experiences through highly personalized communications across the customer journey. Quadient will replace Neopost’s Enterprise Digital Solutions (EDS) division.
At the announcement, Henri Dura, chief executive officer (CEO) of Quadient, underlined the market forces driving their renewed emphasis on the customer experience (CX), commenting that “CX is the new battleground for business, and understanding customers and the current state of their experience throughout the customer journey is critical to an organization’s success.”
Customer Experience (CX) Is About Understanding the Customer JourneyDepending on who you talk to, there is little agreement on what exactly constitutes CX, leaving a lot of ambiguity behind. In fact, a senior Quadient executive reported to us that, in their market research, few chief executive officers could agree on a single definition around CX. However, in conversations with chief marketing officers, a common entry point for enabling CX emerged—the customer journey. Through journey mapping exercises, organizations can begin to understand the prevalent weaknesses within their customer interactions, along with the opportunities that exist across all print, digital, and social channels. Examining experiences through this lens allows organizations to address available opportunities. Very often, these improvements spring from CCM, as it evolves into the omni-channel hub for coordinating CX across the customer journey.
Back in February, we reported that the heavy investments made by Quadient (formerly GMC Software) in customer journey capabilities would begin to redefine the CCM market. When we sat down with Quadient’s Chief Marketing Officer Tamir Sigal in June to talk about the convergence of customer communications, the customer journey, and CX, he went as far as to say that they were looking to define this space—what that marketplace will look like is still up for grabs.
Making Sense of the Quadient PortfolioKnown for its strong base of print service providers, GMC Software began to gain a foothold in the financial services and insurance vertical markets and was soon acquired in 2012 by Neopost, a strategic move on their part to support their own digital roadmap in the face of declining mail volumes. In that time, GMC Software has emerged as a leader in the CCM market, based largely on their easy-to-use capabilities for producing interactive and on-demand communications across all channels. With investments in customer journey tools and early adoption of mobile support, Neopost has reported double-digit growth with GMC Software. However, for the past two years, internal integrations between GMC Software, Satori Software, and Human Inference have been quietly implemented, culminating in the emergence of Quadient. So, what will this Neopost Digital Company look like?
With Quadient, the newly integrated technology portfolio is broken down into five foundations:
- CCM (with traditional output and compliance management, including business user empowerment)
- Digital Experience (with low-code development for mobile and web applications)
- Customer Journey Mapping (with full CX visibility and insight)
- Data Quality (with data cleansing and consolidation capabilities and a single customer view)
- Postal Solutions (with mail optimization and cost reduction)
What It All MeansWe have been witnessing market disruption in CCM for quite some time, either through acquisitions and market consolidation or technology providers reevaluating their market positioning in the face of CX and the customer journey—or both. When it comes to providing superior experiences, we understand that all channels—print and digital—contribute in meeting those expectations. The real key lies in understanding what goals the customer is trying to achieve in each and delivering the right tools to do so.
Technology will continue to help organizations navigate their way through evolving CX strategies, but competitive pressures are ushering in a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) age in CCM, where even individual services could be simply downloaded on demand. We look to Quadient to make some more aggressive moves in their current cloud strategy to address this shift in the market.
It is clear that the components are there for organizations to create better experiences for their customers, but we have seen a lag in execution. While the customer journey provides a clear vision of all the touchpoints available to customers, do we really know what to do with this information? Elizabeth Dailing, Senior Director of Portfolio Marketing at Quadient, believes that “organizations need to decide where the value proposition lies.” When it comes to examining the customer journey, what results are we really looking for?
Nevertheless, the industry as a whole is organizing around CX, shouldn’t you?