The customer experience (CX) market is made up of a very diverse array of point solutions and suites designed to solve very specific but interlocking problems. They all focus on the difficulty organizations have in communicating effectively with their customers, either in response to customer inquiries or for proactive outreach purposes. Customer contacts have changed a great deal in the last decade; they now take place in fits and starts, on various channels, and are overseen by people across departments, not all of whom have the same agenda.
In particular, organizations struggle with the idea of how to orchestrate customer journeys, which is a way of defining in advance the optimal pathways customers should take to obtain information or receive promotions and messages. Instead of leaving journey selection to customer choices, organizations want to be able to nudge customers down certain pathways based on their histories, intentions and presumed value.
Organizations often approach this problem by trying to leverage the tools they already have on hand, especially tools built for sales teams, contact centers or marketing departments. Managing journeys with tools built for other purposes can entrench silos and often fail to measure the true impacts of different journey strategies.
The emergence of software specifically built for managing customer journeys is a step forward for the CX industry as it attempts to knit together processes that span multiple departments. CSG, a Colorado-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform company, has built a customer engagement platform called CSG Xponent that combines journey management with systems that handle customer data and the communications channels customers use.
CSG has been in business since 1982, when it was a division of First Data Corporation and was primarily focused on billing and payment processing systems. CSG continues to focus on those areas with several products for firms that sell digital subscriptions and handle online and mobile payments. CSG grew out of providing these services to communications service providers and media companies, which are still core markets for the company.
Xponent is the offering most directly aimed at the CX market. It has several components, starting with Xponent Customer Journey Management. This module combines journey mapping and analysis with a library of pre-built journeys that can be deployed for specific tasks (or based on the needs of a particular vertical industry). Xponent Engagement Channels handles the communication aspect of the customer relationship. It manages both inbound and outbound voice, along with messaging, mobile push, email and conversational artificial intelligence (AI). A third component, Xponent Customer Data Platform, is a mechanism for unifying diverse sources of customer information into a single profile that can be used for personalization based on real-time profiling.
The modern view of CX requires a more centralized approach based on integrations between applications, processes and teams. When transitioning from a view based on interaction handling to one based on customer life cycles, there is no choice but to throw these tools together, and vendors like CSG have responded by packaging them into suites that help synchronize the efforts of people who don’t always have visibility into the complete picture of customer behavior. By 2025, 6 in 10 organizations will include guided analytics processes and storytelling capabilities to help create and deliver insights for CX teams across departments.
One of the issues organizations often face is resourcing. Understanding journeys can be complex and time consuming, and teams must digest what is happening before they can start to optimize and plan for the future. To mitigate this, CSG recently unveiled Xponent Ignite, a system of pre-built journeys combined with pre-configured integrations that personalize and automate the most important customer touchpoints. It gives organizations a way to more quickly build business cases based on realistic ROI scenarios and deploy journeys that are keyed to specific industry use-cases.
Many organizations are just beginning the process of understanding how their own customer relationships are structured and how to manage them, both behind the scenes through marketing orchestration, and on the front end through contact centers and self-service. CSG’s approach helps companies see their existing journeys clearly and direct customers to the most profitable or productive pathways for both parties.