Recalibrating Your Digital Messaging Infrastructure, Part 2
In part one of this series, I discussed interacting with customers across messaging channels to keep satisfaction and lifetime value high. To deliver customers the messages they want, when and where they want them, you must know what to look for in a messaging infrastructure solution. This week in part two of this series, I address the key components of such a solution so you can evaluate and find one that meets your customer communication needs.
What to look for and include on your shopping list
In determining what to look for, think about your goal — a messaging platform that will address your customers’ needs today as well as in the future. This means you’ll be looking for a powerful yet flexible messaging platform built on next-generation technology. You’ll want a messaging platform that can serve as the central integration and processing hub for all forms of digital messaging in your infrastructure, connecting it with internal and external data sources, applications, and systems. This will become increasingly important as your customer communications become more interactive and multichannel.
Of course each company’s business needs and operating environment are different. So you’ll also be looking for a solution that can readily adapt to your needs and environment versus one that requires you to change how you do business to suit it. Depending on your unique situation, some features in your messaging solution will rank higher in priority than others.
However, there are several overarching factors to take into consideration, regardless of what your specific requirements may be. To ensure you’re prepared to meet the communication demands of your customers, put the following on your shopping list:
- Secure environment/safe messaging. It’s essential to have an inherently secure environment for managing all of your digital messaging needs. A solution that contributes to a safe ecosystem for online communication and commerce is a must. Look for solutions that support authentication and other industry standard protocols.
- Inherently open. Components must be seamlessly interoperable, but also part of a framework that’s open and flexible. This allows you to extend messaging capabilities horizontally across your organization, such as integrating with data sources, systems, applications and partners to streamline business processes and create new, valuable products and services.
- Powerful and reliable. A high-performance platform is necessary to manage all of your messages — millions per hour on each server — with unprecedented reliability so you can achieve greater efficiency while reducing your infrastructure and costs.
- Agile and future-proof. A rules-based, modular framework with an open application programming interface that’s tailored to your unique business needs and easily modified as those needs change is critical in a dynamic, rapidly changing messaging environment. You need this kind of extensibility and scalability to pursue new opportunities, wherever they may lead. A further measure of a truly future-proof solution is one that supports multiple channels on a single, integrated platform so you can communicate with your customers in whatever form those communications may take.
- Visibility on demand. A clear, unobstructed real-time view into your messaging processes, customer interactions and results is indispensable to power informed decision making and speedy business responses. Real-time reporting capabilities will immediately track and analyze all results for deep visibility into the performance of each mailing.
- Configurable and usable. The tools and support necessary to implement messaging solutions according to your specifications and business processes, along with user-friendly interfaces that enable business users to exploit needed capabilities, are a must.
All of these elements combined constitute the next-generation messaging infrastructure required for holistic, customer-centric communications. Shop wisely. Be mindful of your needs for today, but keep a sharp eye on how those needs will change as your customers’ communication behaviors evolve.
Related story: Recalibrating Your Digital Messaging Infrastructure, Part 1