I don’t often talk directly about my day to day work here on this blog, but I’ve just come back from a management team meeting and as we discussed our messaging and our own customer engagement journey, I found myself using a simple word time and time again and it was credibility.

This then got me thinking about the Forrester term – Customer Experience Management, their flavour of defining an engagement solution strategy.

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll also know written about these various engagement flavours (WEM/CEM) before (for example here).

As you probably know I now work for an enterprise software vendor. Our customers are making a significant partnership decision. When you are dealing with someone’s future on the web, you might as well start messing with their plumbing, their email system or the power. It’s that important. A website down is a revenue-losing-CEO-calling-you-at-2am-to-fire-your-ass type of event.

Maybe I exaggerate  a WCM’s place in the world slightly, but you get my point. It’s a business relationship that requires trust.

To be trustworthy you need to be credible.

Yet, credibility is not a word I hear very often in the context of WEM, CEM or CXM.

We talk about a process of creating advocacy, engagement, measuring levels of engagement and words like that. But, what really leads us as consumers to engage with a brand, buy a product, to spend time reading a blog post or follow someone on Twitter?

It’s credibility.

An engagement strategy is therefore about enabling your audience to experience your credibility. Your credibility to solve their problem.

Each touch point to your audience is adding (or possibly subtracting) from that credibility score.

How you manage and publish content is core to this.

  • The website down event I referred to earlier, is going to drain credibility.
  • A slow or poorly designed website is going to make you look untidy – not credible.
  • A spelling mistake, a simple error in governance will make you look sloppy – not credible.
  • An inconsistent message between channels.. not credible.. etc.

Credibility is also a good litmus test to be applied to how you engage with your audience. Some folks think they need a Facebook page – but will this add to their credibility? A CEO twitter account? Same.

Then after you have made these choices about channel, does what you post and how you respond to the social channel add to this credibility score? Does it pass that test?

How does everything, on every touch point with your audience add to your credibility?

I’m not seriously suggesting a new acronym – but is the C in CXM “Credibility”?



Picture of  ‘C’ neon sign by M.V. Jantzen used under Creative Commons License.