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Feb 28, 2019
Do you realize the tech you’re using to get the job done today is basically outdated by the time you log off? This constant evolution is the reason your customer experience measurement (CEM) program requires an agile approach to tech development—one that initiates continuous updates to the technology platform and, even more important, makes those updates universally available.
In this blog, I’ll cover 4 reasons why we take this approach.
At SMG we source input for our tech roadmap from all kinds of places—but the most important is from clients themselves. And from our nearly 30 years serving thousands of brands, we know it’s rarely the case that a requested platform enhancement is unique to a single client. Generally, if one client is asking for something, others will see benefit from that feature, too. So it makes sense, then, that we would make all upgrades available to all clients.Our philosophy is that great ideas should be shared—and used!—not kept under lock and key. It’s yet another reason clients love being a part of the SMG client community. They know they’ll always see benefit from the technical work we’re doing behind the scenes. Sometimes this means development may take more time—because we want everything we build to be compatible for all client programs. But this added time on the front end pays off in more usable features and a more robust platform for more clients.
When updates happen regularly over time—as they do at SMG—they’re rarely noticed in a major way. Each year we conduct more than 200 releases. But when updates don’t happen on a regular basis, and client platforms get more and more out-of-date, seamless upgrades become impossible. Instead, platform changes are seen as a major headache and become disruptive to CEM program operations. The downstream effect of that is updates either don’t happen at all—ever—or they become a major change management effort that requires extensive training and re-training. Neither one is good, which is why we opt for continuous, small-scale updates that mean clients always have the latest and greatest tech at their fingertips.
Regular updates mean clients also realize the impact of tech investments as soon as they happen. Because we’re constantly rolling out new functionality, we’re able to loop infrastructure upgrades into those rollouts. The effects of this aren’t noticed day-by-day, but over time we’re able to point to marked improvements in time to run reports, number of concurrent users, etc. Plus, new security measures can go live across the client base as soon as they’re created. This means client data is always protected at the highest level.
This is somewhat of a hidden benefit, but its impact is felt in a big way every day. Due to regular and universal platform updates across our client base, all of our 500+ client brands use the same technology. That means our account teams need only be intimately familiar with 1 platform—not 500+ different versions. So they can devote more of their brain power (and time) where it counts most: in knowing their clients’ businesses and generating insights that will have financial impact.
Further, because our tech teams don’t have to maintain hundreds of platform versions, they can focus development efforts on new features that will drive change in client organizations. I can guarantee that’s where you want a tech team spending their time—not worrying about how a simple change will impact a platform that hasn’t been upgraded in 5 years.
Over the next year we’ll continue on our trajectory of making continuous updates to the platform. We have lots of impactful enhancements in the works, and we’re excited to continue evolving our technology in ways that benefit our client base.