3 Key Factors for Choosing Your Cross-Channel Customer Experience Platform

Mike Herrick SVP of Technology

Today’s consumers, particularly in media and the financial sectors, demand information the moment events occur. Brands’ ability to deliver real-time information and scale personalized communication to audiences of millions is critical to their success. If that speed of delivery is essential to your business, look for partners who prioritize agility and responsiveness. Ensure you can deploy new features, updates and campaigns with minimal delay.

Technology reliability isn’t just a buzzword in today’s digital world — it’s a critical part of a brand’s success. Every interaction, every campaign, every customer engagement hinges on the stability and predictability of the technologies powering them. As a result, even a minor technology outage can profoundly affect businesses’ ability to connect with customers and immediately impact their bottom line. 

Consider how different industries can be affected:

Media — Timely delivery of news updates is essential to keeping audiences informed and engaged. An outage from a customer experience platform can disrupt the delivery of breaking news as it happens, leading to delays in disseminating important information to their readership. An outage can result in a loss of audience and impact advertising revenue as advertisers seek platforms with reliable and timely content delivery. 

Lucas von Cranach,  founder of Onefootball, said “… a scalable real-time messaging platform is a core requirement. Speed is critical, as there’s no customer more passionate than a sports fan. Messages arriving seconds sooner make all the difference to their experience and the value of our platform.”

Finance — Push notifications alert clients about stock trades, market fluctuations, and other critical updates like potentially fraudulent transactions. Clearly, these alerts need to happen in real time. An outage from a customer experience platform can disrupt these communications, potentially leading to missed trading opportunities, delayed transactions, financial losses and long-term frustration as customers sort charges from stolen credentials. 

Airlines — Airlines and the travel industry depend heavily on their communication provider to provide urgent updates on flight delays, cancellations and itinerary changes. An outage from a technology provider can disrupt these communications, leading to confusion among travelers, increased customer service inquiries, lower customer satisfaction and, ultimately, damage to the brand’s reputation.

Health and Emergency Services — Timely communication can be a matter of life and death. Emergency services rely on push notifications to alert residents about natural disasters, severe weather events and other urgent situations. An outage from a customer experience platform can hinder these critical communications, potentially delaying response times and risking lives.

Retail/E-Commerce — For online and brick-and-mortar retailers, customer communications, such as push notifications and email, are powerful tools for engaging customers, promoting sales, driving conversions, following up post-purchase and determining their current interests. An outage from a technology provider can disrupt these communications, leading to missed sales opportunities, decreased customer engagement, more costly service interactions in other channels, failure to meet standard customer expectations and potentially long-term damage to brand reputation.

Considering the possible negative impact that unreliable customer experience platforms can have across different industries, we highlight below the key factors that brands should carefully consider when choosing customer-facing technology providers. 

Critical Criteria for Choosing a Technology Partner

1. Reliability and Scalability 
A reliable technology partner ensures that their systems are up and running when you need them most, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity. When evaluating potential partners, consider their uptime track record, disaster recovery plans, and commitment to proactive maintenance and support. Look for partners who prioritize reliability as part of their service offering, providing you with the peace of mind to focus on growing your business.

At Airship, it is in our DNA to ensure that our infrastructure delivers. We grew up alongside mobile, which rapidly scaled like no technology before, and for 15 years have continually proven ourselves as a trusted partner and guide to some of the largest, most ambitious enterprise brands. We invest heavily in our infrastructure to ensure our products and technology deliver the highest level of performance and reliability. We care about transparency with our clients and can prove our technology stability, performance and historical reliability.

Screenshot from Airship’s US cloud site status page, including 99.9% uptime  over the last year, which we recently enhanced to include more useful analytics and historical information
Screenshot from Airship’s EU cloud site status page, including 100% uptime over the last year.

Airship has enhanced our platform over the years to meet our customers’ most demanding needs for speed and scalability. In 2018, we launched Airship Boost, which enables brands to accelerate the delivery of segmented push notifications at a massive scale — 2x faster than the standard service. Roughly four years later, we more than doubled average peak throughput to 824,000 messages per second.  

Then, we upgraded our service to enable brands to deliver messages at speed across multiple channels — inside and outside the mobile app — with the launch of AXP (App Experience Platform). AXP includes enterprise-grade email, SMS, mobile wallet marketing, and all the mobile and web channels you’d expect. AXP was first to support iOS Live Activities on Day 1 of availability, and we invented Android Live Updates, enabling you to display dynamically updated information from your app on the iPhone/Android Lock Screen for up to 8 hours at a time. Live Activities are popular for travel, sports, news, elections, entertainment and retail use cases; it’s common for Airship customers who utilize this capability to send over 100 Live Activity updates per hour to audiences of over 10 million users. Fast and reliable delivery is critical for this use case.

2. Architecture & Tech Stack
Your technology partner’s architecture and technology stack are critical. They must run on modern infrastructure to deliver on reliability, scalability and performance commitments. Modern infrastructure also enables your technology partner to continue to innovate quickly and not get bogged down by legacy technology.

Airship is hosted by Google Cloud (GCP), which means we have Google’s reliability, scalability and innovation at our backs. GCP encompasses all the backend data and services that Airship operates. Focusing on building on top of and mastering GCP and avoiding the complexity of a multi-cloud solution has enabled us to continuously improve the reliability of the Airship platform.  Airship also has an automatic service failover for most services, providing even more platform stability.

3. Transparency and Communication 
Effective communication is the foundation of any successful partnership. A transparent technology partner keeps you informed every step of the way, providing clear and timely updates on system status, performance metrics and upcoming changes. Transparency builds trust and fosters collaboration, allowing you to work together more effectively to achieve your goals. When evaluating potential partners, consider their communication protocols, their approach to issue resolution, and their willingness to provide candid feedback and insights. Look for partners who prioritize transparency and open communication and demonstrate a commitment to mutual success.

Last year, we upgraded our status page to make it easier for our customers to monitor the Airship services they care about and to be more transparent about our historical uptime. We recognize that when it comes to technology, nothing is foolproof. When it comes to unexpected platform occurrences, we pride ourselves on being quick to the pitch with RCAs (root cause analysis), so you don’t have to wonder what happened. 

World events like the Olympics, elections and critical holidays are heightened times of importance for our customers. Airship communicates regularly and collaborates closely with our customers to plan for these events.

As businesses navigate the digital landscape, the importance of reliable technology partnerships cannot be overstated. It’s not just about finding a vendor — it’s about finding a partner who shares your vision, understands your needs, and, above all, will always stand beside you to inspire confidence and power your success.

After all, reliability isn’t just a feature—it’s a commitment to our customers, partners and the businesses we serve. We take this commitment seriously every day as we strive to empower our customers to succeed in an ever-evolving digital world. Looking for a reliable partner you can count on to deliver optimal mobile app experiences? Talk to the Airship team now