Every decision-maker in our survey – all 100 percent – felt that input on customer behaviours from customer service would be valuable, while a majority also welcomed input from product development (58 percent), marketing (56 percent), and operations (52 percent). Despite this, more than one in three participants in CX decision making (36 percent) “rarely” or “never” collaborate with those in marketing, product development, or sales.
As Claire Holden, Consumer Engagement Director at Ted Baker, previously at Adidas, notes, “Managing silos is especially tricky in organisations with global-local set-ups. From working in both global and local roles, I know that alignment between both is paramount for strategies and tactics to succeed.”
Internal disconnection was also the root of several of the most common issues that CX decision-makers highlighted in our research, including internal politics (31 percent), people sticking to their silos (29 percent), and poor internal communication (24 percent).
Decision-makers should inform their strategy by speaking to stakeholders at every level of their organisation and identifying obstacles to collaboration. They must also ensure that KPIs don’t pit departments against each other, but rather position them to work collaboratively towards delivering the best possible CX. Claire concurs, suggesting that “having decision-makers involved as early as possible is key to understanding any barriers or hurdles that may exist, before getting too far down the line and those hurdles become blockers.”
Emma Stacey, Brand and Marketing Director at TSB, has found that placing the customer at the fore has naturally dissolved silos. “We are really starting to put the customer at the heart of everything and internal silos are naturally breaking down. It becomes less about individual agendas, and more about aligning to the customer agenda that we’re all trying to meet.”
Circumstances and customer needs change, sometimes gradually, sometimes rapidly and significantly, such as the changes to customer behaviour in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Claire Holden from Ted Baker emphasises that a broad definition of customer is important – “when we say ‘customer’, it’s not always someone who is making a purchase. All experiences matter. If someone wants to unsubscribe from an email, they should have as lovely an experience as someone who receives a box with their purchase. Ultimately, if they have a really enjoyable experience in those unexpected moments, they are more likely to come back in the future.”
To ensure that your organisation is delivering the best possible CX, it must remain responsive to data on customer behaviour and capable of iterating on ideas quickly. This agility depends on team members across departments having clear lines of communication and ensuring that someone has responsibility for final decisions regarding CX. It also enables the organisation to respond more effectively when things go wrong.
Jana Savchenko, the Global Head of B2B Marketing at Deliveroo, believes that the key to great CX is “trying to fix the bottom experiences” as well as polishing the top ones. Within Deliveroo, they do this by running a monthly partner satisfaction survey and collecting feedback whenever something goes wrong in the delivery process. The team then works on "optimising the customer experience by looking at the bottom 10 experiences and fixing things like late arrivals or return orders, so customers are not complaining, our riders are happy, and the experience for our restaurant partners is far more superior than other platforms.”
Given that most customer interactions are via technology, improving technology often means improving CX. The ‘CX tech’ that an organisation uses can include a range of platforms and tools for capturing, managing, and processing data, generating insights, and acting on these insights to improve the customer experience.
Decision-makers we surveyed felt that the highest priorities for their CX tech operations were increasing the use of collaborative technology (42 percent), making communications timelier (39 percent), and ensuring that messaging remains coherent across touch-points (28 percent). Organisations must ensure that they have the right tech for the job, and they should consult with industry experts if they are unsure.
In our research, the most common area where decision-makers felt they could improve their CX was personalisation in communications, at 42 percent. Most decision-makers (88 percent) agreed that gathering data is important to understanding their customers. Yet, 51 percent did not have data on customers organised in a single place.
There are huge opportunities to create delightful and differentiated customer interactions across touchpoints using personalisation. The best way to get started is to implement a comprehensive CRM system to act as a single source of truth.
Our digital experience consultants have helped numerous clients embrace the power of personalisation to drive improved customer experiences and increases in conversions and revenue.
With a strategy in place, buy-in across the organisation, and the right technology at your fingertips, and advanced personalisation, your organisation can create a start to improve the digital experience for your customers.