3 Simple Steps to Successfully Align Different Teams Around Customer Experience
The phrase ‘customer is king’ has never rung truer as we enter a new decade. We’re experiencing a paradigm shift where the customer now supersedes the product.
Heading into the new decade, 80% of organizations expect to compete primarily through customer experience (CX). We’re already seeing that customer-centric brands are 60% more profitable than those that aren’t.
However, adopting a customer-first strategy is not as simple as flipping a switch – businesses must establish a clear plan around how CX will be owned and operated internally.
In a recent Econsultancy survey report conducted on Decibel’s behalf found that digital customer experience and conversion optimization efforts are primarily led by the Director of Marketing or CMO 28% of the time, while CIOs and CTOs ranked second at 25%, and Head of Customer Experience came in third at 19%.
Like a coxswain in the sport of rowing – the primary owner of CX must keep every individual in your ‘crew’ aligned and on pace. Now it’s just matter of organizing this ‘crew’ in a way that will drive CX forward
According to the same report, 57% of companies believe marketing, web development, and customer experience have the most impact, with analytics scoring 53%, executive leadership at 48%, while operations, UX, optimization and finance round out the rest.
The takeaway? Every team in your business carries an ‘oar’ in customer experience, so it’s critical to establish a plan that keeps teams in-sync to cross the CX finish line as efficiently as possible – this could be the difference between 1st and 2nd place.
The challenge for brands is aligning teams on the same goal of creating the ‘perfect’ customer experience, when every team is responsible for different functions, deliverables, and results.
Cross-functionality is paramount in aligning customer experience teams – and it’s even more important in the eyes of your customers.
If teams operate in dysfunction it’ll appear as if you don’t care about customers. And given that 70 percent of buying experiences depend on how the customer feels they’re being treated, your CX success depends on how well you align your teams.
How exactly should you delegate shared CX responsibilities? By following three simple steps centered around design, management, and optimization of your customer experience.
Step 1: Assign deliverables to marketing, web and UX teams to design the ‘perfect’ customer journey
The design of your customer journey acts as the framework for creating a seamless and enjoyable CX from start to finish. This has become apparent industry-wide as 90% of CX and marketing professionals agree that a customer journey-based approach leads to stronger customer lifetime value.
Creating this journey-based approach requires marketing to distribute relevant messaging and content that reaches every appropriate channel where your prospects or customers engage – from social channels, to email, to websites and apps, and more. You’ve got to create a highly accessible customer journey.
As these engagements grow more consistent, it’s critical to make every interaction personalized and useful. This will go noticed as 87% of consumers claim personally relevant branded content positively influences their opinion of a brand, and they are 75% more likely to make a purchase.
Tactics like personalized email and website offers, automated support for customers signaling frustration through digital behavior, and suggested content based off user history have all become keys to making experiences feel more personable.
While accessibility matters, your product or service must be made convenient as well. You’ve got to make every interaction have obvious next steps or clear resolutions – the less work for the customer, the better the result. Your web development teams must ensure all digital experiences function to near perfection. Whether it’s call-to-action buttons, lead-generation forms, multimedia like photo and video, or tech integrations like chatbots, these all improve the user journey
Establishing these deliverables amongst your marketing and digital optimization teams will allow them to fully understand how their functions contribute to the overall roadmap of the customer journey from a user’s very first touchpoint to when they’re a long-standing customer.
Step 2: Standardize how sales, customer support, and IT will manage customer operations
The foundation of your customer relationship depends on how you relate to and treat them within your customer-facing business operations.
Considering 76% of consumers think companies should understand customer expectations, and 87% of consumers believe that companies need to provide a more consistent customer experience – the pressure is now on customer-centered teams to deliver.
To meet these standards, brands must define clear guidelines for communication processes between sales and support teams. You can’t afford a mistake here, with 70% of customers claiming that connected processes like proper account management, seamless handoffs, contextualized engagements based on user history matter in keeping their business.
On top of general communications, successfully educating customers on your industry, and product or service requires thorough and standardized internal trainings between sales and support – misalignment here can create distrust and unease within customers.
Whether person-to-person or self-service, customer support is the bread and butter of customer operations. With 73% of customers becoming brand evangelists and remaining loyal because of friendly customer service reps, this experience requires prompt problem-resolution that’s handled in an empathetic manner.
If your sales and customer success teams master customer coordination, communication, and support it will lend itself to more lucrative and long-lasting relationships, in fact, 93% of customers are likely to repurchase or renew services when receiving excellent customer service.
Step 3: Clarify the results each team is responsible for owning and optimizing
If your customer experience becomes stagnant or even regresses, you’ll give customers every reason to leave for a competitor.
In order to avoid this pitfall, you’ve got to define CX metrics and KPIs. 73% of high-performing CX organizations say their customer journey approach is primarily data driven – meaning how you measure of success will strongly shape your customer experience in the end.
Establishing team-specific results like conversion rates from marketing, ticket resolution time from customer support, or survey responses evaluating customer representatives will give every team member a way to understand their personal efforts. Meanwhile using KPIs like Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure loyalty or Decibel’s Digital Experience Score (DXS) to measure user experiences creates a broader goal everyone shares.
For example, travel booking leader TUI leveraged Decibel’s DXS, a metric that scores digital user experience from 1-10, to correlate the performance of TUI’s website with booking conversion revenue. TUI found just a 1-point increase of their DXS from 5 to 6 could lead to $30M per year. With separate CX teams aligned over a single KPI, tracking contributions becomes clear as day.
While marketing, web and UX, customer support, and sales all focus on their own function-specific tasks, the way you align teams over measurable results will directly impact how you’re able to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
How does your approach to digital experience and conversion compare to industry leaders?
When aligning teams to seamlessly design, manage, and optimize customer experience, brands must keep in mind the widespread digitization of typical customer-facing interactions. 44% of companies have already moved to a digital-first approach for customer experience, with expectations that two-thirds of all customer experience initiatives will use IT by 2022.
Given the rapid change in how customers want to interact with businesses, brands will have to adapt their customer-centric strategies to accommodate a digital-first customer experience approach – or be left behind.
The problem with adopting new practices is knowing which trends and changes matter most, so your business can adjust accordingly.
In Econsultancy’s report The State of Digital Experience and Conversion Optimization in 2020, 300+ companies were surveyed on their current approaches to digital customer experience and conversion rate optimization.
The report includes findings on:
- Which elements of digital experience hold more importance in the success of a business strategy
- How companies will leverage tools and tactics like web analytics, personalization, and user behavior detection to improve experiences
- Which customer experience metrics matter more for digital experiences like in-house metrics vs. traditional measures
- How important challenges like legacy analytics or low visibility into customer journeys have become