Too often customers feel a great urge to introduce a company’s right hand to its left. Interdepartmental and inter-system disconnects are the prime points cited for CX breakage and are the key issues CMOs need to fix now – to deliver significantly improved CX experiences.
In the Gartner survey “Leading CX Priorities for 2015 Are Projects Aimed at Improving Consistency Across Channels and Acting as “One” Unified Organization,” more than one-third of survey participants said their customer experience improvement … involved significant changes of their business. The leading CX priorities for 2015 are projects aimed at improving consistency across channels and acting as “one” unified organization.”
According to Nick Inglebrecht, research director at Gartner, “…There appears to be a recognition among the more mature organizations that CX projects span organizational boundaries and fundamentally affect the way the organization operates… As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.”
IT Systems that Work Vertically – (Information Silos)
When your many marketing, sales, customer and other information systems do not converse, then your employees are not communicating effectively to serve your customers. You have what is deemed, an Information Silo on your hands. As a result, your customers have an experience that screams out that you do not know/care about them because your systems are not connecting their interaction dots.
Let’s put this into a real life scenario. In our ERDM research interviews with today’s omnichannel consumers, this is how people are shopping. Ddo you have the means to deliver on this seamless experience?
“I might see something on TV, or hear an ad on the radio. …Then I’ll browse the website. … print out the cart. Then, I call Customer Service to have them answer my questions, and place the order.”
So, the goal is for companies to achieve Information Interoperability, “ the ability to meaningfully exchange information among separately developed information technology (IT) systems [so that] separate systems are able to understand the format, meaning and also the quality of the information being exchanged.”
This requires a fundamental rethinking regarding information ownership and data sharing at every level and every department.
Cocooned Departments With Disparate Priorities
A study from the Customer Contact Association (CCA) found that for companies to provide a positive customer experience there must be a collaborative effort among all departments.
Here are some insights from Adobe’s “The CX Challenge: Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing“:
- CX can only be truly effective if they’re implemented by an organization that embraces the idea that every department team and individual is responsible for the customer relationship.
- Advanced companies are more likely to describe customer experience as embedded throughout the organization
- There is a relationship between a holistic organizational approach to customer experience management and ultimate success.
Takeaways to Break Corporate Silos and Improve CX
1. Companies must identify their IT Silo disconnects and develop plans for sustainable information sharing. While technology integration is a lofty and expensive goal, new data input strategies and employee access to various systems for customer lookups can be a short term fix.
2. To break the silo mentality, companies need to fundamentally rethink, change, and improve cross-department relationships to cultivate teamwork and collaboration with unified CX goals and priorities.
Remedying communication disconnects at every level of an organization starts with an attitude adjustment regarding collaboration as well as information ownership and information sharing. Today’s omni-touchpoint consumer requires nimble companies with CX practices that effortlessly keep up and deliver without pain.