Why It’s Getting Easier to Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience


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For over a decade, customer experience execs and IT execs have been at loggerheads over the seemingly insurmountable task of transforming and redesigning the internal business processes and systems that get in customers’ way. We’ve been engaged in countless customer experience initiatives in which the obvious improvements that need to be made aren’t because there are intractable and/or expensive information technology-related initiatives that will take months or years.

So these black holes between organizational, functional or channel silos get handled with what one client calls “human middleware.” We make sure that our employees know how to circumvent the systems, override the policies in certain situations, and do what it takes to get things done for customers. But there’s another way, and it’s getting easier all the time. I used to call it the “WD40 and duct tape approach” to mimic the way my husband does temporary repairs on the mechanical things in our lives that seem to always be slightly broken or waiting for a new part. You hide the complexities from customers with loosely coupled workflows and email. Charles Schwab did this kind of duct tape approach years ago by sending emails to customer service reps at branches to let them know about any important interactions that “their” customers were doing (or trying to do) online.

Now there are some customer experience interaction development tools emerging that make it easier than before to develop multi-channel workflows and apps that will pull information from multiple back-end systems, make updates, and put the updated information back into multiple systems. This kind of approach should enable us to convert our customer experience human middleware into cross-silo customer experience interaction design.

Developing Applications to Improve Customer Experience
Bridging the Arbitrary Product Line and Channel Silos that Drive Your Customers Crazy
By Ronni T. Marshak, Executive VP and Senior Consultant, and Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Senior Consultant

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ronni Marshak
Patricia Seybold Group
Ronni Marshak co-developed Patricia Seybold Group's Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) methodology with Patricia Seybold and PSGroup's customers. She runs the CSM methodology practice, including training, certification, and licensing. She identifies, codifies, and updates the recurring patterns in customers' ideal scenarios, customers' moments of truth, and customer metrics that she discovers across hundreds of customer co-design sessions.


  1. Ronni, thanks so much for writing this valuable post. With so many communication channels being used by customers every day, it’s even more important than ever that companies employ all of the technological tools to make the customer experience as seamless as possible. I’m hoping that in conjunction with organizations using technology to create a more friendly, customer centric interaction, that they also ensure that their front-line associates make customers feel welcomed, important and appreciated on every encounter and with whatever channel of communication the customer elects. Thanks again for an excellent piece. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention @richardrshapiro


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