We now have more than enough evidence that the customer experience (CX) should be the primary focus of organizations both big and small. Whether it’s the lifetime value that your customer represents, the costs associated with an unhappy customer, or just the difficulty and expense associated with finding new customers who will engage your brand’s products or services, it is widely understood how critical your CX is to the health of the business. But for many companies, just where to start can be a difficult and intimidating decision.
The Silo Mentality
As Ron Ashekenas stated in a recent HBR article, the challenges and risks that come with a silo mentality has been discussed in boardrooms and offices endlessly. Even as far back as 25 years ago, overcoming organizational boundaries was a primary focus of Jack Welch at GE as he foresaw that “shorter decision cycles, greater employee engagement and stronger collaboration” would be a requirement in the modern technology driven economy. Yet unlike other trendy management focuses this is one that hasn’t gone away. And unfortunately, neither has the problem.
Customer Touchpoints Across Your Organization
In your brand’s product and service lifecycle where doesn’t the customer experience impact the business? Product development centers around how people will use and interact with the products and services that a company is looking to sell. But without feedback from your customer support teams, how do product specialists know what features are working and which aren’t? With so much of our lives spent in the digital space, sales and marketing teams must be must be technology and data-driven experts as well as brand champions and storytellers. But without understanding your customers frustrations and concerns how do you know which stories will resonate?
Hidden Data is Siloed Data
One of the reasons for the lack of visibility in to customer pain points is the lack of existing tools to gather data around customer experience. Surveys and call logs get us part of the way, but true analytics have not yet reached in to many of the post-purchase customer experience areas. PDF’s remain locked down inaccessible content containers offering no insights back to an organization. Video content is largely pre-sale focused and little to no tracking exists to ascertain its usefulness or impact. This paucity of data leaves an organization struggling to make sense of how their customers are responding to new products or initiatives. Customer experience data thus becomes effectively siloed and useless to the your company.
New Ways Forward
The way forward then is the necessity to embrace your customer’s entire journey, including those post-purchase events and interactions. Without that valuable data, your development, sales and marketing, and support departments will be flying blind. We knew 25 years ago that siloing your organization was a bad idea. It’s time to bring the post-puchase experience in to the 21st century.