Many companies we work with on digital transformation projects confront the same business problems, irrespective of their industry or business size. Common painpoints include slow productivity, high administration costs, the inability to work remotely, and ineffective customer targeting and servicing. Usually, this is caused by a disjointedness between internal company operations, tools, and processes (for example marketing, sales and support).
In order for organisations to turn their business models into a competitive advantage, they must understand that departments such as marketing, sales and support can no longer work as separate units but rather as one, seamlessly working together to drive business value through complementarities; marketing is sales, sales is marketing, and support bridges the two to impove customer retention. It is imperative for these departments to think and act together to be able to adopt customer-centric business models and processes.
Consumers are now more informed, savvy and demanding of exceptional service and customer experience than ever. 87% of organizations agree traditional experiences no longer satisfy customers (Accenture, 2018). The path from brand discovery to purchase is sophisticated, involving numerous touchpoints that merge the boundaries between online and offline. Many offline purchases, particularly in the luxury sector, originate from online research whether from peer recommendations, social media channels, or search engines. Brands no longer compete on products but on experiences (According to one Gartner study, 81% of companies expect to compete mostly or completely on the basis of CX in 2019). To meet these new consumer expectations and habits, businesses must adopt the strategies and digital infrastructure that allow them to establish a unified marketing, sales, and support ecosystem.
So how do businesses achieve interdepartmental synergy to compete on customer experience?
The best place to start is to agree on a customer profile and build out the customer persona. Determine who you want to sell your product or services to so that everyone is on the same page and is now effectively targeting and fostering relationships with the right audience for the company size, product, experience and industry.
You also need to understand and leverage the dependable nature between these interdepartmental processes (see diagram below).
Facilitating internal communication is critical to establishing productive internal processes. Organisations should ask themselves whether their organisational processes between marketing, sales and support are efficient. In our experience, achieving incremental improvements across departments can have a compound effect in driving revenue or improving efficiency of process. Creating these organisational synergies allows organisations to benefit from dramatic improvement in productivity and efficiency, which often have a direct positive impact on both employee experience and customer experience: to serve well, you need to be able to work well.
Arguably, you cannot expect cross-departmental teams to work cohesively with fragmented tools and systems. Having a group of digital platforms and systems that operate independently is about as useful as collecting data and doing nothing with it. When there is no or poor integration between systems, customer information becomes disjointed, making it near impossible to create a cohesive cross-channel customer experience.
Organisations must ensure that they have the right infrastructure in place to bring together product, purchase, web, marketing, sales and service data in order to understand who their customers are and how they behave. Without this knowledge gained from integrated systems and aggregated data, marketing and sales efforts will fall behind consumer expectations and find it difficult to show satisfactory ROI on their investments. The overall customer experience becomes unsatisfactory, reversing support initiatives from ‘value add’ to ‘damage control’ servicing.
According to Oracle, 55% of CX professionals believe their companies will face disruption from more innovative, nimble and customer-focused competitors. By transforming current business models and by bringing together company operations, tools and processes, you will empower your teams to adopt true customer-centric processes for a game-changing business model: gaining market share and ensuring sustainable value creation.
For more information, or to connect with us and continue this conversation, contact us.