Customer service and support organizations traditionally have owned customer experience. After all, they interact with customers most frequently.

But when you look at customer experience across a business, it’s clear that many functional teams have a significant impact on it:

  • Marketing is usually one of the first customer touchpoints, as they’re responsible for customer lead acquisition and overall brand perception.
  • Sales and business development teams or partners are involved with selling the product or service.
  • The product or service delivery teams interact with customers when the product doesn’t work properly or the service delivery is poor. And this directly impacts the customer experience.
  • Back-office teams, such as order management and billing departments, often engage directly with customers to answer questions, accept payments or handle collection-related activities.
  • IT maintains the technology across these functional groups, making the customer experience seamless.

These Silos Highlight Another Common Problem:

There are no clear lines distinguishing roles and responsibilities for customer experience. With so many different teams—all working to improve the customer experience—it’s no wonder that businesses struggle to offer a consistent experience.

Should Marketing Own the Customer Experience?

Sorting Out the Role of Marketing

It’s becoming increasingly important to bring together functional teams to provide a seamless experience. This is especially true with the CIO and CMO, whose collaboration is becoming more critical to customer experience. Traditionally, CIOs have been responsible for evaluating and implementing enterprise technology solutions, with a focus on risk management and security. Now, CMOs have a strategic interest in selecting and investing in the best tools and technologies to support their marketing initiatives. This can contribute to siloed technology.

Does that mean marketing departments should manage the overall customer experience?

For most businesses, this isn’t the best solution either. Appointing marketing as the primary owner of customer experience has disadvantages. Creating a better buying experience related solely to customer acquisition doesn’t represent the full customer journey, which is shared by sales, customer service and other groups. Marketing has a seat at the customer experience table, but consider the implications when marketing is the owner of customer experience.

Customer Experience Management Remains Siloed

Unite Disparate Teams to Thrive

The Genesys State of Customer Experience research shows:

  • Forty-five percent of businesses manage the customer experience through their customer care organization, while 30% have marketing manage customer experience.
  • Only 19% of businesses surveyed report that they have a dedicated customer experience team to manage the experience.

Customer experience tracking is pervasive, according to executive respondents. Most often, customer care handles tracking in industries other than healthcare and banking, where marketing leads these efforts.

Managing the customer experience cannot be done in silos. It takes collaboration and coordination across multiple organizations.

More and more businesses recognize the value of having a dedicated, executive team that owns and manages the overarching customer experience. This is where the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) comes into play. In this role, the CXO acts as the bridge—uniting disparate teams and systems.

Customer Experience Tracking

Finding Value in the Data

When it comes to managing the customer experience, one of the most critical elements is having access to the right data. The ability to track and report on customer status, loyalty, customer lifetime value, advocacy and more can deliver crucial insights to an organization. And mining this data often means you must bring together the siloed data sources and teams for a single source of customer truth across an organization.

Genesys research shows that customer longevity and loyalty, as well as customer lifetime value, are most frequently tracked as components of the customer experience. Marketing is more likely to track repurchase timing; however, less than 30% of companies overall track engagement channel preference.

Break Down the Business Silos

Four Best Practices for Managing Customer Experience

When functional teams manage customer experience, it creates silos and a disconnected experience for customers. But you can’t manage customer experience in a vacuum. Below are four best practices to better manage customer experience:

1. Start at the top

For a successful customer experience, there must be an executive who owns it. You also need a clear customer experience strategy that includes specific objectives and targets that a single executive owner is accountable for achieving. Build customer experience into the fabric of your company and mission statement, and ensure that every level of the executive team echoes and supports that message.

2. Know your customers

Just like your customers, your company needs a single source of truth for customer data. Know your customer segments and the demographics that drive each segment. Walk in your customers’ shoes and understand their journeys from beginning to end. New customer acquisition is essential; you still must understand every aspect of existing and prospective customer journeys with your company.

3. Align people and processes

To be truly successful at customer experience, organizations must ensure that their people and processes, across all groups, work seamlessly. Align performance metrics to the customer experience and create measurements that deliver the most value over the customer lifecycle. Groups must collaborate and share feedback and ideas across the organization. For example, create a customer experience board that includes stakeholders from marketing, IT, customer service and support with the highest authority and responsibility for affecting change.

4. Use the technology to bring it all together

It’s becoming increasingly important to use technology intelligently. Both technology and customer preferences change so quickly, which often creates pockets of technology. These siloed innovations solve an immediate problem, but they often create a much larger problem down the road. When considering customer experience technology, keep the big picture in mind. Customer experience technology and customer data are useless if no one brings them together and makes them meaningful to your business.

Getting customer experience right isn’t easy. It takes time, persistence and the ability to continually adapt to changing customer segments.

Chief Customer Officer at Genesys

At Genesys, customer experience isn’t just a buzzword or a technology trend. It’s a practice and a discipline. Customer experience is driven from the belief that we put our customer at the center of everything we do. It’s part of our mission and shapes the way we operate—from hiring customer-centric talent, to listening to customer feedback, to continuously improving and innovating our products and platform.

The Global NPS and Customer Experience Design team works in cooperation with other departments across the organization to effectively synthesize voice of the customer (VoC) data. They gather an objective and holistic view of our global customer base. What is data if we cannot make it meaningful? More importantly, what good is the data if we don’t take any actions? This team under the purview of the Chief Customer Officer analyzes data and designs effective actions, both tactical and strategic, by bringing the right people together across Genesys to serve our customers. As part of creating meaning, the team has developed the Net Promoter System, which was established and recognized as our Genesys corporate metric, and the Genesys CX Framework. The team uses this set of data as well as data from other sources—customer interviews, product and customer advisory boards—to become advisors and subject matter experts on our customers. This guides discussions and design strategy among our various teams.

As Chief Customer Officer, David Sudbey brings not only an objective view, but also the voice of the customer to the board room. With more than 20 years in the industry, he has been an executive leader in various areas including sales, professional services, customer care and education. As Chief Customer Officer, his depth of knowledge of the business and the customer allows him to bridge the silos and help shape the Genesys vision/mission.   

Dave Sudbey

CXO - Genesys

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