How fixing the silo problem helps CX collaboration
The onboarding of digital technology is only one piece of the customer experience (CX) jigsaw. To truly put customers at the heart of their operations and fully leverage the advantages that new technology brings, brands need to find more effective ways to collaborate. Matt Conner, Chief Growth Officer at Paragon DCX, explains how CMOs and CX leaders can cooperate to fix the silo problem and thus deliver more effective CX strategies.
Though interdepartmental alliances are encouraged within companies, traditional organisational structures often create obstacles that prevent effective collaboration from taking place and thus impede the development of cohesive CX strategies.
Turning this around is dependent on changing the cultural mindset so that staff are supported to take ownership of CX and create new, customer benefitting solutions. Integral to that cultural change must be a willingness to let internal silos be broken down and for letting the customer-first agenda take precedence over those of individual departments. Only once that mindset is embedded can organisations hope to implement a robust CX strategy with a human touch.
The acknowledgement of the need for greater collaboration in CX is widely accepted. The 2021 Glued Up Report – which considered research and interviews with over 200 decision makers in national and multinational enterprises across various sectors – found that three-quarters of companies developed CX projects during the last year, most of them involving collaboration between departments. However, while almost 9 out of 10 respondents claimed these experiences were good, most believed there was a lack of maturity: siloed working remained the norm and less than a quarter thought their company had a unified approach to CX.
This is a clear indication that although enterprises grasp the importance of a joined-up approach to driving CX, the competitive advantages that its realisation brings are stalled by the conflicting agendas and priorities of different departments.
Together with internal politics and time constraints, siloes are a key obstacle to interdepartmental collaboration. The Glued Up Report found that a third of marketing and CX managers saw structural silos as a barrier, while a quarter stated that data silos were a major problem. Indeed, over 50% of leaders admitted that their companies did not even store customer data centrally.
Effective collaboration relies on data
Achieving a single, coherent view of the customer is essential, not just for creating joined up, mature CX strategies, but for a wide range of other important operations, like marketing, communications and brand strategy. Despite this, while businesses are amassing data in ever greater quantities, the ability to access the valuable insights needed for successful CX strategies is often hampered through failure to unify data silos. A quarter of businesses claim not to have joined up internal data and half have redundant but potentially valuable customer data lingering on their CRMs.
Solving the silo problem to enable better collaboration requires companies to deploy a cohesive ecosystem of agile, cutting-edge technologies. Aligning the critical insights such technologies deliver with the needs of the organisation allows teams to work harmoniously to create CX that delivers real value for customers and achieves the company’s aims. For instance, the more accurate the view of its customers, the better an organisation can create effective messages, select the most engaging media channels and increase the relevancy of the customer journey.
Today, digitally transforming companies are embracing a wide range of new technologies, such as cloud-based infrastructure, chatbots, smartphone apps, virtual assistants and state-of-the-art customer communication management (CCM) systems that can integrate with legacy IT. By adopting these technologies, they are able to facilitate cultural change, develop a collaborative mindset and empower cross-departmental teams to innovate, analyse and enhance CX.
Putting the jigsaw together
With agile technologies in place and a collaborative mindset embedded, the potential for CX innovation is almost boundless. Companies are able to profile and segment customer types and, as a result, can improve their targeting, develop personalised communications and use the data from past strategies to build on and improve future CX projects.
However, deploying the delivery infrastructure essential to accommodate the latest technologies and facilitate modern communications is only one strand of a successful strategy. In the modern, innovation driven-market, effective strategies need to do more than simply use new technologies to create income opportunities; they must also deliver the positive experiences that consumers demand.
Regardless of the way a customer interacts with a brand, they need to feel they are valued. For the brand, therefore, it is essential that those interactions are more than just transactional; they have to offer experiences that engage, gratify, entertain, surprise and reward.
With the silo problem fixed, the right mindset embedded and expert support in place, brands are better positioned to take full advantage of new technologies, helping them to deliver truly personalised communications across the gamut of channels.
Just as importantly, departments can collaborate in far more meaningful ways, enabling their use of technology to go beyond traditional marketing so that customers have better experiences when connecting with the brand and its products and services.