Customers now demand a connected, multi-device, omnichannel experience. Companies that can deliver on these demands will succeed in today’s digital-first landscape.
But with multiple teams, systems of record, and cross-functional processes involved, a unified experience isn’t easy to deliver. Customer data is stored in a growing number of systems, and with more complexity, companies are finding it more difficult to deliver a satisfying experience.
We partnered with Dimensional Research to survey over 500 CRM owners at large and very large enterprises to discover the best approaches for storing customer data, implementing customer journeys, and determining team ownership of the customer experience. (Read the full survey)
Here are the key takeaways from our research, and recommendations for improving CX (customer experience).
Companies with a dedicated customer experience team (whether in IT or the line of business) were more likely to have satisfied customers. Companies without clear CX ownership were much more likely to have unsatisfied customers.
You don’t necessarily have to hire a Chief Customer Officer or carve out a whole new team. The important thing is to draw clear lines of ownership and accountability for the systems, processes, and touchpoints that define your customer journey.
A dedicated CX team that operates cross-functionally — either as a shared service or a business operations backbone — can help align departments and processes with customer needs.
It’s important to take stock of your current CRM implementation. We recommend that you map out the customer journey, and figure out where to improve data governance, internal processes, and customer-facing workflows.
Companies at the leading edge of CRM maturity also reported being further along in digital transformation initiatives, and were more likely to use customer data to personalize customers’ individual experiences.
Delivering a world-class customer experience is a complicated technology problem. Over half of these enterprises reported more than 10 systems that impact CX — with 33% reporting more than 20 systems, and 10% reporting hundreds of systems.
Most enterprises use a CRM system, marketing automation, transactional email provider, billing system or ERP, web or product analytics, business intelligence or visual analytics, help desk or knowledge base, call center, team communication tools, project management tools, databases, and other on-premise or legacy systems. Add to that a customer data platform that’s separate from your CRM, mobile applications, or IoT data streams, and you’ve got quite the complicated technology stack.
With all of these systems in play, it is critical to unify data to get a single view of the customer, and support a behavior-driven customer experience.
Across the board, respondents reported problems caused by lack of integration and unified customer data — and 99% want IT to be more involved in customer experience strategy, at an earlier stage. And almost everyone agreed:
As data integration and journey orchestration are now critical for meeting customer expectations, IT should be a key stakeholder in the development of customer experience strategy.
Data alone won’t deliver a better customer experience — your analysis needs to be translated into immediate action.
Traditional integration approaches don’t enable orchestration or real-time engagement. Point-to-point integrations don’t pass valuable customer context along with your data — and whenever your source systems or schema change, your integrations will break.
With an orchestration layer in your tech stack (for example, a customer engagement hub like Usermind), you can deliver a one-to-one, real-time customer experience. You can also avoid the pitfalls and cost of traditional, labor-intensive engineering approaches — and deliver a better experience to your customers.