Even when the leaders of organizations are convinced that they need to deliver superior customer experiences, they often fail to do so in practice. Why is this?
So your company’s leadership is convinced that delivering exceptional customer experience is a major differentiator and driver of revenue growth. They have invested in tools and created processes to help make the organization more customer-centric. Having started working with customer data, you come to realize that data in the organization resides in silos, making it almost impossible for any one department to have a full understanding of all steps of the customer journey. You are not alone here.
Data Silos in an organization prevent you from having a single source of truth. What's worse is that they may duplicate or contradict each other.
Delivering excellent customer experience requires collaboration across the organization- from marketing, customer service and support, product, sales, etc. Organizational structures may be siloed, making cross-functional collaboration difficult and more demanding to overcome when data storage, access, and technology to process data are siloed. The result can be frustrating for Customer Experience leaders as well as for the customer.
If Marketing, Product, Customer Service, and Sales leaders are asked to focus just on their functions, without paying attention to a holistic view of the customer journey, it is the Customer Experience that suffers.
Organizational silos were among the most commonly cited issues when CX experts were asked about challenges in delivering excellent Customer Experience. We share with you what CX leaders from leading brands and consultancies think about how organizational silos are negatively affecting Customer Experience and how they are addressing the problem. These responses are part of our CX Challenges and Actions report, which has insights from 102 Customer Experience experts on challenges, actions they took, and best practices in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
“In my experience, siloed operations are a challenge. Departments that are not interconnected and not all centered on the customer will disrupt the customer experience. For example, a product team might be highly customer-oriented and focused on delivering an excellent experience, but if the IT team or the operations team are oriented inward and making budget and scope choices based solely on the impact to the company rather than the customer, that will never provide an excellent customer experience. Organizations who get this right typically start their customer experience transformation by examining their organizational structure and choosing an org design that can support the customer experience.”
“Nail the basics first! Whether it's a website, mobile app, content, payment integration, delivery, packaging, and product discovery - all experiences and touchpoints play a unique role. They need to work well individually and connect seamlessly with each other. This is hard usually because these functions are siloed. Connecting them is critical and will need a consumer-first mindset, deep consumer insights, and instrumentation to measure consumer impacts in real-time.”
“The main challenge is to change company culture and accept that if working still with rigid silos that cannot cooperate together, maybe the initiatives will not reach their goal.”
“Many brands still think that customer experience is part of marketing. This mindset deters them from enacting the entire customer experience journey effectively. If this is the case, brands need to collaborate with key departments (e.g., IT, sales, marketing, finance, etc.) to remap the entire customer journey for their major products and services. This will ensure that the revamped customer experience strategy maximizes employee involvement, monetary returns, customer engagement, and recovery management. “
"Stakeholder alignment across silos is a challenge. Different lines of business with different KPIs and responsibilities tend not to collaborate. Stakeholder alignment is fundamental, that's where it all breaks down. It doesn't matter which part of CX that you can or cannot execute, the stakeholder alignment is the piece that makes it real to an organization.”
“The biggest challenge in my view is to narrow 'brand experience' down to a very narrow definition of brand as well as silo treatment of 'brand experience’ conned to the UX and marketing teams. A brand experience is not just the product. A brand experience is not just the ease of using the shopping site. It includes things that the brand often cannot directly influence, like the shipping to the customer. Or actual stock availability. But for customers, it's one experience. A great product at a great price delivered too late or damaged is a bad customer experience for the brand, even if it is not responsible for it.”
"The first element of customer experience success is the leadership decision to strive for a best-in-class customer experience. Many brands state that aspiration but fail to recognize that delivering a best-in-class customer experience is a holistic commitment that requires the right professionals, processes, systems, and ongoing
support to ensure that the entire organization collaborates to design, deliver, measure, and improve the experience it delivers."
Well, what is the solution?
Breaking silos is not easy. But some of the recommendations from our experts are - defining the CX goals and definition that is common for all functions, setting up a cross-functional team of leaders working together with the Customer Experience team and centralizing and connecting customer data from various functions to derive insights from it.
Is your Customer Experience Operation suffering from data silos? Get a 1-on-1 Strategy Session with our CX experts to get to the bottom of it.