How a connected experience can drive business success

In this article, Medallia’s General Manager & SVP, UK&I and MEA, Eduardo Crespo looks at why capturing the customer experience across the organisation holistically, rather than separately within each department, results in a smoother customer journey and improved business results…

As organisations face ongoing market uncertainty, consumers continue to expect more from the organisations they interact with. Today’s business leaders are hyper-focused on increasing revenue, driving down costs and attracting and retaining talent in a bid to secure market share, while consumers want brands to deliver the best products, services, and experiences in order to retain their custom.

Reconciling the seemingly disparate objectives and demands of both business leaders and consumers is only possible by connecting experiences across every team, technology, and touchpoint. In fact, 76 percent of customers expect consistent experiences across departments, and 73 percent will switch brands if this expectation is not met. Organisations can deliver upon both business objectives and customer expectations by unifying experiences. However, it is not a process for the faint-hearted, requiring organisation-wide change spearheaded by the executive team.

What is a connected experience?

While organisations typically understand the importance of customer and employee experience and likely have teams and tools in place to capture and analyse customer feedback across multiple channels, track website activity, and analyse contact centre interactions, most are carrying out each of these efforts in departmental silos. Rarely do they have a single person or team responsible for integrating all these experiences to enhance the overall journey.

Isolated experiences within each department or team, however, do not reflect the customer journey. This is because customers do not look at their experiences with an organisation as a series of separate interactions – instead, every interaction contributes to their overall experience and journey with a brand.

As such, interactions must be looked at as a whole and designed, implemented, and managed horizontally across the entire organisation to be truly effective and deliver the experiences that customers expect.

The impact of a unified approach

By taking a unified approach and connecting the experience across each team, technology, and platform, organisations can successfully provide a positive quality of service to customers. Not only does a connected experience give customers the impression that they are interacting with one cohesive organisation, but it also means organisations can:

  • Simplify operations. The greater the number of systems, the higher the associated risk due to complex compliance requirements. By connecting experiences to operate cohesively organisation-wide, the number of resources required to manage different systems decreases.
  • Reduce time. Data sharing and processing can be streamlined across the entire organisation faster with just one system at play, which results in increased efficiency and improved business results
  • Generate cost savings. As the organisation invests in a reduced number of platforms, more money can be contributed towards improving the customer experience and focusing on business objectives
  • Drive revenue by removing friction points in the customer journey. When customers are satisfied after a seamless journey with an organisation, they are more likely to remain loyal to it. Research shows that increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5 percent boosts profits by anywhere from 25 percent to 95 percent.

By unifying the customer experience, organisations can both enhance the overall customer journey through increased visibility into breakdowns in the chain and increase business success. The two outcomes are inherently linked – organisations that offer a superior customer experience generate nearly six times more revenue than those that do not prioritise it.

Delivering a connected experience

In order to achieve a connected experience, leaders need to establish consistency across all interactions and adopt a holistic approach to customer journeys, ensuring that employees, processes, and technology all align with the organisation’s mission.

The driving force behind this transformation is usually the chief experience officer (CXO) or the chief customer officer (CCO), although it can also be initiated by any other member of the C-suite or a senior executive responsible for prioritising customer experience within the organisation. To effectively connect the customer experience across the entire organisation, the CXO should carefully consider the organisation’s objectives and determine the most impactful corporate-wide strategy to implement. Then, keeping these core objectives in mind, they must:

1. Assess the state of customer experience in their organisation
As a starting point, the CXO, or other member of the C-suite responsible, should evaluate the technologies being used and the experience data being collected, asking questions such as: What types of experience data are available and where are they stored? How accessible and usable is the data in all of these areas? Will bringing these data sources together result in data loss or gain? This way, they can more efficiently learn about the quality of customer experience being provided across different areas, and work to improve it holistically.

2. Engage the entire C-suite
In order to create connected experiences, it is important for the whole organisation to prioritise delivering a great customer experience – starting with the C-suite. By demonstrating the value that connected experiences can bring to the business and tailoring the messaging to suit the specific needs and goals of each executive, the CXO can gain the C-suite’s support for the initiative. They should also highlight how connecting experiences throughout the organisation will enhance teamwork and streamline business operations, thus yielding better business results.

3. Put together a cross-functional team to yield results
Once the C-suite is on board, leaders must choose a cross-functional group of leaders that represents all of the relevant departments dealing with customer experience. This team should meet regularly to discuss what is working and what needs more attention – and develop an action plan consistent with the organisation’s objectives that drives the desired business outcomes. Being more proactive about offering a connected customer experience will result in more loyal customers and, in turn, greater business success.

Listen to the customer – break the silos

A connected experience has the potential to deliver positive outcomes both for customers, who benefit from a more streamlined experience, and for businesses, looking to drive revenue and generate cost savings. Those ‘leaders’ who do it well stand to gain the most – and are 26 times more likely than ‘laggards’ to experience revenue growth of 20 percent or higher. In such challenging market conditions, and as the competition for consumers continues to gather pace, it is essential that organisations look to elevate their customer experience programmes and break the silos once and for all.

About Eduardo Crespo

Eduardo Crespo is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Medallia in the UK, Ireland, Middle East, and Africa. Since joining Medallia in 2014, Eduardo has played a critical role in driving growth, scaling various departments, and supporting client success. His ability to instil strategic thinking, inspire people, and deliver continued growth has been a driving force behind Medallia’s success in EMEA.

About Medallia

Medallia is the pioneer and market leader in customer, employee, citizen, and patient experience. As the No. 1 enterprise experience platform, Medallia Experience Cloud is the experience system of record that makes all other applications customer- and employee-aware. The platform captures billions of experience signals across interactions including all voice, video, digital, IoT, social media, and corporate-messaging tools. Medallia uses proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to automatically reveal predictive insights that drive powerful business actions and outcomes. Medallia customers reduce churn, turn detractors into promoters and buyers, create in-the-moment cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and drive revenue-impacting business decisions, providing clear and potent returns on investment.

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