Author: Eric Smuda, Principal, CX Strategy & Enablement, InMoment
Over the past few years, the term omnichannel has become part of the experience lexicon, making customer experience (CX) practitioners change focus from transactions to customer journeys. This evolution is a step in the right direction because customers think about their relationships with brands as the sum of all their interactions (plus whether their values align with a company’s). Additionally, customers do business with brands in many ways—app, in-store, pick-up, etc.—and expect brands to recognize them and their past interactions at each touchpoint.
However, many companies have legacy data systems and structures that don’t enable these omnichannel experiences. Website data often sits with the digital team. Call center call transcripts reside in the call center, which is often far removed from the corporate headquarters or customer-facing teams. Social media data sits with the marketing team, while we often see survey data reside with either the CX team or the market research team. And all of that is without even mentioning CRM systems.
Siloed customer journeys are insufficient for addressing customers’ growing expectations and ever more complex experiences. Desiloing those journeys has become the next frontier on the road to a better customer experience—let’s get into how brands can make it happen.
Why Desilo Customer Journeys?
The reason companies want to desilo data seems obvious: to deliver a better, more seamless experience that drives loyalty, additional revenue, and lifetime value. If a call center agent knows that a customer had issues with a web experience and can even see where that occurred, it saves significant time if the customer doesn’t have to retell the story and then have the agent try to fix it. Alternatively, if a frontline associate knows more about the customer standing in front of them, they can tune their service experience to that person’s preferences and past interactions.
Let me give you an example of journey desiloing in action from my days leading customer experience in the car rental industry. Because we could tie operational data about a vehicle that a customer had driven to their survey assessment about said vehicle, we could build a profile of which vehicles customers preferred to ensure better product matching in the future. That vehicle info also allowed us to understand where customer satisfaction started to decline based on age of vehicle or miles driven. At a macro level, this intel gave us vehicle preference information to assist us with fleet purchases from auto manufacturers, impacting a $5 billion annual expense.
Taking in The View
Desiloing data like this allows brands to build that elusive 360-degree view of the customer. Sharing that view broadly across the organization enables everyone to operate on the same set of facts about customers and thus make better decisions. The best customer experience platforms are designed to democratize data by putting it in as many hands as possible—this process is key because it allows companies to tap into the collective intelligence and ideas of an entire organization.
Another, more tactical reason to desilo journeys relates to your Voice of the Customer (VoC) or survey program. Desiloing data and passing as much of it as possible to CX teams enables them to customize surveys and make them more conversational. This allows brands to avoid asking questions that they should already know the answers to based on customer profiles and behaviors.
Connected Experiences Build Customer Loyalty
Modern platforms and genuine expertise that enable Experience Improvement (XI) can help brands close gaps and desilo customer journeys. Your platform should be able to integrate web data and call center transcripts, scrape your social media, and import any operational, financial, or customer profile data you are willing to share.
As you saw in my car rental example, this data provides an omnichannel view that can be shared across the organization to enable better decision making and to deliver a meaningfully improved customer experience.
This type of heightened experience translates into the fundamental human connections that build customer loyalty, increase tenure, and keep those individuals coming back even amid fierce competition. These experiences also allow brands to also create a significantly stronger bottom line for themselves, become leaders within their own industries, and continuously make a difference for customers as they take ever more complex journeys with companies.
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