To retain and grow market share in an increasingly competitive landscape, companies have had to adapt to a new business environment and find new means of retaining existing customers as well as attracting new ones.
Focusing on customer experience has been a top way to differentiate themselves as products have turned into commodities. And increasingly, companies are using data to boost customer experience.
After all, what determines where you shop for your desired product when price and product capabilities are very similar? The answer is often your experience with the store or vendor.
Great customer experience starts with back-office data
Customer experience can mean a lot of things and is not a one-stop manual for companies of all sizes and shapes. So you may wonder, how do I create the perfect customer experience structure for my unique organization?
The customer-facing lines of businesses are only one piece of the puzzle that make up the larger interconnected intelligent enterprise. To be ready for the digital age, you need to transform the whole organization based on a deep understanding of your industry and business model. Remember that one line of business cannot function without the other and that transforming your customer experience is only a part of the larger digital transformation.
To put it in simple terms, you can’t provide a great experience for your customers without access to essential data from the back office and without your supply chain, logistics, and finance processes working in harmony.
As you are working to improve your back office processes and technology stack, keep in mind that the front-office depends not only on the back-office functioning properly, but likewise on the free information flow across lines of business.
This is why customer experience always starts with data from the back office and why selecting your solution provider not only for functionality, but ease of integration is essential. Enable your sales, service, and marketing teams to gain insight into critical back-end data, whether that’s:
- production time for the manufacturer
- delivery times of critical supplies for the wholesaler, or
- recent orders pushed through your ERP system.
The customer data connection
But this is not the end of the road. Now that we have created a strong defense, it’s time to go on offense and tackle your front-office processes and data.
To provide a truly memorable customer experience, all front-office team members need to work in unison and share critical customer data. While customer service, marketing, and sales all work in different departments, they need to work as one unit towards a common goal.
To enable this teamwork, customer data and ideas need to flow freely across departments, whether this is simple customer profiles, contact data or recent interactions with the customer.
Strengthen your offense by creating a centralized customer data repository of first-party data, enabling a 360-degree view of your customer and their respective preferences. With this information, your front-office team is armed to provide personalized engagement and build trusted relationships.
By enabling free information flow between marketing, service, sales and the back office — and displaying recent interactions with the customer — each department will be able to respond appropriately to retain and grow the relationship.
Pièce de resistance: sentiment data
Now that you have the larger team working together with critical back-office and front-office data flowing across lines of business, it’s time to bring out your star quarterback to transform your organization into a Superbowl team.
The latest innovation in managing customer and employee experience data will give each line of business the final push to take the win. Interlacing your organizational and customer data with customer sentiment data will enable your teams to move strategically and continuously find the end zone.
Your business will have the insight to understand team dynamics and feelings across the organization and subsequently make adjustments in real time. It will ensure that your organization continues to work together as a team.
Likewise, you will have full insight into how your customers feel about you. Whether it’s your brand, product, website, customer-service team or marketing campaigns, you know immediately when you have to pivot and adjust your strategy.
In today’s rapidly changing world, retaining that adaptability and speed is key to thriving.