3 Ways Every Department Affects Customer Experience
Customer experience has become a key focus in many industries as of late. There is increasing recognition that it’s not just the components of sales or customer service that influence conversions and satisfaction. Rather, a more holistic approach can drive loyalty and even turn consumers into useful brand ambassadors.
One of the most important things to understand about customer experience is that it isn’t just sales departments or customer service representatives that influence it. Even departments that appear to have no direct contact with the public can affect how consumers connect to your brand. It’s vital, then, to gain a better understanding of the ways in which all departments have a hand in driving great customer experiences.
Creating an excellent customer experience strategy can depend upon the quality of the journey your business offers. You should aim to ensure your consumers’ holistic experience is positive, enriching, and meaningful every time they engage. Given that the journey relies on professionals of various disciplines, every department can impact and contribute to great journeys that translate to solid customer experiences.
So, how can you practically improve your customer experience through the journeys you offer consumers? First, design your journey using insights from all of your departments. For instance, log feedback customer service agents received, engagement metrics from marketing teams, and website behavior from your information technology (IT) professionals. From here you can collaborate on mapping out the ideal customer journey based on these metrics and other data each department has to offer.
Remember, though, that the process of crafting customer journeys is rarely static. You’ll need to adapt to industry shifts and changing preferences of consumers. Therefore, it’s important to keep people from all departments involved in regular journey design project meetings. Each will have new insights into the trends of their part of the industry or elements that consumers are responding to. By taking this holistic and collaborative approach, you can create journeys that keep boosting customer experience.
Identifying and Meeting Needs
Customers tend not to have good experiences if they don’t feel their needs and preferences have been adequately met by businesses. Certainly, there are some more generalized preferences that are present in specific industries or among certain demographics. However, if your business can identify and respond to the more nuanced and developing needs of your consumers, you can more accurately serve your audience. Collaborations between departments are vital for doing this effectively.
In particular, a strong partnership between sales and marketing teams is essential for overcoming silos that prevent brands from meeting customer expectations. Through their experience in campaigns and market research, marketers have in-depth knowledge of how consumers’ wider needs and how they prefer to engage. Salespersons’ professional activities, on the other hand, have given them insights into what consumers value about products and direct interactions. When business leaders encourage these professionals to exchange their tacit knowledge, they can boost one another’s understanding of customer preferences, enabling them to improve experiences.
This identification and shared understanding of needs extend to other departments in organizations, too. For example, IT departments are likely to have the best understanding of prevalent cybersecurity threats and how these impact consumers. Sharing this information with marketers allows them to implement relevant trust signals related to these that address consumers’ needs for reassurance and protection. The more open communication between departments, the more effectively needs, preferences and challenges can be addressed.
Perhaps one of the key components of the current business landscape is the continued need for innovations. This isn’t just important from the perspective of fresh products and services that give your business a competitive edge. Rather, innovation can also improve the customer experience by offering more efficient approaches to operations, new ways to engage with marketing, and tools that enhance journeys. Contributions from all departments are key to these types of innovation.
When departmental silos are present in organizations, teams may suffer from operating in what is essentially an echo chamber. They benefit only from the experiences of those who share similar professional histories. However, open communication and collaboration between departments allow staff to gain from alternative perspectives of people with different skills, priorities, and even cultural backgrounds.
There’s also value in establishing ways in which the tools and knowledge of different departments may be utilized in other company sections that don’t typically engage with these. For instance, human resources (HR) personnel might discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) driven hiring platforms are using algorithms to more effectively target candidates. This may prompt marketing teams to explore how similar platforms could be used to provide personalized messaging for audiences, or for sales teams to identify more accurate leads.
All departments are contributors to customer experiences. Professionals from all sections can provide valuable data and insights into holistic customer journeys, which allows brands to make improvements. Each department also has nuanced professional perspectives on trends in consumer needs and preferences. It’s also important to recognize that diverse interdepartmental collaborations can boost innovations that impact customers’ experiences with your brand.
It’s also important to explore ways in which collaborations between departments can be more meaningful. This could include arranging for company-wide recreational events to boost employee relationships. It may also involve interdepartmental skill-sharing workshops. The more you can encourage employees to connect with one another, the greater the impact is likely to be on customer experience.